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Sneak Preview of New OpenOffice 3.2

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the an-org-y-of-improvements dept.

Software 377

omlx writes 'The last developer milestone (DEV300m60) of OpenOffice.org has been released. The next version of OpenOffice.org 3.2 has more than 42 features and 167 enhancements . The final version is expected to be available at the end of November 2009. Many companies have contributed to this version, like RedHat, RedFlag and IBM, making OpenOffice more stable and useful. I couldn't stop myself from seeing new features and enjoying them. So I downloaded the DEV300m60 version. After playing with it for many days I could say that OpenOffice developers have done very good work in it. Well done!"

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377 comments

Faster... (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809099)

"Many issues have been fixed in order to make OpenOffice.org faster. The happy news that OpenOffice.org 3.2 is now faster than before in many aspects. The startup now 30% faster in Windows."

Thank God. If it got any slower and more bloated... I just hope Linux is also faster.

Re:Faster... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809125)

And "more easier" as well!

Re:Faster... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29810019)

and more better easyizationnessality

Re:Faster... (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809233)

Yeah, honestly, this is the #1 thing that has kept me from using OpenOffice day-to-day. The first thing I did when I opened this article was to have my browser search for the word "faster".

Re:Faster... (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809345)

But to be fair, it's somewhat similar issue with Firefox too. I do understand that its because of XUL:

XML User Interface Language, is an XML user interface markup language (developed by the Mozilla project) which operates in Mozilla cross-platform applications such as Firefox and Flock. The Mozilla Gecko layout engine provides an implementation of XUL used in the Firefox Browser.[1]

XUL relies on multiple existing web standards and technologies, including CSS, JavaScript, and DOM. Such reliance makes XUL relatively easy to learn for people with a background in web-programming and design.

And that it's easier to develop UI elements with it, but you lose a lot of speed and UI efficiency along the way. Anyone who has compared Opera and Firefox in UI responsiveness know this.

Open Source software usually have the mentality of making everything as open as possible and easy to modify, but it brings these issues then too. People should find some middle road to this; have it still possible, but god hell make it work faster. Maybe compiling it to faster format (bytecode versus xml?), or optimizing the apps could do the work. But something needs to be done.

Re:Faster... (5, Insightful)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809537)

I evaluated 3.1 for use in my company for a department of about 100 people (would have saved $20,000 per year in licensing). The main problem was not speed but compatibility!

Please concentrate on fixing the problems with fonts/formatting!

Re:Faster... (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809627)

I evaluated 3.1 for use in my company for a department of about 100 people (would have saved $20,000 per year in licensing). The main problem was not speed but compatibility!

It is as compatible as different versions of MS Office... You are only totally compatible when everyone is running the same version of the same program.

Re:Faster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809711)

No it isn't.

Re:Faster... (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809731)

The problem is, Office tends to be 'compatible enough', certainly to the point where most people don't think twice about which version a .doc is created in when they open it.

OpenOffice has yet to reach that threshold.

Re:Faster... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809933)

It is as compatible as different versions of MS Office...

Sorry, but that simply isn't true. The last major screw-up Microsoft made on that front was nearly a decade ago. They may have introduced different file formats since, but new versions of Office open files created in older versions just fine, and in some cases vice versa if you download the right add-in software from MS.

You are only totally compatible when everyone is running the same version of the same program.

Indeed. And that means your comment overlook sthe fundamental problem: most people aren't comparing moving from one version of MS Office to either another version or to OpenOffice. They already have a version of MS Office that works fine, and is compatible with itself just fine. OpenOffice being 100% compatible isn't a plus point relative to what most users already have, it's merely a prerequisite for even being equal, and one that isn't yet satisfied for a lot of people.

Compatibility is still the biggest problem (4, Informative)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810105)

This is not my experience in the least. In my day-to-day, I have far more documents created in OO.o that end up looking mangled in all versions of Word than ones that come out looking right. And it's also a rare occurance when a .doc sent to me displays properly in OO.o, and I'm certain many are made in 2003 and some in 2007.

For example, I recently had to make a .doc format resume for a job application, and it was completely mangled on the other end even though it looked fine in OO.o. The only thing this had was some alignment changes, headers, and paragraph text. After getting the job, I had to coordinate with background check people, movers and the like, which included sending lots of word documents, some including forms, back and forth. The forms didn't work at all (they showed up mangled, I couldn't click them even though the fields were visible), and the layout of the non-form-encrusted documents were usually mangled.

In fact, I can't recall a single instance where a somewhat complicated word document (one that contains more than just text of various sizes in standard paragraphs) displayed correctly in Open Office when it was created with Word or displayed correctly in any version of Word when it was created with Open Office.

