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Apache OpenOffice 4.0 Released With Major New Features

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the so-many-millions-of-dollars-worth-of-good dept.

Open Source 238

An anonymous reader writes "Still the most popular open source office suite, Apache OpenOffice 4 has been released, with many new enhancements and a new sidebar, based on IBM Symphony's implementation but with many improvements. The code still has comments in German but as long as real new features keep coming and can be shared with other office suites no one is complaining." The sidebar mentioned brings frequently used controls down and beside the actual area of a word-processing doc, say, which makes some sense given how wide many displays have become. This release comes with some major improvements to graphics handling, too; anti-aliasing makes for smoother bitmaps. In conjunction with this release, SourceForge (also under the Slashdot Media umbrella) has announced the launch of an extensions collection for OO. Extensions mean that Open Office can gain capabilities from outside contributors, rather than being wrapped up in large, all-or-nothing updates. You can download the latest version of Apache OpenOffice here.

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238 comments

Merge Already! Libre/Open (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363593)

Why haven't the two codebases been merged?

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (4, Informative)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#44363699)

Because they use different licenses. OpenOffice uses the Apache license, LibreOffice mostly GPL. Merging them is not feasible since either of them would have to give up something they don't want to in return.

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#44364715)

Features? Smeachers!

The news here is compatibility improvement for file formats and import/export.

Way rockin' good. I can try jettisoning Office 2011, soon. Libre on Ubuntu was close enough, two years ago - but still enough different for me to run Crossover.

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363757)

They are merging! LibreOffice imports all useful bits. They even keep a running commentary on any commits that are still going into apache office saying which are useful, which are not useful or which libreoffice commits fix something in a more elegant way: http://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/log/?h=aoo/trunk&showmsg=1

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364565)

They are merging! LibreOffice imports all useful bits.

Then why doesn't it do full justification? Tried Lo out last week on my book, no full justification is a non-starter for me.

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364625)

What? It's done full justification since before the Libre/Open fork happened in the first place.

Re:Merge Already! Libre/Open (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365237)

Nothing like one-way leeching to keep a project going. Seems silly to split because of lack of activity from Oracle and then devolve into leeching changes from Apache.

IBM Open Source (2, Insightful)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 9 months ago | (#44363615)

For IBM, Open Source == Out Sourcing.
Cheaper than employing programmers in faraway places is to get them to volunteer for free to maintain their code.

Not new really... They have been doing that for years.

German code comments (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 9 months ago | (#44363633)

I'm a Dutchman, my native language is dutch, and I use english for all comments because using my native language seems to screw with the industry-standard english terminology in programming.
Anybody here who comments his/her code in his native language? How do you deal with the jargon and what are the benefits of using your native language, apart from being able to type TL;DR-size comments with ease?

Re:German code comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363721)

It's simply not possible. That will just ruin it for everybody down the road.

Re:German code comments (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#44363795)

I'm a Dutchman, my native language is dutch, and I use english for all comments because using my native language seems to screw with the industry-standard english terminology in programming.

It also makes your programs faster. This is one of the reasons why OpenOffice is so slow - source [slashdot.org]. It's inexcusable that they haven't translated the comments yet.

Re:German code comments (2)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44364345)

I think you meant it make people run faster from maintaining your programs. Unless your comments are in Klingon, in which case the would-be maintainer is vaporized.

Re:German code comments (4, Insightful)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about 9 months ago | (#44363897)

My team code (variables, class and method names) and comment in portuguese. I found that not many programmers down here really know english, so our first attempts with english commentary yielded crappy, useless, unreadable comments. Even comments in our native language sometimes can be confusing, so I think that adding a extra layer of noise wouldn't do it.

Re:German code comments (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 9 months ago | (#44363999)

That's fine, so long as you're writing software where the code won't be shared outside of your company. If you're writing for a US based company or likely to sell access to the code, you'll find it easier if its all on a common language.

Re:German code comments (2)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about 9 months ago | (#44364507)

7 years ago, when the project started, we were focusing on Latin America community (spanish speakers can read portuguese and vice versa), so I decided to code in portuguese. Only a few people from Brasil decided to contribute to the project since then, so I guess the language choice actually helped those contributors.

Not that this choice doesn't look strange; we code in CakePHP, which is based on RoR, that specify that model names are plural, table names are singular, or whatever. We turn the pluralization off, as the english rules applied to portuguese words makes a mess. And writing a Inflector for portuguese really seems a huge work.

Also, we are required to append suffixes in english to some classes names; we end up with classes named like "AmostraController", "ProjetoComponent". Which in fact is Ok, as here in Brasil we use english jargon. People from Portugal would think it's bizarre, I guess.

