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Looking Back On a Year of LibreOffice

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the keep-on-keeping-on dept.

Open Source 242

superapecommando writes "Simon Phipps, former head of open source at Sun and a backer of LibreOffice, looks at a tempestuous year for the OpenOffice fork. 'Once framed as an impetuous fork, LibreOffice has become the standard-bearer for the former OpenOffice community,' he says. 'It's far from perfect, of course. New open source projects never are and volunteer projects lack the corporate resources to make it look otherwise. But I have no doubt that it's working.'"

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It feels too heavy and old (-1, Flamebait)

tech4 (2467692) | about 3 years ago | (#37606810)

LibreOffice and OpenOffice both still seem really heavy. Java probably has something to do with it, but they just aren't nice to use. On top of that the UI starts to get kind of old.. I started using Office 2010 just lately and I have to say I love the Ribbon interface. It keeps useless stuff out of the screen and is fast and pleasant to use. It takes some time to get used to, but once you do there's no going back to the old clumsy interfaces.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | about 3 years ago | (#37606860)

Fuck you.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606918)

Awwww, poor little butthurt open sores lunix faggot. Go get your mom to comb your neckbeard for you.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606942)

I give this fuck you a +1.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607002)

He's right, though. I use OpenOffice quite a bit, and will probably transition to LibreOffice soon... but it needs a UI revamp. It feels a little clunky and old. It's stable and works well; I use it instead of Word because Word started flakes out when you get 100+ pages of text and charts and graphs.

Strip out the Java, modernize the ui. It doesn't need to have a ribbon, although the ribbon is a perfectly fine ui element. Now... Calc needs a lot of work. While Write is a great replacement for Word, Calc is FAR from a complete replacement for Excel.

Java? (2)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37607174)

Strip out the Java, modernize the ui.

Maybe someone with more real-world experience using Java can clarify this for me.

When I look into Java's performance, I see lots of cases where it's "nearly as fast as compiled C/C++ code" etc. The (narrowly-defined) numbers do look pretty good. Yet I have a similar experience: most applications I use which are partially or wholly written in Java feel slow, particularly in terms of UI responsiveness.

Is this actually a contradiction? Is there anyone who incorporates Java into a major desktop application and (in terms of performance) does it well?

Re:Java? (4, Informative)

MechaStreisand (585905) | about 3 years ago | (#37607240)

The problem is generally that Java applications become huge and bloated because the language is so verbose and inexpressive. See Steve Yegge's essay [blogspot.com] on the topic.

Re:Java? (5, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607322)

Well, coming from a Python coder's perspective, I'll put it like this. Python's runtime isn't the fastest but the GUI toolkits used with it are usually either written in C (Gtk) or C++ (Qt) and my Python programs appear to run much faster than the equivalent Java program using its native Swing because the ui is just so much snappier. It really must be mostly a graphical toolkit issue. Anecdotally, Android apps are generally coded in Java (albeit Dalvik bytecode) and the applications on my Nexus S run blazingly fast.

Re:Java? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607664)

Python's not a real language. Please never speak again. To anyone. Ever.

Re:Java? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607752)

Why isn't it a real language?

Re:Java? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607788)

You can't create a stand alone app. That makes it a non-language. You're just a script kiddie.

Re:Java? (2)

blueg3 (192743) | about 3 years ago | (#37607862)

Are you claiming that py2exe doesn't exist? Or are you trying to make a larger, grossly misinformed point about the architecture of modern computation?

Re:Java? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607898)

What can your standalone application actually do that my Python script can't? A python script requiring a runtime is a pretty silly criticism when ultimately everything on your computer requires something else. I get paid for results and for me, python gets me those results and fast. And if there is a hotspot in my code that requires more speed than python offers, I just write it in C. With Python, C libraries can be seamlessly imported and used. It's the best of both worlds.

Re:Java? (2)

ThorGod (456163) | about 3 years ago | (#37607902)

You can't create a stand alone app. That makes it a non-language. You're just a script kiddie.

I'll just put this out there, who cares? Even in "The C Programming Language" K&R state it's more important to have good, working code than fast code.* Only after 'it works' should you worry about optimization. So, if you're not optimizing your code, what's to stop you from prototyping in python? Or, for that matter, doing any of the many other tasks that don't require byte code. (For instance, python + sqlite work GREAT as a replacement to excel/access. There's also scipy.)

So what if you can't write microsoft access in python? Who would WANT to rewrite access if access wont quite do the job?

Also, there are ways to make stand-alone python applications. But, again, why tie yourself down to a specific OS?

*This might be the wrong book for the right quote, but it's still sound coding mentality. Get it right, and THEN get it fast, if it's even a task you'll do more than a couple times!

Re:Java? (3, Informative)

Yosho (135835) | about 3 years ago | (#37607466)

Is there anyone who incorporates Java into a major desktop application and (in terms of performance) does it well?

