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OpenOffice Is Now, Officially, Apache OpenOffice

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the patchy-word-processor dept.

Open Source 266

rbowen writes "Apache OpenOffice has graduated from the Incubator, and now is officially a top-level project at the Apache Software Foundation." From the announcement: "As with all Apache software, Apache OpenOffice software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project's day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Information on Apache OpenOffice source code, documentation, mailing lists, related resources, and ways to participate are available at http://openoffice.apache.org." (Download mirror on Sourceforge, too.)

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who cares? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692023)

we all moved to LibreOffice

Re:who cares? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692107)

It's true that those looking inward who refer to themselves as "we all" might have moved elsewhere. Me, I've still got all my users on OpenOffice. I'm willing to bet I made the right decision... (I already bet my reputation at work on it)

Re:who cares? (3, Insightful)

ChronoEngineer (1133813) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692189)

Only time will tell whether or not Apache Open Office will thrive. The one thing Open Office has going for it is brand recognition by the average user. It's much easier to just give them Open Office than to explain that LibreOffice is a derivative and the reason it forked.

Re:who cares? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692261)

It's much easier to just give them Open Office than to explain that LibreOffice is a derivative and the reason it forked.

Who would ever try to explain it like that?

Me: "LibreOffice is the new version of OpenOffice."
Co-worker: "Oh, ok."

Re:who cares? (2)

ChronoEngineer (1133813) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692469)

You'd be surprised at how many people who are resistant to that explanation. The change in name is a change and that scares them. They want an explanation. They're used to version numbers changing, not names.

Re:who cares? (4, Insightful)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692573)

I'm not so sure about that. I've seen cases where big-guns enterprise software has changed name and it's had a more positive impact. Users might have ignored a few point-version upgrades, even the occasional major upgrades. However when that new banner goes up it must be all new and good!.

Colours and words have a more tangible effect on the non-technical.

Re:who cares? (3, Insightful)

ChronoEngineer (1133813) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692609)

I suppose the experience I've had with the switch is with the average consumer and not enterprise users. They have the tendency to ask very strange questions.

Re:who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693253)

As in "Windows Vista" -> "Windows 7"?

MS just fixed some of the more egregious problems and waited for hardware to catch up, and voila, the "horrible" Vista becomes the "wonderful" Win7.

I guess "Windows 7" is a catchier name than "Windows Vista.1"

Re:who cares? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692907)

Ethereal to Wireshark.

Or Windows 98 to Windows Millenium Edition. That was a kind of name change. Maybe not the luckiest one. XP to Vista to 7 and 8.

That was a suffix change, this (*Office*) is a prefix. Not so different but I understand your concerns. Just tell them the development team moved to a new "home" and changed name. If they want to know more, development on the original OpenOffice code stagnated for a while and eventually restarted this year.

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692925)

It's much easier to just give them Open Office than to explain that LibreOffice is a derivative and the reason it forked.

Your doing it wrong, just give them office. They really don't care what office it is, as long as it opens documents and they can type.

Better yet, call it the NEW office, and they will be eager to learn all its features.

Re:who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692453)

I hope you lose that job. LibreOffice was clearly the better choice.

Re:who cares? (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692743)

Why would you bet your reputation on an office suite?
The nature of software changes rather fast. A perfectly logical and reasonable choice 6 months ago, today may be a bad decision.

When .NET started to get popular, I recommended that they if they are going to go with .NET they should do VB.NET not C#.NET because at the time more people knew VB over C# (in the current area). However after taking that direction in about a year C#.NET became more dominant. Mainly because colleges who taught Java liked doing C# more and didn't bother with VB any more.

OK I was wrong, but my reputation wasn't affected, why? Because I try to be right more than I am wrong, I had a good reasoning behind my decision. However this industry changes, we get factors such as change in college course changes, software delivery methods, Economic pressures, Mistakes made from other companies, unexpected success...

For Open Office vs Libre Office vs Microsoft Office. I wouldn't put my reputation behind it. Ok LibreOffice got popular but Open Office isn't that much better or worse so it may not be worth it to change.

