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NeoOffice :: View topic - What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1?
What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1?
 
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11847
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1? Reply with quote

In a few days, the NeoOffice 2.2.1 Early Access Program will end and NeoOffice 2.2.1 will be available to all users. While I am always happy when we release a new version of NeoOffice, I think it is a good time to summarize what has happened in the 5 months since our last release and to outline the goals for our next release.

Significant events in the last 5 months

Although it may not be very obvious to most people, the NeoOffice project has experienced some very positive changes since NeoOffice 2.1 was released:

- Our development is no longer chasing Apple's changes - During 2005 and 2006, Ed and I were continually chasing major changes occurring in Mac OS X, Java, and OpenOffice.org. With the coming Leopard release, Ed and I were very worried that 2007 would be no different. However, handling the Leopard upgrade proved to be much smoother than past Mac OS X upgrades and has allowed us to have NeoOffice running on Leopard several months before Apple's planned release. Sure, we will find bugs in NeoOffice when Leopard is officially released, but in past releases, NeoOffice was barely functional and/or unstable when a new Mac OS X version was officially released.

- User donations now cover the cost of running the project - Despite having 250,000 installations per month, well into 2007 NeoOffice donations were still running well below what we needed to cover our costs and for me to continue working full time on the project. I'll admit that Ed and I were very concerned about this situation after the New Features Program failed to generate much interest. Fortunately, we didn't give up trying to find a way for users to feel confortable donating. By implementing the small donation request on the download page and by making Early Access Program memership based on donations, user donations have been running at nearly double over the last 3 months. At this rate, Ed and I can work on NeoOffice at our current level without having to dig into our personal savings.

These two changes, while small for a large company, had a huge impact on what we features we can implement in NeoOffice. Specifically, since NeoOffice 2.1 was released, we have been able to do the things that directly benefit users like:

- Significantly improve performance
- Implement high resolution printing support
- Implement native spellchecker support
- Help stabilize OpenOffice.org's native address book support
- Implement Leopard Quick Look support for OOo documents

What's planned during the rest of 2007?

I am hoping that our current donation trends continue and, assuming they do, Ed and I would like to channel those donations back into features that many of our users want. Currently, the following three features are features that have been continually requested and, IMHO, are OpenOffice.org features that are missing on the Mac OS X platform:

- Display movies - Currently, NeoOffice only plays the sound associated with a movie and the screen area where the movie should be is blank. We had this limitation because Ed and I ran into some difficult issues implementing movie display without colliding with OOo's window drawing. However, we have figured out a way to implement the ability to display any movies that QuickTime supports without any collision with the OOo code.

- Display plug-ins - Currently, NeoOffice cannot load or display native plug-ins. We had this limitation due to the same technical issues as displaying movies. However, our solution for displaying movies helped us come up with a way implement display of any plug-ins that Safari supports without any collision with the OOo code.

- Display File :: Recent Documents menu when no documents are open - Both the OOo code and Java do not allow display of menus with no window open. Fortunately, Ed and I can implement support for this feature by displaying a 1 pixel by 1 pixel window that is offscreen and is not visible when in Exposé mode and then attaching the menu's in the infamous OOo "backing". This will not only enable display of the File :: Recent Documents menu, but also all of the menus in the OOo "backing" window.

If current donation levels more or less continue and Apple doesn't add some changes that cause massive breakage to NeoOffice, we estimate that we will be able to release these features in an Early Access Program release before the end of 2007.

Patrick
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Samwise
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Montpellier, France

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great! Very Happy

And thanks for all the new features in the 2.2.1 release Smile
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LemonAid
The Anomaly


Joined: Nov 21, 2005
Posts: 1285
Location: Witless Protection Program

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!!! Annoying dancing banana

Time to double check my pocket book and help support all these exciting advances.

Thanks to all, and especially Patrick and Ed for their AMAZING efforts.
I can't express my gratitude STRONGLY enough.
(Tho I wish I have 1 - 2 - $10,000 to show my appreciation! )

Philip ( Humble in the company of ... GIANTS! Shocked )
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sardisson
Town Crier
Town Crier


Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1? Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
- User donations now cover the cost of running the project - [...]user donations have been running at nearly double over the last 3 months. At this rate, Ed and I can work on NeoOffice at our current level without having to dig into our personal savings.

This is really, really great news to hear Smile

Smokey

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aussie149
The Merovingian


Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Great News Reply with quote

Well done you guys. How you two do what you do staggers everyone else, I am sure, especially when we hear about the battalions of software engineers working on other projects [no names Smile].
We may have to work on a User Guide volume 2 - or version 2 - soon, to keep up with all these new functionalities! Smile
Peter
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Display File :: Recent Documents menu when no documents are open" - I don't claim to understand your explanation of how this will work Smile but it sounds like the kind of enlightened lateral sneakiness that makes the best things happen - I imagine you're both getting a lot of pleasure out of sussing this stuff out, and we're all benefiting too - good on you, gents...

