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NeoOffice :: View topic - Upgrade to OpenOffice 3.1.1 code
Upgrade to OpenOffice 3.1.1 code
 
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject: Upgrade to OpenOffice 3.1.1 code Reply with quote

This is not my own feature request but really a question for all of the NeoOffice donors: should we start upgrading the NeoOffice code to use the OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 code?

Originally we have been talking about waiting until OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 to come out but since OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 is still in release candidate phase, I would not expect Sun to release OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 until April 2010 if they follow their past practices. That would likely mean that NeoOffice 3.2.1 would not be out of the Early Access Program until July 2010.

In contrast, if we upgraded NeoOffice to use the last stable release - OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, we could easily have NeoOffice 3.1.1 out of the Early Access Program in April 2010.

Are any of the donors in favor or against this approach? I would like to hear what at least a dozen donors feel about this. In theory, if donors are in favor of this, I would start work on this immediately after NeoOffice 3.0.2 is released.

Please note that upgrading to the soon to be released OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 code is not something we are considering as our past experience is that OpenOffice.org's X.X.0 releases tend to have serious bugs on Mac OS X and since we consider stability to be of the utmost importance, we usually only upgrade to OpenOffice.org X.X.1 releases.

Patrick
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rays
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Joined: Sep 23, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the various parameters you mention here, I might suggest going for the direct upgrade to 3.1.1 code route now in order to avoid any impression forming in users' or reviewers' minds that NeoOffice is beginning to lag too far behind OpenOffice (in terms of core features of that product) despite its superior integration with Mac OS X core features as well as the additional features that it offers, such as NeoOffice Mobile.
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Ray Saunders
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James3359
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Joined: Jul 05, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two pence worth on this…

I am not sure that, for me at least, the additional features between OOo 3.0.1 and 3.1.1 are enough to warrant the effort. Others mileage may vary.

There are other issues, of course, as Ray has indicated.

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carpenpa
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Joined: Aug 19, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: New feature options Reply with quote

Given the choice, I would rather see the implementation of a unique feature such as the pop-up dictionary in writer documents than than simply playing catchup with OOO at each stage. After all, if a user needs a specific feature of the latest OOO release then they can download OOO and use it (alongside NeoOffice if they want). For me, I enjoy using the MAC only benefits of NeoOffice such as the Media Browser, better looking interface, native grammar and gestures Very Happy .
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pluby
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: New feature options Reply with quote

carpenpa wrote:
Given the choice, I would rather see the implementation of a unique feature such as the pop-up dictionary in writer documents than than simply playing catchup with OOO at each stage. After all, if a user needs a specific feature of the latest OOO release then they can download OOO and use it (alongside NeoOffice if they want). For me, I enjoy using the MAC only benefits of NeoOffice such as the Media Browser, better looking interface, native grammar and gestures Very Happy .


In this particular case, I believe both are feasible. I already have half of the Dictionary lookup feature done and since the first stage of upgrading the OpenOffice.org code does not use up much engineering time.

Upgrading does take a long period of time to complete, but during the first stage most of the time period is spent waiting for the massive amoun to OpenOffice.org code to compile. In the case of my PowerPC machine, I start the OpenOffice.org build and if all goes well, it is done 3 days later.

What upgrading the OpenOffice.org code could delay is any other new features that donors may request in the coming months. If such a collision in priority comes up, I will let the donors that voted for both decide which they want me to do first.

Patrick
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djpimley
The Anomaly
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Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 481
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we get a 2 -for-1 enhancement, delivering Ray's request for docx commenting, I think it would be good. I will be seeing increased use of docx in my workplace in the coming months, and it's only a matter of time before someone sends me a commented file.

Though it's not a concern for me, the version bump will also keep the trolls under their bridges. Smile
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yoxi
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree - a number of small improvements to be had (that are worth having), and it makes people using NeoOffice less likely to run into incompatibilities with people using OOo 3.1/3.2.