Re:Faster... (4, Informative)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810121)

It's not 100% compatible like Office.
For home use the compatibility is good enough but in business EVERYTHING has to look just right and consistent. When we evaluated it we found that:

1. We would have to recreate a 2nd set of templates for OpenOffice. We're talking 100s of templates that need to be duplicated and then maintained.

2. Most of our old documents (we're talking TBs worth) had at least minor formatting issues. Like something as small as the logo moved 5mm to the left. Which in the business world is a big deal. It's impossible to fix them all.

3. Even if we did fix them when they're opened in Word again there's a high chance that a new formatting issue would be introduced. So you can't reliably collaborate with people using MS Office (that means other employees in the company, clients, partners, etc!)

The only way it would have worked for us is if we invested in recreating templates, given up on old documents and kept that department working in isolation.

Every couple of years we put together a team of a dozen volunteers and test it again. OpenOffice has been getting better and it's just a matter of time before it's good enough.

MS Office isn't very compatible, either (4, Informative)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809871)

Actually, Microsoft Office isn't all that compatible with Microsoft Office, when you are talking about different versions. In my 6-7 years running Linux at work, I used OpenOffice exclusively to write and edit documents, and to create and modify spreadsheets. I never had a problem exchanging documents with others. Of course, I was careful to save documents in the Microsoft Word "DOC" format, and spreadsheets in the Microsoft Excel "XLS" format.

It's true that sometimes Word will fail to render a document properly. But it's not the fault of OpenOffice - sometimes, Microsoft Word fails to properly display other Microsoft Word files. An example I wrote about a few months ago:

Last night, one of the attendees sent out some notes for us to read before the meeting. We all dutifully printed out our copy of the document, and brought it with us to the meeting.

Despite the fact that the document was created with Microsoft Office, and that we all run Microsoft Office, there were 3 different versions of the printed document at the meeting. You could tell by looking around the table that one version of the notes (printed from Microsoft Office for Macintosh) arranged the text around a table in a weird way. Another version (printed by Microsoft Office 2007) put a page break in a different place and put an extra blank line between a table and its caption. The original version (Microsoft Office 2003) was formatted as intended.

This was a simple 3-page document in "DOC" format, with an enumerated list of paragraphs, so it didn't take long for us to realize our copies printed out differently, and to figure out the correlation between versions of Word and how the document printed out.

I think it just goes to show: if you have a document that absolutely must preserve formatting, send it as a PDF.

Re:MS Office isn't very compatible, either (2, Informative)

FreeFull (1043860) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810249)

Of course, the fact that OpenOffice can save .pdf's natively is probably useful

Re:Faster... (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809923)

I find OpenOffice 3.1 has less compatibility problems with .docx documents than with straight .doc's

Re:Faster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809757)

No excuse for OpenOffice but MS Office (Word, Outhouse etc) are slow as well. I don't experience any subjective difference.

WIll this be backported? (2, Insightful)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809111)

Will this be backported to Ubuntu 9.04? I'd like to upgrade to OOo 3.2 because there are some features that I need, but I don't want to have to update my entire operating system and my other applications. Compiling OOo myself is beyond my capabilities.

Re:WIll this be backported? (2, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809161)

Rolling-release distros are awesome. Maybe you should try one.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809215)

Rolling-release distros are awesome. Maybe you should try one.

You seemed to miss this part of my post so I will post it again:

I don't want to have to update my entire operating system and my other applications.

I only want the newer version of OOo. Everything else on my computer works fine and I don't want to mess with it.

Re:WIll this be backported? (0, Offtopic)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809405)

Why would you want to update your entire OS while leaving the OOo on an outdated version?

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809523)

Because sometimes the newer version really suck compare to old ones - just see Firefox 3.5 and how laggy it is.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810125)

You have it backwards. I want to stick with the version of Ubuntu that works for me and is still supported but update one application to the newer version.

Re:WIll this be backported? (0)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809663)

You seemed to miss this part of my post so I will post it again:

I don't want to have to update my entire operating system and my other applications.

I only want the newer version of OOo. Everything else on my computer works fine and I don't want to mess with it.

Then you better go back to the LTS. In 1.5 years you will be stuck with no update or upgrade path other than old CD upgrades. Serious warning, not a flame.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810123)

Are you sure? I updated an LTS (8.04) box to 9.04 (might have been 9.04.1) by just changing an entry in a conf file (following official docs) and then installing and running the upgrade manager. Sure, you will still need run that once for each version (so if 9.10 is the next LTS, you will go from 8.04 to 8.10 to 9.04 to 9.10), but it is still pretty quick and you don't need to worry about digging up old versions on CD.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810281)

I'd say there is a pretty good chance that someone will release a backport, but security updates for 9.04 will end in 2010. It might be best to hold off for a month or so to see how others fair with upgrading and then run the upgrade to 9.10. Your settings and everything will be maintained. If you do want to stick with 9.04, then open Synaptic and add the backports repository, update, and then find the package and install it. If you want to do it in a command line, add the backports repository, "apt-get update", "apt-cache search openoffice", find package, and then run "apt-get install [package]".

