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LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today 470

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-many-offices dept.
mikejuk writes "Only four months after the formation of the Document Foundation by leading members of the OpenOffice.org community, it has launched LibreOffice 3.3, the first stable release of its alternative Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Since the fork was announced at the end of September the number of developers 'hacking' LibreOffice has gone from fewer than twenty to well over one hundred, allowing the Document Foundation to make its first release ahead of schedule The split of a large open source office suite comes at a time when it isn't even clear if there is a long term future for office suites at all. What is more puzzling is what the existence of two camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type says about the whole state of open source development at this time. It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."
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LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today

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  • Tried it today (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nicholas22 (1945330) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @09:57AM (#34993204)
    I tried it today for the first time and I must say, I am impressed :) The UI seems much better than the last time I used OpenOffice (maybe v2) and the graphics seem to have been created by professional designers, as opposed to the developers themselves. I had a DOC that was crashing my Word 2007 and I got it opened with ...LibreOffice. Probably has to do with Microsoft not even keeping up with their own standards (and I'm honestly not trolling).
  • by vossman77 (300689) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @09:59AM (#34993238) Homepage

    I find LibreOffice much more usable than OpenOffice.org on the Mac, but it still not to the point of reliable. Especially when it comes to mouse clicks.

    I have also found that when I file a bug report on OpenOffice.org I get a response to clarify the bug or reject my bug, but with LibreOffice, I feel like my bug just sits there unread.

    Oh, well perhaps they will get better in the future. At the LibreOffice community is will to make patches that improve the package, OO.org seems to reject any Mac based usability improvement patches, so NeoOffice was formed (but has been stuck at version 3.1 forever)

  • Pros and cons? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:11AM (#34993390)

    So, what are the differences between OO.o and LibreOffice?

    I've read the new features [libreoffice.org] page. Are there any OpenOffice.org features or bug fixes that won't be included in LibreOffice? Does Oracle still have anything useful to offer or is OO.o effectively obsolete?

  • by commodore6502 (1981532) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:12AM (#34993392)

    When Mozilla discontinued the Mozilla browser (codename: seamonkey), and the open source community picked it up, everything turned out a-okay. Seamonkey is a nice solid browser/email/newsgroups/composer application. I suspect Oracle's decision to "close" OpenOffice will spur a similar level of development for LibreOffice. In the long term it will all work out.

    So: If I install LO work, how well will it work with DOC files? All my coworkers are using Word 2003 and I don't want to cause any disruption by sending them funky files.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:12AM (#34993404)

    Sure - it makes sense; finally it is fun to work on LibreOffice - I for one, am enjoying seeing my work actually get included, and become useful to people without lots of dumb paperwork, and Oracle control-freakery.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:16AM (#34993434)
    This, once again, makes the question of what Oracle was trying to accomplish when they took the actions that lead to the fork. There are as far as I can see three possibilities.
    1. 1.) Greater control over the development of OO.o
    2. 2.) Gradually convert OO.o into a fully propietary prject
    3. 3.) Kill off OO.o without being obvious about it

    If the first two were their goal, this release means that for all intents and purposes they have failed. If the third was their goal, they have succeeded; OO.o is dead. If they wanted to kill it to get rid of a successful OSS office suite that is a failure. However, if they wanted to kill it because they didn't want to be running an OSS Office sute project, then they got what they wanted.

  • by Ltap (1572175) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:19AM (#34993474) Homepage
    "Libre" (which has now been included in OSS ... oops, FOSS, oops ... FLOSS, for all those free software-loving dentists) is generally used as an alternative to "free" and "open". Despite all of Stallman's efforts, many people associate "free" with cost, and "open-source" has been partially turned into a buzzword by companies. "Libre" is used by others since it implies freedom (liberty, etc.) without really being a term from either "camp". However, I agree that it makes a poor name for a piece of software; while many programs have somewhat descriptive names, "LibreOffice" and "OpenOffice" don't really give much room for competitors and appropriate a term to describe a type of software for themselves (similar to MS Office simply being called "Office").

