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Open Office Plans To Party Like It's Version 3.0

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the undervalued dept.

Software 396

penguin_dance writes "The Register reports that ' is throwing a launch party in Paris on 13 October' to celebrate eight years, and hopefully announce the release of version 3.0. Some notes: [ 3.0] will support the OpenDocument Format 1.2 standard, and be able to open files created by MS Office 2007 and Office 2008 for Mac OS X." As maj_id10t notes, though the OO.o site does not yet carry an announcement, "Lifehacker has posted an entry stating the final release of OpenOffice 3.0 is available for download via their distribution mirrors."

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3.0? (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#25342555)

I think I'll wait for 3.11...

Actually, I recently tried the release candidate for the OS X Aqua version. It's horribly ugly (just like on other platforms), but it does seem to work.

Re:3.0? (5, Informative)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 6 years ago | (#25342615)

Actually, I recently tried the release candidate for the OS X Aqua version. It's horribly ugly (just like on other platforms), but it does seem to work.

Yup. And since Microsoft has dropped the only compelling feature that set Office for Mac apart from other office suites (VBA macros) and STILL hasn't made Entourage into a first-class Exchange client, OpenOffice 3 is now just as good (though not quite as good looking). Grats, OO.o team; adios, billg.

Re:3.0? (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25342759)

I believe they're adding VBA back next version. And if you want something native, Apple has iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)

Re:3.0? (3, Insightful)

kklein (900361) | about 6 years ago | (#25343213)

And if you want something native, Apple has iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)

Meh. I use Keynote as my main presentation software, but I am thinking of switching back to PPT. It is very easy to use, and looks great, but when you're going to a conference, you end up exporting to PPT anyway, and then you have to edit that PPT in Powerpoint to fix all the things that didn't make the jump. It's wonderful if you're sure that your laptop is going to work perfectly.


Pages is useless. No, I don't really mean that... It has a lot of nice features. I love the layout of the way it handles comments and changes for collaborative document creation. I like its styles sidebar (unlike the tiny little shitty "Inspector" in Word). It has a very nice, non-obtrusive-but-powerful UI (as one would expect, from Apple). But it just plain can't do tables for shit. This, actually, is also why I didn't use OO.o on Windows, and why I couldn't switch to Linux when I got off Windows. Nothing does tables with the power and flexibility of Word.

And Numbers? Seriously, now. It's a toy. And, worse still, it follows that evil design philosophy that says spreadsheets are a way to make pretty tables. They aren't. They're calculating and information manipulation machines. When I'm in Excel, there's no mistaking the fact that I'm working with information. I only engage the formatting tools to keep information straight. They should never be fronted.

Finally, however, what prevents iWork from being a viable alternative to MS Office is the same thing that stymies OO.o: It isn't MS Office. It just plain makes no sense to use these products in any context where someone else might need to work on them. Unless you ran a company and could set the standard, neither are a real option. I get away with using Keynote, but that's it.

Both iWork and OO.o have some really compelling features that I miss in MS Office, but ultimately, MS Office runs the world. And I, at least, am forced to live in the world.


Re:3.0? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342931)

Hmm, trust a Mac user to complain about what a program GUI 'looks' like. Form over function - sigh...

Re:3.0? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#25343047)

Yes, because God forbid things should be pleasing or enjoyable.

Do you root for the Borg?

Re:3.0? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343123)

interface diversity is much less like the borg than the interface consistency of os x, is it not?

Re:3.0? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#25343325)

Yup. Funny what happens when you stretch an analogy to its breaking point.

Re:3.0? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 6 years ago | (#25343157)

Seven of Nine is very pleasing to the eye and I'm sure many would find her quite enjoyable.

Re:3.0? (3, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | about 6 years ago | (#25343175)

Yes, because God forbid things should be pleasing or enjoyable.

Know what I enjoy when I'm using a piece of productivity software like OpenOffice? Getting my work done so I can go do something else.

The computer is a tool. Especially when using something like office productivity software. I don't sit around pondering the color scheme of my screw drivers, or whether or not my wrenches "go with" my hammer. Likewise, I don't spend time contemplating the visual attractiveness of OpenOffice. It lets me get my work done, that's good enough as far as I'm concerned.

Tool Analogy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343255)

Your screwdriver is primarily used by your hands with tactile feedback. Visual feedback is there too, but is minimal. (I daresay almost any sighted person could manage to use a screwdriver blindfolded pretty easily.)

A computer is used by both your hands and eyes with virtually all visual feedback. With rare exception, the only physical feedback is the feel of the keyboard and plenty of people use that to justify buying better keyboards.

Yet for some reason you have no problem denigrating others for wanting something they are going to stare at for 8 hours a day to be visually appealing. Why? You mean you will do a better job given a dull, drab image than one more suited to your tastes? You mean eyestrain will not affect you at all?