Re:WIll this be backported? (3, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809223)

Why would it need to be back ported? Is Ubuntu 9.04 on an old kernel or old C/C++ runtimes?

If there is a problem, you could try compiling it yourself - most of it is C++ code.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809417)

You can ask [ubuntu.com] , but I doubt it. OOo 3.2 isn't even done yet, and Ubuntu 9.10 is going to be released Thursday next week.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809423)

Check jaunty-backports first, if not there's probably a PPA. Of course wtih a PPA it's essentially unverified and not security patch supported. I really wish there was more of a "auto-backports" service for the most popular distros - basically like doing a nightly build of upstream except it's a package. And of course untested and unsupported in every way.

Re:WIll this be backported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809543)

I would guess no, they haven't even back-ported an official FireFox3.5

While I can understand Ubuntu's reasoning about wanting the distribution to be stable on a Ubuntu-release timeframe, it seems dumb to not make these major updates available in a *nice* manner for those users who want to upgrade these packages.

Re:WIll this be backported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809587)

The OOo team usually releases .debs. Just wait a week or so after the official release.

http://download.openoffice.org/other.html#en-US

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809755)

"Will this be backported to Ubuntu 9.04?"

Once it's in the main repository you can upgrade using synaptic [nongnu.org] , else download the tar.gz [openoffice.org] file and extract to a /tmp location and type the following five lines, at a command prompt:

su root
tar -zxvf OO.version.tar.gz
./configure
make
make install

.. and that's the sum total of my knowledge of compiling ...

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809987)

Generally you should extract to /usr/src for compiling software. That's central self-compiled software directory,.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810013)

Once it's in the main repository you can upgrade using synaptic, else download the tar.gz file and extract to a /tmp location and type the following five lines, at a command prompt:

Or you could just use CheckInstall [asic-linux.com.mx] , thus obviating the need to bypass the package manager.

Re:WIll this be backported? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810045)

"
su root
tar -zxvf OO.version.tar.gz
./configure
make
make install
???
PROFIT!

.. and that's the sum total of my knowledge of compiling ...

FTFY.

More easier? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809123)

Based on the section headings from TFA, I gather that version 3.2 is more secure, faster, more international, and more easier.

Apparently a grammar checker isn't one of the 42 new features.

more easier is proper grammer :) (3, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809445)

They were using the preschool language mode.

However, the TFA is more slashdotteder at the moment.

Pass minimum (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809133)

Remove the password length limitation:

“ The current minimal password length limitation ( 5 characters ) is outdated and makes no sense any more. Thus the limitation is removed, although the password is not allowed to be empty. “

This was an interesting note, but they didn't explain it further. Why did they change the minimum from 5 characters to 1 character now? It sounds it might be pretty trivial to bruteforce it.

Re:Pass minimum (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809293)

Even at 15 characters it's trivial due to lookup tables and dictionary attacks. Passwords are to prevent snooping, not a security measure. I think it's just them throwing in the towel and expecting that if a document is to be secured a GPG\PGP level protection be used.

Face it, passwords have been about as effective as a cheap diary lock on a $4 pony covered diary from Target. They are pointless in the realm of securing a document. They are nothing more then a way to prevent your typical 5 year old accidentally opening your favorite erotic story...

Re:Pass minimum (4, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809359)

5 characters isn't much to bruteforce anyway.

I suspect they eliminated a password length requirement because the security of the password is really up to the needs and desires of the user who set that password. If I have a password length of 5, then someone who wants a trivial password to keep casual lookie-loos out is going to choose 12345 anyway.

("Amazing! That's the same as the combination on my suitcase!")

Allow me to choose one character minimum and I'll choose one character and use it. No real loss in security, and since I'm choosing the level of security it's my decision to make. I can't sue OO for "lack of security" because OO is simply allowing me to choose how secure I want my stuff.

Someone who wants to protect (as in really protect) their document is going to choose a 50-character password with a mix of uppers, lowers, numbers, and scrunchy special characters. Then it'll be so secure, even the original author can't open it.

Re:Pass minimum (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809481)

That would be the case with the most simplistic encryption methods for the documents - but if it takes CPU power to decrypt it, you will gain defense against brute-forcing. Even if its 1-2 secs (*on usual computer), cracking it will be much more harder because of the amount of passwords you will have to try. On the other hand it doesn't annoy the user and the program can make things even a little bit more secure.

Import of password protected Microsoft Office XML (1)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809159)

Yay! I think people were beginning to dislike me a little when I'd ask them to convert and resend an attachment that I couldn't open. Looks like I'll have to hunt around for some other subtle way to annoy my co-workers :)

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809437)

Send them all their "database" data that people tend to want in Excel spreadsheets in a SQL import for MySQL instead, and suggest that they use an actual database for data analysis instead of a spreadsheet? ;)

Excel: Strong enough for a primitive database, but made for number crunching.

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809545)

I really wonder if you two have actual jobs and how do you manage to keep them.

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809547)

As the data warehouse guy here, I fight the export to Excel battle regularly and that has nothing to do with my comment. I was talking specifically about Word documents that OO won't open correctly with the version I'm using.

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809877)

Sorry, I was answering your specific stated issue of wanting another subtle way to annoy your co-workers.

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809505)

"Yay! I think people were beginning to dislike me a little when I'd ask them to convert and resend an attachment that I couldn't open. Looks like I'll have to hunt around for some other subtle way to annoy my co-workers :)"

Why not point them to where they can download [openoffice.org] Open Office?

'Import of password protected Microsoft Office XML documents has been implemented [mail-archive.com] in CWS dr72'

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809835)

Why use Open Office when the university installs Windows and MS Office on your PC for you and everyone you work with uses MS Office except for that weird guy over in IT? The reality is that short of a university wide switch to Open Office, I will continue to be that weird guy in IT running Linux and using that Open Office thingy.

Any feature that allows me to work with MS Office easier is wonderful from my perspective.

Re:Import of password protected Microsoft Office X (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810025)

My school didn't. They recomended Open Office to people who did not have MS Office, and the "weird" guy in IT was using TeX.

bloated-office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809165)

OpenOffice.org 3.2 has more than 42 features and 167 enhancements

No more bloat please, I've had enough already...

More Easier... (5, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809207)

Now now...

If you have used Microsoft Word to write your blog you would have seen that "more easier" is kind of green-underline (i.e., it does not make sense).

That hurt even *my* eyes... and my native language is not English.

What about the fscking ribbon?! (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809275)

While I'm sure that a lot of people will enjoy more convenient typing in of passwords on openoffice documents and typing in Tamil fonts, I'm a little more concerned about the proposed ribbon interface from a while back [slashdot.org] . In the one screenshot in TFA that showed the toolbar, it looked like the usual icon driven interface. Can anyone confirm that a non-ribbon UI will still be available?

Re:What about the fscking ribbon?! (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809615)

I can't confirm either way, but last I heard the plan for a new UI was a very long-term one, and, though spurred by the ribbon, wasn't necessarily aiming to mimic it.
Of course, I'm equally worried about them abandoning moves towards something similar to the ribbon UI purely on the grounds that a lot of noisy people dislike it - the huge bulk of office users to whom we've rolled out Office 07 are quite content with it, and I find it a definite improvement.

The project page is here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Renaissance [openoffice.org] and is both short on information and sarcastically Web2.0.

Re:What about the fscking ribbon?! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809837)

At the rate OpenOffice development moves, you can be sure you won't see any hint of it for the next 5 years at least.

Re:What about the fscking ribbon?! (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810113)

I seem to remember that the proposed ribbon was an option, not a requirement.

Coloured tabs in Calc? (2, Interesting)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809299)

I don't see any mention of coloured tabs in Calc. I know it's a silly little thing, but some people use coloured tabs in Excel and this means that you can't edit these files on OO.org without losing the colour information.

And does it render the same as Excel/Word yet?

Until these and other niggling incompatibilities are resolved, my wife will still be nagging me to install Office in Wine...

Tom...

Re:Coloured tabs in Calc? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810145)

I can confirm that when opening an Excel document in OO.org you lose the tab color information.

If 3.2 fixes that, I would be a happ(ier) camper

Now if... (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809411)

Now if this version is 30% faster on my Kubuntu box AND AND AND has the List function that Excel 2003 has (instead of the g*****n f***ing POS filter function), I will officially never return to MS Office.

Calculating with text (4, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809435)

One of the "fixes [openoffice.org] " is that it will convert text cells to numbers in formulae if it can. This is one of the major differences from Excel that led Microsoft to move all their formulae into a different namespace, in order to prevent users from seeing behavioural inconsistencies across products. That's the way they put it, The Internet described it as deliberately breaking interoperability. I'm agnostic on that distinction, but OOo is now in line with just about every other spreadsheet in existence including Excel, Gnumeric, and Google Docs in this respect. It will be interesting to see what happens to the msoxl namespace when this comes out. I don't know if 3.2 will convert the msoxl namespace formuale to the default namespace when it opens an Excel ODF file.

Re:Calculating with text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809843)

One of the "fixes [openoffice.org] " is that it will convert text cells to numbers in formulae if it can. This is one of the major differences from Excel that led Microsoft to move all their formulae into a different namespace, in order to prevent users from seeing behavioural inconsistencies across products. That's the way they put it, The Internet described it as deliberately breaking interoperability. I'm agnostic on that distinction, but OOo is now in line with just about every other spreadsheet in existence including Excel, Gnumeric, and Google Docs in this respect. It will be interesting to see what happens to the msoxl namespace when this comes out. I don't know if 3.2 will convert the msoxl namespace formuale to the default namespace when it opens an Excel ODF file.

Microsoft will probably just revert to how they used to do it in Office 2010, leaving OOO and all the rest high and dry.

Wow, amazing improvement. (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809451)

People complained about Windows 7's GUI "tricks"/tweaks.

Default button in password dialog now is "OK"

That's the first entry under "more easier." Amazing. I bet it took a developer a long time to fix that, too. Probably weeks! ... ?? It doesn't even seem worth mentioning, really.

Re:Wow, amazing improvement. (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809857)

Any dialog box that has 'OK' instead of a meaningful verb as a button title is an automatic usability fail (this is one of the first things everyone learns about HCI, it's really not hard to get right...) so that quote alone tells me that OO.o is still not tackling usability issues properly. Someone has obviously looked at that dialog box, but not fixed the important issue with it, so the odds of them fixing the more serious issues is quite slim.

The price of a socket. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809479)

I -really- like the ribbon bar in Office 2007 so it will be hard to part with it.

But,

1) I'm still so happy that Linux booted up after I transplanted the hard drive from an old opteron into a new xeon with a completely different motherboard, that I'm thinking I can live with Open Office for now.
2) There's still an empty socket for another xeon on my new motherboard.
3) Windows 7, Visual Studio, all start to pile up in terms of costs, or, I could get another xeon, or upgrade my xeons, get more ram...

The hardware argument is pretty compelling...

Why no online version of OpenOffice? (4, Interesting)

Kate6 (895650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809507)

It's interesting to see how many companies are putting work into this product considering the gradual rise of online based office suites like Google Docs.

In early 2008 I went through some personal events that caused me to suddenly lose access to my primary desktop. When a co-worker introduced me to Google Docs, I immediately liked the idea of having all my important documents be stored somewhere that I could access from any Internet enabled device. Since then I've also come to appreciate the ease of collaborations using Google Docs. I've had whole discussions about requirements documents that went on completely through Google Docs - the client would type in some basic concept of what they'd wanted, I'd reformat it to more formal requirements while they watched, they'd edit, I'd start working and add in notes or questions as they came along, they'd add in replies... It's been absolutely fantastic for streamlining off-site development processes.

And now I hear Google is planning on capitalizing further on that aspect with the upcoming Google Wave [google.com] ... And Microsoft is planning to release an online version of Office 2010 [cnn.com] ... And I'm yet to hear of similar plans from the OpenOffice scene.

Which makes me sad. I've been an OpenOffice user for most of the last decade... Started using it when it was still StarOffice, before Sun bought and open sourced it. I'd hate to see it fall by the wayside.

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809761)

why no online version? probably because online document editing and storage is a horrible, horrible idea.

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (1)

Kate6 (895650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810073)

How so?

I mean, I'd definitely agree that documents that contain potentially extremely valuable trade secrets probably shouldn't be stored with a third party. And even in the general case, I'd think there'd need to be a fair bit of concern as to the reliability of the storage medium... And into the ease of migrating to a different option if you should ever choose to in the future... (Google Docs lets you easily export to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or PDF)...

But outside of that, do you see any principal problem with online office suites?

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810137)

I almost agree. I'm sure there are niches where on-line document editing has merit, but the bottom line is that cloud computing is still more vapour than solid software. On-line office suites suck in almost every other way compared to their desktop-based brethren, and it's not as if there's no scope for improvement in those, they've just reached the point of being "good enough" that people tolerate their problems.

I can't help noticing that every time someone makes observations like these on forums like Slashdot, there are usually a string of responses about how trusting Google/Amazon/whoever with your sensitive data is better than trusting in-house people who are still a security risk, don't have the same resources to build in resilience to system failures, and so on. And then over the following week, it always seems like there are a couple of articles about major downtime from such services, another one about a serious security breach, and every few weeks there's a major data loss incident.

In any case, while centralised storage has merit for some purposes, you don't need software-as-a-service for that, you just need somewhere you can save a file.

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809777)

Why does OOo need to compete with Google Docs? They both support ODF. There's no need for Sun and Google to get into an online office war.

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810141)

There are a few problems here...

The first is that online and off line are coded totally differently, so the OO team would be starting from scratch in an already established market.

The second is availability. Just because it is on the Internet doesn't mean it always will be. Just ask some of the people caught in the Sidekick, T-mobile, Danger, Microsoft data loss.

And of course there is trust. Do you trust Google to never "search" your data? They have voice-mails on-line now... And Microsoft can be trusted, right?

Re:Why no online version of OpenOffice? (1)

Kate6 (895650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810313)

To be honest, it sounds kindda narcissistic to me when people start talking about big companies looking through their personal Emails. I doubt anyone is particularly interested in spying on the voicemail you left your girlfriend, telling her you're going to get home late and that she should go ahead and have dinner without you.

If Google does look through your personal Emails or your personal voicemails, it'll be for keywords that might clue them in to things they ought to try marketing you. They'll do it automatically and they'll do it on a massive scale, and the end result would be that you'd get something like an AdSense ad attached to your Email or voicemail.

Outside of people who have valuable trade secrets to protect or people who are looking to overthrow some governments, that's pretty much the best commercial motivation a company could have for looking through your Email or your voicemail. And while I wouldn't precisely say I trust Google in the abstract, and I definitely wouldn't say I trust Microsoft... I do trust big companies to only bother wasting their time on thinks that would make them money.

Snooping through most peoples' Emails would not.

Article is awful! (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809509)

Not just more easier... but the wiki is "no more installed" and "not installed any more." "This new feature make saving password..." I guess he's from a non-English speaking country, though.

Full text (5, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809515)

The site is slow and may be intermittent, so here's the text:
--snipsnip--

Home
A sneak preview of new OpenOffice 3.2 part 1

By FahadTue, 10/20/2009 - 17:20

The last developer milestone ( DEV300m60) of OpenOffice.org has been released. The next version of OpenOffice.org 3.2 has more than 42 features and 167 enhancements . The final version is expected to be available at the end of November 2009.Open Office 3.2
Many companies have contributed to this version like RedHat , RedFlag and IBM, making OpenOffice more stable and useful. I couldn't stop myself from seeing new features and enjoying them. So I downloaded DEV300m60 version. After playing with it for many days I could say that OpenOffice developers have done very good work in it. Well done !
I will review in this post some interesting features : more secure , faster , easier and more international.
more secure

Detect if non-encrypted streams are in encrypted document:

OOo expects that an encrypted document does not contain any non-encrypted streams starting from ODF1.2 version. The exceptions are the streams that are part of the ODF format: "mimetype", "META-INF/manifest.xml" and signature streams that follow the pattern "META-INF/*signatures*".

The manifest.xml is part of the document signature now:

In OpenOffice.org 3.2, the manifest.xml will be signed . This will introduce the limitation that macro signatures can't be introduced after the document was signed, because this would need manipulation of the (then) signed manifest.xml.

ODF document integrity check:

The document integrity check proves now whether the ODF document conforms the ODF specification. It mainly affects the ODF1.2 documents. If an inconsistency is found, the document is treated as a broken one, the office suggests to repair the document in this case. The macros are disabled in repaired documents.
Faster

Many issues have been fixed in order to make OpenOffice.org faster. The happy news that OpenOffice.org 3.2 is now faster than before in many aspects. The startup now 30% faster in Windows. Many issues have been ironed out in Writer (6 issues) and Calc (10 issues) regarding loading and saving times.

Now I can see that OpenOffice is faster than before but still there are many things have to be done in speed side.
More easier

            Default button in password dialog now is "OK" :Default button in password dialog

Although it is a small change but it makes OpenOffice more usable . Now The OK button in the password dialog is the default button again .

Remove the password length limitation:

password length limitation" The current minimal password length limitation ( 5 characters ) is outdated and makes no sense any more. Thus the limitation is removed, although the password is not allowed to be empty. "

Import of password protected Microsoft Office XML documents:

This is a great feature. Many people asked me how we can open password protected docx/xlsx files. All document types are supported including: MS Word 2007 documents (*.docx, *.docm) - MS Word 2007 templates (*.dotx, *.dotm) - MS Excel 2007 documents (*.xlsx, *.xlsm) - MS Excel 2007 binary documents (*.xlsb) - MS Excel 2007 templates (*.xltx, *.xltm) - MS Powerpoint 2007 documents (*.pptx, *.pptm) - MS Powerpoint 2007 templates (*.potx, *.potm).

Encryption support for "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP" :

This new feature make saving password protected Microsoft Word document possible with Microsoft Office standard RC4 algorithm.

Keyboard shortcut configuration dialog now supports "ALT" modifier:

supports ALT modifierBefore OpenOffice.org 3.2, the dialog for configuring keyboard shortcuts never allowed to use the ALT-key. Now ALT as well as SHIFT-ALT, CTRL-ALT and SHIFT-CTRL-ALT modifiers can be used in the dialog.

Impress and Draw now support comments:

To support collaboration, it is now possible to add comments to a presentation or drawing

document (using menu insert/comment or with the new Comments toolbar).comments in draw and impress

This feature was previously called "Notes" in writer and calc . It has been renamed to "Comments" in all applications to avoid a clash with the speaker notes feature in impress. This is also a consistent naming with other office suites.

MediaWiki filter is no more installed as part of OOo installation:

The MediaWiki filter is not installed as part of OOo installation any more. Instead it will be installed as a part of Wiki Publisher extension, since the two implementations are used together and it allows to provide updates for the filter independently from OOo releases.

Default paper sizes:

This is also a cool feature. In my country the default PaperSize is A4 not letter. Many time I forgot to change the page size and it causes me thinking why my documents show different from others documents.

Now OpenOffice.org 3.2 take the default PaperSize from Language local configuration. The default PaperSize for all countries will be like this:

        * US (United States) -> Letter
        * CA (Canada) -> Letter
        * PR (Puerto Rico, United States Territory) -> Letter
        * PH (Philippines) -> Letter
        * VE (Venezuela) -> Letter
        * CL (Chile) -> Letter
        * Mexico (MX) -> Letter
        * Colombia (CO) -> Letter
        * All Others -> A4

Menu items display changed :

Menu ItemThe display of menu items with checkmarks and item images changed slightly. Item images and checkmarks now are displayed in the same column. In case an item is both checkable and has an image, the image is displayed, but additionally the checked state is displayed in the same way checked toolbar buttons are displayed.

Option item "Icons in menus" now listbox with three options:

Icon in Menuhe Tools/Options->OpenOffice.org/View page now has a listbox for the "Icons in menus" option. This was a checkbox before and is now a listbox offering three options: 1) Automatic 2) Hide 3) Show.

Improved file locking:

in useNow if the file is used, you can open a copy from it or Open it in read mode only .

More integration with Windows 7 & KDE 4

  The new version OpenOffice.org 3.2 will use the native file picker dialog in Windows 7 and KDE 4.Windows 7 file pickersuppot KDE 4
More international

Graphite Font Support :

I am impressed with this feature. It helps OpenOffice.org to be more Open to minority languages like Malayalam language and Tamil language. To get more information about minority languages see this page.

Graphite Font SupportGraphite fonts are truetype fonts with extra tables which contain information for complex rendering such as context specific reordering, shaping and positioning. Unlike OpenType, the rendering engine does not need any prior knowledge of the script, the rendering rules are all contained in the font itself. This makes it ideal for scripts and languages which are not directly supported in Uniscribe or ICU. Graphite also supports font features which allow variations in rendering to be selected according to linguistic or personal preference. To get free graphite fonts see here.

Support for PS-OpenType fonts :

Another cool thing in OpenOffice.org 3.2 is supporting PS-OpenType fonts. Postscript based OpenType fonts are now supported (for formatting, printing, PDF-export and display).

In Addition, UNX platforms is now supported.

New Locale support:

OpenOffice.org 3.2 adds locale data for Asturian_Spain [ast-ES] , Yiddish_Israel [yi-IL], Arabic (Oman) [ar-OM] , Sardinian_Italy [sc-IT] , Quechua (Ecuador) [qu-EC] ,Oromo_Ethiopia [om-ET] , yghur_China [ug-CN], Ancient Greek [grc-GR], Somali_Somalia [so-SO] , Sorbian, Lower [dsb-DE] and Upper [hsb-DE] .

What's about Calc , chart and base ?

In next post I will take about them one by one. So be tuned until next part . Any comment are more than welcome.

Vote for the bugs that drive you nuts (2, Interesting)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809569)

Here are some of my pet peeves:

Need Comment/UnComment button in Macro Editor
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=87296 [openoffice.org]

Generated HTML changes default spacing
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=14600 [openoffice.org]

Outline View (aka MS Word)
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=3959 [openoffice.org]

(Vote for mine and I'll vote for yours if I can!)

Re:Vote for the bugs that drive you nuts (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809651)

I believe the issue with Outline View (haven't checked recently) is that OOo needs a series rewrite in how in handles page layout and various views. From what I understand, this has been a known issue for YEARS but no one has stepped up to the plate. If this has changed, I'd love to be corrected.

There is also a big issue where Calc doesn't correctly read/handle external references in Excel. This is a killer, must-have feature. If you can't reference a cell in another spreadsheet, then you can't be taken seriously in an enterprise environment, or hope of replacing Excel. The feature was supposedly in 3.0, but didn't actually work. Then it was supposedly in 3.1, but didn't actually work. I'm looking forward to testing to see if it actually works in 3.2.

Re:Vote for the bugs that drive you nuts (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809991)

You are correct but I only have 5 votes for the wordprocessing feature to give.

3959 depends on:
Refactor sw code to support multiple layouts
http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=81480 [openoffice.org]

which depends on:
  add form layer support for virtual objects on form controls
  http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=87241 [openoffice.org]
and
  Refactoring of Writer's usage of the Drawing layer
  http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=100875 [openoffice.org]

However, people discussing issue 3959 are now even willing to just have a way to toggle between the outline view and the editing view instead of being able to see both at the same time like in Word(tm).

Re:Vote for the bugs that drive you nuts (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810043)

OK,
I believe mine is issue 3914 -- it's the desperate need for NormalView (or equivalent) in Write/Word. Just as someone posted that vertical space is at a premium (which is why all 'ribbons' and toolbars should be moveable to a vertical array on the side of the screen), there is absolutely no reason to show page edges, headers, or footers while writing and editing the document. Page layout tasks come after the document has been edited.

Feature parity plz. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809579)

Request 1) Feature parity with Microsoft Office 2000
Request 2) Interface parity with Microsoft Office 2000
Request 3) Complete document compatibility with Microsoft Office 2000

How does OOo 3.2 shape up?

Re:Feature parity plz. (1)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810301)

I want price parity of Microsoft Office 2000 with OOo 3.2. So, now how does Microsoft Office 2000 shape up?

Measure progress by removed features (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809641)

Someday, when we are all enlightened,
progress on a software product will be measured by the number
of unnecessary features that have been removed, making
a more focussed and easier-to-use product.

Word processing programs all have wrong UI design (5, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29809759)

OpenOffice, like Word and everything else I can think of, gets
one fundamental thing wrong in the user interface design.

Documents are 8 1/2" wide x 11" tall with say 6.5" x 9" tall
useable writing area.

Screens are not very tall, but quite wide these days, on average.

Therefore, all (yes, ALL!) of the available vertical space in the application
window should be devoted to displaying the document.
There is plenty of room for controls to the side, or perhaps sliding down
from the top on demand. A one-line control bar at the top might be
justified for inherently horizontal things like font and style names, but
that's it.

As it is, we are editing our documents through the letter slot in the door.

Maybe that will be version 4.0

Re:Word processing programs all have wrong UI desi (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810007)

That's a good point, and I've always wondered the same thing. The weird thing is that Word *used* to let you do this-- you could move all the toolbars, and even the menu bar, to the side of the screen. (Of course, in practice this did more harm than good as users would accidentally drag the menu bar all over the place, then lose it, then call support...)

I wonder if Microsoft has considered a "vertical mode" for the ribbon. Seems to me that it would work just as well laid out vertically as horizontally.

Re:Word processing programs all have wrong UI desi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29810109)

...Therefore, all (yes, ALL!) of the available vertical space in the application
window should be devoted to displaying the document.
There is plenty of room for controls to the side, or perhaps sliding down
from the top on demand. A one-line control bar at the top might be
justified for inherently horizontal things like font and style names, but
that's it.

As it is, we are editing our documents through the letter slot in the door.

Maybe that will be version 4.0

Running OpenOffice.org 3.1.1. The default toolbars can be docked to either side of the document window, or dragged off onto floating palettes. This leaves only the horizontal ruler above the document.

(One bug: If you have the toolbars as palettes, and you arrange two document windows side-by-side on your screen, the palettes will jump around whenever you switch from one window to the other.)

You insensitive, American clod (1)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810307)

OpenOffice, like Word and everything else I can think of, gets
one fundamental thing wrong in the user interface design.

Documents are 8 1/2" wide x 11" tall with say 6.5" x 9" tall
useable writing area.

Hey!!! In my country, documents are 210 × 297 mm, you insensitive clod.

(Okay, so I'm actually an American too. Fine :-P.)

Re:Word processing programs all have wrong UI desi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29810327)

In Word 2000, you can simply drag the Standard and Formatting toolbars (or any other toolbar) and dock them to the left (or right) of the screen, causing the icons to be displayed in a vertical strip.

What about RTF support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29809779)

Currently RTF support is horrible for both reading and writing. We are evaluating and tring to replace Microsoft Office 2003. To our suprise while doc support has gotten better in the last revision, RTF is so broken in the current stable release it's not even funny. Save a file as rtf and open in again: usually it does not look the same. Lists, numbering, picture support - almost everything is broken. We are trying hard to replace MS Office, but damn....

Re:What about RTF support (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810097)

Perhaps RTF isn't the format you want. The format lacks the advanced features of ODF and OOXML, and in my experience doesn't support images.

Re:What about RTF support (1)

NCG_Mike (905098) | more than 4 years ago | (#29810193)

PTF is better... Poor Text Format. You can even read it using a disk sector editor...
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