At long last, a final build of OpenOffice 1.0 is available for Mac OS X. This requires XWindows; Apple’s X11 works just great. I ran the installer with absolutely no problem and was up and running in a few minutes. Even the warnings that I might need to do some manual editing of a config file to get the Start OpenOffice script to work turned out to be unfounded: it asked me which X server I preferred to use and proceeded to just work.

I haven’t used it extensively, just played around a bit, but my impression so far is that it might be usable on my iBook. A bit sluggish to be sure, and I miss Jaguar’s font smoothing, but if I ever need an office suite, this will do nicely. No, it doesn’t feel like a Mac app, but that’s okay for now. At least I can use splat-S (or open-apple S if you prefer) to save instead of control-S.

I’m still keeping my eye on NeoOffice, which is working on an OS X-native version of OpenOffice. I just noticed NeoOffice/J, which is focusing on making OpenOffice work without X11. Using Java, it seems. Hm.

If you haven’t tried OpenOffice, give it a shot, especially if you’re on Windows and are used to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice 1.1 beta is very nice indeed. (Of course, I say this as someone who hardly even uses a word processor anymore, much less a spreadsheet or presentation software. And I have to say that MS Office 2003 looks spectacular.)