It:NeoOffice e Aqua

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Domande poste frequentemente sul progetto e lo sviluppo di NeoOffice, o "Tutto quello che non conosci di NeoOffice (e dovresti leggere prima di fare una rischiesta su [Mac]Slash[Dot]"


"Aquaficazione" e Intergazione con Mac OS X

Perché NeoOffice non ha la tipica interfaccia utente Aqua del Mac?

A partire da NeoOffice 2.0 Aqua Beta, NeoOffice include un'estensiva "Aquaficazione". Gli utenti Mac esigenti (ce ne sono di altro tipo?) possono notare che alcune cose non sembrano proprio giuste, ma non preoccuparti; questa è la prima versione di NeoOffice che mostra queste caratteristiche in stile Aqua, ed i programmatori stanno lavorando per far sparire le parti grigie!

L'obiettivo è di aggiungere con calma le caratteristiche di Aqua a NeoOffice cosicché divenga sempre più Mac-simile, fino a che non ci sia più nessuna evidenza e sia nient'altro che un programma per Mac.

Durante gli ultimi mesi, NeoOffice ha visto miglioramenti bit-per-bit.

Quali sono i recenti passi in avanti del processo di Aquaficazione?

Ad Agosto 2006:

  • finestre di dialogo per Apri e Salva (07/2006)
  • Nuove icone dei documenti che corrispondono meglio con l'aspetto Aqua (07/2006)
  • Le icone disabilitate hanno l'aspetto appropriato previsto per le applicazioni di Mac OS X (prima erano grigio scuro) (07/2006)
  • Numerose widget Aqua (barre di scorrimento, bottoni, barre di avanzamento, ecc.) (04/2006-07/2006)
  • Compatibilità migliorata con i sotware di dettatura vocale (10/2005)
  • Abilità di stampare i file EPS inseriti (09/2005)
  • Supporto migliorato per le tastiere internazionali (09/2005)
  • Menù del con con gli elementi del servizio di avvio rapido ("Quickstart") (che si trova anche nel menù NeoOffice) (06/2005)
  • Non viene più mostrata la "finestra grigia" quando viene chiuso l'ultimo documento ma il programma rimane aperto, proprio come avviene per i normali programmi Mac (05/2005)
  • Integrazione con Spotlight su Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" via NeoLight (05/2005)
  • Usos dei colori definiti nel pannello "Aspetto" nelle Preferenze di Sistema (04/2005)
  • Supporto per le [[wikipedia:it:Lingue_indoarie|lingue Indoarie (04/2005)
  • Supporto per Eudora, Entourage, e Mail quali programmi per l'inoltro della posta (03/2005)
  • AppleScript for drag-and-drop installation of help files for non-English languages (03/2005)
  • Drag & drop between NeoOffice and other applications (03/2005)
  • No longer exits when clicking the red "close" widget on the last document window (03/2005)
  • "About NeoOffice" and "Preferences" items in the "NeoOffice" menu (02/2005)
  • Localized interfaces for 40 languages (12/2004)
  • New Aqua application icon and splash screen (12/2004)
  • Optimized/smaller PDFs (12/2004)
  • Text drag & drop (12/2004)
  • Scroll-wheel support (11/2004)
  • Native menus now appear in the white bar at the top of the screen, just like any other Mac program (previously, they appeared at the top of the same window as the document) (11/2004)
  • Automatic notification of new patches and versions (11/2004)
  • Patches available as standard Mac OS X installer packages (09/2004)
  • Support for Macintosh file aliases in open and save dialogues (09/2004)

Stay tuned as new features continue to be added!

Technologies and Toolkits

What technologies are used in the Aquafication of NeoOffice?

Aqua is the "look and feel" developed by Apple for OS X. Apple provides three frameworks for developing applications with an Aqua user interface:

  • Carbon (sort-of OS 9 compatibility mode, also used by Mozilla/Firefox)
  • Cocoa (new framework that was adapted from NeXT for Mac OS X)
  • Java (cross-platform language, includes JFC/Swing for native-looking UI elements)

NeoOffice/C (the original prototyping project) was an attempt to use Cocoa and Carbon. The more successful project, NeoOffice (originally known as NeoOffice/J), currently uses a mix of Cocoa, Carbon and Java 1.4.2. NeoOffice written in Java?