- padmavyuha
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jgd
Agent Smith


Joined: Feb 27, 2005
Posts: 1531
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Re: Great News Reply with quote

Thanks to Patrick and Ed. NeoOffice is already a terrific application.
aussie149 wrote:
.
We may have to work on a User Guide volume 2 - or version 2 - soon, to keep up with all these new functionalities! Smile
Peter

With pleasure. Very soon. Smile

Jacqueline
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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very happy to hear that development has smoothed and finances are now where they should be. That gives you peace and that in turn gives us peace Smile.

The media feature in particular has been something where Neo lagged behind the competition (MS Word) and I am excited to see that this will be fixed.

Together with such sweetness from ooo-build and Openoffice 2.3 like improved VBA support, multiple MS XML filters, Calc function improvements and the new chart module, I think that NeoOffice can look to the arrival of Office 2008 with quite a bit of confidence.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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"I think it would be a good idea!"
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
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Montreal
Blue Pill


Joined: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: Re: What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1? Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
- Help stabilize OpenOffice.org's native address book support
Patrick,
Does this mean that you have overcome your philosophical/moral/practical objections to contributing code under a license other than GPL to the OpenOffice.org project? Or is the address book integrationg released separately under a GPL license? In either case, have Sun's recent moves to GPL lots of their code changed things? Or ... ?

I'm not looking to start a fight, I'm just asking!
Montreal
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doctype
Oracle


Joined: Dec 08, 2005
Posts: 291
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1? Reply with quote

Montreal wrote:
pluby wrote:
- Help stabilize OpenOffice.org's native address book support
Patrick,
Does this mean that you have overcome your philosophical/moral/practical objections to contributing code under a license other than GPL to the OpenOffice.org project?

You may find an answer there:
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=77591
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11847
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: What's planned after NeoOffice 2.2.1? Reply with quote

Montreal wrote:
pluby wrote:
- Help stabilize OpenOffice.org's native address book support
Patrick,
Does this mean that you have overcome your philosophical/moral/practical objections to contributing code under a license other than GPL to the OpenOffice.org project? Or is the address book integrationg released separately under a GPL license? In either case, have Sun's recent moves to GPL lots of their code changed things? Or ... ?

I'm not looking to start a fight, I'm just asking!
Montreal


Ed and I will continue to release NeoOffice only under the GPL and we have no plans to change. How else are we going to ensure that third parties don't proprietarize the code? The GPL's strength is that if someone changes the NeoOffice code in any way, we can demand to see the code and include any changes that we like into NeoOffice.

OOo is still LGPL so nothing has changed there. The only thing different about the Address Book is that it is, IMO, the first fully functional and stable piece of Mac OS X-specific funtionality that has been developed. While OOo has been hyping their unstable, half-done port for a few years now, the volunteer that developed the native Address Book code quietly wrote some very solid code and we immediately saw the quality of his work.

Since the code was already done, we weren't creating any new code. What we did provide was debugging and fixing of the very few bugs that were found. Many of our users wanted this functionality and it was there in a reasonable stable state. Maintaining a whole separate GPL tree for the handful of tiny changes that are all obvious bug fixes makes no sense for anybody involved.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is the same approach we have used with Novell and their ooo-build project code. Novell's engineers write solid code that adds functionality that some of our users want and we feed back any issues in their code to them. If we stumble across a fix, we'll give them that as well.

Patrick
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Montreal
Blue Pill


Joined: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the explanation!
Anyway, glad everything is going well on the finances front, and I'd like to add my thanks to everybody else's for your and Ed's tireless and professional work.
Montreal
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mcarling
Red Pill


Joined: Oct 26, 2005
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:18 am    Post subject: OpenOffice 2.3? Reply with quote

Is there a plan for moving to the OpenOffice 2.3 codebase? Presumably, that would be numbered NeoOffice 2.3? Any ideas what new features might accompany such a release?

I realize you guys are busy with Leopard compatibility.
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Lorinda
Captain Mifune


Joined: Jun 20, 2006
Posts: 2051
Location: Midwest, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't answer the question about what the plans are. But I would urge caution about moving too quickly to the 2.3 codebase. 2.3 broke printing for Base Reports and Forms. (see issue 81705). While there are some work arounds, it hasn't been fixed yet.

Seems like I saw some other pretty significant bugs/problems reported at http://www.oooforum.org but I'm not remembering them at the moment.

Lorinda
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jgd
Agent Smith


Joined: Feb 27, 2005
Posts: 1531
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several issues have been reported in French and English OpenOffice forums, and on Dmaths forum too, concerning the Math module. Seems that some of them are fixed but the fixes will be included in the next version Crying or Very sad Needs confirmation.

Jacqueline
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