The problem here isn't with Java, it's with Swing (Java's native GUI toolkit). Swing is terribly slow. Applications written in Java with another toolkit, such as SWT or Qt, are fine. Azureus, for example, is a fairly popular BitTorrent client that is written in Java/SWT. (to be fair, the application itself is pretty bloated, but that has little to do with Java and more to do with the developers cramming in every feature under the sun)

Re:Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607496)

That's why IBM wrote SWT. Swing was too slow when they were building the first version of Eclipse. SWT gives you a "mostly" platform independent API to native widgets

It's about incompetent coders (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607522)

Java is relatively easy language to get into and it's the language of choice for most colleges around the world. As a result, there are a LOT of Java coders who know enough programming to create something that appears to work but don't know enough software engineering to create efficient and maintainable code. A good Java application can be very fast but there are more crappy coders and thus crappy applications than with most languages.

Also, Java has improved a lot in the recent years which means that there is a lot of legacy code in the APIs and a lot of pitfalls to be aware of. For example: Java APIs contain classes "URL" and "URI" which appear to be very similar in most ways. The newer one is OK, the older one is a horrible piece of crap (it actually uses the IP that the URL resolves to as a part of the equals-method. So comparing two instances is a slow, blocking operation that may produce unexpected results). Many applications use the old and bad APIs either because they're old themselves or because the coder just wasn't aware of this kind of problems and didn't care enough to find out why the program is slow.

The problem is very similar to that with Flash. I've had to work a lot with Flash but I've got a pretty solid software engineering background and I've noticed that one can actually create rather efficient and powerful applications with the latest version of ActionScript. Most people who use Flash tend to be visual/marketing type of people who know just enough to produce something that appears to work... and the result is heavy and buggy crap.

Re:Java? (1)

russotto (537200) | about 3 years ago | (#37607650)

When I look into Java's performance, I see lots of cases where it's "nearly as fast as compiled C/C++ code" etc. The (narrowly-defined) numbers do look pretty good.

Benchmarks lie. That's really all there is to it.

Re:Java? (5, Informative)

StormyMonday (163372) | about 3 years ago | (#37607904)

As others have pointed out, the main Java GUI (SWING) is a real pig. This is a result of Java's "compile once, run anywhere" philosophy colliding with different OS GUIs.

The other problem is that Java's startup time is ridiculous. Load the VM, load the code, load the libraries (*lots* of libraries!), verify the libraries and the code, initialize the libraries (lots of .properties files!) and the code, and then run.

Once the startup hooplah is over, Java code is quite reasonably fast. Benchmarks either minimize the startup time by, say, running 10,000 iterations of a loop, or eliminating it entirely by using "flying start" techniques.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1, Offtopic)

tech4 (2467692) | about 3 years ago | (#37607104)

Seriously, this is what you answer with when I criticize product honestly and constructively? You honestly think that for example Microsoft would response to my suggestions with a "fuck you"? They would thank me for my input.

It's no wonder open source isn't going anywhere if the answer to any criticism is "fuck you".

Re:It feels too heavy and old (4, Interesting)

MechaStreisand (585905) | about 3 years ago | (#37607214)

You prefer the ribbon interface? That sort of response is not surprising. Not everyone likes the ribbon - I loathe it and would love for its designers to never have a job in software again - and right now, LibreOffice hasn't been infected with it, and I would like to keep it that way.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

blarkon (1712194) | about 3 years ago | (#37608038)

Won't happen. The ribbon is licensed in such a way that it can be used for everything *but* competing Office software. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribbon_(computing) [wikipedia.org]

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37608092)

They'll get their teeth kicked in with prior art if they even try to touch LibreOffice should the respective developers lose their minds and implement a ribbon.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | about 3 years ago | (#37607232)

Seriously, this is what you answer with when I criticize product honestly and constructively? You honestly think that for example Microsoft would response to my suggestions with a "fuck you"? They would thank me for my input. It's no wonder open source isn't going anywhere if the answer to any criticism is "fuck you".

Sometimes, a decision must be made in terms of which side on which to err. The decision that is made says a lot about the character of the person.

I like the idea of "better for ten guilty men to go free, than for one innocent man to be punished." I really do think the latter is a much greater injustice, particularly since karma (or something like it) is very real. Others have a completely opposite viewpoint. Apparently you have encountered one of those. They would rather hassle you in case you might be an astroturfer/fanboy/etc. They haven't much concern for whether you are a real person expressing a genuine preference.

I'd rather treat you with more civility than that, knowing that you might possibly be dishonest, knowing that you might deserve to receive a hard time that I won't end up giving to you. In the absence of absolute evidence, that's how I like to do things. I'd rather you feel like you pulled one over on me. That doesn't matter to me. But it would bother me to realize that I might have been less-than-courteous to someone who really was honestly representing a real opinion.

When in doubt, I know where I stand. Apparently the other responder does as well.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607248)

It's no wonder open source isn't going anywhere

That's some pretty serious denial you got going on there.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (2)

pavon (30274) | about 3 years ago | (#37607926)

You honestly think that for example Microsoft would response to my suggestions with a "fuck you"?

