Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Daring Fireball: VaporOffice

John Gruber is doubtful that an aqua-native version of OpenOffice will ever ship.

I think he’s right. I’ve used it, but I still have to run it through a “real” copy of Office to make sure it’s working correctly (it’s close, but some graphics/formatting go screwy). With the overhead of doing that, plus running X11 as well, it’s easier to use Remote Desktop to control my PC machine.

Surely Apple is not satisfied with the current state of office software for Mac OS X (which is to say, dominated by Microsoft). Quite the contrary. But if they respond by assigning Apple developers to write office software, it’s going to be Mac software, designed and owned by Apple. E.g. Keynote.
Yup. I've used Keynote, and it's fantastic. It's a PowerPoint killer. And this is a 1.0 version. Exporting back to PowerPoint isn't perfect, but if your goal is to create really nice looking presentations -- Keynote it is. Oh, and of course it does export to PDF and Quicktime movie as well.

OpenOffice, on the other hand, does certainly look and feel like “crap” a.k.a. Windows 95 as John points out. The valuable part really isn’t the interface (it’s likely the biggest problem) but rather the “Office compatibility”. If you could split out the “translation” libraries for the various formats…

I wonder if Apple reverse-engineered the PowerPoint format from scratch, or if they got a head start somewhere? Will their “open format” (Keynote XML) be used elsewhere? Could Apple be the company to push open file formats, all XML-based?