NeoOffice is a Mac OS X native version of that uses small amounts of Java code for graphics drawing and configuration. is written primarily in platform-agnostic C++. However, NeoOffice takes advantage of Mac OS X's advanced Java integration to tap into the Mac OS X look-and-feel. In other words, the little bits of Java in NeoOffice primarily have to do with operations that affect how the application appears to the user. The "guts" of the office suite are written in C++. (The code that makes up NeoOffice is 99% code shared among all platforms and 1% Mac OS X-specific code in Java, C++, C, and Objective-C.)

Thus NeoOffice will only run on Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.3.x or 10.4.x—not on Mac OS 9, Mac OS X 10.2 or lower, Windows, Linux, Darwin, or any other form of UNIX.

How is Java used in NeoOffice?

As mentioned above, Java is mainly used to tap into the Mac OS X look-and-feel. What makes NeoOffice work isn't the Java language itself but rather the libraries that come with the virtual machine like Java 2D for drawing and AWT for menus. Those are actually already "native" in the Apple VM in the sense that Java 2D is really CoreGraphics/Quartz and AWT is really Carbon.[1]

The amount of Java used has also decreased over time. When NeoOffice was upgraded to the 1.1.2 codebase (NeoOffice/J 1.1 Alpha), text rendering switched from Java to the Mac OS X native ATSUI APIs since they are much more suited for complex text layout than Java is.[2] Other features were never implemented in Java at all (for instance the Dock menu, which used Carbon in NeoOffice/J 1.1 and Cocoa in newer versions).

Why aren't you working on a Cocoa version of an Aqua

There are several reasons. is not built like a native Cocoa Mac application. Translating all of the event model, font management and display routines into "pure" Cocoa would be a great deal of work. On the other hand, Apple's Java implementation provides good access to Aqua features and is easier to meld with the underlying code. NeoOffice/C proved that a "pure" Cocoa implementation was not a viable solution in the short-to-medium-term; while it looked great after a lot of hacks, it was not stable enough for even casual use. For a more detailed explanation of the reasons behind these implementation choices, see this post from NeoOffice project co-founder and core engineer Ed Peterlin.

As it stands, NeoOffice is very stable and quite far along towards providing a fully-Aquafied user interface, and taking a different path now would meaning throwing a lot of good, stable, well-tested code in the trash. The downside to using Java is that is consumes (somewhat) more resources than a pure Cocoa implementation might. (You need more RAM than the minimum requirements for Mac OS X—but then Mac OS X benefits from having more RAM than its minimum requirements!—and RAM is cheap; adding RAM is the most cost-efficient way to speed up your Mac.) Apple's improvements in Java 1.4.2 over Java 1.3.1 have actually allowed NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha to reduce resource usage and improve performance.

Instead of clinging dogmatically to a single toolkit, NeoOffice developers "use the best tool to tackle whatever task [they] face" in the effort "bring a full-on enveloping Mac OS X experience to []."[3]

Isn't Cocoa better than Java?

Aqua is aqua.

This question is most often asked by developers and power users. End users, on the other hand, tend to judge by the results. As one tester put it:

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then to the end user it's a duck, and end users have made it pretty clear they want a duck; whether the duck drinks hot chocolate or coffee is irrelevant."

And, as John Gruber puts it, after quoting an Apple engineer posting to Carbon-Dev, "send [the second paragraph] to anyone who claims that only 'Cocoa apps' are 'truly native' Mac OS X apps."

Isn't Java slow?

The majority of NeoOffice is written in C++. Only those bits that facilitate an Aqua look in Mac OS X were customized to use Java. The reason is that Mac OS X Java looks terrific and hooks right into the native Aqua "blue-button" controls.

And by the way—Java isn't really that slow any more.

Why doesn't NeoOffice use Java 1.5.x?