No, but MS fanboys do that all the time on discussion boards. Just like happened here. It doesn't make sense to equate a random idiot on a discussion board with the actual developers of the software.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607410)

What's wrong little boy? Someone shatter your bitch ass dreams? Someone finally making you wake up to the fact that open sores is a lump of steaming shit? Are you pissed because you can't afford real software or a real computer? Are you still stuck with Linsux or Winblows?
 
FUCK YOU DICKFACE.
 
I love seeing you cunts getting all balled up over this shit. 20 years later and Apple does in 6 months what Linsux couldn't do in a decade and MS is sinking like a stone. Wow. You must be pissed. Go cry to your mommy, she'll change your diapers.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37608016)

Fuck you.

I second.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (2, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 3 years ago | (#37606862)

LibreOffice and OpenOffice both still seem really heavy. Java probably has something to do with it, but they just aren't nice to use. On top of that the UI starts to get kind of old.. I started using Office 2010 just lately and I have to say I love the Ribbon interface. It keeps useless stuff out of the screen and is fast and pleasant to use. It takes some time to get used to, but once you do there's no going back to the old clumsy interfaces.

I agree with the Heavy and the Java bit - But no, I do not want a ribbon!

I use OO

Customisable toolbars = yes but a ribbon and no menu - No thank you.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (2)

xeoron (639412) | about 3 years ago | (#37607098)

I agree no ribbon please. Instead, how about being able to print to a printer on 8.5x11 paper without causing the Ricoh printer at my work to think it is a improper paper size (despite all the settings claiming it is: with double checking printer and page-layout settings). At least I can export it to a pdf and print the pdf with any pdf viewer with no problem (I don't even have to tweak the page scaling for it to print properly so it must be some OO.o & LibbreOffice bug) just wish I did not have to do these extra steps for myself, and teach co-workers the work arounds.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 3 years ago | (#37607162)

I agree with the Heavy and the Java bit - But no, I do not want a ribbon!

Do you have a reason, or are you just terrified of change?

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607200)

I know, right? I mean, how dare someone have an opinion and then go so far as to utter it in the comments on a weblog. The nerve!

Re:It feels too heavy and old (2)

i58 (886024) | about 3 years ago | (#37607414)

How about I don't like it, I don't find it intuitive, and I don't see why you have to kill menus to have a ribbon. What happened to that choice thing? Why do we have to have one or the other?

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 3 years ago | (#37608280)

Because every time you add a choice you double the QA time? Because sometimes the new method is so much more better than the old, that leaving the old in feels like a disservice to your customers?

Re:It feels too heavy and old (5, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 3 years ago | (#37607608)

Terrified of change – no.

To me, the ribbon is an oversized tool taking up too much space, displaying too much information and has been change for change sake.

When it comes to supporting users. The ribbon is seen by many as a drastic change. The people who it took years to get used to the idea of looking in one place for information now need to get used to looking elsewhere.

I like the idea of a customisable toolbar (much like Office 2007+ Quick Access Toolbar) but coupled with Menus. I want less clutter on my screen, not more.

Menus keep relative functions stored in a neat and accessible way until needed. They encourage the learning of keyboard shortcuts through their underlining and display rather than having to rely on pop ups.

Menus keep relative functions stored in a neat and accessable way until needed. They encourage the learning of keyboard shortcuts through their underlining and display rather than having to rely on pop ups.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37608180)

Do you have a reason, or are you just terrified of change?

I can't speak for the GP, but I want more screen real estate, as well as consistency without having to do different things depending on what "mode" I'm in. Ribbons defeat both.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606870)

I started using Office 2010 just lately and I have to say I love the piles of money I get paid to astroturf like this.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (3, Interesting)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | about 3 years ago | (#37607032)

The org I work for shells out for MSDN subscription for me. I get Office 2010 for FREE and still use LibreOffice. My needs are simple and do not include learning a new interface.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

telekon (185072) | about 3 years ago | (#37606916)

As much as MS products disgust me in general, I have to agree they didn't fail too hard on Office 2010 (Well, I use Office 2011 for Mac when I use Office, but...). I also agree that LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org feels kinda clunky and gross. I use them all the time on Linux and OpenSolaris, but... damn, does OpenOffice make my old SunBlade 1500 crawl. And they're not that much better on a new Core i5 laptop running Debian. I don't care about the startup lag inherent in JVM bootstrapping, but I feel like they're crushed under the weight of legacy code from the StarOffice days or something. I use Java apps all the time, even god-forsaken Oracle Java apps (SQLDeveloper, anyone?) and it's not this bad. I wish them the best of luck, but I'd really rather use iWork at this point, if I'm going to use a 'productivity suite.'.

Of course, Real Programmers use vim + LaTeX + maybe Slidedown [github.com] for these purposes.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607012)

What am I doing wrong then that LibreOffice feels positively snappy on my Thinkpad with a T7400 core 2 duo running Ubuntu 11.10? I stick mostly to Calc and Writer. Is the problem elsewhere?

Re:It feels too heavy and old (3, Insightful)

mprinkey (1434) | about 3 years ago | (#37606922)

I have to agree about the heft. But I prefer the "old" style interface. I had to install Office 2007 to interact with some clients and I am completely lost. I've been using word processors since the C64 days, but this is the first time I decades that I have stared blankly at a program and had to click on every menu/button/active splotch trying to find out how to turn on Track Changes.