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692849)

You're an idiot. It was clear that C# was where all the action was going to be from the start. VB.NET was just a sop to the legacy VB users and not a very compelling one at that.

Re:who cares? (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693097)

Some big-name government organizations ban C#.NET because their codebase is in VB.NET and they don't want rogue developers making a mixed codebase like OpenOffice.org with some of it in Java, some in C, some in C++, some in Haskell.

Re:who cares? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692169)

we all moved to LibreOffice

So who downloaded OpenOffice 20 million times?

Re:who cares? (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692211)

People moved from Open Office because of the insecurity of its future, I'd hazard a guess that as graduated from the Apache Incubator, there is a good chance that things will look up, especially because of the name.

OO will be around for a while yet. Personally I use LibreOffice.

Re:who cares? (1)

shitzu (931108) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692969)

I used to. But LibreOffice (on OSX) STILL nags me occasionally on missing Java runtime although use of java is switched off in preferences. Mainly on keyboard shortcuts like cmd+s, cmd+c. It is totally random and annoying.
I now tried Apache OpenOffice, and this doe not nag me - so out goes Libre-, welcome Open-.

Re:who cares? (4, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693105)

NeoOffice is the OSX port.

Re:who cares? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692263)

20 million since when exactly?

Re:who cares? (4, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692409)

20 million since when exactly?

You can see the details here: http://www.openoffice.org/stats/ [openoffice.org]

I find it interesting that Apache gives the details to support their download numbers while LibreOffice merely waves their hands and makes claims.

Re:who cares? (4, Informative)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692655)

Since LO is bundled with many Linux distros, it's almost impossible to know the full user base of LO.

Re:who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692853)

Since LO is bundled with many Linux distros, it's almost impossible to know the full user base of LO.

Yes, all 20 of those neckbeards that use Linux at home.

Re:who cares? (2)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693057)

You can count as LO all Ubuntu installs and upgrades in the last year. Canonical switched to LO and my computer followed suit automatically. I could have overridden that but I knew LO and OO are about the same. However as a Linux user myself I think Windows users's downloads dwarf Linux downloads. I really don't know how many Windows users, which don't have a distribution upgrade system, bothered moving to LO. To be fair, there are not many visibile improvements I can think of. They might have stuck to OO because of inertia or even because they didn't knew about LO.

Optimistic assumptions (2)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693141)

But is it really accurate to say that 100% of Ubuntu installs are used for document editing? And that 0% prefer LO to Abi or KOffice or Calligra or Google Docs or anything else? Those are optimistic assumptions, don't you think?

That's why I focus on download numbers. Someone who intentionally downloads clear has the intent to use the product.

So if you want to know relative usage numbers, then focus on an apples to apples comparison that makes sense, like the number of Windows downloads.

Re:who cares? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692763)

Sence that newbee who keeps on falling for the rm -rf / trick on the internet.

Re:who cares? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692651)

People who didn't get the memo?

I'm not really sure it matters which is better if they're both open source and open development. OpenOffice would still be sucky if not for libre. There were contributers that tried for years to get things upstreamed only to be rejected and ignored by Sun/Oracle. Only after the revolt and the creation of Libre did openoffice actually open up their development.

Re:who cares? (2)

angelbar (1823238) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692177)

I am a LibreOfficeMan now..... so, I dont

Re:who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692245)

The only thing worse than a 15-year-old trying to get attention with the ubiquitous "who cares" post is the army of 15-year-olds modding him up -- as if he actually had something useful to say.

Re:who cares? (2)

aaron44126 (2631375) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692271)

We've all moved to LibreOffice, but I still know a number of people who use or are interested in using OpenOffice, just because that name has been around long enough. If you don't follow sites like this, you might not know that LibreOffice exists. When I mention that they should look at LibreOffice instead, they say "Huh?"

OpenOffice development was somewhat stalled for a while after the LibreOffice fork happened. If development is going to continue, I hope they pick up the improvements from LibreOffice so that everyone can benefit.

Re:who cares? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693137)

LibreOffice. You know, like Nacho Libre. OpenOffice had issues, so since it wasn't getting fixed fast enough a bunch of people started putting the upgrades in a different place and just called it something else.

Re:who cares? (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692331)

we all moved to LibreOffice

No, not all of 'us'.

If they decide to stop copying the bad things about MS Office (cell selection navigation in Excel), and start copying the good things instead (dynamic charts), I'll happily give LibreOffice another shot. For now, I've moved back to OpenOffice.

Re:who cares? (1, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692361)

we all moved to LibreOffice

Who is "we"? Here's what I see:

Apache OpenOffice claims 20 million downloads of OpenOffice.

LibreOffice claims 20 million downloads of LibreOffice.

So they are equal, yes?

However, take a closer look. Apache had its first release just back in May, so they have 20 million downloads in *4 months*. Compare that to LibreOffice's 20 million downloads in *2 years*.

You bet on the faster horse. The one with the little head start was just passed.

Re:who cares? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692421)

All of us who use whatever came with the Linux distro that we use on our desktop will only count as one download. Figures like this are always misleading.

Re:who cares? (4, Informative)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692489)

But both projects claim that 80%+ of their downloads are for Windows users. So you can't really escape the numbers. Apache has then 80% of 20 million Windows downloads in *4 months* whereas LO has 80% of 20 million Windows downloads in *2 years*.

Similar for Mac at around 15%.. No doubt that LO has the advantage on Linux desktops. But all reports indicate that is 3% or so of the desktops. Even 100% of 3% is still only 3%, That doesn't look like a growth play to me,

Re:who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692511)

Most (All?) linux distros have switched over to libreoffice as the default office suite.

To be fair, the windows users I know are split about 50/50 between Open/Libre. I have never downloaded LibreOffice from their website but have used every update for over a year and a half now through linux repos.

I remember this same debate back in the IE vs Mozilla days, when it was about total downloads. 'But for Linux users, there is one download then it is in a repo!'

Re:who cares? (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692689)

LibreOffice had a long-running bug on documents with wrap set on certain objects that rendered my invoices almost unusable, so I'm still on OpenOffice. I do appreciate the work they've done, though.

If I were going to do coding work on one of the suites, I might pick OpenOffice for the more permissive license.

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693041)

If you knew about this bug, and cared about it, why didn't you submit the fix?

Re:who cares? (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693151)

Because there was an un-broken version of the software?

I submitted the bug, provided sample documents, and ran tests that they asked me to. I don't think anyone wants me submitting C++ code...

Re:who cares? (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692927)

As someone that occasionally uses OpenOffice at home and has recommended to friends/family, I'm not sure I got the memo. If I was searching for openoffice today it would point me to the Apache version at the website I've always gone to.

What's the difference? Why is one better than the other?

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693007)

Moved to LO, but went back to OO in the last few weeks due to too many bugs and crashes with LO on Mac.

Re:who cares? (2)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693149)

Honestly I been using Google Docs lately since I been traveling a bit. Word, Google Docs, LibreOffice and Open Office all really do the same thing they are word processors. Most customers I install open office and they do not even know the difference between that and word. Let a lone Libre office and open office. Most just care that it's free.

Re:who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693243)

I find that OpenOffice works a lot better then Libreoffice, it also has the benefit that it can still be compiled on OS/2 (that code was not removed), unlike LibreOffice which had all the OS/2 code removed from the source - despite the fact that there are still people using OpenOffice on OS/2.

Re:who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693359)

I've moved, too, but hate the name. I wish they'd merge their changes back and use the OpenOffice.org name.

Hell, I've been using it since it was named StarOffice. OO.o was not half a bad of a name, but LO is just awkward.

(no, I'm not one of those people who hate gimp for its name. but then again, I'm not american.)

Ahh, the ASF... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692087)

Where one-time promising projects go to die.

Re:Ahh, the ASF... (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693353)

Say what you want, but I love the ASF and the projects they maintain. I'm grateful for the work they do and the software they provide.

