NewsForge reviews NeoOffice 2.1 and concludes: “All in all, NeoOffice 2.1 is an incremental improvement over NeoOffice 2.0 Beta 3. Microsoft Office OpenXML compatibility is still a weak point, and if you are looking for help, you are better off avoiding the inconsistent and outdated documentation on the wiki and heading directly to the discussion forum. Nevertheless, NeoOffice remains far superior to the X11-based Mac builds of OpenOffice.org. The OS integration work is impressive, and the new features make the suite as a whole all the more indispensable.”
Review: NeoOffice 2.1
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2007-04-16 5:27 pmameasures
My G4 1.25 Powerbook opens NeoO in 30secs – a lot quicker than you describe so I wonder what your memory situation is and what else is resident. Even then it isn’t quick to load so I’m not arguing. Fine and frisky when loaded though.
Planamesa are doing a great job and it is way better to use than the X11 version. It amazes me how closely they keep up with OOo despite a small team and an enormous code base.
Like you I have donated and still get nag screens though often these highlight patching updates that are worth having.
2007-04-16 5:57 pmdigitaldisaster
I use NeoOffice on both a 1.2GHz iBook G4 and 1.25GHz Mac Mini, both of which take ages to load the actual NeoOffice application and can take an utter eternity to load and save one big spreadsheet that I have. Loading and saving most documents is fine though. The iBook has 1.25GB RAM and the Mac Mini has 1GB. I suspect that the speed issue actually stems from the speed of the 2.5″ laptop hard drives that both machines use. One is 5400rpm and IIRC the other is only 4500rpm.
I quite like the new icon set but I keep finding myself geting lost ‘cos I’m still looking for the old icons, I’ve just got to get used to it.
I’ve not come across any OpenXML documents so far so I have no idea what the import is like for those compared to the legacy Office formats. I’ve only found one set of Word documents that are completely unusable in NeoOffice and that’s the BT price lists. OpenOffice and StarOffice won’t import those either though.
2007-04-16 6:49 pmtyrione
Since when is 30 seconds to open an app suite, acceptable?
KDE 3.5.5 launches faster inside of OS X 10.4.9 using XDarwin and it’s a complete DE.
Note: System is an iBook G4 with 640MB Ram.
Edited 2007-04-16 18:50
2007-04-16 7:22 pmameasures
>Since when is 30 seconds to open an app suite,
I know what you mean but think from my point of view.
The big alternative is MS Office Pro priced in the UK at 449 GBP which is over 850 USD. I am an occasional user of office apps and for the price MicroSoft charge it would have to load instantly (and have nice legs).
Furthermore I prefer NeoOffice to any version of MS Office yet encountered.
>KDE 3.5.5 launches faster inside of OS X 10.4.9 using
>XDarwin and it’s a complete DE.
Not sure I understand the relevance of the comparison though when KOffice hits OSX properly it will be very interesting as a point of comparison.
>Note: System is an iBook G4 with 640MB Ram.
The more I think about it the more clearly this is about executeable file sizes and hard disk data rates; and frankly laptops aren’t going to be great.
2007-04-17 12:11 amDekkard
I’m running 10.3.9 and only have 512 meg of ram. Yeah, I have a few things running all the time, but I have never heard or felt the hd thrash.. so.. I dunno.
2007-04-16 6:23 pmbutters
KOffice for Mac should be much snappier and easier to use. It won’t support Microsoft formats, though.
2007-04-17 12:15 amDekkard
If you are talking about the “native” version of K0ffice..where can you get it? I’ve looked all over for it. I have no interest in doing it from fink or Darwin though.. all those libs to install.. cheers.
2007-04-17 6:03 ambutters
I’m referring to KDE4, which will have a native MacOSX port. It’s not quite there yet (read: alpha), but you might be able to get it going using the info and dmgs here:
The final release is slated for the October/November timeframe, but it’s possible that the Mac and Windows ports might be delayed a bit further.
2007-04-16 6:44 pmBlackJack75
I use NeoOffice exclusively. I like it. It is true however that it spends quite some time messing on the disk upon startup. I don’t know what it does but it definitely shows the harddisk is the weak point on laptops (mbpro here).
On the whole it’s not slower to launch than MSOffice in Rosetta’s emulation engine but you’d expect it to be faster. Damn, OpenOffice seems much faster on my PC running windows. Must be the disk though.
2007-04-16 10:02 pmbenmhall
I think you’re overstating things a bit there. I have a G4 1.5GHz with 1.25GB RAM and an Intel CD1.6GHz Mini and, once started, I find NeoOffice to be about the same speed as MS Office. Sure, startup time is a lot slower on the G4 but even that on the Mini isn’t that different. I guess Rosetta vs Java is a fairly even race on my machine.
Anyway, I find that NeoOffice integrates better into my Mac environment than MSO does. (Of course, it could just be that I’m used to OOo.) I’ve found myself wishing for some of NeoOffice’s features a few times on my Linux laptop. Font rendering and MSO2007 compatibility are better with NeoOffice than OOo 2.2.0 in my rather limited experience.
As has been suggested in the Trinity forums, for the money you save on buying MS Office, you can add RAM to your Mac. This will make all apps run faster. I’ve found that NeoOffice with a decent amount of RAM is a better option for me.