Of course, people can get used to the interface and maybe following the mythical transition, I will be enamored with its interface glory. But it just seems different for difference's sake...like .docx and .xlsx where.

To the LibreOffice folks, you really need to do a top-down performance/memory analysis. I like it and will continue to use it, but I don't see why it needs to be the resource hog it is.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606976)

The Office 07" onwards transition is hard for a month but it is actually better afterwards, you wouldn't think that prior though I didn't!

As for libre, having several themes would be a good start, at least make it look as good as office 2003. Simple things on ui design could really help e.g. common functions for common activities, such as in calc when you autofill having a MS office style icon pop up allowing you to change it (a common one I need is to fill with weekdays only on a date range, sooo hard in calc, and so basic in MS office).

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 3 years ago | (#37607126)

Excell 2007 is way better than 2003, what locks people into the ribbon interface. After a bit of using (and changing the default configuration) most people get used to the ribbon and stop being inconvenienced, but I still think it is not better than the old menus in any way (and for other applications - e.g. AutoCad - lack of hierarchy is killer).

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607192)

The ribbon is extremely logical. If you want to edit , i.e, REVIEW a document, you click on the review tab, and you get the review ribbon. There is a great BIG button labeled track changes. The ribbon makes some things small if you use a crappy screen, but on a HD screen, all the buttons are quite large and clearly labeled. Spend some money on a 22" or larger screen. They are worth it. I use a 25.5" 1920x1200 LCD and wish I had a second one.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37608134)

If you want to edit , i.e, REVIEW a document

Edit != Review.

Spend some money on a 22" or larger screen.

Where do you work that They buy anything you want any time you want?

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607272)

i was like you, cursing office '07
then, after about 4 months, I realized, much as I hate to admit it, much as it pains me...for most things it is better
however, for my particular needs, which include a lot of graphs in excel, and pasting a lot of pictures into word, there are two features i really miss (well, alot)
in excel, if you want error bars on the data points in a graph, it is impossible to get the x error bars..this used to be easy; i have a great download from one of the mvps that fixes this
second, if you paste a picture into word, and then want to group it with another picture or a textbox, its a nightmare (something to do with half way implemented graphics engines in word that differ from ppt and excell)

the funniest thing tho, is if you go no more then one or two layers deep, you get the same clunky commands that have been there since at least office2000 like the organizer for styles; ugh !!
(and don't even get me started on the need to select all, shift F9 twice to get the auto TOC and TOF to update properly.....double Ug!!

or, worst of all if you need to do a scattergram in excel, where the x axis is (say) numbers 1,2....n if the cells containing the numbers are not properly formatted the graph reverts to a line graph (so, on he x axis, 1 3 9 are spaced at distances 1,2,3 units from teh origina instead of 1,3,9 units from the origin) and excel doesn't tell you this and there is no indication that your cellls are wrong and the only way to fix it is error checking....
triple ugh FUBAR

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606930)

Your user account is getting heavy and old. Cgeys > zget > mig42 > tech4. You astroturfers are disgusting.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607316)

Your paranoia is showing. You really think those criticisms are out of line? They match up pretty closely with my experience. It's a decent office suite, but there's some aspects that need to be improved. You think anybody that says that is an astroturfer? That's not just weird; that's verging close to actual neurosis.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#37607364)

The criticisms aren't so much out of line. The fact that this poster has a brand new account, gets a regular first post, is almost always critical of open source and praising of Microsoft, and has a pretty much cookie cutter m.o. of the people mentioned in the GP's comment could easily lead a reasonable person to conclude that the entire purpose of the tech4 account is to astroturf. We'll see if this account flames out in a few weeks like the others did only to be followed by a new one with the same 4 or 5 letters and number username combination.

Java Not Required (4, Informative)

CritterNYC (190163) | about 3 years ago | (#37606958)

Java is only used for the Base database utility and a number of new document wizards plus a few other minor bits. The rest of LibreOffice has no Java components, so Java has nothing to do with normal usage of the word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool or drawing programs. Ribbon use is subjective. Like many others, I hate it. It's clumsy and harder to find what you need.

Re:Java Not Required (-1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 3 years ago | (#37607198)

Hah. A year ago I tried it, after all these re-assurances that it doesn't require Java. What's the absolute first thing it pops up after being installed?

"OpenOffice requires a Java Runtime to perform this task [schend.net] "

If it actually doesn't require Java, like you and so many others claim, it's doing a piss-poor job of working without it. Me? I'll believe my own eyeballs: OpenOffice requires Java.

Re:Java Not Required (1, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37608170)

A year ago

How ironic that CritterNYC said that "The rest of LibreOffice has no Java components", you complain about OpenOffice.org from one year ago and this topic is on the of LibreOffice.

