×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apache OpenOffice Lagging Behind LibreOffice In Features

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the healthy-competition dept.

Open Source 126

An anonymous reader writes "If you are looking for small niche features such as interactive word count, bundled report designer, or command line filtering etc – LibreOffice beats OpenOffice hands down. 'Noting the important dates of June 1, 2011, which was when Oracle donated OOo to Apache; and Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is due probably sometime in May 2012; Meeks compared Apache OpenOffice 3.4 new features to popular new features from LibreOffice: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5. It wasn't surprising to find that LibreOffice has merged many features not found in Apache OO given their nearly year long head start.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

126 comments

Why? (5, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | about 2 years ago | (#39823863)

Can anyone refresh our recollection as to why we need these two competing projects?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#39823917)

One is controlled by a company (Oracle and OO) and one by the fsf peeps (Libre). Competition is good for innovation.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Ded Bob (67043) | about 2 years ago | (#39824045)

I think OpenOffice is under the ASF. Oracle is no longer involved is my understanding.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#39824365)

The developers for Open Office mostly come from Oracle. However, most of the team was fired or had quit so now that's a much smaller group than the ones working on Libre Office. Also, given Oracle's recent record of attacks on former Sun open source even when it had a supposedly independent "community process" it doesn't seem like a safe bet to most people. It's embarrassing that the Apache foundation got involved in such an obvious act of vandalism.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#39824709)

It's embarrassing that the Apache foundation got involved in such an obvious act of vandalism.

I think so too.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

augustz (18082) | about 2 years ago | (#39826353)

It did make me wonder how the Apache Foundation tries to steward open source objectives.

The donation to the Apache Foundation seemed primarily a result of the initial traction around LibreOffice, and it was odd that Apache didn't look at Libre and feel that they would be good stewards of the effort.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39826985)

Seriously? 'I think so too' 5, interesting.
With all due respect but just because your name is Bruce Perens and you have a four digit id doesn't mean 'I think so too' is more interesting than it normally would've been.

Posting AC for obvious reasons (Slashdot's typical 'don't touch my hero' atmosphere in case it's not so obvious)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829249)

And why is this modded funny?

Re:Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829867)

If you're not willing to stand by your convictions, you probably just should keep quiet. And, before you call me a hypocrite for posting anon, I always do so - I have no need for a slashdot account since I almost never comment for than once a week.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829579)

It's embarrassing that the Apache foundation got involved in such an obvious act of vandalism.

if when the code owner changes LGPL code to ALv2 it is *obvious* vandalism, then what should we say about people that relicense under copyleft stuff they got under a permissive license?

According to Meeks, which is far from impartial I would think, they will be taking the Apache headers and adding MPL2 on the code, which basically means they will drop the LGPL too.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39825215)

But Oracle kept a stranglehold on it long enough to very nearly kill OOo.
Unless OOo can gain some serious traction with new developers, it's still just a matter of time before LibreOffice replaces it completely.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828069)

OOo pretty much lost the race within the first month or two of Libreoffice forking from it. They merged in the code changes from go-oo pretty much immediately and most of the developers fled to Libreoffice, at this point, we're talking about OO.org and honestly, it's a zombie and has been for over a year. They may release a few more versions, but anybody that's using OO.org, ought to realize that it's basically dead in the water and falling further and further behind.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#39824067)

no, Oracle donated OOo to the Apache Foundation (I guess they couldn't be arsed with it once they realised they couldn't sell it and no-one liked them) so it's noow back to being properly open.

However, I don't think the world needs 2 open office suites, they should merge them together, then they can take the best of LibreOffice (the code) and the best of OpenOffice (the name).

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#39824173)

But the point is this is under a more permissive license which some companies, IBM for example, want. Also, if no more than one office suite is allowed you better notify the Caligra people to shut up shop, too.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824549)

The issue is licensing.

Apache OpenOffice is APL, LibreOffice in LGPL. This means that they can't cross-port features or merge, even though they are 90% the same code base. Oracle owned the full copyrights of OO.org (originally released as LGPL), so they were able to donate it to Apache allowing them to relicense to the APL. Apache will not use a non-APL license for anything under their umbrella.

According to Apache, Libreoffice may be able to port from APL->LGPL, but Apache will likely not be able to port from LGPL->APL.
https://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html

Re:Why? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#39824707)

According to Apache, Libreoffice may be able to port from APL->LGPL, but Apache will likely not be able to port from LGPL->APL.

