If you’ve been awaiting a Mac OS X-native version of
OpenOffice, be patient: the estimated time of arrival has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2006.
OpenOffice is an open-source version of what was once StarOffice, Sun’s application suite. OpenOffice runs on Mac OS X systems now, but requires an X11 windowing interface to work, like Apple’s own
X11 for Mac OS X. Some users are waiting for a Mac OS X-native version of the productivity software suite, instead.
According to a note
from the OpenOffice for Mac OS X developers, “to implement Quartz and Aqua, we will need to change APIs [application programming interfaces] that are owned by different projects.” Quartz is the imaging technology used by Mac OS X, while Aqua is Mac OS X’s native user interface.
“These changes will affect all platforms, so we are working with gsl to get the hooks we need to complete a native port,” they explain. GSL is a reference to the Graphics System Layer project, part of the OpenOffice.org effort dedicated to code related to OpenOffice’s use of graphics in printing, its user interface and other elements.
“Aside from our compilation efforts, the majority of our work can’t be completed until these APIs are in place or at least designed to a point where we can begin figuring out how to marry them to Mac OS X. There is no active coding at this time,” the developers said.