    OpenOffice was really only renamed that because it would be incongruous for it to continue to be named StarOffice (since StarOffice fit into Sun's astronomy theme with Solaris and such). I think it makes a good introduction to FOSS (heh, here we go again) for users who might not know anything about it.
  • ...crashing MS Word (Score:5, Interesting)

    by coats (1068) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:32AM (#34993654) Homepage

    I had a DOC that was crashing my Word 2007 and I got it opened with ...LibreOffice.

    MS Word's doc-parser has been flaky for <drumroll>...decades</drumroll>.

    Both I at my office (environmental modeling) and my wife (corporate legal) have had abiword and Openffice save the day many times when MSWord declared documents to be corrupt. Frankly, the opensource doc-parser library is much more robust than the one from Redmond. Do you know how much fun it is to be 8 hours from an NSF grant-deadline and have MSWord declare your proposal corrupt when yoo go to do the final printing? Abiword saved us that time -- way back in 1996! (and the situation hasn't improved much since.)

  • Re:Tried it today (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @10:50AM (#34993914)

    Bull. Simple hierarchical menus that present all functions are much easier to understand than multiple toolbars that scroll off-screen etc., and even toolbars are much better understood than ribbons, precisely because they are familiar.

    That's funny because the actual user testing that lead to the Ribbon showed otherwise.

  • Re:Tried it today (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @11:18AM (#34994298)

    Simple hierarchical menus that present all functions are much easier to understand than multiple toolbars that scroll off-screen etc., and even toolbars are much better understood than ribbons

    And yet this lead to a product where 80% of users only use 20% of the functionality. I can't tell you the amount of times I've heard people say "I didn't know Word could do this!" after switching to 2007, when the function had been there all along.

    Don't get me started on the stupid app button thing that hides the most necessary functions like a print dialog.

    How difficult is it? It's the same thing as the "File" menu, but a graphic. This is common in Windows 7 in many programs including Worpad, Paint, and the Live suite. Nothing is "Hidden". If you want the print button on the top of the screen you have that option too.

  • Re:Tried it today (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smbarbour (893880) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @12:09PM (#34995058)

    One feature that I eventually had to resort to Help to find was the Autocorrect settings (specifically to add context-specific abbreviations to the list that would automatically be expanded to the full text). This was very easily found via menus and damn near impossible via the ribbon.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @01:57PM (#34996940) Homepage Journal

    It sounds like Tio Paco is annoyed that we actually fight for things that matter. Idealism means that. It doesn't mean that you live in utopia, it means that you fight to improve things.

  • by Jason Earl (1894) on Tuesday January 25, 2011 @05:57PM (#35000144) Homepage Journal

    If you are using a Linux version of OO.org then chances are very high that you are already using the go-oo.org patches that make up the bulk of the new LibreOffice changes. The fact of the matter is that the go-oo.org people basically just gave up trying to push patches upstream and became LibreOffice.

    If you were using OpenOffice.org on Windows then you probably got it from Sun, in which case the reason to switch to LibreOffice is that LibreOffice is better than Sun's version of OpenOffice.org. Whether it is little things like SVG import, or bigger things like much better OOXML support LibreOffice is what OpenOffice.org could have been if Sun/Oracle would have been more willing to accept code from outside sources.

    LibreOffice is already substantially better than OpenOffice.org, and the difference is probably only going to accelerate. After all, LibreOffice can still poach code from OpenOffice.org, but OpenOffice.org can not poach code from LibreOffice and still re-license it for use in its proprietary OpenOffice.org products. There was a pretty large pent up demand for changes to OpenOffice.org, and LibreOffice has already received far more developer support than was anticipated.

    In short, while it might be a little premature to switch all of your OpenOffice.org installs today, chances are very good that when you do upgrade the version you want will come from the folks working on LIbreOffice. You are probably going to switch to LibreOffice eventually, so why not start now?

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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