That's true, but they might get an email from the author allowing them to. It's only been a year - I imagine the authors would not be hard to track down.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 2 years ago | (#39824845)

That's not going to work in long term. Probably it already doesn't.

LO folks have spent about a year converting the code base to use standard libraries (most notably STL) instead of the old home-brew stuff OO.o still relies upon. That was a major clean-up done by LO people which allowed them to make code cleaner and accessible to new developers. But also made LO quite incompatible to OO.o.

Due to that, many features already cannot be ported between the two without some effort.

Re:Why? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#39830085)

If the issue is licensing, then it would seem that Calligra Suite (formerly KOffice) ought to be the favorite of the FSF, since it uses GPL2, as opposed to LGPL. Did the FSF re-license LO under LGPL3, and even if it did, is LGPL3 considered a more favored license than GPL2? AFAIK, the FSF recommends that software creators use GPL instead of LGPL wherever possible.

I would be interested in how these 2 suites compare w/ Calligra Suite 2.4.

Re:Why? (2)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#39825581)

I think it does, because the world *seriously* needs a decent alternative to MS Access and neither OO nor LO have it.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828535)

I think it does, because the world *seriously* needs a decent alternative to MS Access and neither OO nor LO have it.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=MySQL%20OpenOffice%20Base [google.com]

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=MySQL%20LibreOffice%20Base [google.com]

Have you tried it? It's quite functional.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#39829257)

I am an professional with many years of experience with relational databases, and I recently did a thorough review of Base for a client. The client needed a file-based database management system that could be easily deployed to casual users who would only be connected to the Internet occasionally. After spending a solid week studying Base and putting it through its paces, I reluctantly recommended MS Access, a product which I loathe which would limit the customer to Windows only.

I can say without reservation that the only "database" system I've seen that was worse than Base was ACIUS 4th Dimension.

What's wrong with Base? Three things.

(1) It uses HSQL -- good, but doesn't include all the jars -- bad. In effect is uses and *undocumented subset* of HSQL, and many key features like using java method calls for triggers simply don't work, even through a database console window.

(2) There is no reference documentation. There is no way to know what Base is supposed to do and how it is supposed to act; there's only walk-throughs and how tos. Those are valuable of course, but no substitute for fundamental documentation of what the product's capabilities are and how the product is supposed to behave. Without real documentation the utility of Base is largely limited to the kinds of "catalog your CD collection" toy examples in the documentation, despite having (a randomly chosen subset of) quite a powerful relational engine under the covers.

(3) The report writer GUI makes simple things like putting fields and text where you want them so difficult and fiddly it's physically painful to use because of the frustration involved -- and there's no alternative to the GUI as there is in something like JasperReports.

Access wins over Base hands down, on either documentation or user interface -- take your pick. The one clear lead that Base should have -- using HSQL instead of Jet -- is nullified by shipping a bastardized and undocumented subset of HSQL.

Base is nowhere near as robust as the rest of the OpenOffice suite; in fact I'd say it's so amateurish that it's a positive embarrassment. How they could ship something that poorly managed and implemented along with the rest of the suite is beyond me.

Re:Why? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39823935)

I agree. How dare there ever be competing products. We should pass laws banning such fiendish things. How dare they choose to spend their time doing what they want instead of what you want.

Re:Why? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39823943)

Can anyone refresh our recollection as to why we need these two competing projects?

Hear hear, we already have Ed, why do we need all these other projects? It just isn't right.

Late night word processing will never be the same (5, Funny)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 2 years ago | (#39824097)

No, we lost Ed in 2009, four years after Johnny in 2005. C'est la vi.

Re:Why? (0)

Muramas95 (2459776) | about 2 years ago | (#39823977)

obviously you are not up to date. They split because Oracle was buying Sun and Oracle and there was worry about the project's future so they made a fork of the project and a lot of the staff moved to Libre Office. My only question is why have the people on OOo not moved on Libre Office team.

Re:Why? (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39824601)

1) Competition is good.

2) Oracle's heavyhanded governance went beyond the pale.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39828123)

Yes, but this isn't competition, this is a second product in the same areas. OO.org hasn't been competitive with Libreoffice since about 2 months after the split when Libreoffice merged code with go-oo.org and included all the file format goodness. What's more the developers pretty much all moved over to Libreoffice at about the same time.