Well, if so, bully for you. For the rest of us we'll realize that just because a tool is a tool doesn't mean it has to be a shitty tool.

Re:3.0? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#25343319)

I don't sit around pondering the color scheme of my screw drivers, or whether or not my wrenches "go with" my hammer.

So you are in Home Depot and they have two identical hammers. One is god-aweful looking, like all hot-pink and looks like a professional designer never touched the thing. Yeah... let's pick up that one.

If was compellingly better than MS Office, then I'd be inclined to agree with you. But it has fewer features and is generally lacking in more areas than it has strengths.

Re:3.0? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 6 years ago | (#25343257)

We are Borg, you insensitive clod!

Oh, and: Resistance is futile. Form follows function!

Re:3.0? (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#25343267)

Hmm, trust a Mac user to complain about what a program GUI 'looks' like. Form over function - sigh...

When you live within an office suite for nine hours out of twenty-four, six days out of seven, the UI matters.

Re:3.0? (1)

carlzum (832868) | about 6 years ago | (#25343001)

If Snow Leopard's Exchange support is as good as advertised it could make Entourage irrelevant.

Re:3.0? (1)

rubah (1197475) | about 6 years ago | (#25343031)

Not as nice as NeoOffice when I dl'ed it :)

Re:3.0? (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 years ago | (#25343045)

Correct me if I'm wrong,but doesn't Open office have a VBA converter? I remember awhile back when I was using Star Office that they had one and since Star Office is based on Open Office I figured they both had it.

That said I never really got the whole embedding code in a document bit. It seems like if your users got used to having code running in a document that it would be a lot easier to pass them a .doc filled with nasty exploits,and why not just,you know,build a damned app to do the job? We've had VB6 and VB.NET for years and both can whip off an app pretty damned quick. And then you aren't tied to a document reader/writer simply to run your code.

Re:3.0? (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 6 years ago | (#25342629)

Umm... Isn't this old news?? I'm already running OO 3.0, the mirrors had it the other day... Looks fantastic! One more nail in the coffin of MSOffice....

Re:3.0? (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | about 6 years ago | (#25342963)

OO.o 3.0 is still at RC 4 according to

Re:3.0? (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | about 6 years ago | (#25342975)

I don't mean to start trivial arguments, but you can't really use "nail in the coffin" until something is dying. Like it or not MS Office is INCREDIBLY popular and well accepted across multiple platforms.

Re:3.0? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342889)

I'm tired of Mac users saying open source programs look ugly. Instead of whining why not open up photoshop and design something better?

You're obviously some kind of designer since you use a Mac so why not make a mock up and get someone to make it into an interface?

Re:3.0? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342953)

Actually, he's a pretty sharp Unix programmer. And so am I. We both use Macs. You, on the other hand, are clueless.

Re:3.0? (3, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | about 6 years ago | (#25343167)

Then, as a pretty sharp Unix programmer, why don't you make a better looking interface? I think his point still holds water.

Re:3.0? (2, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 6 years ago | (#25343265)

You must be a project manager.

Sure. (-1, Flamebait)

Colonel Sponsz (768423) | about 6 years ago | (#25342619)

Great. Another version. But will this one finally kern out of the box? 2.4 doesn't (despite previous promises). I used to recommend OpenOffice as a viable Office alternative - my conscience prevents me from doing that nowadays. It's too horribly broken in so many different regards.

Kerning by default (3, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 6 years ago | (#25342641)

Doesn't Word have kerning disabled by default? [] What do you recommend to people now? LaTeX?

Re:Kerning by default (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342765)

[citation needed]

Seriously. Grandparent is right - MS Word at least autokerns. doesn't.

Re:Kerning by default (2, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25342879)

the hell are you talking about? i'm still running 2.3.1 and it supports kerning just as Word does.

maybe you should stop using a fixed-width font like Courier/Fixedsys?

Re:Sure. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342867)

You got lynched by the GNU zealots, but the truth stands that OOo is a huge steaming pile of crap whose only redeeming feature is .doc support. Once .doc is forgotten we won't have to put up with this Java ad gone bad anymore.
That said I don't use any Office clone much anymore. LyX writes the papers for me.

Re:Sure. (4, Informative)

hobdes (678049) | about 6 years ago | (#25342887)

Apparently it does autokern [] :

Miscellaneous Features

  • Autokerning Enabled by Default

Openoffice? no thanks. (3, Insightful)

fullgandoo (1188759) | about 6 years ago | (#25342623)

Having made an honest effort for more than a year to switch to something other than MSOffice (removed MSOffice from Vista and installed OpenOffice, also installed NeoOffice on Mac), I have recently gone back to MSOffice.

There is such a huge difference in features and usability that there is no way that OpenOffice would gain any ground over Microsoft, in my opinion.

