Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:08 pm Post subject: Development plans for the rest of 2015
After running NeoOffice on the beta versions of OS X 10.11 El Capitan for the last several weeks, I now feel that I have a good idea of what NeoOffice development tasks I need to get done through the end of 2015.
Below is a list of the 3 new features that I will be adding into NeoOffice over the next few months:
Support for Oracle's Java
Although last year I thought that we would only be able to release new versions of NeoOffice in the Mac App Store, that is no longer true. Earlier this summer I was finally able to get NeoOffice to work with Oracle's Java. Now that this technical limitation has been solved, I plan to release a 64 bit version of NeoOffice this fall that includes all of NeoOffice 3.x's Java and Python features.
Note: this new Java-enabled version of NeoOffice will be called NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition and it will only be available on our website. The Mac App Store version - NeoOffice 2015 - will have no Java support because Apple does not allow Mac App Store applications to use Java.
Support for OS X El Capitan
I have only found a few small bugs when running both the Mac App Store version of NeoOffice as well as our upcoming 64 bit, Java-enabled Classic Edition on the beta versions of OS X 10.11 El Capitan. I am expecting that there are bugs that we have not yet found, but hopefully the low number of bugs found so far is a sign that no major NeoOffice code changes are needed for OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
I plan to include the .docx import improvements that I have backported in this fall's NeoOffice releases. These improvements should make NeoOffice's .docx handling better than it is now but not as good as the latest version of LibreOffice. Should I have any spare time, I will continue working on backporting more LibreOffice .docx code.
Assuming that Apple will release OS X 10.11 El Capitan in mid-October like they did with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, I am currently planning to release the following versions of NeoOffice:
Mid-August: NeoOffice 2015 Beta Classic Edition - This will be a beta release that includes support for Oracle's Java
Mid-October: NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition - This will be the first official release that includes support for Oracle's Java
Mid-October: NeoOffice 2015 in Mac App Store - This release will be identical to the NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition release but with Java and Python support removed and Apple's App Sandbox added
If any of the release dates change significantly, I will post an update.
In my previous post, I said that I would be adding better handling of .docx documents in the upcoming NeoOffice 2015 Class Edition release. Unfortunately, while I was able to backport a lot of LibreOffice's .docx import and export code, I found some hanging bugs due to conflicts between LibreOffice's code and NeoOffice's underlying OpenOffice 3.1.1.
Not including LibreOffice .docx improvements
Normally I would delay a release until I was able to fix such bugs. However, I think it is more important that we have a 64 bit version of NeoOffice that supports Oracle's Java available so that existing NeoOffice users who use Base files have something to upgrade to when Apple releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
Because some Mac rumor sites are now speculating that Apple might release OS X 10.11 El Capitan in late September - a month earlier than I assumed when I wrote my previous post - I feel that the prudent thing to do is to not include the backported LibreOffice .docx code improvements so that we can get NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition out by mid-September.
Updated release schedule
While only Apple knows when OS X 10.11 El Capitan will be released, I have revised my expected release schedule below. Note: since I am not including the backported LibreOffice .docx code improvements, I no longer plan on releasing a beta version of NeoOffice:
Mid-September: NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition - This will be the first official release that includes support for Oracle's Java
Mid-September: NeoOffice 2015 in Mac App Store - This release will be identical to the NeoOffice 2015 Classic Edition release but with Java and Python support removed and Apple's App Sandbox added
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