Your FAIL is Big, Fat, Hairy and smells like Stupid.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37607086)

I do agree it feels really heavy, and on my old shitty work pc its frankly unusable, though its a old shitty work pc

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 3 years ago | (#37608014)

LibreOffice and OpenOffice both still seem really heavy. Java probably has something to do with it, but they just aren't nice to use. On top of that the UI starts to get kind of old.. I started using Office 2010 just lately and I have to say I love the Ribbon interface. It keeps useless stuff out of the screen and is fast and pleasant to use. It takes some time to get used to, but once you do there's no going back to the old clumsy interfaces.

Yes I know this is bordering on flame-bait and is ill-informed at best but for those people who don't know and want to counter comments like this:

From the Fedora 15 DVD (size is in kB):
[root@XXXX Packages]# ls libreoffice* | grep -v libreoffice-langpack | xargs du -sk
7548 libreoffice-calc-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
79896 libreoffice-core-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
653 libreoffice-draw-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm>br> 220 libreoffice-graphicfilter-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
996 libreoffice-impress-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
66 libreoffice-kde-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
1074 libreoffice-math-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
167 libreoffice-opensymbol-fonts-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.noarch.rpm
483 libreoffice-pdfimport-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
619 libreoffice-presenter-screen-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
2399 libreoffice-ure-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
5778 libreoffice-writer-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
198 libreoffice-xsltfilter-3.3.2.2-7.fc15.x86_64.rpm
All up approx 101MB. Of course if you are going to add all the language packs then you will get over 600MB.

Doing something similar for "Java" you get about 50MB, so all up baring language packs you would install approx 152MB. To the Microsoft apologist, "Have you looked at the size of Microsoft Office recently and have you or your work paid for it?".

Liking/loving an interface is purely dependent on the person's perception so this is a reasonable comment. As for LibreOffice being clumsy well that's your opinion, many including me would disagree, especially those people who have to fight with 100 plus page documents which has been mangled by a variety of users actually running Microsoft Office.

Another counter to Microsoft apologists is to look at the size of the updates. Most packages in Linux use ether "apt-get" or "yum" and most updates use what is called "delta's" so the total size of an update would most likely be in the order of 20MB to 30MB. MS Windows updates for LibreOffice are much bigger. Also in the majority of cases LibreOffice can read most Microsoft formats and is getting better all the time. And now the clincher - it's legally free and supports ISO standards.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37608184)

Most packages in Linux use ether "apt-get" or "yum" and most updates use what is called "delta's"

Don't know about the RPM world, but there are no DEB deltas.

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 years ago | (#37608252)

Link [debian.net]

Re:It feels too heavy and old (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 3 years ago | (#37608270)

I'm almost positive that the GP didn't mean file size when he said heavy. Notice he said that it "feels" heavy, which means he was probably referring to the UI.

Although at least you responded with something more constructive than "fuck you", or calling the GP an astroturfer (with no evidence to support it), or simply modding the post as troll. So I give you credit for that. Some of the other posters in this thread (and the moderators) should be ashamed of themselves.

Send 'em back to Africa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606876)

Niggers are genetically inferior. The more niggers and spics there are in a country the lower that country's GDP. Give me just ONE FUCKING counter-example. I dare you. You can't do it. It isn't possible. How can you use the old standard excuse of "racism" to explain why an all-black nation can't be prosperous? It doesn't work. When blacks are running things things go to shit. When it is blacks and more blacks and no whites in control of anything how can that possibly be racism? It can't, you fucking liars.

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606892)

Correlation =/= Causation

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37606992)

Niggers are genetically inferior.

Why don't you go and say that to a group of, say, a half dozen of these genetically inferior niggers, and then kick all their arses when they come at you? Hell, I'd pay to watch that.

Just make sure your health insurance is paid up, because you'll be on it for the rest of your life.

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607114)

Niggers are genetically inferior.

Why don't you go and say that to a group of, say, a half dozen of these genetically inferior niggers, and then kick all their arses when they come at you? Hell, I'd pay to watch that.

Just make sure your health insurance is paid up, because you'll be on it for the rest of your life.

A mountain lion is genetically inferior to a man. But the mountain lion would win a fair fight against a man. And the ebola virus is genetically inferior to a man, but the ebola virus would destroy the man's health with ease. This proves nothing. It is an appeal to force. It is false "might makes right" non-logic.

See this is the problem with you libs who insist that everybody is completely equal despite the staggering evidence to the contrary. None of you know how to articulate a point. None of you understand the most basic things about logic and reason. You just get all hypersensitive and emotional and you think your venomous passion makes you correct. Like a menstruating woman, you think anything you feel so strongly about must be right. Well go put a tampon in there because you're full of shit and couldn't possibly take me on in any kind of factual debate.

If anything you are proving that the niggers are violent and savage. That doesn't make them evolved and advanced. It makes them primitive and stupid. That was already obvious. Just visit any inner-city American ghetto. They kill each other constantly. Black on black crime is far higher than white on black crime has ever been. Oh by the way. Those same niggers you defend and love so much? Go into their ghettos sometime. You think they will reward your loyalty? Nope. They will be quite hostile to any "cracka" they see. Your liberal love of niggers won't stop them.