OpenOffice was an absolute torture. I had originally expected that after moving to OpenOffice, I would be able to convince everyone else in my office to make a move as well (eventually).

I guess that takes care of that.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (2, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | about 6 years ago | (#25342669)

What exactly were you missing? My two major gripes with OpenOffice were poor implementations of comments and tracking changes in Writer, and those are fixed now.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 years ago | (#25342737)

Does it now have "outline view" mode?

Actually I'm not entirely happy with what MS Word outline view - I wish you could view numbered lists that way, not just headings.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (-1, Troll)

fullgandoo (1188759) | about 6 years ago | (#25342767)

Unfortunately, I mostly tried to make presentations and had to compare with Powerpoint. It was very frustrating trying to make even basic presentations. Everything from lack of templates, animation or even plain and simple editing was lacking.

My colleagues had a similar experience when trying to switch from Excel.

And we were actually the ones who took it upon ourselves to make try to make a switch and then convince others.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | about 6 years ago | (#25342839)

You can use PowerPoint templates from within Impress and you can download many more from oooextras [] and OO.o does have animations.

OO.o Calc has had some pitfalls, but version 3 is much improved. With several well-documented numerical errors that have survived in each new version of Excel, I don't know if that is the paragon to strive for.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (5, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25342971)

OK, i just popped open to verfy your claims. here's what i found:

  • templates - check.
  • slide transitions/animations - check.
  • plain and simple editing - check.

unless you're just trolling, you might make a more convincing case if you actually listed specific complaints instead of, oh i dunno, pulling things out of your ass? honestly, there are a lot of things to get used to when switching from MS Office to (i spent most of my life using MS Office), and that transition can be pretty frustrating. but don't blame your own inability to adapt (or to even try to adapt) on the software.

neither MS Office, nor are perfect. personally, i've had problems with both of them. but so far i haven't heard a single legitimate complaint leveled against so i have to conclude that these groundless criticisms are just knee-jerk reactions to having to adapt to a new office suite application.

the only problem i've had to is trying to make PDF documents with complex layouts using tables with varying column/row spans. but i've had the exact same problem in Word. all WYSIWYG editors have quirks like these, and i can't say that one is better than the other.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | about 6 years ago | (#25342973)

and how many years ago was this?

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343035)

Since OpenOffice has all of those things I don't think you really even gave it a chance. Basically it sounds like your real complaint is that you don't want to learn how to use it, you wanted it to act and behave exactly like MS Office for a drop-in replacement.

I've been using OpenOffice for years and would never think of wasting money on MS Office because it really offers nothing more.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 years ago | (#25343137)

It sounds like you should have tried Oxygenoffice [] instead of Openoffice,as it comes with a lot more with regards to templates and such out of the box. Of course it takes them a little while after the latest Open Office release,so why not bookmark tham and check it out in a month or so when version 3 comes out?

That said I don't really think OO.o is really for the "power users" of MSO,because they get more use out of the little features that a good 85% of the public probably doesn't even know is there. Where I have had luck switching folks is the basic home users,where they are just writing docs,working up some basic spreadsheets,and maybe cooking up a contact list database. They,along with my older users who can't stand the stupid ribbon seem to have no problem making the switch to OO.o.

I have personally always been a believer in the right tool for the job. Since I have a copy of MSOffice 2K I picked up several years ago for cheap at the shop I worked at that is what I primarily use. But for my home users it would simply be stupid to spend even $100 on the student/home edition of MSOffice when OO.o does everything they'd use an office suite for for free. I also like how I can whip out a copy of OO.o 1.5 for those folks around here that are still using older machines and give them an office suite that doesn't slow their machine to a crawl. Both MSOffice and Open Office seem to be getting a lot more bloated IMHO. But if only MSOffice gets the job done for you please stick with it and enjoy. But even as a MSOffice user I'm sure you'd agree having choice in the matter is a good thing.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342687)

You didn't enumerate a single, specific complaint. Further, you are complaining about a product in a post about a major new version. Maybe this release addresses some of your complaints?

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (4, Interesting)

neuromanc3r (1119631) | about 6 years ago | (#25342719)

There is such a huge difference in features and usability that there is no way that OpenOffice would gain any ground over Microsoft, in my opinion.

I'm not a big fan of OpenOffice myself and I can't really say anything about features, but to praise MS Office's usability seems utterly absurd to me.

I am reasonably computer-savy, but if I have to do anything more complicated than typing a really simple letter, Word drives me up the wall. It constantly feels like I have to work against it, instead of having it do work for me.