There are a number of reasons why NeoOffice uses Java 1.4.2, both human and technical. To start at the beginning, when the application was initially being developed (as NeoOffice/J), Java 1.4.x was not available on Mac OS X. When Java 1.4.1 did finally become available on Mac OS X, it proved to be quite buggy and was missing many key features on Mac OS X 10.2.x. Java 1.5 is only available on Mac OS X 10.4.x. Moreover, Java 1.4.x and 1.5 are Cocoa-based while Java 1.3.1 is Carbon-based. So for much of its early life as NeoOffice/J, the application used Java 1.3.1 on Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, and 10.4.x.

Switching to a newer version of Java not only involved dropping support for users of older versions of Mac OS X but also required hundreds if not thousands of hours of time reimplementing the Carbon portions of the application in Cocoa and working around new bugs in the new Java versions. Thus switching to Java 1.4.x (or 1.5) was not a viable option for most of NeoOffice/J's existence given the size of the development team and the fact that Java 1.3.1 continued to work well.

Since Java 1.3.1 will not make the transition to Intel-based Macs, the summer of 2005 (July-September) was spent in full-time work to transition NeoOffice/J to Java 1.4.2, and October and most of November were spent (again full-time) fixing new bugs that arose in wider testing. NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha is the first release to require Java 1.4.2 and Mac OS X 10.3 or higher.

A transition to Java 1.5.x will not be as difficult since it is also Cocoa-based, but at the moment there are no plans to do so, as Java 1.5.x was only just released (mid-November 2005)—and only for Mac OS X 10.4.x—and there are still many users running Mac OS X 10.3.x. Moreover, there are more important tasks ahead, such as MacIntel support, that require scarce developer resources. (Forcing NeoOffice/J 1.1 or NeoOffice 1.2 Alpha to use Java 1.5 will result in crashes and is not supported.)

Why not use gtk or Qt or some other cross-platform toolkit?

See Why aren't you working on a Cocoa version of an Aqua and Isn't Cocoa better than Java? :-) The short answer is that reworking the codebase to use another toolkit would take at least as much time and work as it has taken to get NeoOffice to the point where it is today (three years of nearly full-time work by 1.5 developers and additional work before that), with no guarantees that it would be as stable.

Moreover, in the case of gtk, the ports to Mac OS X are older versions of gtk and fairly incomplete. Even in the case of Qt, which has a modern and complete Mac OS X port of the toolkit, the existing work on "using Qt" would not benefit a native, non-X11 Aqua version of at all. The Qt/KDE (Native Widget Framework effort) is not a "native Qt" implementation of vcl ('s cross-platform windowing toolkit and abstraction layer). All of the underlying font handling, drawing, etc., is still done using X11; it's only the widget drawing that is using Qt's equivalent of the Mac OS X Appearance Manager.[4]

What about Intel-based Macs? Is there a Universal Binary?

See this FAQ (spring 2006) for a detailed explanation of MacIntel issues and the latest developments. (You can also see the early 2006 FAQ for historical information.)

Other Questions

Has NeoOffice replaced NeoOffice/C?


What happened to NeoOffice/J?

In recognition of the fact that the "classic" CoreGraphics/Cocoa port (NeoOffice/C) was a dead-end and no longer under development, as well as the fact that the "/J" was very confusing to many users and pundits, the application known as NeoOffice/J was renamed simply NeoOffice beginning with the 1.2 Alpha release.

Is there a Development Roadmap?

The direction of the NeoOffice project is typically discussed in the NeoOffice Development forum on trinity. The post-June 6, 2005 plans of NeoOffice's two primary developers for 2005-2006 are outlined in this topic. Tentative plans for post-NeoOffice 2.0 Aqua Beta include further polishing of the Aqua widgets and a community project to develop a set of Aqua "toolbar" icons, but no formal plans or roadmaps have been announced.

Where can I learn more about NeoOffice?

For tips on using NeoOffice, see the Tips and Hints section of this Wiki.

I have another question about the design or development of NeoOffice; where can I get an answer?

Questo articolo in altre lingue: English, Français e Deutsch
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