2007-04-16 11:00 pmSabon
“As has been suggested in the Trinity forums, for the money you save on buying MS Office, you can add RAM to your Mac. This will make all apps run faster. I’ve found that NeoOffice with a decent amount of RAM is a better option for me.”
You could always donate money to NeoOffice as well and STILL have money left over.
2007-04-17 12:21 amDekkard
Don’t get me wrong. I really do like NeoO, and I use it Exclusively on my iBook. When I said that it took two minutes I did overstate it.. To see if I was being an idiot, I actually timed it. One minute and 43 seconds. That is at tad slow. OO.org on my Uboingo system(900mhz tbird, with 512 meg of ram) opens in 12 seconds.
2007-04-17 1:24 amdylansmrjones
Heh… Sort of proves the relativity of speed :p
I think OpenOffice is a bit on the bloated side and somewhat slow to load. Take 6 seconds on my 1.5 GhZ Sempron (32-bit) system with 1 GB of ram. And 3 seconds on a warm start.
1 minute 43 seconds… It’s like PerfectOffice 6 on a 486 with 4 MB of RAM, running Windows for Workgroups 3.11
2007-04-17 2:25 amrilindo
On my Mac Mini (the 1.6 Duo, with 2 gigs of RAM), it is absolutely FLYING (well almost). It appears to be surprising usable.
I was able to put on MS Office on Mac Mini,but since Neo Office seems to work quite well, I think I’ll keep MS Office on the laptop and use NeoOffice for a bit until a Universal version of MS Office comes out.
I’m quite happy with the look and NeoOffice and the fact that I don’t have to start XWindows, as with OpenOffice. I often have Java-driven applications open so lag time is minimal when starting NeoOffice, even on my 1.33 GHz PowerBook.
I noticed that the OpenOffice and NeoOffice people were recently talking about MS Office ’97 compatibility, so I haven’t expected much for later version compatibility but it’s better than ThinkFree Office or other substitutes. Apple’s own TextEdit will supposedly be compatible with OpenXML documents so that will help but since MS is offering the format specifications, is there any reason anyone should be incompatible?
2007-04-16 6:25 pmtwenex
but since MS is offering the format specifications, is there any reason anyone should be incompatible?
Oh, boy. Don’t even go there.
2007-04-16 6:38 pmshykid
AFAIK, the OpenXML format is so cryptic it might as well have the “open” moniker omitted.
2007-04-16 11:16 pmtwenex
AFAIK, the OpenXML format is so cryptic it might as well have the “open” moniker omitted.
Fat chance. Remember the Holy Roman Empire, which was “neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire”? Well now there’s the “Common Internet Filesystem”, which is neither common (to anyone but MS), nor Internet-related, nor a Filesystem.
MS is becoming the Sick Man of Technology (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_man_of_Europe#Origin)
2007-04-16 10:00 pmRedeeman
Sure… if you think its easy reading a 6000 pages specification which IN the specification simply mentiones “do it like office 97 did!” and stuff like that.. OpenXML is neither open, nor have a full specification online.. its a big great pile of trash, thats what it is.
No I don’t work for Nisus and I do realize this isn’t about their product and they don’t have a spreadsheet or other apps. “Just” a wordprocessor. I like it better than both the others.
Express takes about 20 to 30 seconds to come up. The pro beta takes maybe 2 or 3 seconds.
2007-04-16 9:05 pmtwenex
Colour (or more relevantly mod) me offtopic, but what are its .doc/OOXML/ODF compatibility like?
there are some performance tip at
also hopefully the an aqua native (not using java) version will be available from sun soon http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/news/2007/20070324updatedtimeline…
The article and a couple of people here mention how much better neooffice is than OOo with X11 on mac.
just thought I’d report that I find the opposite. I don’t use either on my old ppc macs because both seem too sluggish, but on my intel mac OOo is great – I use it to edit .docs that I take take home from work and the experience is really good. When I’ve tried neo the screen seem to be a bit jumpy.
Anyway its great to have 2 projects trying to extend OOo to mac.
I use Neo Office exclusively on my MacBook (Black…they’re cooler). While it is slow to load, it works well once loaded. I wrote a script to load the app and my most used documents and it all loads without difficulty. On the Mac there is no reason to quit the app after starting it at the beginning of the day. Further, if you merely “sleep” the Mac you never have to quit it. So, the time to open it is somewhat immaterial. Even if slow, the delay isn’t work the cost of OFFICE. Apple works is a joke. And, iWork isn’t quite up to the task, save Keynote, which is as easy as Powepoint should have been. If you are accustomed to OpenOffice, which I use on my Linux boxes, Neo isn’t much of a change.
I actually paid a few bucks for the early release. I do love the new Look N Feel of the app.. but I have to say that on my iBook G4 1.33 it takes like 2 minutes just to open. Opening documents isn’t particularly quick either. When I start typing a new document there is also considerable lag, although it goes away after the first word is down. I will say that despite its initial slowness, it is still way better to use than the X11 version from OO.org. I understand that Planmesa as a great group and I do appreciate all the work they are doing on NeoO, but after donating I find the donation naggs annoying. Yeah, software dev costs money.. but don’t nag.