Same thing in Excel: I'd rather use pencil & paper or write my own scripts instead for every calculation I have to do, than trying to get Excel to do anything that even remotely resembles what I want it to do

Mind you, I'm not saying OO is any better in that respect. I'm just saying it can hardly be any worse

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0, Flamebait)

fullgandoo (1188759) | about 6 years ago | (#25342795)

I suppose you're right if all you want to do is write simple letters (use wordpad instead).

But for more complex documents, I can't find an alternative that is as usable.

I would love to try something else.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342927)

What kind of documents? If it is merely publication, QuarkXpress would be a much better choice than Words, which seems to get worse for each release.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 years ago | (#25343173)

For a group environment, where pretty presentation is paramount over content, MS Office is a very good choice. Nothing is better at writing pretty memos. Nothing is better a writing pretty reports.

However, in many cases, Latex is the better form to write articles, books, etc. Text can be input first, and then formats added later. Sure one does not have the ability to put 10 different fonts on every page, but, again, this is where content rules. Version control and revising is trivially handled though cvs or svn.

Word processors has lead the current generation down a dangerous path of combining content and formating. Let's put the blame where it lies, with MacWord, encouraged people to play with formating and content at the same time. Though there are many advantages to WYSIWG, at least for small documents, it is disastrous for documents of any real size. Though style sheets help, the process does not encourage their use at the end. Therefore a text editor with a post processor still has advantages.

Also remember the drawback of almost all closed source binary products. If one does not have the software, one does not have access to the data. Again,for memos this is no big deal, but for real documents this is a problem. MS Word, Apple Pages, are all proprietary, and though some may claim that the format is open, or the software is free for viewing, it is not as clean a solution as text based markup solutions.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (3, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | about 6 years ago | (#25343089)

Apple's got some intereting ideas in terms of Office Applications. They don't highly tout iWork, or even promote it that much, despite the fact that it shows quite a bit of promise.

Keynote is hands-down the best presentation app out there.
Numbers is considerably more intuitive than Excel, with its vastly superior UI. A few minor features are missing, though it's really a joy to work with.
Pages is the enigma of the bunch. Apple seems to want to combine the roles of the layout app with the word processor (Publisher vs. Word). They seem to have done a pretty remarkable job at the layout part, though the word-processing bits could still use some work. It's "different" enough that users might have a tough time getting used to it.

More importantly.... none of the apps are trying to mimic Office, OoO, or AppleWorks. If OoO tried to be daring for once, and adopted a completely new set of paradigms, rather than mimicking MS Office, they might actually have a compelling product. For now, though, it's a second-rate knockoff of an already mediocre product.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (4, Interesting)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 6 years ago | (#25343091)

I am reasonably computer-savy, but if I have to do anything more complicated than typing a really simple letter, Word drives me up the wall. It constantly feels like I have to work against it, instead of having it do work for me.

Do yourself a favor and learn LaTeX. Yes, it has a learning curve and you need lots of documentation and/or an internet connection to know which packages you need but at least it provides consistent results, doesn't reformat half of your text on a whim and isn't nearly as frustratingly annoying as any Word-like program.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343183)

Well, I can't speak for what you're trying to do. You could very well be over complicating the matter but in any case... now you know what it feels like for most people to do just about anything in Linux aside from surfing the web.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342751)

I tried a long time ago and there were some serious rendering problems when opening MS Word documents, but I've been using OpenOffice in a professional environment for ~2 years now with no problems.

Using OpenOffice with no problems?! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 6 years ago | (#25342827)

I'm always sceptical when people talk about using OO seriously with "no problems".

It's strange that so many people on Slashdot make claims like this, yet for me and various people I know in real life, basic things like sorting in OO Calc seem to fail on any non-trivial spreadsheet. Heck, I even got the Undo command not to undo simple find-and-replace changes properly the other day.

And have they fixed the font embedding that kills PDF export from Writer yet? It's only been a bug since forever, with more votes than almost anything else in the bug tracker.

As long as this sort of thing is going on, usability isn't even an issue: OO isn't even useful for more than throwaway work, and it actually seems to be getting worse in the 2.x series to the point that it's not even useful for much throwaway work either.

Font Embedding in PDFs (1)

Noksagt (69097) | about 6 years ago | (#25342897)

And have they fixed the font embedding that kills PDF export from Writer yet? It's only been a bug since forever, with more votes than almost anything else in the bug tracker.

Can you elaborate (perhaps with a link to the issue), please? OO.o has embedded all non-standard fonts in PDFs for a while now...

Re:Font Embedding in PDFs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 6 years ago | (#25343159)

Look at issue 43029.

Notice that it is classified as a feature request rather than a bug and its target milestone is only 3.2, despite being first created more than three years ago, having over 200 votes, and numerous comments on this issue and its various duplicates showing how it's a complete showstopper for using most professional grade fonts with PDF export.

This bug has become the standard counter-example in on-line discussions to all the OSS advocacy that claims many eyes make all bugs shallow, products will naturally develop according to users' needs because people can contribute their own patches, etc.

