Free Office Suite, OpenOffice, Reaches "Milestone" Developer Release For Mac OS X

Some good news comes to us from the Open Source community: has announced what they are calling a "milestone" release of OpenOffice for Mac OS X. OpenOffice is the Open Source productivity suite based on the code-base for StarOffice, which was bought and released to the Open Source community by Sun.

OpenOffice is a project that is being developed in cooperation with Sun, and this release marks the first real release for Mac OS X. Itis a "developer release," which means it is about as stable as an "alpha" build, and it requires the use of the X11 Windowing System for its GUI. That means you canit fire it up in Aqua yet, but the group is making strides to achieve that goal. From

The community today announced the availability of the first milestone build of the Mac OS X port of the OpenOffice productivity suite. This build uses the X11 Windowing System from to run on either Mac OS X or Darwin, and is available today for developers interested in helping finish the port.

"I have been astonished at the speed and quality of the work the community has done. We have been working together in a tight, efficient ensemble, and have now something we can use," said Ed Peterlin, Community developer, "This is exciting for me as a Mac user -- itis been incredibly fun to get this far -- and know that we will be able to finish this with just a little more help."

Earlier this month, the community announced 1.0, the open source office suite, developed over a period of 18 months through the global, collaborative effort of many thousands of volunteers. The 1.0 office suite features key desktop applications, – including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing programs – in more than 25 languages.

The code for the Mac OS X port of has been in development by the community since April 2001, when the code base was released by Sun Microsystems, Inc. The current release, a pre-alpha release is targeted to developers familiar with developing for the Mac OS X platform.

The 1.0 software runs stably and natively on multiple platforms, including Linux, PPC Linux, Solaris, Windows and other flavors of Unix. The Mac OS X developer release uses a ZeroG installer. The community wishes to thank ZeroG in this key contribution to delivering this port.

The Max OS X build is currently available as an alpha release in English only, although the 1.0 is currently available in more than 25 languages. It is only a matter of time, once this port is completed, that the community will implement the localizations.

Developers interested in contributing to making this exciting port a part of the standard suite offering can find the tools and resources on the site. The next step, now that the port has advanced to this stage, is to create a beta release using the Aqua interface for end users to help finalize. And the community is willing to make it happen.

You can more information on OpenOffice for Mac OS X at the groupis Web site. Developers interested in working on the project can also find information on how to participate. If you would like to download the release, head to the Mac download page. Join in on the discussion of OpenOffice in our Mac OS X forum.