There are apparently bugs in the OOo 3.2 Comments/Notes system at the moment, anyway - random disappearance of existing Notes etc. So a stable 3.1.1 is welcome.
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I have a question, first: if we were to go the 3.1.1 route, when does that mean an upgrade to 3.2.x would be possible? September? Q1 2011?

I worry about falling too far behind; at some point, better Mac integration and bug-fixes aren't enough, and, especially for those collaborating with others, you need to use the newer version. (To some extent this also affects attracting potential new users/new donors, though, to be honest, at this point I think it mostly matters what _existing_ donors want, unless Patrick is seeing a noticeable rise in donors somewhere).

My preference, generally speaking (i.e., without knowing the answer to the question I led with), would be to wait a little bit longer and get the newer code.

That said, it's already obvious that 3.2.x is going to break some significant pieces of Mac integration (Address Book support; how did they ever get to RC status without QA catching that?! Shocked ), so it sounds like the road to 3.2 may be more difficult than other OOo upgrades (though perhaps not as difficult as the one where OOo broke PPC support Razz ).

Smokey

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ovvldc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think it would be better to start on 3.2.0 a couple of weeks after the initial release, and check what they nominate as bugs to fix. Then fix whatever they are not and then upgrade to 3.2.1 code when it becomes available.

Unless there are really exciting features in 3.1?

Best wishes,
Oscar

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pluby
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
I guess I have a question, first: if we were to go the 3.1.1 route, when does that mean an upgrade to 3.2.x would be possible? September? Q1 2011?


In theory, we could do a NeoOffice 3.1.1 and then 3 or months later do a NeoOffice 3.2.1. Realistically though, I doubt there are enough big feature changes between OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 and 3.2.x to get donors excited about back-to-back OpenOffice.org upgrade releases.

sardisson wrote:
I worry about falling too far behind; at some point, better Mac integration and bug-fixes aren't enough, and, especially for those collaborating with others, you need to use the newer version. (To some extent this also affects attracting potential new users/new donors, though, to be honest, at this point I think it mostly matters what _existing_ donors want, unless Patrick is seeing a noticeable rise in donors somewhere).


I would like to know what existing donors want. Given that we still have several hundred thousand downloads per month, I am confident that we have plenty of users. IMHO, the key to NeoOffice's long-term success is taking my engineering time and implementing the features that our existing donors want. If that means being stuck at the OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 code and branching off into a direction, so be it.

The only caveat I have is that even if donors don't see a need to upgrade, I think we need to upgrade at least once in 2010 to, at a minimum, either the OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 or 3.2.x code. The reason is that, IMO, OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 added a lot of small but annoying bugs that were not in OpenOffice.org 2.2.1. Also, some of the new features in OpenOffice.org didn't really get fully implemented (like .docx import support) until OpenOffice.org 3.1.1.

sardisson wrote:
My preference, generally speaking (i.e., without knowing the answer to the question I led with), would be to wait a little bit longer and get the newer code.

That said, it's already obvious that 3.2.x is going to break some significant pieces of Mac integration (Address Book support; how did they ever get to RC status without QA catching that?! Shocked ), so it sounds like the road to 3.2 may be more difficult than other OOo upgrades (though perhaps not as difficult as the one where OOo broke PPC support Razz ).


OK. I have to admit that upgrading to OpenOffice.org 3.2.x worries me a bit. I may be wrong but my sense is that Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org engineers have sharply reduced their effort on the Mac OS X port after OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 came out.

My gut feel is that the upgrade to OpenOffice.org 3.2.x will be as painful as our upgrade to OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 was regardless of whether we upgrade to OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 in the interim.

I have to admit that I proposed this option mostly as a way to put off an OpenOffice.org 3.2.x upgrade and replace it with an upgrade that actually adds real features for our users. I have only scanned the released notes for OpenOffice.org 3.2.0, but ACAICT it seems that many of the new features are either non-Mac OS X features (they have not added OpenType font support on Mac as they are still using Apple's ATSUI functions) or new language packs for languages that are spoken by a very small number of people (Quechua and Omani Arabic come to mind).

I hope my answers helps.