Re:Using OpenOffice with no problems?! (5, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#25343351)

I represent over 150 business users that use ONLY OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheet, etc, and I can attest that we do use it seriously with very few problems. Your comment is way-over-the-top wrong.

Are there some missing things that we would like to see? Sure. But that hardly justifies "isn't even useful for more than throwaway work".

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (1)

zappepcs (820751) | about 6 years ago | (#25342783)

When you stand there and hold up MS Office as 'the' standard, you are asking for ridicule. Remember that one size does NOT fit all. To say that MS Office is that one size fits all is ridiculous. It's quite probable that for any given conversation about office productivity software you'll be holding the rotten sea bass that nobody likes. Sure, in some conversations you'll be holding the golden calf, but it is likely that more often you will not be. This is true of any software package that you hold up as the 'one size fits all' solution.

With that said, every software package will have its detractors as well as fans. To say that there is no way it will gain ground is hubris. I laugh in your general direction. If you expected it to be just like MS Office, you are like a bad American tourist in Germany looking for a Starbucks.

It works, and for many people. Therefore your conclusion is not wholly aligned with the truth of the world. I'm not saying it's better, I'm saying it's different and depending on your requirements, it's likely that OpenOffice is better.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343197)

It may invite ridicule as "the standard" but despite what some people say are faults, going to OpenOffice from MS Office is waaaaay easier than going to the GIMP from PhotoShop. And part of it, is because the UI is a stronger parallel and actually behaves in an expected manner. For general document editing outside of a few key areas, the difference in how they work is negligable.

Now if the GIMP people would take a few notes from the OpenOffice people, they might realize that observing a few cues from the defacto standard bearer really shouldn't hurt them.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (3, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | about 6 years ago | (#25342853)

I largely agree, but every couple of months I check it out again. It's made tremendous strides since that abomination that was StarOffice.

To draw an analogy -- I remember using early versions of the Mozilla suite. It was hideous. Now I can't imagine a web without Firefox.

Give it time. This *is* a major version release, after all. Might be worthy of another go-around.

Re:Openoffice? no thanks. (0, Redundant)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 6 years ago | (#25343033)

OpenOffice isn't for everybody. I'll never use MS Office on my home network because 1. I'm not going to buy copies for every computer in my house and 2. there is no linux version.


PowerPC? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#25342631)

No support for PPC OSX any more, or is it just delayed?

Re:PowerPC? (4, Informative)

drfireman (101623) | about 6 years ago | (#25342715)

The PPC version is hidden away with one of the openoffice "Projects" -- click on the projects tab, and then you're on your own, but eventually you get to an ftp site. I've found it to be very stable in light use (I mostly use the Linux version).

Re:PowerPC? (1)

settantta (577302) | about 6 years ago | (#25342885)

Sun can't build for PPC, simply because they have no PPC machines (I suppose they could use a cross-compiler, but then they'd be unable to test).

There are PPC builds available, however, thanks to the long-term efforts of a project member in Japan. He's been providing Mac builds since the early 1.x.x series, and has the support of some commercial entities in Japan. The PPC builds undergo the exact same testing as the Mac Intel builds, so they are just as stable. They are usually uploaded to a server at []

The PPC build will be available though (I'll be including it on the new DVD ISO image, which should be available in about a week). You'll either have to go to the server mentioned above, or look in the /contrib directory.

Re:PowerPC? (1)

russlar (1122455) | about 6 years ago | (#25342965)

Dude, even Apple doesn't support PPC anymore.

Re:PowerPC? (1)

antdude (79039) | about 6 years ago | (#25343099)

Dude, give us money or Intel based.

I would like to see a feature list. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 6 years ago | (#25342633) works pretty well me but I am not really a big user.
I would love to see a feature list.
Also I would really like to see Base fleshed out. Or at least better documented.
I have tired to play with it but it just makes me nuts.

Re:I would like to see a feature list. (4, Informative)

settantta (577302) | about 6 years ago | (#25342941)

Feature list is available here []

Release notes are here []

Re:I would like to see a feature list. (1)

settantta (577302) | about 6 years ago | (#25342987)

Also I would really like to see Base fleshed out. Or at least better documented. I have tired to play with it but it just makes me nuts.

Check the OO.o documentation pages. There's a full-on tutorial on Base being prepared. IIRC, the advanced setction is not quiteready, but the intermediate part is. Not sure if it's available as yet. You might also like to check out the OO.o wiki [] , which is where most of the documentation is developed.

Re:I would like to see a feature list. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343289)

You mean "Grammar Nazis need entertainment", I think. (No apostrophe for a simple plural, Schweinhund!!)

What about NeoOffice? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342643)

I've been using NeoOffice on a Mac for the last year+ while waiting for 3.0. Will NeoOffice continue on or will it fade away?