Just because there's a second product doesn't mean there's any thing more than symbolic competition. It's like if I wanted to play basketball with Kobe Bryant, we'd be playing, but I don't think it would be fair to say we were really competing.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | about 2 years ago | (#39825859)

We need LO because it's a better product in every way. It incoporates all the GoOO patches created by Novell and Debian, and has undergone a massive cleanup that made the code smaller, faster, and easier to understand, without removing any functionality, and, since the cleanup, has had a steady stream of improvements added.

IBM needs OpenOffice because they had a separate license from Oracle to use OO code in Symphony, and the LO folks aren't offering the same deal--LO is GPL, take it or leave it.

Apache needs OpenOffice because it promotes their preferred license. Which isn't much of a reason, but it's something.

OO seems likely to become an IBM product in all but name. A handful of developers may feel motivated to contribute for whatever reasons, but unless OO undertakes a cleanup like the one LO already accompished, the complexity of the code is likely to discourage casual contributors. A cleanup of OO would likely put them even farther behind LO in features, but without a cleanup, it's going to be harder to add features, which will make it harder for them to keep up in the long run, and will mean that OO's performance will continue to suck compared to LO.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829387)

Parts of the code cleanup has happened with Oo. IBM hired some of the original OO developers in Hamburg, Germany and also donated Symphony to Apache. OO4 will resemble Symphony (minus the Java parts) much closer than the current OO3.x
There's a large team in Beijing contributing and they are motivated, educated and talented.
Disclaimer: I work for IBM and met all parties mentioned.

Re:Why? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about 2 years ago | (#39827005)

Can anyone refresh our recollection as to why we need these two competing projects?

We don't, but you can thank SUN/Oracle for the split. Soracle was dragging ass on OpenOffice.org, so the latter was forked into LibreOffice. Soracle treated LibreOffice developers like shit, and the Free Software community noticed, so many of us went to LibreOffice on principle as much as anything else.

And that's not even the entire story. Just an important note.

Openoffice still exists? (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39823905)

I guess I've been out of touch, I thought Openoffice died with Sun and Libreoffice was forked and is the continuation of that product.

Seems like a lot of duplication of effort in maintaining both OpenOffice and LibreOffice and the community would be better off picking one. But then again, the same has been said about KDE versus Gnome.

Pony up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824147)

the community would be better off picking one

You say that as if you have the money to pay them to pick just one.

Re:Pony up (4, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#39824617)

the community would be better off picking one

You say that as if you have the money to pay them to pick just one.

No, I say that as someone who has spent years waiting for Linux on the Desktop to be ready, and I keep seeing so much software that is almost, but not quite there. Along with many competing software applications that do nearly the same thing, so it just seems like there's often alot of dilution from competing packages when there could be more cooperation to make one project more polished and usable.

And before you say "It's open source - write it yourself!", I have contributed to Open Source projects, but my contributions have mostly been on the systems tools side, I'm not a desktop applications developer.

I do run Linux on my desktop (both at home and work), but I keep a Windows VM handy for when I need to run a Windows application. I just can't move my boss over to Linux and say "Sorry your spreadsheet macros aren't working in OpenOffice. Here, download Libre Office, maybe it will work better. Wait, no, here's Gnumeric, I heard it has better macro support. No? Well someone online said KSpread might work better, try that one. Here, maybe I can get MS Office to load in Wine, the Wine website says most things sort of work"

Re:Pony up (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39825345)

OpenOffice has been "there" for a long time. We just want more, that's all.

Re:Pony up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39826295)

That entirely depends on what your definition of "there" is. OO and LO are both sufficient for my needs. That doesn't' mean it's sufficient for someone else.

Re:Pony up (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39829879)

It's never going to be ready if the requirement is to be completely compatible with an obfiscated moving target instead of just getting the tasks done.
In my workplace nearly everybody uses it because some of the software used is in a niche that Microsoft never saw as important. Everything else still gets done.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#39824339)

I would say it is a lot of duplication of effort to keep MS Office going when there is OpenOffice and Google Docs. If you need a high level of shared editing and some programability, Google Docs is it. If you need a basic Office application, OpenOffice is it, with much better compatibility over versions. There are some niche features that some people need, but mostly OO.org and Google has you covered.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#39824747)

"f you need a high level of shared editing and some programability, and are online with broadband, Google Docs is it. "