Re:German code comments (1)

azi (60438) | about 9 months ago | (#44364143)

Generally it makes no sense to use any other language than English for comments (unless it's some small inside project ). For example, my native language is Finnish and there wouldn't be many programmer around who actually could read those comments if written in such rare language. Therefore I'm wondering, why they used German language in first place.

Re:German code comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364607)

I wonder that too. Germans are usually faily good at English.

Re:German code comments (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#44364719)

Except for commas. Note how a disproportionate amount of Germans write "Note, that..." instead of "Note that...". Interlanguage fossilization and all that jazz. Funny how you can often tell from an English text who actually wrote it.

Re:German code comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365367)

Germans also tend to combine English words together into one word.

Re:German code comments (2)

gaspyy (514539) | about 9 months ago | (#44364573)

Romanian here. Everyone worth their salt here writes code, comments and docs in English. I have my own pet project [sparkchess.com] where I'm basically the only one who ever needs to see the code, yet everything is in English. Considering that the programming language has English keywords (if, while, class, etc) and the text strings are in English too, it's simpler for me to keep everything consistent rather than to make any mental switch.

Re:German code comments (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 9 months ago | (#44365307)

I used to comment my code in my native language up to maybe early high school. I did it subsequently on a project or two that were meant to be maintained by people who mostly didn't speak English. I can't comprehend anyone commenting code in anything but English.

Play Nice (5, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 9 months ago | (#44363657)

Before we all start cat fighting, remember that 12 years ago Sun gave us a office application that competed well with MS. I have used it for all that time, and have been able to what I most of what I need to much better and reliably then with MS Office. I supplement it with Apple stuff and lately with Google Docs, which is not as good.

Yes a few years ago some who did not like OO.org structure created an alternative which some prefer, and there is an issue with Oracle buying OO.org, but now Apache has it.

So before we start modded up the MS shills who want to promote the OO.org versus Libreoffice battle, remember that OSS is about choice, and MS is about the destruction of choice.

Thanks to all the people who have put work into OO.org. It is very appreciated. I have downloaded the new version and will look at it as I need it.

Re:Play Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363753)

Things I'm greatfull ... sunshine, water, food music and openoffice. I use OO but Libreoffice is fine too. Being a small developer, I wouldn't be able to have fifteen copies of office, many of my customers are in same position. Thank you openoffice for taking MS's crumbly stinkin fingers out of my pocket!

Re:Play Nice (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363763)

Before we all start cat fighting, remember that 12 years ago Sun gave us a office application that competed well with MS.

I like OpenOffice just as much as the next gal or guy, but it never competed with Office. You need something like Outlook before we can even start talking about competing, and then it's just the start of it.

Re:Play Nice (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364505)

You need something like Outlook

Nonsense. Nobody ever needed Outlook. And nothing good ever came from Outlook.

Re:Play Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364669)

Nobody ever needed Outlook

Who the fuck are you to decide that? Alot of people find Outlook extremely useful. Evolution and Thunderbird are both as ugly as shit.

Re: Play Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365125)

Apache Office just like the Apache Server is the new standard, Outlook? You might look at Thunderbird, it is far better then Outlook, the level of customization of mostly JS written UI parts is amazing.

Re:Play Nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363807)

It has a much longer history than 12 years. The first component StarWriter was published 1985 by the german company Star Division. Till '95 more and more components were added and the name changed to StarOffice. Sun bought Star Division in '99 and was bought itself by Oracle in 2010.

Re:Play Nice (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 9 months ago | (#44363871)

Actually, the story is somewhat longer and started with Star Division, a Hamburg (Germany) based company, who offered a wordprocessor in the 1980ies for 150 DM in Germany, when the comparable Microsoft Word was about 800 DM or more. StarWriter was build into a whole office suite until 1995, when it got renamed in StarOffice. In 1999, Sun Microsystems bought Star Division, and in 2002 opened the code and created OpenOffice. Completed with some non-open licensed parts (like an RDBMS; if I remember correctly, StarOffice was using ADABAS from Software AG, later the derivate SAP DB), OpenOffice was sold as StarOffice by Sun Microsoft until 2010.

They seem to be doing a fine job. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363659)

Despite all the PR libreoffice gets it looks like the main advances are coming from the Apache guys. Sure, the ASF has no interest in removing Java or translating comments but the sidebar, the new galeries and palette along with the enhanced draw tool and SVG support look very nice.

Re:They seem to be doing a fine job. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364017)

This is garbage. 5% of contributions to LO 4.1 came from apache.

Claiming everything came from apache is an IBM marketing lie and they've been called out on it.

Re:They seem to be doing a fine job. (3, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44364905)

I'm sure you can make the huge contribution of the AOO Sidebar look numerically 5% if you do two things:

1) Count the entire Sidebar UI as a single commit, which Ohloh does because the work was done on a branch, not the trunk. (Ohloh counts only the AOO trunk)

2) Bloat your own commit counts with insignificant "behind the scenes cleanup" like translating German comments, or other stuff that no user will ever benefit from.

