XML News from Thursday, June 23, 2005

Planamesa Software has released NeoOffice/J 1.1, a Mac port of the open source OpenOffice suite. NeoOffice is built on top of Java rather than X-Windows. Mac OS X 10.2 or later is required. NeoOffice is published exclusively under the GPL.

This is one of the things I love about open source software. When one team fumbles the ball (as Sun did rather embarrassingly with their Mac port of OpenOffice) someone else can pick it up and run with it. Furthermore, two different teams can run toward the same goal along different paths to see who gets their first. It sounds like an inefficient duplication of resources, and it is; just like a <sarcasm>competitive marketplace is an inefficient duplication of resources compared to a nice, managed economy.</sarcasm> (We all know how well those turn out.) In this case, the official X-Windows-based solution for Mac OS X proved to be an unmitigated disaster. Planamesa's Java-based approach actually worked. Of course, there was no way to know that one approach would work and one would fail until two different groups tried it both ways.

The KDE Project has released KOffice 1.4, an open source office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, etc.) for Linux. This release can save and open files in the XML-based OASIS OpenDocument file format that will be used by OpenOffice 2.0 New applications in this release include the Krita image editor and Kexi database.

JAPISoft has released JXP 1.3.7, a €199 payware XPath 1.0 API that can be customized to fit different object models. Out of the box it supports DOM and JAPISoft's own API. This release fixes bugs, improves Unicode support, and speeds up some evaluations.

Bare Bones Software has released version 8.2.2 of BBEdit, my preferred text editor on the Mac. This is a bug fix release. BBEdit is $179 payware. Upgrades from 8.x are free. They're $49 for 7.0 owners and $59 for owners of earlier versions. Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later is required.