The problem with FOSS office suites (5, Interesting)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692143)

The problem with F/OSS office suites is that their audience tends to be uncritical, so much as in the fairy tale "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" (but in inverse), professionals have stopped listening.

I remember at least three incidents where I was instructed to evaluate Open Office, Libre Office or other F/OSS word processing or layout packages. In each instance, the F/OSS products fell short in fundamental ways, and were a total disaster for larger documents. Their main strength was that it was often easier to export data from them than it was in certain commercial products.

The point of this is that in order for one of these FOSS office suites to survive, people who are critical and have use requirements beyond short documents get involved. For these packages to be competitive, they need to rise to a higher standard than Grandma's recipes, Son's book report, a weekend memo to the boss, etc.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692291)

My wife wrote Her PhD thesis in first Open then Libre Office...

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692293)

People will settle for less, when they get it for free, the question really is, how much less are people willing to settle for?

That said, often less is more (no pun) and F/OSS is the superior alternative.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692815)

"F/OSS is the superior alternative"

How does your license make a crappy product any better? There are thousands if not millions of F/OSS apps out there that just suck. There are a few real Gems, but a lot of cheap crap. There is also a lot of Crap Closed Source apps too. But at least those companies in general will go out of business.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (4, Insightful)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692327)

Perhaps you should follow your own advice and post the failing test cases so we could see what's broken. Then some enterprising developer could figure out how to fix them. Complaining without specifics, as you are doing, is not practically different from being "uncritical".

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692333)

Define "larger documents"? For example, I've created 500+ page legal documents in OpenOffice Writer with no issues - including lots of graphics. So what's the tipping point?

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692343)

professionals have stopped listening. ...
a weekend memo to the boss, etc.

See how I can tell you're a professional? You write memos, to the boss. On the weekend!

Who writes memos anymore? And who sends .doc files when email suffices for short documents just fine and works way better on mobile devices.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (5, Informative)

leandrod (17766) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692385)

I remember at least three incidents where I was instructed to evaluate Open Office, Libre Office or other F/OSS word processing or layout packages. In each instance, the F/OSS products fell short in fundamental ways, and were a total disaster for larger documents.

Quite to the contrary, LibreOffice deals better with long documents than the proprietary alternative, and also it never
corrupts complex documents like the proprietary alternative.

The only fundamental way where LibreOffice falls short is when dealing with unnecessary complexity in the proprietary suite
files. Complexity which is fairly common, given the proprietary suite deficiencies in structuring documents.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (4, Informative)

javilon (99157) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692565)

I remember at least three incidents where I was instructed to evaluate Open Office, Libre Office or other F/OSS word processing or layout packages. In each instance, the F/OSS products fell short in fundamental ways, and were a total disaster for larger documents.

Quite to the contrary, LibreOffice deals better with long documents than the proprietary alternative, and also it never
corrupts complex documents like the proprietary alternative.

The only fundamental way where LibreOffice falls short is when dealing with unnecessary complexity in the proprietary suite
files. Complexity which is fairly common, given the proprietary suite deficiencies in structuring documents.

From your comment and his comment I suspect that his test involved getting huge documents from different MS office versions and loading them. Then deciding that OO can't handle big documents in general. This is a very skewed test. For people moving completely to OO that's a non issue.

We live on different planets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692643)

Quite to the contrary, LibreOffice deals better with long documents than the proprietary alternative, and also it never
corrupts complex documents like the proprietary alternative.

The only fundamental way where LibreOffice falls short is when dealing with unnecessary complexity in the proprietary suite
files. Complexity which is fairly common, given the proprietary suite deficiencies in structuring documents.

Because you say so, and yet, you're not a writer :)

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692975)

The only fundamental way where LibreOffice falls short is when dealing with unnecessary complexity in the proprietary suite files.

I think it's pretty clear that this is a fundamental shortfall of those files and formats, not of LO. The latter would have no problem opening and saving them if they were not obfuscated and undocumented. Just as with the nouveau driver, it's Jesus- worthy miracle that it works at all.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693231)

The only fundamental way where LibreOffice falls short is when dealing with unnecessary complexity in the proprietary suite
files.