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607330)

Maybe, but the outcome would be entertaining for the rest of us.

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607678)

Niggers are genetically inferior.

Why don't you go and say that to a group of, say, a half dozen of these genetically inferior niggers, and then kick all their arses when they come at you? Hell, I'd pay to watch that.

Just make sure your health insurance is paid up, because you'll be on it for the rest of your life.

So, what you're saying is that blacks are genetically inferior and prone to violence. Hmm, great counterpoint!

Re:Send 'em back to Africa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607916)

Niggers are genetically inferior.

Why don't you go and say that to a group of, say, a half dozen of these genetically inferior niggers, and then kick all their arses when they come at you? Hell, I'd pay to watch that.

Just make sure your health insurance is paid up, because you'll be on it for the rest of your life.

So, what you're saying is that blacks are genetically inferior and prone to violence. Hmm, great counterpoint!

Well, non-blacks are no better.

Use Goatse.cx office (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607020)

Free as in anal sores, and installs on gentoo, arch and other neck beard approved operating systems. Also comes with Rob Malda Penis shaped Dragon Dildo.

Lotus Symphony (1)

sr180 (700526) | about 3 years ago | (#37607112)

After seeing a post on here, Ive switched to Lotus Symphony, which I have been much happier with. It feels like a much better replacement to me, and I now use it full time over Open or Libre Office.

Re:Lotus Symphony (2)

contrapunctus (907549) | about 3 years ago | (#37607150)

don't you have to give your name/email to IBM and agree to the license before you can use Lotus Symphony?

Re:Lotus Symphony (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37607336)

yes, but since they dont check on that

Eat
Mydong
youdontneedmyemail@douche.com

=)

Re:Lotus Symphony (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | about 3 years ago | (#37607382)

yeah but it's the principle of the thing....

Great improvements this year (2)

vossman77 (300689) | about 3 years ago | (#37607308)

I switched immediately after the fork and have been really happy. I had to use NeoOffice before because OpenOffice is completely unusable on MacOSX.

don't get open/libre (0)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | about 3 years ago | (#37607310)

over the years, I've downloaded open/libre 3 or 4 times, and each time I come to the same conclusion: it just isn't anywhere near as good as MS office; fewer features, not as well organized, etc. and I just checked, on ebay you can get a office 2003 suite for ~40$ +S&H, which considering you will use it every day for a year or two, ain't much. I admit, sometimes my docs have some formatting, like TOC, TOF, cross refs, paragraph styles, etc, and I do a lot of graphs in excel, so maybe libre just isn't right for me, but I just don't get it. IT just doesn't have the features. am I missing something ?

Re:don't get open/libre (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 years ago | (#37607372)

It's free, it's cross-platform, and it's good enough for many tasks.

It certainly could use improvements in many areas, but it does OK.

Re:don't get open/libre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607446)

I use Open Office (and now LibreOffice) exclusively for my home publishing needs. I've published several books, all with TOC, cross references, comments, alphabetized indexes, using paragraph styles, in-line images, tables, and so forth. I use calc extensively to parse data, and I find it far more convenient to use and less buggy/inconsistent than MS Office. Try copying something in Excel, pasting it, then hitting enter... your copied text is inexplicably removed from the clipboard. What about having multiple spreadsheets open side by side? MS Excel makes that painful. Whenever I have the choice, I use LibreOffice.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37608002)

I use Open Office (and now LibreOffice) exclusively for my home publishing needs. I've published several books, all with TOC, cross references, comments, alphabetized indexes, using paragraph styles, in-line images, tables, and so forth.

I'm surprised by the amount of people who use a page-centric application for something like writing books, whether it be Word or Write. If it works for you, great, but to me it seems like painting with Crayons and Sharpies because that's what you have.
No offense meant.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 3 years ago | (#37607572)

I semi-agree with that. It's OK for 95% of what I need (revisions printing is a lot less nice than MS Office). What kills it for me is the Office import/export issues, which prevent using it when I know docs will travel around. MS must be happy, that's what they always wanted.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607694)

So you use it because other people are using it? I'm just different I guess, and I try to avoid the whole group-think mindset.

I use OpenOffice because it supports ODF and I want my documents to be always accesible without the forced-upgrade Microsoft is doing with .doc.

On top of that, MS-Office will read ODF files now, but doesn't write them well at all.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37607770)

So you use it because other people are using it?

Well, yes. Unless you're a hermit, doing -- within reason -- what other people do has some pretty darned good merits, us being social animals and whatnot.

I use Linux exclusively at home, but at work it's Windows all the way. Why? Because *They* say so, and They use Exchange, and a VPN and make us PGP encrypt all laptop disks. So if I want a job, I -- within the law -- do what everyone else does.

I'm just different I guess, and I try to avoid the whole group-think mindset.

Actually, you appear to be a know-it-all Uni student.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37607728)

The ribbon bar in Excel and Word 2007 just aggravate the shit out of me. It's why I stick with go-OO 3.2.1 on Windows.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37607784)

It only seems that way if you're used to using Office. I'll use Office for a short period of time now and again and the organization is pretty ridiculous. It's not unusual for me to spend 20 minutes or more figuring out how to get it to stop autocorrecting things. I forget where that particular thing is located, but last time I checked it was absolutely buried.