Patrick
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ovvldc
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Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not be surprised if Mac fell on their priority list after 3.0, because that release doesn't seem to have gathered much momentum in the Mac scene after all of the noise they made in the run up to the release.

Is there a ordinary-human-readable version of the 3.1 and 3.2 new features and important fixes somewhere?

I'd like to be able to compare what we could gain by having 3.1.x vs. taking the long view and move directly to 3.2.x. In any case, there's going to be some biting of the bullet eventually.

The upside of the 3.2.x is that Patrick and/or Fran could go and either relax a bit, or do some work on something entirely not NeoOffice related for a change. I am not sure if you'd even like that, but a change of pace tends to refresh people. The whole 3.0 process was hectic, and so was the autumn support explosion.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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sardisson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
I hope my answers helps.

Yes, it does. It basically confirms what I suspected about workload and scheduling--that, realistically, we get one OOo codebase upgrade this year, either a quicker 3.1.x or a much longer road to a useable 3.2.x, given the need to space out OOo codebase upgrades and the likely pain of 3.2.

ovvldc wrote:
I would not be surprised if Mac fell on their priority list after 3.0, because that release doesn't seem to have gathered much momentum in the Mac scene after all of the noise they made in the run up to the release.

Nope, but now they have a box they can permanently mark with a check on a specification sheet Wink

ovvldc wrote:
Is there a ordinary-human-readable version of the 3.1 and 3.2 new features and important fixes somewhere?

For features, there's http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/3.1/ and http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/3.2/rc2.html

Edit: For more detailed info, there's apparently a series of http://development.openoffice.org/releases/OOO320_m7_snapshot.html pages, one per snapshot build, listing new features.

(Why does 3.1 mention custom locking? I thought Patrick backported the restoration of native locking from OOo 3.1 to Neo 3.0.1; am I confused?)

Of all the features on those pages, since I mostly use Calc these days, the ones that interest me the most are the better merged cells and non-contiguous copy and paste support in 3.2. That said, I haven't yet tried them in OOo 3.2 to see if they really work the way I'd expect Razz

Edit: According to the snapshot notes for the last snapshot, it looks like OOo added support for using "Alt" as a modifier key for customizing shortcuts. As long as that translates properly to Option on the Mac, that would be nice, too; it'd allow people to customize certain keybindings to match standard Mac ones.

Smokey

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sardisson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
Edit: According to the snapshot notes for the last snapshot, it looks like OOo added support for using "Alt" as a modifier key for customizing shortcuts. As long as that translates properly to Option on the Mac

Nope, doesn't appear to exist in OOo 3.2; they've added Ctrl as both a stand-alone accelerator and as a modifier, but nary as sign of Option Razz

Oh, no, that's not true Razz They show Ctrl (⌃) in the Keyboard tab of the Customize window, but it's actually Option, at least when used as a modifier (and neither Ctrl nor Option work as a stand-alone accelerator; Ctrl just enters the underlying letter, and Option enters whatever composed character the Opt-letter normally creates). And, to make it even more confusing, Writer's Format: Default Formatting menu item has no shortcut shown in the Keyboard tab of the Customize window, but has ⌃M shown in the actual menu, and it's really Ctrl there Razz

Leave it to OOo to make a complete mess of things. Razz

So, uh, "added support for using "Alt" as a modifier key for customizing shortcuts" is not a reason to move to 3.2 Razz

Smokey

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sardisson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
Of all the features on those pages, since I mostly use Calc these days, the ones that interest me the most are the better merged cells and non-contiguous copy and paste support in 3.2. That said, I haven't yet tried them in OOo 3.2 to see if they really work the way I'd expect Razz

Copy/paste of merged cells works pretty well, but non-contiguous copy-paste is only about halfway there Razz

So, the features that were compelling for me are not quite as compelling as I had initially believed.

Smokey

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PGAGA
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

January 22 2010

I would tend to ask for updates from 3.2 such as filters and dictionaries, rather than a complete code rebuild.

For example, 3.2 includes an updated English dictionary which I will add to 3.0.2 when it is released.

Phil
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