Dear readers-I'm sure this will come as a revelation to you, but I have decided to defy popular opinion and reveal publicly that I am not, in fact, omniscient. I'll wait for the collective gasp of shock and disbelief.
In a previous article lauding the virtues of the AbiWord word processing program (which I will continue to use, despite the occasional odd graphical glitches), an alert and astute reader has brought it to my attention that one of my statements was in error. This kind gentleman has delivered good news not only to myself, but to all in the Mac community by revealing the presence of a native OS X distribution of OpenOffice. (Pause for ooohs and aaahs).
The native distro is called NeoOffice/J (for Java) and is available for free (yes, free under the GPL license, i.e. make changes all you want, but you can't make money from them) by setting your course at Warp 10 for the download site of planamesa and then waiting the appropriate amount of time (approx. 120 MB download). Install is fast and simple (it IS on OS X, after all) and pops up on 10.4.1 quick and clean. Bear in mind, however (I've said it before and I'll say it again...): not only is this on a computer, and therefore not carved in stone, but it is also a work in progress and may not be perfectly stable. If you want stable, cuneiform on clay tablets works pretty well, but they're hard to email.
That said, NeoOffice/J works beautifully. It is definitely apparent that the port came from a Windoze version, as the Preferences menu selection is present, but doesn't actually do anything. For prefs, navigate to the Tools menu, then down to Options. While backups and saving are fresh in our minds, make sure when starting NeoOffice/J to go to the aforementioned Options menu, then to the Load/Save expansion box and turn on Autosave every (xx) minutes. Why this option isn't on by default is interesting, but for now, my theory is that the intrepid porters overlooked it. Hmmmm, that may mean they're not omniscient either... What a horrifying thought! But for the rest of you, since you already know what I'm going to say, I'll leave you with this: