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LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the so-many-offices dept.

Open Source 470

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

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What idealistic state? (5, Insightful)

alexandre (53) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993150)

I'm pretty sure that we'll be stuck with Office suite for a long long time still...

But saying that this unmasks Linux as not being perfect is like saying your family is not perfect because you brought your kid to the hospital after he was hit by a car instead of hiding the fact...
A fork in this case is a wonderful solution to a death by stagnation caused by proprietary idiocy from Oracle.

Re:What idealistic state? (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993192)

A fork in this case is a wonderful solution to a death by stagnation caused by proprietary idiocy from Oracle.

Exactly. If the source was closed, we'd maybe have to find a whole new Office suite, but this way we can just fork Oracle and move on.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993544)

fork Oracle

'nuff said.

Forking Oracle (0)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993586)

this way we can just fork Oracle and move on.

With all the bullshit Oracle has pulled since their acquisition of Sun, they've turned a massive set of what is, for better or worse, extremely popular, open source products into nothing but a toxic mess of insanity.

Oracle can go fork themselves.

Re:What idealistic state? (0)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994078)

... but this way we can just fork Oracle and move on.

They didn't actually fork Oracle, they forked the office suite project. Although, I kinda wish we could just "fork" Oracle (in the a**) and move on. If you know what I mean ;)

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993216)

I hope that this fork encourages the inclusion of Go-OO patches. In fact, it would be good if Go-OO and LibreOffice were merged .

Re:What idealistic state? (4, Informative)

vossman77 (300689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993264)

I think this was already done.

Re:What idealistic state? (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993464)

Yep the Go-OO patches are included in LibreOffice.

I'm going to remove Oracle OO.org and install LibreOffice on all my PCs when I get home.

Re:What idealistic state? (3, Informative)

ludwigf (1208730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993306)

I hope that this fork encourages the inclusion of Go-OO patches. In fact, it would be good if Go-OO and LibreOffice were merged .

Actually Go-OO was discontinued in favor of libre-office which includes most of the patches already.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

krewemaynard (665044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993646)

Can they include a patch that improves performance? Things as simple as right-clicking are noticeably slower. I'm probably going to reinstall OOo on some computers because of that alone.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993322)

The go-oo codebase was basically the starting point for Libre and Libre obsoletes go-oo.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993344)

Check out the Go-OO website. They are in the process of moving to Libre Office.

Although Go-OO has the better name...

Re:What idealistic state? (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993384)

It doesn't say "Linux" it says "open source" and they are not the same thing, although it is something of a non sequitur to call this a "puzzling or bad" move (which seems to be the inference) - the project was forked because the community didn't like where it was going, which is one of the major benefits open source code has over closed.

You seem to have fallen into the trap that any perceived criticism of open source is an attack on Linux, though. I have plenty of open source software on my Mac, including Open Office. If this (and future) releases of LibreOffice [seriously, they need to change the name] can offer a strong alternative to MS Office, then I'm all for it.

My first question, can it do graphs on new sheets yet? That was my one annoyance with the spreadsheet app in OO.

I should probably mention that I use MS Office for Mac all the time for writing reports. Word itself I can take or leave - it's a pretty poor and idiosyncratic word processor that drives you mental with its attempts to be helpful. Excel, on the other hand, really excels (ha) at what it does and makes the cost of Office worth it for me (and not just for the graphs on new pages).

Re:What idealistic state? (3, Interesting)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993392)

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

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

Re:What idealistic state? (4, Informative)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993602)

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

Things interoperate pretty well, in my experience, particularly if you are using exactly the same fonts. In some cases, LO/OOo seem to manage to open .doc files more reliably than MSO, which seems bizarre; might be due to the way that the import/export filters are implemented in each.

Re:What idealistic state? (2)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993624)

In my many years of using OpenOffice, and now ~6 months of using LibreOffice, since the first beta came out, I have never had any problem with converting to and from .doc.

Re:What idealistic state? (2)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994110)

Please tell me how you've come about this Nirvana, because even the simplest of documents always gets messed up. Sure, it opens, but pictures are in odd places, headings are dopped or white, styles are lost, etc, etc.

Re:What idealistic state? (3, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993786)

I believe Micro$oft makes its file formats proprietary and obfuscated on purpose to prevent the competition from edging into its dominant market.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993978)

Yeah, you're probably right.

I guess that's why the documentation for the 2007/2010 (transitional) and future (strict) versions of the .docx/.xlsx/etc Office formats takes 6,000 pages - it's all so obfuscated, vague, and proprietary.

(Overcomplicated, I'll grant you...)

Re:What idealistic state? (0)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993886)

When Mozilla discontinued the Mozilla browser (codename: seamonkey), and the Mozilla Foundation picked it up, everything turned out a-okay.

FTFY. The reason why Mozilla does "okay" is because it's a business and they actually run themselves like a business.

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993818)

Or it could be like replacing an air filter after you find it contains too much crap for anything useful to flow out of it.

(Does that count as a car analogy?)

Re:What idealistic state? (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994020)

Or it could be like replacing an air filter after you find it contains too much crap for anything useful to flow out of it.

(Does that count as a car analogy?)

You might want to make it an oil filter, just to be on the safe side.

link (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993152)

link to main site http://www.libreoffice.org/ instead of lame-ass blog talking about it

oh jeez... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993170)

can you just piss off? people can hack on what they want. stop bitching.

Tried it today (4, Interesting)

nicholas22 (1945330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993204)

I tried it today for the first time and I must say, I am impressed :) The UI seems much better than the last time I used OpenOffice (maybe v2) and the graphics seem to have been created by professional designers, as opposed to the developers themselves. I had a DOC that was crashing my Word 2007 and I got it opened with ...LibreOffice. Probably has to do with Microsoft not even keeping up with their own standards (and I'm honestly not trolling).

Re:Tried it today (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993256)

Did they finally get out of the Y2000 mindset and give us a ribbon?

Re:Tried it today (4, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993368)

Did they finally ... give us a ribbon?

Why would anyone want one of those? Surely having an interface consistent with 99.9% of the other applications running on your system is more useful than keeping up with the Jones's latest patent-encumbered different-for-the-sake-of-being-different UI fad?

Re:Tried it today (2, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993500)

different-for-the-sake-of-being-different UI fad?

This is hardly the case with the ribbon. More functions of the program are brought out to the forefront. This means that not only on average there are less clicks to access the equivalent function, but these functions are actually used instead of hiding away forever. Second, there is a shortcut for absolutely every function, not just a few. So while the shortcuts are different, you have better control of the program.

So if you aren't adverse to change (for the sake of improvement) then you can actually be more productive with the ribbon. I know I am.

Re:Tried it today (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993706)

Bull. Simple hierarchical menus that present all functions are much easier to understand than multiple toolbars that scroll off-screen etc., and even toolbars are much better understood than ribbons, precisely because they are familiar. Don't get me started on the stupid app button thing that hides the most necessary functions like a print dialog.

The ribbon serves ONE purpose: to differentiate Office from OpenOffice/LibreOffice by patents alone, because it it was largely equivalent in features.

Re:Tried it today (3, Interesting)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993914)

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

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

Re:Tried it today (4, Insightful)

Digicrat (973598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993948)

+1

The worst thing about the Ribbon is that half the time it seems like there's no logic what-so-ever in where items are placed in it, and even worse you can't customize it in any meaningful way.

A good UI should be intuititive to use and allow you to find a feature quickly if you know what it is. In comparison, Google/Help-docs is often the only way to find a newly hidden item in the MS Ribbon that was once easily found in the menus . . . /rant

Re:Tried it today (3, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993898)

Sounds like a mess.
Similar to the annoying Start menu that only displays HALF the options, and hides the rest (like the "add table" that I need right now).

Re:Tried it today (1)

biojayc (856286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993922)

Agreed. On the mac it igs even better because they have the ribbon AND the menus, since you can't really get rid of menus on a mac. The user has more choice here, and if he chooses he can his the ribbon altogether.

Re:Tried it today (2)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993930)

We already can bring useful functions to the forefront by dragging them into toolbars. I worked with ribbon, and I fail to see how taking three times as much space is better for anything. With the amount of screen they waste, I could drag every button I will ever use out there. We couldn't even customize ribbons via UI until 2010 (seriously?), and now MS is back to configurable tabbed toolbars, just like Delphi and Maya had long before them, but BIGGER! You can be sure of who things: if LibreOffice eventually implements tabbed toolbars, they will be regular size, and we will have an option to use the old interface.

Re:Tried it today (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994064)

... Second, there is a shortcut for absolutely every function, not just a few. ...

I have Excel 2007 open in front of me (I know, not a true comparison) with its ribbon. I can see all the lovely options, but how do I see all the shortcut keys? With a menu system at least you could look at a menu and associate an action with a shortcut. This sort of learning seems to be lacking from every program I have used that has a Ribbon interface. Yes I know in Excel I can see the short cuts in the help system, but that is not the optimal place for me to see them when I using the program.

Re:Tried it today (3, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994074)

Press alt.

Re:Tried it today (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993418)

Doesn't look like it.

I'll install this thing over the top of OpenOffice 3.2 on my home computer. But I suspect it won't stop my secret, shameful lust for Office 2010 (which I've been using at work).

Re:Tried it today (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993604)

No I think they went with the give-the-users-what-they-want mindset, and gave us a familiar UI.

Re:Tried it today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993736)

I have used a program which had a checkbox in it's options: Use Ribbon ( ) Yes ( ) No. If you checked "No", you got menus. And that seems like a trivial thing to implement to me if you are going to do ribbons anyway, since the menu infrastructure is already there (so you just have to dump your data structure into it to make menus). Why doesn't everyone do this, so that everyone can get what they prefer?

Re:Tried it today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993414)

Maybe you can tell me... What is different in this LibreOffice 3.3 from the LibreOffice 3.3 I installed back in September?

Re:Tried it today (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993592)

The one you downloaded in sep was the beta, this is the stable relase

...crashing MS Word (4, Interesting)

coats (1068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993654)

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

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

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

Re:...crashing MS Word (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993890)

Sorry but I disagree.

The fault lies with the hidden "Open and repair" feature. It will open 99.9% of corrupted Word documents and list the errors (which are normally referencing errors)

Hasty generalization (1)

WD (96061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994090)

Can we keep the logical fallacies out of this? Making any accurate generalization about the robustness of software would require extensive testing. For example, one could perform a fuzz testing campaign against both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice and compare the results. And even then, the conclusion would be an extrapolation of the functionality that you tested.

Concluding that Microsoft Office is flaky because Abiword saved you once in 1996 is naive to say the least. I'm not defending Microsoft or Oracle or LibreOffice or Abiword, etc. But to rate software robustness based on a small amount of anecdotal evidence is irresponsible.

Re:Tried it today (2)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994122)

I installed Linux to my brother a couple weeks ago (he's an accountant). The next day he said he hated OO (the old "I can't find what I need" argument). He's the kind of user who is not afraid of playing around with new things, but he told me that the GUI just wasn't attractive enough to make him do it. So I decided to install Lotus Symphony [lotus.com] it's less powerful (in terms of features, since they're stuck in a not-so-new version of OO, but release fixpacks periodically) but my brother felt in love with the nice icons and the general layout (he opens many windows at a time, so SDI mode is just fine for him [wikipedia.org] ).

PS.: Yes, pasting in the /. 2.0 sucks

Oracle (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993232)

Sometimes I think Oracle won't be happy until they've completely destroyed Java.

Re:Oracle (3, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993480)

Sometimes I think Oracle won't be happy until they've completely destroyed Java.

I believe Java has matured enough under Sun to not be as vulnerable as some of the much younger languages. To be honest, I haven't seen any instance where Oracle is mortally screwing up the language.

If your thinking about the Oracle v. Google lawsuit, I'm siding with Oracle on that one. As much as I like to side with Google, the fact that they did the equivalent of ROT13 to the bytecode generated by the javac makes it hard to ignore what Google was doing. It would have been different if Google attempted to get a license to make there own mobile JVM or used the code from the OpenJDK base and challenged Oracle in court on the definition of a phone during 90's versus the much powerful mini-tablets of today. That didn't happen. Instead Google got caught doing what everybody thought was a poor attempt to hide the fact that Java is the basis for the Android OS.

Re:Oracle (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993856)

You should look into the Google case more. While the obvious stuff about Dalvik being a shameless rip of Java is true, it's not illegal, and the actual copyrighted code being sued over is not used in any way for a production Android system -- it's just the sort of testing cruft that builds up in a code repository if nobody's careful. Google's certainly liable for damages, but those damages will not be much, and the success of Android is in no way affected by any possible outcome.

Re:Oracle (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993974)

Sometimes I think Oracle won't be happy until they've completely destroyed Java.

Good. Maybe we can stop being sidled with bloated "enterprise" apps written by barely competent programmers who only know Java (and usually badly at that).

Easy Hacks (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993234)

Now that they don't have to worry so much about maintaining compatibility with Sun/Oracle's version (like they did with the go-oo fork), they can fix a lot of old cruft. If you want to get involved, there is a list of easy hacks that should provide a starting point for people who want to contribute.

http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/Easy_Hacks [documentfoundation.org]

Re:Easy Hacks (1, Offtopic)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994012)

And here are 187 OpenOffice bugs and feature requests that received at least 25 votes.

Oh, cool. That must have taken a bit of time to put a link to each one of those bugs in your commen.... dear sweet-n-sour sassafras!!! are my eyes deceiving me or is that just one fu*cking huge URL in your comment there?

You know, slashdot does have support for the A-HREF tag...

(battle/2 == knowing)

Why the negative spin? (3, Insightful)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993236)

The fork is good news, the new stable released is better news and the hundreds of devs is great news. Why is the OP insisting to put a negative spin on this?

Getting better on OS X (3, Interesting)

vossman77 (300689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993238)

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

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

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

Re:Getting better on OS X (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993940)

The Windows 7 taskbar integration is... idiosyncratic at best.

I started out by launching Writer and Calc and pinning both to the taskbar. When I open a document, the taskbar shows a task with the appropriate app. When I open another LibreOffice document, a second window is added to whichever program I started - even it's a Calc document and I launched Writer the first time.

That's what happens if I launch an app first and then load documents.

If I just cold-start an app by opening a document when nothing's running, a third, new icon that I haven't seen before will be added to the taskbar *in addition* to the two that I pinned after launching the Writer & Calc earlier.

It's not a very nice experience when you can't predict which taskbar icon a given document will be associated with - or pin an app in a reasonably standard way. :(

This is the same behaviour as OpenOffice.org. It sucked then and it still sucks now. It probably works OK with Windows XP/Vista taskbar behaviour, but it's terrible on Win 7 - and Win 7's awesome taskbar is one of its best features.

Actually (0)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993240)

I think it makes a prefect case for open source ideals. The fork from the original OOo demonstrates a commitment to the values that open source encompasses. If a company scoops up a project and will likely destroy it, just fork it and make it better. You can also look to Mambo (and countless others) for a similar story.

Re:Actually (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993388)

It doesn't even have to be a company scooping up a project and destroying it. It could be a non-profit organization such as XFree86 that had allowed a system to stagnate.

The real advantage of easy forks is that it prevents organizational issues from standing in the way of technological progress. If the fork is significantly better than what it had forked, it will get developers and usage and become dominant. If it's not, it will die, the main trunk will live on, and many valuable lessons are learned. Either way, the users win.

318 pixels wide? really? (-1, Offtopic)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993258)

Do you fear that someone stuck in 1986 with a 320x240 display would have to scroll horizontally?

Re:318 pixels wide? really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994038)

I have video goggles with 320x240 res from 2005 connected (at various times) to my laptop, desktop and handheld -- you insensitive clod.

Not that I use them for browsing such stuff, but still...

More realistically, wide text means narrow ads, and we can't have that, can we?

Biased Summary (4, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993270)

Somehow, the news that LibreOffice is right on track is spun into a negative diatribe against FOSS. We should be happy that we dodged a bullet and ditched an Oracle-controlled project. As well, this is another piece of proof that a major project can be forked without too much trouble. To me, this is nothing but positive, yet it's been spun into something else.

Now with Double Standards! (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993576)

I was trying to keep my mouth shut as the end of this summary nearly caused me to fly off the handle. I agree with your post (after all, I recently moved to LibreOffice after inquiring that same question about Oracle [slashdot.org] ). But I would like to add that the author of the summary seems to apply a different standard to FOSS than they apply to closed source or COTS applications. Nowhere does the author comment on the hundreds of proprietary 'camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type' in word editing software or any other multitudes of software whether they be Microsoft, Apple or Google.

The logic applied here amuses me greatly but more so the Glenn Beck-ish puzzlement about what this says about open source:

It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as.

Define 'clearly' because having tons of options sounds really really awesome to me. You make it sound like everyone has to throw their lot in together or this effort is for naught. Everyone knows that isn't true. Secondly, who presents open source to be 'idealistic?' And how do you figure that people working on what they want equates to anything sub-optimal?

Please rename it to FOO (5, Funny)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993272)

Free Open Office. Then you guys can release a "Ribbon" like MS did, only you can call it the "Bar". That way we can discuss about things the "FOO Bar" can do.

Re:Please rename it to FOO (2)

louic (1841824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993376)

Call me old fashioned, but I will be looking for alternatives as soon as a ribbon appears (even if it is called a FOO Bar).

Re:Please rename it to FOO (1)

carou (88501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993466)

Even if it was optional?

Re:Please rename it to FOO (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994108)

Do you really want to use an office suite that's a homonym of "FUBAR [wikipedia.org] " ?

Oh wait, never mind. Most of the reasons I need to leave the comfort of the shell and emacs and pick up an office suite are FUBARed already. Sounds like a perfect fit to me...

Re:Please rename it to FOO (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993408)

That would be kind of awesome actually.

Re:Please rename it to FOO (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993664)

Also, when it pops up an error, you could say "Whatchu talking about, FOO?"

They urgently need a new name (5, Insightful)

juancn (596002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993296)

I can't believe that the name LibreOffice stuck.
I'm a native spanish speaker, and it sounds so goddam awful. Specially when mispronounced by pretty much everyone.
I know this is a personal opinion, but still.

Re:They urgently need a new name (2)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993446)

Same. WTF. As much as I hate to admit it sometimes a crappy name turns people off from trying something new...

Re:They urgently need a new name (1)

Herve5 (879674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993454)

This is because you don't understand they pronounce it the french way, without rolling the r ;-)

Re:They urgently need a new name (1)

thisisntme (1617485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993972)

No, the french r is completely different, nothing like how english-speaking people pronounce it.

Re:They urgently need a new name (3, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993474)

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

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

Re:They urgently need a new name (1)

tonique (1176513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993630)

Perhaps they could consider... Loffice? Flossfice? OpenWorker? Productivities? Chopped liver?

Re:They urgently need a new name (3, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993762)

> "Libre" is used by others since it implies freedom (liberty, etc.) without really being a term from either "camp".

So why not LibertyOffice instead?

Or...since people usually call MS-Office simply 'Office', we could call ours 'THE Office' or somethin' just to mess with them.
"Dude...you got Office?" "No man...better. I got THE Office! ;-)"

Re:They urgently need a new name (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993980)

Just because something is (F(L))OSS doesn't mean you have to say so in the program name. Microsoft's version isn't called "Closed Office" or "Commercial Office". The majority of people don't care that a program is open source, and those that do, already know.

Re:They urgently need a new name (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993476)

How would pretty much everyone pronounce the name the way it is?

...No, they don't (1)

frps25 (1663043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993554)

No, they don't, you just hate the fact that you don't like it, you would have love it if it didn't had an Spanish word as many people do The point is that English language doesn't have a word that describes the sense of the project as "Libre" does, just consider this: I have heard people who speak English AND Spanish pronounce Linux as "Line-uks" and not as "Leenooks" which is the right one, it is Ok to expect people who does not speak a language to mispronounce it and eventually learn how to do it.

Re:...No, they don't (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994006)

The point is that English language doesn't have a word that describes the sense of the project as "Libre" does,

Actually it does and it's a directly derived from the Latin "libre" it's called: Liberty.

completely missing the point (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993330)

"What is more puzzling is what the existence of two camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type says about the whole state of open source development at this time. It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."

How bloody clueless. This is like questioning the fact that we have more than one set of automobile designs and assembly plants, or more than one political party, or multiple soft drink bottling and distribution networks.

Re:completely missing the point (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993398)

How bloody clueless. This is like questioning the fact that we have more than one set of automobile designs and assembly plants, or more than one political party, or multiple soft drink bottling and distribution networks.

Clearly the submitter believes that a planned economy is the best economy!

Re:completely missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993594)

But don't you get it? Every Open Source developer must be conscripted into the fight against the evil enemy! There can be no dissent in the ranks or else this project will surely fail!

Re:completely missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993410)

How bloody clueless. This is like questioning the fact that we have more than one set of automobile designs and assembly plants, or more than one political party, or multiple soft drink bottling and distribution networks.

For some people, this would be an ideal world.

Official links (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993334)

Article links to some blog with copy/pasted content. Here are the right links:
- Official announcement [documentfoundation.org]
- Download [libreoffice.org]

(Posting anonymously to avoid karma whoring allegations)

Fork Makes Sense (4, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993340)

I'm not sure what Oracle's intent was with OpenOffice, but their actions sure caused a lot of very good people to leave in a hurry. Between this and the Android situation, it seems like Oracle really doesn't get free software, or worse, sees free software as the enemy. I'm not sure which. Regardless, I'm thankful that I get to use OpenOffice and now LibreOffice.

Hacking on LibreOffice is fun ... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993404)

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

Re:Fork Makes Sense (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994060)

Between this and the Android situation, it seems like Oracle really doesn't get free software, or worse, sees free software as the enemy.

And yet they sponsor, help develop and are part of the boards of a number of open source projects. That sounds pretty much the opposite of viewing free software as an enemy. But hey, don't let those pesky little facts get in the way of your Oracle bashing.

Fault tolerance != Faulty (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993348)

"It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."

This confuses a world in which things never go wrong with a world in which there are methods available for mitigating the damage when things go wrong. Creating a fork might look like a duplication or splintering of effort, or some other non-ideal outcome, but it neatly solves the problem of lock-in, or any other development difficulty: if you don't like it, fork the code and off you go, best of luck.

Unless this is meant to suggest that the existence of Oracle is non-ideal? While I'd be tempted to agree, I'm not sure the Open Source community deserves the blame for that one.

     

Eh what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993364)

"The split of a large open source office suite comes at a time when it isn't even clear if there is a long term future for office suites at all. What is more puzzling is what the existence of two camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type says about the whole state of open source development at this time. It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."

To be honest I've seen a few applications where a fork was impulsive, or a bad idea because no-one knew the application and the dev-pool was very small.

Forking OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice, though, is like splitting your Mazda down the middle and getting a Lamborghini (Oracle only gets ½ a Mazda, though, we get the Lamborghini).

Pros and cons? (4, Interesting)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993390)

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

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

There should be a future for office suites (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993402)

even if in the form of interfaces interfacing to clouds. google cloud, amazon cloud, this cloud that cloud - dont you think there will come a time when portability and interoperability in between crowds will be required, or even mandated by countries and standards boards ?

naturally there will be apps fulfilling that multiple-cloud interfacing task.

What was Oracle trying to accomplish? (3, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993434)

This, once again, makes the question of what Oracle was trying to accomplish when they took the actions that lead to the fork. There are as far as I can see three possibilities.
  1. 1.) Greater control over the development of OO.o
  2. 2.) Gradually convert OO.o into a fully propietary prject
  3. 3.) Kill off OO.o without being obvious about it

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

Re:What was Oracle trying to accomplish? (2, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993696)

--
"The facts of life are conservative." Margaret Thatcher

--
But reality has a well-known liberal bias.

This is precisely why we haven't left MS (5, Insightful)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993518)

Just as I was getting senior staff comfortable with the idea of giving OpenOffice a try on some of our machines, this fork happened and someone brought in news of it. Now it doesn't matter that both can write to the same formats, and that you can have the programs save by default to MS formats. It introduced uncertainty, and many business leaders associate uncertainty with increased costs. Do you blame them? There's no confidence that a selected open source solution will provide a stable, long-term platform.

Now, I'm just happy I've been able to get some of our workstations moved over to FF. The entire open source movement has plenty of benefits, but those benefits are viewed as drawbacks by much of the traditional business community.

Re:This is precisely why we haven't left MS (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993768)

How does this affect an in-place system?

You carry on as normal, call it an "update", and then push it to desktops after appropriate testing. Why this should create a problem on a managed system is beyond me. Office changes the ways it operates every year. Windows changes the way it operates with every update. At the very most, all this is is an update provided by a group of programmers - that the programmers aren't the same as the original ones is an ADVANTAGE - it means the software kept moving instead of died.

If you don't know how to handle that situation, it means you're not responsible for managing such changes. I moved a school to OO.org in a fortnight. LibreOffice is just a new name to them, they don't care, because they can see in a second that it's a damn sight better than MS's constantly-moving offerings involving staff-retraining every time.

Re:This is precisely why we haven't left MS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993778)

Now it doesn't matter that both can write to the same formats, and that you can have the programs save by default to MS formats. It introduced uncertainty, and many business leaders associate uncertainty with increased costs.

Facts be damned, OMG, it has a new name, oh the uncertainty!

If they are so easily swayed by a name change, with no technical consideration whatsoever... it means they were not convinced to begin with and likely never will.

Stick to MS Office, it's great for you. They delight in clueless customers who pay just to be able to say "we use brand name".

Installation (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993734)

Multi-stage installations aren't all that unusual, but it's interesting that the first stage says:
"The LibreOffice 3.3 installation files will be unpacked and saved in the folder shown below. If you would like to save LibreOffice to a different folder, click 'Browse' to select another folder."

but when you click "browse" the new window says:
"Select the folder to install LibreOffice 3.3 in:"

When i saw that i had to go back and double-check that it was indeed an unpacking and not the actual installation. It may seem like a minor quibble, but this is the first thing new users are going to encounter, you should try to put your best foot forward by making the installation clear and precise. (Also the actual folder browsing was painfully slow, but that might have just been due to the peculiarities of this computer. It always locks up windows explorer for 20-30 seconds whenever you try to access "My Computer".)

And of course i still think the name is dumb, but i can't really think of a better one myself. Hopefully they'll eventually be able to buy back the "Open Office" name from Oracle. Perhaps we should try to convince Oracle that a branded "Oracle Office" would be much better for them for brand recognition purposes (since clearly they don't believe in open software) and therefore they don't need the old name anymore?

Re:Installation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993806)

Yes, Oracle is famous for giving stuff away out of the goodness of their hearts.

You can't even get the sweat off Ellison's balls without signing a service contract.

Re:Installation (1)

tonique (1176513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993840)

You can't even get the sweat off Ellison's balls without signing a service contract.

And an NDA as well.

Not so different from any other development model (1)

Rolman (120909) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993870)

What is more puzzling is what the existence of two camps creating such huge codebases for a fundamental application type says about the whole state of open source development at this time. It clearly isn't the idealistic world it tries to present itself as."

How exactly is this different from, say, a developer or team of videogame developers, leaving a company they were fed up with, to create their own with new and fresh ideas for innovative and competitive products? Happens [kotaku.com] all [1up.com] the [cubed3.com] time [n-sider.com] .

Ah, yes, almost forgot this tiny difference: with open source software, the LibreOffice guys didn't have to start from scratch...

What's so odd about it? Oracle bought OOo (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993950)

Oracle basically bought OpenOffice so now that line is in jeopardy of abandonment, monetization, etc.
The community detected the risk and is routing around it.

I am still on Openoffice but I'll check Libreoffice out.

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