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OpenOffice 3.1 Released 327

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-a-strange-topic-icon dept.
harmonise writes "OpenOffice 3.1 has been released. According to the release announcement, this update received 'The biggest single change (half a million lines of code!) and the most visible is the major revamp of OpenOffice.org on-screen graphics.' See the OpenOffice 3.1 New Features page for a full list of changes."
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OpenOffice 3.1 Released

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  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arkane1234 (457605) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:14PM (#27862711) Journal

    You're not flamebait, your just a liar.
    MS Office doesn't come free, it comes via barter or monetary goods exchange. "free" is relative to what you consider worthy.

  • by zindorsky (710179) <zindorsky@gmail.com> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:16PM (#27862743)

    Having a lot of lines of code is not necessarily something to brag about. In fact, it's more likely to be an indicator of badness than goodness.

    If the product works great, people won't care how many lines of code it has. If it's buggy or sluggish or in other ways wonky, people might look at the code line count and point to that as the problem. ("It's bloated!" "It's so big no one can understand it or fix it!")

  • Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Abreu (173023) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:17PM (#27862773)

    Screw the naysayers, congratulations to everybody working in OpenOffice.org

  • Improved looks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:19PM (#27862813)

    I have heard for a long time how horrible OOo looked. Personally, I never understood what the problem was. The icons were clear and easy to dostinguosh between them, and the text-buttons were obvious.

    Compared to the newest version of MS Office, I'd say that any version of OOo wins hands down.

  • by jhfry (829244) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:29PM (#27863015)

    Lots of lines of code CAN mean exactly what you say, bloat. However it appears that in this case many of the line changes were fixing issues and adding needed features.

    For example, they significantly reduced some bottlenecks in Calc... they made Base more like access in that you can actually create an "application"... and they added some very nice contextual help in places where non-power users will find it very handy, like when they are trying to use a Calc function and can't remember the order of its arguements.

    I would say that this is a decent point release for the OOorg team, evolutionary but not revolutionary. My only complaint is how much it is beginning to resemble MS Office; nice for adoption rates, bad for innovation.

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:50PM (#27863431)

    Free isn't even the correct English word for 'free of charge'
    Sorry to pick on you grammer nazi but if your going to do it right you should follow your own advice look it up...

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free%5B1%5D [merriam-webster.com]

    See number 10 'not costing or charging anything'

    That is FREE as in *NO* cost. There are other meanings of free, not just your narrow minded ones. I am with the original guy if I had a choice between OO and MS Office for free as in no cost (which he apparently has). It is not even a contest, I would take ms office. If you are saying otherwise you are either deluded, maniacal, brainwashed, or a liar.

    Here is what it comes down to. Yes I can get at the code. But guess what *I DO NOT HAVE TIME*, or inclination to do so. I have the capability, I also could really care less. I just want to use my programs in peace. I will use whatever I think is the best of breed. FOSS does not always mean that. In my experience it is usually mediocre. Sorry if I offend anyone but it is true. Some people seem to think because it is free that is better. There are real gems out there (such as winmerge, firefox) that I use every day. Other times such as with OO it is a 'good effort' but does not measure up. FOSS is getting there in quality. But it is slow going...

    I will give OO a try again (have since 2.x days). It might be better this time. It might stack up ever since that crazy 2007 ribbon bar from office came out. I doubt it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:50PM (#27863433)

    JMemory leak? With Java? You must be joking!

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @12:59PM (#27863633)

    The phrase "gratis of charge" is redundant. "Gratis" suffices, although it has the unfortunate side effect of making you sound like a pretentious scholar that likes to toss around latin words that nobody knows.

  • Re:Word count (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Etrias (1121031) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:03PM (#27863715)
    Ask your future time-traveling self to get it for you. Just hope he's not a lazy, selfish bastard.
  • Re:Improved looks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdielmann (514750) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:04PM (#27863739) Homepage Journal

    The point of icons and menus is so that you don't need to know cryptic keyboard commands. If the preferred solution to the updated icon system is to use the keyboard, they've failed. If the system is so changed that experienced Office users can't find the things they always did in the old version and there is no simple help for "how do I do x", they've failed. (It took me 30 minutes to just see the macro ribbon in Excel the first time. Now I just use Alt-F11 if it's not on the system I'm using.)
    Or to put it another way: The Ribbon system reminds me of the MacBook Wheel [theonion.com] - everything you want to do is just a few hundred clicks away.

  • Re:antialiased! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spud603 (832173) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:09PM (#27863829)
    I think I got this thread off on the wrong foot. Text anti-aliasing has been around for a long time in OO.o (as a comment above says). In fact the new antialiasing is for the in-document drawings, which makes a huge difference both for working with images and for good-looking presentations.
    It actually is a big deal that they did this, and I congratulate the developers on their good work.
  • Re:Improved looks? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:09PM (#27863833)

    It's not labeled as the File menu. In fact, it defies all pre-existing conventions for what a file menu is supposed to look like, and indeed, to the untrained eye, it looks just like a conceitedly large logo. (I'll admit, on Windows the logo in the top left corner does activate a menu, but the only functionality in it is from the window manager. And the logo is supposed to be 1/4 the size of the Office 2007 logo.) Microsoft essentially hid all of the most important functionality in a completely non-obvious way.