Re:What about NeoOffice? (1)

nawcom (941663) | about 6 years ago | (#25342777)

Well, the whole reason behind NeoOffice was to get rid of the X11 dependency. Since OOo3 doesn't need it anymore - who knows. Maybe NeoOffice will focus on modifying the interface to better match the Aqua interface. (not that i have any complaints about OOo3's interface)

Re:What about NeoOffice? (2, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | about 6 years ago | (#25343003)

NeoOffice bases itself from Novell's go-oo semi-fork so it inherits the extra features of that version. They are working on NeoOffice 3 which will employ the 3.0 codebase but it is unclear to me whether or not they are still going to use Java to implement the UI. In any case, losing the need for X11 isn't the only reason for NeoOffice. If you want the solver, various import filters that the Sun branch doesn't include, or bugfixes the NeoOffice team have had trouble getting Sun to include then NeoOffice will still be worth a look.

Mac OS X (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 6 years ago | (#25342695)

It is wonderful that we have a native intel Mac OS X version(I know the neooffice people try, but it has not been stable for me). Thanks to the developers. My question is will there continue to be an X windows build for PPC macs. The PPC macs still have a good year or two years left in them, given that we will not see snow leopard for 12-18 months. It would be nice to have a version of to run them.

Re:Mac OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342821)

There is a PPC version of 3.0 Aqua. But for some reason it's not made clearly available from the download page. You can find them all within

Re:Mac OS X (1)

settantta (577302) | about 6 years ago | (#25342997)

My question is will there continue to be an X windows build for PPC macs.

No ned for an X11 PPC build, as Maho is providing Aqua builds for PPC (see my comment above).

Re:Mac OS X (1)

alfredo (18243) | about 6 years ago | (#25343119)

It looks good, runs fast enough for my porpoises.

Error bars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342735)

Many users requests support for displaying custom error bars and regression equations. The developer community including Sun listened to these users and added these highly desired features to 3.0. Thus; now it's possible to draw error bars based on error ranges provided in spreadsheet cells. In addition, it is possible to display regression equations as well as correlation coefficients.

I'm sold.

Always felt a bit clunky to me oh and a question (1)

ACK!! (10229) | about 6 years ago | (#25342753)

Like MS Office of a couple of revisions ago.

And as a couple of other users said its not documented terribly well.

For the folks who use it day to day - do you actually get used to it or is it something you simply work around?

Re:Always felt a bit clunky to me oh and a questio (2, Interesting)

Noksagt (69097) | about 6 years ago | (#25342789)

I use OO.o daily. 3.0 has some major improvements, and you should check it out.

I largely prefer OO.o Writer to MS Word now that OO.o Writer has better commenting and revision control. I can rely on it for 99% of my work, but I find I still sometimes switch to Word under Wine if I get a manuscript that uses EndNote (rather than Zotero) or very complex embedded equations.

I have grown used to Impress. PowerPoint users might still have grips. I prefer LaTeX Beamer, but sometimes need to make or read PowerPoint presentations & Impress gets the job done.

The new solver in Calc makes it more useful. I think I prefer Gnumeric still & find myself breaking out stronger data analysis or data presentation programs.

Re:Always felt a bit clunky to me oh and a questio (4, Insightful)

drfireman (101623) | about 6 years ago | (#25342825)

Like any other piece of software, there are things you feel like you couldn't live without and things you have to get used to. I remember it felt clunky when I first started using it, but that went away very quickly. Some things are more elegant than in MSOffice, some less. I've been using v3.0 for a while now (beta and fc releases), and I like it quite a bit. One of the big clunkinesses, the graphical depiction of comments/notes, is now very nice. There are still some screen rendering oddities that don't get in my way but do contribute to the impression of clunkiness. On the whole, I imagine it's still clunkier than its commercial counterpart, but the gap is narrowing. However, I rarely edit documents that are more than a few hundred pages long, and I know many of OO's critics say that its shortcomings are especially obvious if you work on long documents. So I can't comment on that.

How has MSOffice come along in the same time? Is pdf writing integrated now? Do files still bloat to ridiculous sizes on repeated editing?

MS Word PDF support (1)

Noksagt (69097) | about 6 years ago | (#25342915)

How has MSOffice come along in the same time? Is pdf writing integrated now?

There is a gratis download from microsoft to allow this feature. Adobe did not want them to ship it built-in to MS Word (arguing that MS's near-monopoly would do damage to sales of Acrobat). I think MS is pushing their own XPS format more heavily, to some success (at least I seem to get them from PHBs).

The new version of OO.o has a plugin that can import PDFs for editing. So it still has Word beat in the area of PDF handling.