As for TOC, you can do that in Libreoffice, same goes for paragraph styles. I'm not sure about the other bits though.

As for buying an old copy of 2003, good luck with that. It's not going to be exporting or importing files from elsewhere without a 3rd party utility or greatly restricting the use of newer features. I've tried interoperating with old versions in the past, and it's pretty much always been primitive. Stick to the basics and it should be fine, but if there's anything new you might well end up with squares or weird formatting.

Re:don't get open/libre (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 3 years ago | (#37607834)

You don't appear to have used LibreOffice recently. I work in what many perceive as a Microsoft exclusive environment yet I don't have any issues with using LibreOffice. As for buying Office 2003 for $40 on EBay you do realise that most Microsoft products are tied to the original purchaser so in many ways you would $40 better off by just joining the green parrot brigade. :)

Also Office 2003 is something like 8 years older than the latest release of LibreOffice. Of course if you like the old MS Office then fine by me.

Re:don't get open/libre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37608010)

Stay away from MS Office on ebay. The vast majority of software is either pirated or OEM (not legal for resale). I got burnt buying a sealed box that from the images looked legit, with the seller having very positive feedback; however, when received and on closer inspection, the box and CD were a very good Chinese counterfeit, but counterfeit nonetheless.

Working For Me (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 years ago | (#37607380)

I still have OOo on my Linux box, and switched my Mac to LibreOffice a month or two ago. I don't spend a huge amount of time in Libre on the Mac, but it worked great for one 250 page spec document and a few smaller pieces.

All That I use (5, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | about 3 years ago | (#37607428)

For years I always installed OpenOffice, but always wound up relying on MS Office because OO was slower, only about 85% compatible in terms of opening and saving files, and just generally wasn't as good. And as good as WINE is, running the MS product on Linux is not always easy or fast.

When I upgraded Ubuntu to natty LibreOffice came with it. I can honestly say that I haven't opened up Excel or Word for weeks. LO opens all of my existing files, with formatting unchanged, and works flawlessly. Plus it has that glorious one button PDF export, which in the past was so good that I would write in Word, save, and then open in OO just to use it.

For most people who use a lot of Word or Excel, but not the more exotic functions, I'd say try LibreOffice. It's fast, and does great job. It's what OO always tried to be, but failed.

Disclaimer: I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 and Reveal Codes.

Re:All That I use (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 3 years ago | (#37607576)

As for PDF generation, I've gotta tell you that I still use PDFCreator. Yeah, OOo / LO has that button, but I've found that PDFCreator makes them a bit slimmer in terms of file size. Install it now from sf.net and you won't find yourself changing from MS to LO just for getting a snazzy PDF.

Re:All That I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607660)

You forgot to say "Get off my lawn" old timer.

Re:All That I use (1)

mcn (112855) | about 3 years ago | (#37607700)

I would say if it can "package some features" together into new options, it would be better. Eg, "top/bottom/left/right margins" into "narrow", "wide", "book"..., and double-clicking the top/bottom margin areas open up the header and footer edit.

ps: i love reveal codes too... but sadly, wordperfect is no longer popular nowadays...

Re:All That I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607832)

Disclaimer: I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 and Reveal Codes.

I know what you mean. I miss them too. However, all is not lost. I am using Libre Office 3.4.2, and it has an option to show non-printable characters. Either use the paragraph symbol on the tool bar or cick 'view' then Non-printing characters. It still needs some work. It shows items like paragraph markers and tabs, but not the codes for italics and bold. Maybe with some incentive they can finish the job.

Re:All That I use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37608272)

Disclaimer: I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 and Reveal Codes.

In Word 2007 and Word 2010:
Shift+F1
Check "Show all Formatting Marks"

Yeah, it took Microsoft 15 years, but they got there.

Libre Light? (1)

i58 (886024) | about 3 years ago | (#37607480)

I've often wondered if anyone has ever thought about splitting libre into a personal and a professional version. Honestly, I think you could strip out 60% of it and it would serve most average users quite well for home use. There's menus I've never even looked under personally. It's got a good team, and lots of support. Not sure why they couldn't at least consider it. Sort of like what firefox was to mozilla when it first started, back when it was under a 10mb download, not the near 30mb it is today.

Re:Libre Light? (3, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | about 3 years ago | (#37608192)

Honestly, I think you could strip out 60% of it and it would serve most average users quite well for home use

That would be AbiWord.

Re:Libre Light? (1)

donaldm (919619) | about 3 years ago | (#37608222)

I've often wondered if anyone has ever thought about splitting libre into a personal and a professional version.

Why? They both cost the same (ie. free) and if you as a user don't want to use the more professional features then you don't need to use them. In addition creating so called personal and profession versions is counter productive since you will require more people to do this and like anything of this nature who is going to decide what is "personal" and what is "professional"? It would be "pass the popcorn" if you attend when the two committees meet.