  • by cybereal (621599) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:19PM (#27863981) Homepage

    So someone decided to run a code tidying tool and dared to check in the results I guess?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @01:39PM (#27864339)


    The new features are nice, but does it have anything that beats Microsoft's offerings?

    Price?

  • Re:Improved looks? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:14PM (#27866049)
    I don't mind the ribbons; the problem is the disparate mix of UI elements between Office and the rest of Windows. If something like ribbons was the new standard with Vista and Windows 7, it wouldn't be a problem. As it is, ribbons is the "special office 7" interface, which is as annoying as having a special interface for every media player. It adds little fraction-of-a-second pauses whenever you use the UI.
  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:40PM (#27866599)

    > The UI is still the Office 95 clone, which works how we used to design user interactivity *15* years ago.

    And the wheel is a THOUSAND years old. Quit whining about just because something is old, that newer is better.

    But then I shouldn't expect better then someone who doesn't even have the balls to post with a name.

  • by labnet (457441) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:09PM (#27867093)

    What a disturbing video.

    In fact it descibes Microsoft...
    1- The guy is incredibly unfit.
    2- His face had the alpha male 'kill' look. (rather than a 'excited, happy, proud' look)
    3- His actions looked like a gorilla defending its turf.
    4- His first words were slightly xenaphobic.

    now I understand the throwing chairs thing...

  • by iacvlvs (1155873) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:19PM (#27867315)
    Not blame them? Hell, we should thank them! Remember the last time they implemented a standard before it was finished? Remember the browser wars? the "best viewed in" buttons? the monstrous mess HTML became? ... the blink tag? :(
  • Why on earth are business people doing statistics in an office suite rather than in a real statistical package?

  • by RobBebop (947356) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:23PM (#27867391) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry... but not including support for Visual Basic Applications makes it unprofessional? I don't believe I've ever seen anything that puts the terms "Professional" and "Visual Basic" in the same sentence. VB is a toy for high schoolers. Anybody developing VB beyond the 12th grade level had better be doing it to supplement a skillset unrelated to computer programming (for example: GUI design).
  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @05:03PM (#27868049) Journal

    I 100% agree. I hate when prople import conventions from other operating systems. It's really annoying. Firefox does this too. Why, when selecting a helper application to open a link, do you have to navigate to /usr/local/bin/whatever? Why doesn't it check the path?

  • by gnesterenko (1457631) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @06:31PM (#27869693)
    Someone has never worked in a corporate park, so let me tell you how things work. Major financial institution gets massive transmission from multiple vendors every day that must be entered into the major financial institution's tracking systems. All is done with proprietary software and has nothing to do with any office application. But when it comes to extracting and dealing with this massive amounts of data on an every day basis, performing yield and variance calculations, performing large-scale data scrubbing (10s of thousands of securities), variable rates, prices, and that doesn't even BEGIN to enumerate all the pieces of data that must be shared across a network thousands of computers large, analyzed by individuals in multiple departments, reported on, transmitted, and then integrated back into proprietary systems tied to the corporate mainframe. When Open Office can do this, then you can come back and talk to me. And this is just one example. The automation capabilities of VBA MAKE the financial industry work. Without it we'd be in the stone ages in terms of the time it takes to do certain tasks - as in, non competitive and out of business stone age... What many people here fail to realize is that very few organizations out there do 'pure' statistics or 'pure' data-basing. They may exist, but they are dwarfed when compared to all the soft inter-mediate companies that need to move and analyze large amounts of data, daily, timely, and across large networks. Open Office isn't even considered an option. It simply cannot integrate with various proprietary systems and enable collaboration like MS Office can. And I'm talking about Office 2003 too, as businesses haven't even migrated to Office 07 on a large scale yet, and that is even more powerful in terms of collaboration. Office is not a professional development platform, I hope you realize. No one is talking about writing major pieces of software. What we ARE talking about is efficiencies that save companies billions annually. Until Open Office can do the same, it is irrelevant in the business world. At home or at school however, like I said, its a perfect solution.
  • Re:Anti-Aliasing! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fabs64 (657132) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @07:38PM (#27870657)

    See this is the problem, one guy who RTFA makes a joke, and those who didn't can't see a joke when it slaps them in the face.

  • by RobBebop (947356) on Friday May 08, 2009 @08:39AM (#27875733) Homepage Journal

    [Microsoft Office] just makes it easier to hurt yourself

    This feature you're talking about... you say that OpenOffice can implement it if they integrate with VBA functionality?

    The fact that you've isolated the world to (a) home use, (b) school use, and (c) financial institution use shows you're blissful ignorance of the situation. Furthermore, the fact that your participation in (c) seeks to leverage technologies that are like a square peg in a round hole provides even more evidence.

    I recall an era before computers when accountants uses notebooks called "ledgers" to manage their money. Things were certainly slower than they are today... but maybe that was a good thing, because if you try using broken tools to build a house, don't be surprised when the house falls down. The lesson to financial companies is don't use Microsoft Office to manage money. Personally... I think you're exaggerating the situation because my impression is that most of the big financial companies have large software staffs to develop proprietary in-house applications and I doubt they'd be wasting their time with unmaintainable Visual Basic apps... but feel free to argue that point if you want if I'm wrong.

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