Re:MS Word PDF support (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | about 6 years ago | (#25343263)

Actually there's a good reason why ms wouldn't want proper PDF support in ms office. One of the chief driving forces behind the adoption of ms office is network effect. People who use ms office force their peers to use ms office because of the notoriously unimplementable nature of the file formats. PDF, on the other hand, is an open ISO standard. If there was proper PDF in ms office, then the network effect will be severely hindered. And that's very unacceptable to ms.

Re:Always felt a bit clunky to me oh and a questio (1)

sleeping123 (1109587) | about 6 years ago | (#25342871)

I switched over to for reliability reasons. Most notably, I used to split my time working between a nice, new tower using MSWord from somewhere in the 2000s. Then, I would save these files in an old file type, and drag them over to a desktop that could kindly be referred to as "crap-ass" running Windows 95 and an MS Office suite to match.

Because of cost concerns (Read: Cheap bastards), I wasn't able to upgrade the software on the old machines. OO.o was free and always up-to-date, so I switched and now use it almost daily.

Now, off to parent's question. I did get used to it. I use oo.o for all my word processing, presentations, publishing work, and I'm now comfortable saying that I'm more proficient with oo.o than I am with MS office. I used to work around the differences, now I embrace them and need to work around MS's differences.

Re:Always felt a bit clunky to me oh and a questio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343285)

MS Office is still clunky. Word still can not perform the simple task of line numbering correctly. Something that Wordperfect had perfected over 15 years ago. Also it has terrible problems scrolling when there is more than a few pages of text and then the display breaks up.
Excel still has numerical errors and still can end up locking spreadsheets.
Don't get me started on Powerpoint.

So I only use Office when forced to at work otherwise I use Open Office or NeoOffice when away from work.

Just tested it (1)

akita (16773) | about 6 years ago | (#25342755)

It's was a rc, and a little slow sometimes, but it was good enough to import a batch of powerpoint presentations (a mix of 2003/2007) to convert them to pdf.

This time... (1)

linhares (1241614) | about 6 years ago | (#25342865)

...I've not only RTFA, but also DTFS and UTFS, and the only thing I can say is: Just in time for a major economic recession, right Mr Ballmer? Now all we need is to get rid of your tax, which, with help from the recession, will be duly done.

Looking forward to 3.0 (2, Interesting)

emarkp (67813) | about 6 years ago | (#25342907)

I cofounded a company last year and we decided to use Office 2007 since we're consulting with clients.

Wow it's been bad. Office 2007 has been a nightmare (endless bugs--crashing when accepting revisions, randomly moving to the top of the document as I'm paging through it, etc.), and interoperability with clients hasn't been as important as we thought.

I can't wait to use 3.0 in the office.

It was just too slow for me. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342947)

I tried it back in 2004, and the thing that struck me most about it (besides the fact that it was free) was the speed. It took FOREVER to open and save. I was in a phase when I was trying to move over to as much open source software as possible to save money, but OpenOffice just ended up frustrating me. Also, I recall fighting against the program to do simple things in spreadsheets.

I use and love Gnumeric now for spreadsheets, but I resolved that I'd rather pay for MSOffice. It isn't perfect, but I was willing to pay.

I was always so confused about it too, because my initial exposure to open source taught me to expect this kind of software to, as a rule, always be leaner, smaller, cleaner and faster than "bloated" MS products, but I walked away from OO feeling IT was more bloated.

Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25342967)

You can't beat AbiWord+Gnumeric for speed, but OO.o 3 does have performance improvements. Under Linux on my workstation, OO.o 3 is faster for many tasks than MS Office (in native windows, VMWare). Don't know how performance on Windows is right now.

Re:It was just too slow for me. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 years ago | (#25343005)

OpenOffice is ok for Linux and OS X platforms that need to import with M$ file formats.

I.E. It's better than the alternative that existed before it.

It doesn't mean it's as good as it should be.

I am reminded of how Mozilla was upon first release, before it was gutted and rewritten, before the Mozilla Suite was replaced with FF.

We want a lean, mean, FAST, lightweight wordprocessor, just like FF is a FAST, lightweight browser.

Unfortunately, at this time OpenOffice is not that. OpenOffice is another 8000lb gorilla of a software program, much like M$ Office is.

Even though it does not have all the featuers Office users want or care about (to prevent them from switching to OOo), it still has so many features unnecessary for many users as to be quite bloated.

What we need is a lean mean word processor like FF and a thriving extension community like FF has, to add any perceived missing features.

I.E. the software should be bare bones, but if you want X obscure feature that M$ word has, there's a set of plugins you can install to get it.

Re:It was just too slow for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343029)

It seems to me that you are describing AbiWord. It needs a stronger userbase to grow the number of extensions, though.

KOffice2 will be coming soon (2, Informative)

BhaKi (1316335) | about 6 years ago | (#25343217)

You might want to try out KOffice2 which is going to be released in a few months.