But if you look at features of actual significance, what the users actually want and will benefit from, the code from Apache is actually quite significant in LibreOffice.

I wish LibreOffice supporters would stop acting like it makes them small to acknowledge some gratitude to other open source projects which they are dependent on.

Re:They seem to be doing a fine job. (1)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | about 9 months ago | (#44365071)

Rob why do you go by the nick Palestrina here rather than the usual rcweir you use elsewhere?

Interesting blog post [italovignoli.org] I came across just now - care to comment?

Re:They seem to be doing a fine job. (4, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44365325)

Comment? Yes. Of the various approaches to argument, the strongest one is to take your opponent's most valid point, the key of their argument, and then to logically rebut it. On the other hand, one of the weakest arguments is the ad hominem attack, declining to engage logic entirely and instead trying to win by bravado and superficial slight of hand. I dismantled your argument, by showing the flaws in how you calculated and interpreted your "5%" claim. You responded (no not responded, but dodged entirely) with an ad hominem attack. I assume if you had a stronger argument to make you would have done so.

Re:They seem to be doing a fine job. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365311)

SVG support hit libreoffice a good long while ago.
http://www.libreoffice.org/download/3-3-new-features-and-fixes/

PC is not a tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363805)

My PC is not a tablet. Stop putting stuff on the sides. I don't care if you think it looks better or "ought to be" more efficient. I don't want your newfangled sidebar. You may put it on the top or the bottom, but leave the sides alone.

Re:PC is not a tablet (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#44363881)

Given that it's damn near impossible to find a 4:3 monitor larger than 17" and very hard to find even 16:10, it makes more sense to put in sidebars to use the abundant horizontal space rather than the vertical. Of course, once you get to around 24" monitors, it starts to become much more commonplace to have two apps side-by-side, in which case the argument goes back to having toolbars on the top and bottom.

Or we could, you know, have both as options.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

darnkitten (1533263) | about 9 months ago | (#44364071)

Or we could, you know, have both as options.

Or we could, you know, use the GIMP interface: multiple floating windows!

Seriously, though, if the sidebar can be moved to where I want it, it will be okay with me. I'm not a fan of right-side controls.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | about 9 months ago | (#44364487)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Office 97 or something have floating tool-windows that could be docked on the toolbar, or the sides (any side) of the document window?

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#44364841)

Up until Office 2003 (iirc), you could float most of the toolbars. However, I don't recall if you could dock them anywhere other than the top. That option went away with the ribbon, unless they've buried it somewhere in there.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#44364537)

No it does not make sense to do this. It makes sense make menus moveable, up the side if that is where you like them, across the top or simply detached.

Just because my monitor is wider does not mean I want my applications that way. I might you know what to be able to have things side by side for comparison. Multiple displays is one solution but isn't so good on the go with a notebook.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#44364811)

Did you read more than just the first sentence I wrote? I pointed out that multiple visible windows is becoming common, especially with larger displays. And then I concluded that it would be best to make it an option so people can set it how they want.

Re:PC is not a tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364609)

Who died and made you king, so you got to decide what I use *my* horizontal space for? Or are you maybe one of those people who can't deal with more than one window/application at a time and therefore believe that all windows must be maximized, all the time at all cost?

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44364947)

You do have some flexibility in AOO. The Sidebars detach and you can make the into floating palettes and put them where you want, even onto a 2nd monitor if you want. Or collapse them and have the same UI layout you had in 3.4.1. Having the Sidebar UI available does not force you to do anything. It just permits you to do some new things.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 9 months ago | (#44363955)

One of the things that killed Unity on Ubuntu for me was that I couldn't move the launcher. I agree with you though about putting things on the sides. For the most part the aspect ratio of monitors has been getting wider, but that was because we needed wider screens to read content to help mitigate endless vertical scrolling. Now that we have nice wide screens applications are starting to suck up the left and right making the content viewing area smaller and smaller. But what I find is worse is the stupid ribbon interface for office, it's like poorly organized game of find the hidden object.

I'd propose that you just let people chose where they want to dock tool bars.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#44364293)

But what I find is worse is the stupid ribbon interface for office, it's like poorly organized game of find the hidden object.

I'm really not sure how its inherently any worse than the old menu structure plus toolbars. Its more consistent and easier to manage than a bunch of disconnected toolbars, and a deep menu hierarchy.

I think its only real disadvantage is that its "different" and people tend to reject change unless there is an overwhelming and obvious immediate benefit to it.

Took me a while to get used to, but I don't dislike it now. And would not prefer to go back.