Fixed that for you. Google docs has a tiny flaw in that it don't work when you are not online.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#39824875)

On the topic of programmability, all I want to see is a clean API in Python (or whatever) that gives the broad programmability of VBA.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#39825235)

Here you go [libreoffice.org]. Not sure how in-depth it goes from outside the LO environment though... I know that even from earlier OOo builds there was a lot of programmatic ability in there, though very Java centered in the implementation.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39825471)

I know you weren't trying to be annoying, but that is how it comes off. The one thing most people find nice about vba is that all programs that support its object model can be manipulated in the same way. For instance, in Autocad, I can code a vba macro to count the number of items a, b, c, ... x, y, z in the model, build an excel spreadsheet with the data, grab access data for the cost of each item, create a total, build a email or webpage and post them, all without needing to change the environment.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824413)

OpenOffice development essentially died while Oracle couldn't decide what to do with it. Oracle does not respect FOSS. Oracle is the same FOSS-wrecking ugly tit as M$.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824583)

Well, it was "killed" by Oracle, and LibreOffice forked. Then Oracle decided "we can't make money off of this" and donated OpenOffice to the Apache foundation.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (5, Informative)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39824639)

Openoffice was progressing more slowly than it should have. A lot of good contributions ended up in an infinite state of non-acceptance. That said, Openoffice is still a wonderful thing. But LibreOffice is even better.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (3, Interesting)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#39825669)

give apache some time and openoffice will rebound. it has taken considerable time and effort to migrate a project of this magnitude over to apache's infrastructure. i expect things to pick up after the initial apache release (which is the upcoming 3.4).. so 3.5 or 4 or whatever the one after that will be.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (2)

Xtifr (1323) | about 2 years ago | (#39830089)

You mean give IBM some time. Apache has a mild interest, but it's not exactly their main focus, and they haven't exactly got huge resources to spare. At this point, community interest is probably at an all time low. If Oo rebounds, it's going to be because IBM wants to keep Symphony proprietary, and has plenty of money and resources to throw at Symphony's open-source core. I don't see any other way for Oo to climb out of the pit that's been dug for it.

But backing from IBM is definitely nothing to sneeze at. It'll be interesting to see how things go from here.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824791)

Seems like a lot of duplication of effort in maintaining both OpenOffice and LibreOffice and the community would be better off picking one.

For the moment the "community" has decided to maintain both projects. Is that ok with you?

Yeah, it would be great if the president would appoint an official Open Source Software czar and he could just order the "community" which projects were viable and which should be abandoned as inefficient, because the government is always right you know.

Re:Openoffice still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39825073)

basically yes that is right.

then IBM persuaded oracle to give the openoffice code/trademark to apache, so that it can keep making a commercial version (lotus).

Openoffice still exists and works (well enough) (2)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#39826541)

The original article is equally puzzled:
"One of the most curious things about the OpenOffice.org brand, is the loyalty that users have to it, despite the 3.3 feature freeze being twenty-two months ago, having lost much of its development community, and having had no new release since January 2011 - users are still downloading this increasingly old and creaky release at top speed."

I don't know whether I would be downloading OpenOffice for a new install. But I'm still running OO. Not out of "loyalty" but simply because it works. And if you rely on it, "things that work" have a very strong argument for not fiddling with it. At least on a computer you really need.

"Upgrading" to LO might go bad and break things, or it might go well and give me new features I don't need or already have through ubuntu't go-OO flavor. Very easy risk assessment. For the same reason I'm still on ubuntu 10.4.
And at some point I will switch to 12.4 and LO -but on a secondary computer first.

Bloat (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#39823957)

Adding features is not necessarily a good thing.

Re:Bloat (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#39824059)

I use a pre-fork version of OO on a daily basis. The only thing keeping me from "upgrading" to LO is a (perhaps unjustified) fear of bloat.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824139)

Re:Bloat (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | about 2 years ago | (#39824671)

When they find an unused method, why can't they remove it immediately?

Re:Bloat (5, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 2 years ago | (#39825013)

It takes a bit of manual work to remove it and verify that it was unused, that it's no longer being linked to, and that there wasn't another thing that was only being used by what you just removed (and is therefore unused). The graph shows that in 5 months they're removed 3000 of these things. That's pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

Re:Bloat (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | about 2 years ago | (#39825265)

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if they removed way more than that. The graph goes up every now and then. He explains that it is because more useless code was revealed.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39829905)

That should really be automated.

Re:Bloat (4, Interesting)

Doogie5526 (737968) | about 2 years ago | (#39824187)

I have LibreOffice downloaded, but only use it once every few months...so I haven't followed too closely (or really care too much about how efficient it is). But I thought one of the first things the LibreOffice team planned to do was remove the Java dependency everyone had been complaining about for years for causing bloat and slowing things down.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824311)

That's good to know; thanks for the update.

Re:Bloat (1)

augustz (18082) | about 2 years ago | (#39826197)

I could never totally figure out why OpenOffice, which for years was not Java based, added Java as a dependency.

It seemed like a massive dependency for a relatively minor set of features. Plus then every computer ended up getting the Java update notifications and at one point somehow a lot of users ended up with a Yahoo toolbar or something as part of a "security update"!

No fun.

Re:Bloat (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39829895)

I think when Sun got hold of it they decided to try to use it as a showcase for their Java. The amount of effort required to go from the now very old StarOffice to a complete rewrite in a different language was more than expected for less gain than expected. Just bundling Java with it gave the PR gain of making it look like it was done in Java without having to go to the full effort of rewriting it all in Java.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824335)

What is wrong with you people? It's 2012, we got 4-16 GB of RAM, 3 GHZ quad core processors and you are still bitching around about +-10MB of RAM usage.

Re:Bloat (2)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about 2 years ago | (#39825521)

Well, with recent versions of LO, I noticed that it now ONLY gobbles a few GBs when loading a big animation - instead of a really really big number of GBs and throwing your machine[*] into swapping like in the "good old days of Windows 95" as it used to...

[*]: I've got 8 or 4 GB, depending on which machine - and I think that should actually be enough to run an office suite. It is enough to do some semi-heavy number crunching...

Re:Bloat (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#39828629)

So what, you're advocating bigger bloatware programs and telling us we should like them. Here is a novel idea, why not keep the bloated shite off of our computers and see really fast response times and what kind of cool things really inventive people can come up with instead of just supporting some bloated pieces of shit that can drag an i7 down. But I guess it's like the truth that if you give people a month to do something, they will take the month, even if it could be done in a week. But I guess if we made code more efficient, the guys who come up with all these marvellous fucking frameworks would be out of a job.

It's actually slimmer (2)

jensend (71114) | about 2 years ago | (#39824495)

The LibO download size may look bloated, but that's because their default download includes all the languages rather than having separate installers for each language. I switched to LibO 3.5 recently and my install uses ~75MB less space than my OpenOffice 3.3 install did.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824275)

Bullshit. There is nothing wrong with adding new features.

Scumbags like you are responsible for stifling innovation.

Re:Bloat (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#39824285)

The trouble is that one man's bloat is another man's absolutely essential feature.

one mans feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824455)

The solution would be a plug-in framework, which depending on the internal structure of OpenOffice could take years to design and implement.

Re:Bloat (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#39824571)

Adding features is not necessarily a good thing.

I generally agree with what you have to say. May I subscribe to your news letter?

Re:Bloat (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39824757)

However, adding features while improving the underlying code organization is always a good thing.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824951)

Plus a lot of the LibreOffice features are just crap. Try importing Visio documents.

Re:Bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39825019)

Check out the following: http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/01/14/008236/code-cleanup-culls-libreoffice-cruft

They've been working hard at cutting out all the bloat that's in the current OpenOffice, and they're down a lot of unused code that's just been floating in there forever.

Re:Bloat (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#39825545)

>"Adding features is not necessarily a good thing."

YOU are insightful. It *can* be a good thing, but it can also be a BAD thing. It all depends.

Quite frankly, there are some things that LibreOffice team is going after that somewhat scare me. It might not be such a bad thing to have a more conservative OpenOffice around. Our organization greatly depends on OpenOffice now, and although we can and will appreciate new features, we are more concerned about usability, stability, performance, bug fixes, and compatibility.

Despite the flame/troll nature of the original article, OO/LO are still 99.9% exactly the same. It is quite possible that the Oracle disaster terribly hurt OpenOffice development and that it will take some time to recover.

I have followed both projects carefully. On my list of things we need, neither project has made that much progress.

Re:Bloat (0)

frisket (149522) | about 2 years ago | (#39827395)

Adding features is not necessarily a good thing.

No, but adding a feature which would beat or rival the competition (Word) is surely A Good Thing.

But neither OO nor LO appears interested in using named styles professionally. The absence of a style margin (à la Word) is so glaring an omission that it makes Word the de facto interface for editing with styles. The inability of OO/LO to show all styles at a glance is what forces me to recommend Word to clients who need to edit their authors' documents. When I raised this with some OO/LO people they were seriously unable to understand what a style margin would be used for (editing documents, duuh), and suggested instead that if I wanted to see what style was used for a block, I could always right-click (or hover, or something). But professional editors need to see the styles used for whole screensful (even whole pages) at a glance, and until OO/LO can do this, it's a dead duck in the publishing business.

Merge! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39823979)

IINM LibreOffice forked form OpenOffice because issues under Oracle's stewardship. It made sense at the time. But, now that Oracle has "released" OpenOffice I really don't see why there needs to continue to be two branches. Indeed, I think that it depletes the developer base and dilutes the user base for both projects.

It's time those forks merged.

Re:Merge! (3, Informative)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39824877)

IINM LibreOffice forked form OpenOffice because issues under Oracle's stewardship. It made sense at the time. But, now that Oracle has "released" OpenOffice I really don't see why there needs to continue to be two branches. Indeed, I think that it depletes the developer base and dilutes the user base for both projects.

It's time those forks merged.

The Open Docuement Foundation does not hold all the copyrights to the code base as Oracle did, so is unable to relicense work done since the fork under the Apache license. The only way to merge is to add any new code from OpenOffice.org to the LibreOffice codebase so that the aggregate work remains under copyleft licenses wherever that applies. Do you think the Apache foundation will be ok with that?

If so, then merge away and everybody be happy.

*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39824005)

Another fine Oracle product (the effect, not the software).

LibO Lags Behind AOO in Folks Acting Like Jerks (3, Interesting)

jensend (71114) | about 2 years ago | (#39824423)

I'd like to see AOO succeed. But its leadership dooms it. As I've said before [slashdot.org]:

Rob Weir, who is basically running the show and who seems like a perfectly reasonable person from his blog, acts like a caustic, sarcastic, and poorly socialized adolescent in communicating with other developers. He's alienating people right and left. People have tried to get him to stop, but he either ignores it or just acts like it's those he's offended who are to blame for any unpleasantness.

He's not the only one either. Few people who aren't on the IBM payroll want to contribute to a project with that kind of leadership. People from the open source community in general and from the LibO camp in particular are reluctant to do anything to cooperate with Weir and co. By the time AOO actually gets a release out it will likely be too late to revitalize any interest in the project.

Re:LibO Lags Behind AOO in Folks Acting Like Jerks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39825665)

did you really just quote your own slashdot post as a source?

Stopped using OpenOffice (2)

wiegeabo (2575169) | about 2 years ago | (#39824741)

I stopped using OpenOffice months ago. It was really taking forever to load documents or get anything done. I tried LibreOffice and it was much faster at everything. As has been said many times before, competition is good.

Feature count! (4, Interesting)

metrometro (1092237) | about 2 years ago | (#39824919)

Number of features is the Dr. Strangelove "mineshaft gap" of the software world. Microsoft Word: 1000+ features. Seriously. Google Document: maybe 50? Which is expanding marketshare? Microsoft's barely-tolerated "ribbon" UI was a direct response to Too Many Features.

How about user count as a metric of success?

So what? (1, Troll)

Palestrina (715471) | about 2 years ago | (#39825095)

Meeks is the architect of the original Novell fork of OpenOffice, whose penchant for rabble rousing led to the LibreOffice fork. His meditations on feature differences between OpenOffice and LibreOffice are cherry picked and biased.

Consider; LibreOffice lags behind Microsoft Office in features as well. So should LO shut down? and Microsoft Office 2007 "lags behind" Office 2010 in features. Does that mean Office 2007 was a mistake? OpenOffice has more features than Abiword. So maybe we should take Abiword out behind the shed and shot it?

Each product adds features at their own pace, improves at its own pace, based on the interests of the project volunteers. Users have a choice of which vision they want to align with. Maybe some users would like some stability rather than a new release every month? Maybe some want to have their documents look the same tomorrow as they did yesterday? Maybe some users less excitement in their life when it comes to launching a word processor. Maybe they just want it to work?