Re:It was just too slow for me. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 6 years ago | (#25343315)

We want a lean, mean, FAST, lightweight wordprocessor, just like FF is a FAST, lightweight browser.

Firefox used to be a fast, lightweight browser. They seem to have been looking for the plot since some time in the FF2 era, though, and FF3 is such a monster that despite the Mozilla gang's irritating efforts to convince me, I still haven't upgraded any other machines beyond the first one I used to try it out.

Re:It was just too slow for me. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 years ago | (#25343115)

Speed actually improved going from 1.* to 2.* - it actually ran reasonably on laptops that can barely run win98. I've only run the beta of 3.0 on a high end server so can't comment on it's speed in normal situations.

The real speed killer with at least previous versions of openoffice is it does a huge amount of disk access on startup so systems with slow disks (eg. DMA is disabled) take a very long time to start up. On MS Windows you would also get very slow startup times of openoffice on a highly fragmented disk.

Spreadsheets are a hassle if you are used to paticular MS Excel quirks just as Excel is a hassle for those used to paticular MS Works quirks etc etc. Graphing from spreadsheets is a paticular inconsistant mash in both MS Excel and openoffice so whatever you've put the effort in to learn there is going to be easier.

Re:It was just too slow for me. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 years ago | (#25343261)

It should be noted that OO.o is not especially OSS-ish in terms of its history and evolution. OpenOffice is Sun's FOSS release of code(starting in 2000) from Staroffice, which Sun acquired with its purchase of StarDivision in 1999. In StarDivision's hands, the StarOffice line goes as far back as a word processor running on a Z80 with CP/M.

I am very grateful that Sun released OpenOffice, having a FOSS way to interact with .doc and friends is quite nice to have; but my hopes are greater for the OpenDocument format that OpenOffice helped bring about than for OpenOffice itself. Unlike the case of FF vs. IE, were IE sucked horribly and encouraged nonstandard web development, OO.o vs. Word is important because .doc is a proprietary mass of lockin, and standards are needed; but Word is a much more competent product than IE ever was.

party like it's 2-0-0-8 (a.i.g style) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25343061)

I'm sure they invited all those open source contributors, right?

Also (0, Troll)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 6 years ago | (#25343097)

As a homage to 1999, is going to be renamed ?.org.

RC4 is the final version? (2, Interesting)

assassinator42 (844848) | about 6 years ago | (#25343145)

I just download 3.0 out of the stable directory on the CS Utah mirror and it shows as OOO300m9 (same as RC4)build 9358.
I tried the PDF import plugin, but it doesn't give me any options and imports it directly as a slideshow with messed up text.

Locale (2, Interesting)

bravni (133601) | about 6 years ago | (#25343221)

OK, so I give it a try for the first time since I switched back to non-free OS world (many, many years ago).

The good: it is about 1 million times faster and more polished than 1.x iterations.

The yummy: the perspective of writing macros in Python instead of craptacular VBA

The puzzling... and maybe the ugly: I have yet to find a way to set OOo locale to "system locale".

Microsoft did a pretty good job with the regional settings, allowing for a lot of customization. Very useful for people who juggle with around 4-5 languages on a daily basis (with accents, chinese characters, and other oddities) and like to have a very customized "common ground" locale. I like to be able to write my dates ANSI style, separate my 3 digit groups with spaces, count in meters, use $ as a currency symbol, and then some.

It is just natural that an office suite should inherit all those settings from the OS (or at least provide a setting to do so).
And so far, it appears that OOo does not have this basic functionality? The "default" option actually sets the application locale to the same used for localizing menus (i.e. if the application menus are in en_US, then the standard en_US locale - including units, date, number formats) will be used...

Looks like I am stuck with Excel for quite a while then.

pdf saving and editing (1)

EreIamJH (180023) | about 6 years ago | (#25343223)

I used version 2.4 for essay writing during some recent post-grad study and now that I'm used to it I wouldn't go back to ms-word. The ability to save as pdf was really convenient.

Version 3 has the ability to edit pdf - that could be a killer feature.

Re:pdf saving and editing (3, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 6 years ago | (#25343343)

Version 3 has the ability to edit pdf - that could be a killer feature.

Why? PDFs are useful for distributing material in a reliable way. They have never been designed to be an easily editable format, other than for forms and the like perhaps, and it would be crazy to start treating them as such.

Also, in case you didn't realise, PDF export from Word is available as a freebie plug-in from MS in Word 2007, and it doesn't have all the font bugs OO Writer has! (See my earlier posts in this discussion for details.)

Party like its 3.0 :) (1)

pianoman19403 (1383307) | about 6 years ago | (#25343339)

Ha, Oct 13th is my bday too... I'll raise a pint to open office on monday!!!
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