I think it's pretty clear that this is a fundamental shortfall of those files and formats, not of LO. The latter would have no problem opening and saving them if they were not obfuscated and undocumented. Just as with the nouveau driver, it's Jesus- worthy miracle that it works at all.

That was my point.

But I actually think it is not only the proprietary file formats being bad. It is also that the proprietary suite falls short
in organising documents with styles and templates, so people use very complex direct formatting.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692387)

Speaking of crying wolf,
can you list any of the major issues that made OO or LO a no-go? (pun not intended)

(Mod Posting as AC)

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692441)

This. I can't name a single feature that I need for business use that is not included in LO. I really wonder why parent is rated 5 Interesting.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692501)

I need the ability to save in .docx so that people with Word 2007 can read and edit my document. I need to be able to have this make a full cycle, from MS to LO and back, or better yet, several cycles, without the formatting or inline equations getting garbled.

This isn't currently possible. I suspect it never will be.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (3, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692637)

try this with MSO2009 and MSO2007 and see if it works

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692707)

Word 2007 is perfectly capable of reading and editing .doc documents, and as far as I know, Openoffice can read and edit both .doc and .docx.

Your objection is a non issue.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692819)

From actual experience, it can read and save in .doc most of the time, but has only basic support for reading .docx (numerous formatting errors) and only a token effort at saving .docx (with no warning that it cannot save formatting more complicated than newlines).

If you're not going to properly support a file type, include some indication that people should not try to use it.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692893)

So your using ms office 2010 or something?
Legacy formats of MS are better supported in OO or LO than in their later products. At least, that's my experience.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693321)

The LO Calc charting features are so godawful that they should be embarrassed to claim support for charts at all. And no, I don't want to have to learn gnuplot just to make charts and graphs that don't look like ass. That alone is enough to make me stick to Excel.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692399)

That would explain why LibreOffice can't actually save in some of the file formats I try to save and doesn't seem to be able to correctly read formatting more complicated than the basic paragraph justification.

Since I'm a programmer, not a writer, I don't consider the cost of MS Office to be a reasonable business expense. On the other hand, I sometimes need to read, edit, or write documents, and both OO and LO have failed quite dramatically just often enough to get annoying.

I know that document handling is more complicated than it was in the days of Windows 3.11 for workgroups, but could they work on actually supporting what the documentation indicates they support?

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

theJML (911853) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693193)

I've got the same background and needs... and I've found more and more that Google Docs seems to work pretty well 98% of the time. It keeps getting better and better and for most interoffice stuff just works. Sometimes it hits a macro or something that it doesn't get and I have to download it, but the last time I did that was about 2 years ago (and it's improved a lot since then anyway).

I'm quite happy that I'll be able to completely ditch office software installs soon.

(Disclaimer, we have gmail for business here so if you open anything from the webmail client, it does it through Google Docs.)

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692507)

I wonder if the problem isn't more that people are failing to recognize that there are different audiences with different needs. For example in office suites, there are loads of people who just need a decent work processor for typing up simple documents, and then there are people who really want integration between their word processor, spreadsheet editor, and groupware client, and groupware server. The latter audience may be well served by going with the full MS Office/MS Exchange combination, and that keeps a lot of people using MS Office.

It reminds me of an argument between a GIMP fan and a Photoshop fan. The Photoshop user was saying, "GIMP is terrible because it doesn't have good support for CMYK." and the GIMP user responded by saying, "Well nobody actually uses CMYK, but GIMP lets me script things easily, so GIMP is much better!" These two users were talking past each other, failing to recognize that each had probably chosen their solution well.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692607)

As a small aside to your experiences, I found that when using LibreOffice and I want to use the following as a separator:
______________ (that's holding down Shift to get the underline)

in LibreOffice, it creates an entire line across the page whereas in Word 2010, it creates the line exactly as shown. If I try to delete the extraneous lines, the entire line is deleted in LO.

I did do some looking, but did not find a way in LO to stop this "feature" from occurring.

This is why everything except the bare essentials should be turned off in such products. Then, create an easy-to-find menu system for the user to turn on what they want instead of the current way of turning everything on by default and having to turn them off just so one can get work done.

Opt in rather than opt out. Sound familiar?

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693201)

hit ctrl+z to undo auto-shit.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692701)

I remember at least three incidents where I was instructed to evaluate Open Office, Libre Office or other F/OSS word processing or layout packages. In each instance, the F/OSS products fell short in fundamental ways, and were a total disaster for larger documents.

One would think, after reviewing them 3 times, you could be more specific. Can you name one fundamental way in which LO fell short? Define "large document" and "disaster"? No, of course not, because LO is strictly better than MSO: it doesn't spy on you, doesn't hold your data hostage, not a significant malware vector, has simpler, more familiar, and highly customizable interface, can be fully supported (including adding features and bug fixes) by a third party, runs natively on every major consumer OS, streamlines licensing. Notice that every point above is a fundamental flaw in MSO. So stop it. We all know that MS Office has always been a steaming pile of crap, and it remains a popular program today for one reason only: MS spent years of time and billions of dollars perfecting their "solution", which is to tie together OS, Internet utilities, and the productivity suite, so that abandoning any one component is impossible without dropping the rest, and hence unaffordable.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

Crass Spektakel (4597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692779)

You are a paid FUD spreader, aren't you?

Reads pretty much like the average Copy&Paste FUD, useable for Slashdot to Financial Times: Little hard facts, lots of feat, uncertanity and doubt.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693207)

Copy & Paste isn't fud, it's real. AbiWord had a crasher for TWO YEARS where if you pasted stuff it would just abruptly segfault.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

codguy (629138) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692801)

This is so true--I really want to use open source software, but it simply doesn't cut it for some things. This is painfully obvious with some packages more than others, for example, LO Calc is just ridiculously clunky and slow compared to MS Excel. I use Excel almost every day of my working life to look at data sets, usually as scatter plots. Even with several thousand data points to plot up, when you click Ok, Excel basically displays your plot immediately. In turn, LO Calc can take many seconds up to minutes to display a plot, and this is with even small sets of just a couple hundred data points. Every time there was a new major or even minor release, I'd go back to OO or LO hoping that they would have this under control, but no dice. I had to stop holding my breath for this a while ago.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (4, Interesting)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692829)

OTOH, I have "saved" several Word/Excel documents that had become too corrupted to be used in Microsoft Office. All I had to do was load them in OpenOffice and then save them with a different name, and they suddenly worked again in MS Office.

Re:The problem with FOSS office suites (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693301)

I've found LO spreadsheets to be easier to work with that the Microsoft counterpart. We programs that output information on product, I cannot tell you the number of times I've foamed at the mouth by Excel converting the UPC into scientific notation. LO seems to understand that the column is text, but no matter what we do with Excel, it always wants to turn UPC, EAN, GTIN-14 into a number.

Additionally, we find that working with large documents to be easier and more fluid with LO than Word or Excel. If someone jacks up the formatting in Word it's a weeks worth of recovery just to get things sane again. In LO it is literally minutes at best. LO handles spreadsheets of 500,000 rows plus way better than Excel any day.

Soooooo......... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692171)

The big news with OO over the past couple of years have been a fork and a name change? Great.

Merge Libre and OpenOffice? (4, Insightful)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692335)

This could be a fantastic thing for the Opensource Community.

Providing the OpenOffice (OO) and the LibreOffice(LO) developers can get past the bad blood of the past, they could merge their to projects back together and focus their efforts.

Re:Merge Libre and OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692593)

Yeah, why don't you work on that?

Re:Merge Libre and OpenOffice? (0, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693223)

Look, in the US, we have this thing where black people and white people don't go well together most of the time.

In open source software development, what we have is 50 shades of grey and they all hate each other.

Why choose OO over LO? (2)

Walter White (1573805) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692369)

For those who know more about this than me, why choose OpenOffice over LibreOffice (or vice versa.)

I used OO until my distro (Debian/Ubuntu/Mint recently) switched to LO and I just went with it. I'm not familiar in detail with the reason for the fork and whether the issues persist. Nor am I aware of the status of each fork and what is the benefit of one over the other.

Thanks for any clarification.

Re:Why choose OO over LO? (1, Troll)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692509)

I'll make it short: OO was taken over by Oracle. Oracle is full of jerks who hate freedom and love money. Major part of OO team forks OO to LO in order to save it from Oracle. OO usage drops and Oracle decides they don't want it so they give it to Apache, which seems to no be a foundation for software that people stopped caring about. Now we're here - keep using LO and ignore OO till it goes away or whatever.

Re:Why choose OO over LO? (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692983)

Well, maybe I can clear this up. You see, they're both Open Source, but OpenOffice.org required code writing contributors (like me) to jump through hoops and assign my copyright over to the OpenOffice.org folks (Oracle), or else my contributions were denied. LibreOffice doesn't require copyright assignment to accept my contributions. So, that means it's easier to contribute to LibreOffice, and it gets updates faster. So, OpenOffice.org is missing some things that LibreOffice has. Bonus, because they're both from a common code-base, LibreOffice can just pull in anything that OpenOffice has -- The requirement of OO.o's copyright assignment meant that they could not incorporate LO code though. When Oracle decided to kill off the development of OO.o, instead of just gifting the name / trademark over to the newly forked LO folks (where most of the developers went) they gave us all the finger one more time for good measure by making OO.o an Apache project. I don't know if the Official Apache oversight of the project now means they're doing away with copyright assignments, nor do I care at this point. The name itself brings back infuriating memories of frustration and wasted efforts squandered on bureaucracy. LibreOffice already exists, so if it weren't for the older install base, it would be complete waste of time to re-do the work of merging the code back into OpenOffice.org... From a developer's perspective it IS a complete waste of time. That and there's the trademark issue where OpenOffice is owned by someone else, so you have to say OpenOffice.org when you're talking about it.

TL;DR: Stay with LO, it's actually better and not a waste of time like OO.org is.

Why not merge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692401)

Any particular reason why they won't merge with LibreOffice? I can see why Sun/Oracle might have some commercial and proprietary agendas, but what's stopping Apache? AFAIK, LibreOffice already made a difference from OpenOffice by integrating more languages, bugfixes and features. Is Apache OpenOffice going re-develop those improvements?

Often forks are due to project mismanagement or severely differing development goals, and if nothing like that exists, one of the projects is just going to die. LibreOffice forked due to mismanagement by Oracle. Also ref gcc-vs-egcs in the 90's.

OO and LO are similar enough that... (2)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692415)

I'm just using Libreoffice now since that is what our distros support out of the box (CentOS and Ubuntu). Since they are functionally the same, I haven't found any reason to cling to OO once all the noise started and resulted in the fork to LO. I haven't had any complaints.

Best,

Re:OO and LO are similar enough that... (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692717)

Exactly.

For me: I had to read the comments to get a quick refresh of what happened. My first thoughts were in the lines of "oh, LibreOffice got a new name again?".

One of the reasons I like to use Linux is the completeness of a distro. You install a distro, and you get pretty much any application you can think of with it (try than with Windows...). Free, maintained, virtually guaranteed virus free as long as you stick to your distro's repositories.

Now my distro comes with an office suit. It used to be StarOffice (may have been a separate download at the time, I forgot), then OpenOffice, soon after OpenOffice.org, then LibreOffice. It all looks and works mostly the same, I'm happy. Maybe my distro (currently Ubuntu) may switch to Apache OpenOffice in the future, well then I'll have that one. As long as it works.

Similar with how I and almost anyone else switched from Xfree86 to X.org. It still works.

I don't care about politics in development, let them figure it out, and let my distro maker figure out which software is overall the best. And for corner cases I may override their choices. I know OOo and LO parted ways, I don't care why, who's running what, I trust my distro to choose the best for me (and if I'm not happy with the distro I'll try another, not going to fiddle around with bits and pieces).