Highly subjective comparison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39825155)

Try importing a SVG file in OpenOffice and LibreOffice, or just doing some serious editing. Then you will see how biased the review by Meeks is. He's just protecting his job.

Re:Highly subjective comparison (2)

SurfsUp (11523) | about 2 years ago | (#39825439)

Try importing a SVG file in OpenOffice and LibreOffice, or just doing some serious editing. Then you will see how biased the review by Meeks is. He's just protecting his job.

The project contributer figures are from ohloh, and show ten times as many developers on LibreOffice as OpenOffice. Do you think ohloh is biased?

Re:Highly subjective comparison (2)

Palestrina (715471) | about 2 years ago | (#39826323)

Actually, I do think the Ohloh numbers are biased. A project that uses distributed version control, like LibreOffice, and accepts patches from contributors that way will show one result, but another, like Apache, that uses Subversion and accepts patches via email, will see something else.

Essentially, depending on your patch policy you may not have any non-core contributors acknowledged in your version control.

Re:Highly subjective comparison (1)

k8to (9046) | about 2 years ago | (#39829465)

So the Apache Open Office tools don't fully support outside contributors. I see.

Re:Highly subjective comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39826373)

Of course Ohloh is biased and LibreOffice knows it. You can't compare a project based on svn and one based on git: svn does not support attribution, so the "long tail" of LibreOffice committers does not show for OpenOffice in Ohloh.

It has nothing to do with "head start" time (2, Interesting)

loftwyr (36717) | about 2 years ago | (#39825749)

LibreOffice incorporated the Go-OO patchset on creation, OpenOffice still hasn't and likely won't. The Go-OO patches were all of the features (with a few exceptions) that are listed. If AOO adopted the patches, they would be nearly on parity.

Re:It has nothing to do with "head start" time (2)

Palestrina (715471) | about 2 years ago | (#39826413)

And of course, that makes your wonder. If LibreOffice truly has 300 developers, and has been working on this code base for 18 months, and started with all the Go-OO code, as well as all the unintegrated Oracle patches and the OOo 3.4 beta, then what the hell have they been doing?

With that starting point, that amount of lead time, and 300 developers, they should be rocking our world with their dazzling features. 300 frickin' developers and the best they have is, "uh, I turned a modal dialog for word counts into a modeless dialog". Really? That is an embarrassment. Either they do not have anywhere close to their claimed 300 developers, or they have the least productive 300 developers known to man.

I'm putting my bet on the 30 developers who do a lot with little, over the 300 that only draw charts about their own superiority to cover up their lack of actual achievement in 18 months.

Re:It has nothing to do with "head start" time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827589)

I bet that, on top of there only being a few core developers, a lot of the work has been getting rid of unused code and migrating to standard libraries from the OO custom libraries.

I bet that some desktop related libraries are still in there (for those who don't remember, StarOffice, the project that turned into OOo had its own desktop).

Re:It has nothing to do with "head start" time (1)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | about 2 years ago | (#39827605)

300 frickin' developers and the best they have is, "uh, I turned a modal dialog for word counts into a modeless dialog". Really? That is an embarrassment.

Give them some time to improve. They started with a large complicated, bloated and bug-ridden codebase. Many developers are new to the project, and they can't be super productive from day one.

Thank for Apache OpenOffice (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39826699)

My Linux provider dumped LibreOffice onto my laptop as an alleged "security" fix. It claimed to be full of fixes. But the little things, like broken horizontal scroll bars in Calc, graphs that wouldn't update and a Base that corrupted the database I had used without any problems for several years, were rather a nuisance. The corruption recurred each time I restored from backup, and did not occur with OO on another system, so I can, fairly safely, presume that it wasn't a one-off.

With AOO's recent release, I finally went to the trouble of reinstalling OpenOffice, and I can do all sorts of work that got put on hold thanks to LO's new bugs. Rapid change is only as good as the quality of the testing that verifies if it is fit for release. It is not a virtue in itself, especially if it is just a proxy for carelessness. Stability and reliability, however, are virtues, if you actually want to use these applications, and keep on using them.

Both LO and AOO still have plenty of flaws. My plaudits are reserved for the diligent developers who genuinely improve the product and keep on making useful contributions.

word processor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39827819)

Who the hell uses one?

In addition promiscuous projects suck. Keep the features out, I'm not kidding, features suck.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...