Re:PC is not a tablet (2)

just_a_monkey (1004343) | about 9 months ago | (#44364593)

Strange how no-one "rejected change" in any other office version. Except for the one with Clippy.

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 9 months ago | (#44364791)

Strange how no-one "rejected change" in any other office version.

What change? Seriously, what was the big UI change between Office 95, 98, 2000, and 2003 that people would have objected to?

Re:PC is not a tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364651)

Virtually every PC sold today has a widescreen monitor. Stop putting full-width toolbars on the top and bottom. You are the problem.

captcha: "tyranny"

Oh, the problems from Open Source ... (0)

whoever57 (658626) | about 9 months ago | (#44363809)

Does this mean that I now have to switch back to OpenOffice instead of using LibreOffice? Oh, the problems and expense of Open Source, is it worth it? /sarcasm

No Worries, LibreOffice got you covered (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363873)

Don't worry, LibreOffice already has all the improvements imported from Apache, see https://www.libreoffice.org/download/4-1-new-features-and-fixes/

Re:Oh, the problems from Open Source ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364337)

Most people never chose to switch so you are in either in the minority of windows people that chose to switch or in the majority of the lusers that were forced by their distribution to switch. Either way, you probably won't have migration problems.

And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363815)

LibreOffice 4.1 is out later this week and they already imported all the bug fixes from Apache Office. According to https://www.libreoffice.org/download/4-1-new-features-and-fixes/ they picked up at least these improvements:
"A very large number of bugs have been fixed at an estimate of around 3000 bugs, of which 400 came from authors with apache.org mail addresses."
and
"Sidebar (Apache OpenOffice/IBM Symphony) with resizeable layout (LibreOffice team)"

I wonder when apache office will merge fully with LibreOffice.

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364195)

libreoffice is made by a bunch of selfish, whiny little girls.

openoffice is apache.

nuff said. openoffice gets my vote, my use, my recommendation.

libreoffice should've folded the moment apache was given openoffice. its goal (freedom from oracle) complete.

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364847)

said the whiny little girl

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364949)

libreoffice is made by a bunch of selfish, whiny little girls.

openoffice is apache.

nuff said. openoffice gets my vote, my use, my recommendation.

libreoffice should've folded the moment apache was given openoffice. its goal (freedom from oracle) complete.

Rob, is that you? Why are you posting under my name?

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (5, Interesting)

Luciano Moretti (2887109) | about 9 months ago | (#44364725)

It won't. At this point the codebases have incompatible licensing. LibreOffice can continue to pull in code from OpenOffice, but OpenOffice cannot pull back in code from LibreOffice.

As such, LibreOffice will likely continue to have major releases a week after OpenOffice, where all the good stuff from OpenOffice will get pulled in, but none of the good stuff from LibreOffice will be ported to OpenOffice.

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (4, Interesting)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44364981)

Actually, this is not quite true. There are a good number of contributors who are happy to work with both projects. They don't care about the license bullshit. They contribute equally to both projects. So there is a fair amount of code making it back into AOO from LibreOffice.

Also, some supports of free office software, like the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA) which sponsored much of the OOXML improvements in LibreOffice, have put a clause in their contracts that requires the code produced to be made under the Apache License, even when the code is targeted to LibreOffice. So AOO will have access to that work as well.

Of course, these are just small improvements to an overall climate of inefficiency. And the inefficiency goes in both directions. To the extent LO does not contribute patches upstream they are creating a deferred merge expense that will increase over time, each time they try to merge features down from AOO.

Re:And LibreOffice is already merging improvements (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 9 months ago | (#44365193)

I wonder when LIbreOffice will finally merge back with OpenOffice. Especially considering how much they are just copy/pasting features and bug fixes. I still think the OpenOffice name has a hell of a lot more recognition than LibreOffice, which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, and is only highlighting how difficult it can be for a business to switch to open source options when questions like "what's the difference between LibreOffice and OpenOffice" can't easily be answered for the people in charge of greenlighting stuff.

Sidebar! (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 9 months ago | (#44363821)

Finally, somthing that makes sense on 16x9 monitors, instead of the idiotic idea of taking up vertical space in a "ribbon"

Re:Sidebar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364013)

while it makes sense for widescreens, it is widescreens that really don't make sense...

Re:Sidebar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364263)

Widescreens make perfect sense for laptops, which are something like 70% of consumer PC sales (excluding tablets).

Sorry your yellowing 21" trinitron from 1998 is no longer relevant.

Re:Sidebar! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364331)

it is widescreens that really don't make sense...

Totally wrong. Wide-screens are naturally better due to the horizontal orientation of our eyes. Having spent 10 years working in television and computers, I consider wide-screen monitors to be the greatest technological development since color broadcasting. Faggots, niggers, and retards are the only 3 groups that prefer traditional 4:3 displays. So which one are you?

Re:