The full LibreOffice is approx 101MB (part of the latest distribution media) however adding all language packs can blow this out to 600 plus MB (also on the latest distribution media). Updates, at least under Linux can vary from a few MB to approx 40MB.

Sort of like what firefox was to mozilla when it first started, back when it was under a 10mb download, not the near 30mb it is today.

For Linux the full version of Firefox is approximately 17MB and usually comes with the distribution media, with updates normally of the order of a few MB. Even under MS Windows Firefox updates are still of the order of a few MB.

Libre or bust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607484)

I've use OpenOffice ever since it got good enough to be used. Never missed MS Office (except MS Office 97, the best Office anyone ever made - but it was so good it just HAD to go the way of the Vista). Now on Libre Office, because that's what comes with Ubuntu (I deleted Windows - have Linux on all my computers, yay!, so even if they make Office 97 work with the latest doc formats, it's no longer an option). Also, if MS does something really dumb (which is their mantra anyway, even though they call it "innovation" in their marketspeak) and I can't open a document, I just tell Google to do it for me. Too bad I'm too busy AND stupid to contribute to Libre Office, 'cause I'm sure it could use some optimizations here and there so it rivals Office 97's efficiency and speed.

Re:Libre or bust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37608040)

Never missed MS Office (except MS Office 97, the best Office anyone ever made - but it was so good it just HAD to go the way of the Vista).

So I'm not the only one that likes Office 97. I still use it, it's really fast on recent hardware. Like you, if someone sends me a docx I open it in Google Docs.

I used to like OOo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607582)

I was a user of OpenOffice for years (since it was StarOffice). The product was of acceptable quality and functionality .... until Oracle took over. Then LibreOffice was spin-off and what came out was actually WORST. So I stop using them.

One know issue is with both of that they suck at supporting MS office files (it did a much better job before 3.2 and actually got a lot worst on 3.3). But the worst part of all is that the latest release of BOTH distribution have a problem displaying documents (even ODF) correctly. You generate a document, save it and come back later to edit or read and the darn thing does not display the same way twice. I don't know what happened to the development team, but who ever took over (at both projects) is doing and amazing job at making the product crappy and unusable.

Runs much better, but (2)

tyrione (134248) | about 3 years ago | (#37607742)

I've still yet to use it. For Data acquisition I've got MATLAB. For numerical analysis I've got MATLAB and Octave, never mind other options. For Publishing I've got LaTeX/XeTeX. I'm glad i have it and will start leveraging Calc and more sooner rather than later, but it's not like the old days when Borland Quattro Pro for Engineers and AmiPro for word processing were fighting against Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Word 2.0, etc.

Needs immediate Development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37607840)

Sorry, I have used it for about 2 months intensively and it has lots of issues. It just can't even save in .doc format in a correct way as files get always corrupted.
As long as there isn't a big development on going, it can't compete with MS Office in at least providng basic features.
I would love to see this stuff go further.

Been using it since the fork (1)

volcanopele (537152) | about 3 years ago | (#37607906)

I've had LibreOffice installed on my laptop ever since I bought it last year. I typically use MS Office but I really didn't feel like paying for yet ANOTHER licence of it in addition to the one on my desktop. LibreOffice has been pretty solid for me over this past year, though I wish it had better support for DOCX...

Re:Been using it since the fork (1)

nwf (25607) | about 3 years ago | (#37608060)

LibreOffice has been pretty solid for me over this past year, though I wish it had better support for DOCX...

I wish MS Office for the Mac supported DOCX better. Granted I don't have the very latest, but it's horrendous on older versions. Of course, Mac MS Office can't really read any complex Word or Excel files from the PC properly and they are from the same company.

Lacking templates (3, Interesting)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 years ago | (#37608154)

Disclaimer: I rarely use any office products.
I was an OO user, but switched to LibreOffice when Debian made the switch. I've been happy the few times I've used it.

Over the years, while trying to sell the idea of OO or LO to clients and friends, I've not had much success. Other than the ridiculous gripe they've had about not saving new documents as MS .doc formats by default, the major complaint has been lack of templates. A vanilla install of OO or LO doesn't have nearly the amount of templates that are bundled with MS Office. I tried pointing these users to template downloads at thedocumentfoundation.org, but there are only a handful there as well. Additionally, I just checked the LibreOffice site, and they suggest visiting opentemplate.org, which appears to be down.

As I said, I don't use any Office programs, but there is the feedback I've gotten from people I referred to OO & LO.

I've had more success with family members, but then again they are all converted to linux and never looked back.

Lack of pivot chart support (0)

crazybilly (947714) | about 3 years ago | (#37608158)

Until LibreOffice develops strong pivot chart support in their spreadsheet product and better mail merge support in their word processor, it's still only an ugly toy, not a true replacement for what you'd really use a spreadsheet for.

LibreOffice is to MS Office as GIMP is to Photoshop. Which is to say, "a great replacement for the casual user, but 100% inadequate in vital ways to someone who uses the software to get work done.

Which is a dang shame because I'd love to dump anything with M$'s or Adobe's name on it.

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