Who's going to "win"? Well, let them battle it out. Probably no-one. Let there be two, three, four competing but compatible (using ODF) office suits on the market. The more the merrier, competition is what drives us forward. They all want users, and to get users they have to have the better product.

I'm not much of a fan of the Apache foundation (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692435)

Their projects have a strong tendency to be bloated in code size and kind of bureaucratic in the way they engage the development community. I think, given the history of OpenOffice that this is an excellent home for it. But I don't really think much of the development methodology of the original OpenOffice project either.

But, time will tell. If the OpenOffice people reach out to LibreOffice and actually try to convince that community to come back, they might have a chance of moving forward in a positive way. The LibreOffice fork was brewing a long time before Oracle dropped the ball on the OpenOffice project. I think that was just the last straw.

Where is their solution for mobile users? (1)

guanxi (216397) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692525)

More and more people work on mobile platforms. Is OpenOffice going to provide them with a solution?

Re:Where is their solution for mobile users? (5, Informative)

ssam (2723487) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692641)

most of the openoffice devs are now libreoffice devs, so most of the recent development happens there. libreoffice is working on an android version.
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/libreoffice-for-android-advances-document-viewer-is-on-the-way/ [arstechnica.com]

Calc killed my spreadsheet, my OOo love died (2)

Andy Prough (2730467) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692657)

I was an OpenOffice fanatic for a number of years, but about 3 years ago Calc killed one of my spreadsheets I had been working on for a week. Like an idiot, I had not been saving frequent incremental drafts, so I lost nearly all the data, and a 1 week project turned into a 2 week project. Since that time, I've learned my lesson to save a new draft copy of an office document after every few hours of work. I've also switched to doing most of my document work in MS Office, as I found it more stable. However, I still keep a copy of LibreOffice on my system at all times, and I do find it much more useful for certain activities, such as importing and exporting a wider variety of file types, working with .csv files, etc. But, I still recall opening that empty spreadsheet after a week's work as the dark day my unwavering love for OOo died a miserable death.

Re:Calc killed my spreadsheet, my OOo love died (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693119)

What you experienced can happen with any software, even MsO. You learned a valuable lesson and it only cost you a week of work. Consider yourself lucky.

Well, they dropped the .org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41692667)

I guess that's something. Still not holding my breath for something so redundant. LibreOffice works, has made great progress (with code cleanup in particular) and is tended to by a very active community. Diversity for diversity's sake is nice and all, but what's OO's unique selling point again?

Google docs? (1)

Leejjon (2342476) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692723)

I still have open office installed on some of my machines, why should I move if it still works and still has updates. For most documents that are meant for myself or my friends I actually use Google documents nowadays because it's easier than moving files around.

StarOffice (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692767)

Before Libre, Open, it was a Star, who was my office suite on linux back in y2k. I want my StarOffice back !

Seems to me... (1)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692777)

... that anyone sheepish enough to get freaked out by an OpenOffice to LibreOffice transfer would probably still be using Microsoft Office anyway.

Nothing different from before... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#41692837)

* Emacs vs. VI
* Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac
* Debian vs. Redhat vs. Suse vs. etc.
* Gnome vs. KDE vs. XFCE vs. etc.

And now for your geek fighting pleasure!

* Libre Office vs. Open Office!

Let the battle begin!

Stills needs Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693031)

Won't somebody please make that go away? Libre/Open office should be more portable, meaning, it would be better if I could just copy it to any machine and run it. You know, the way Mac programs are 'installed'. All programs should be like that.

Re:Stills needs Java? (3, Informative)

Andy Prough (2730467) | more than 2 years ago | (#41693153)

I heard there was a little button thingey you could click to run it without Java. And I heard there was a website called "portableapps" that has portable versions of OOo and LO that you can put on a thumbdrive and run on any computer. I heard all that - but I'm quite sure its all lies - nasty, nasty lies.

mod 0P (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41693327)

irc network. The go find something m0ch organis4tion, all servers. Coming diseases. The
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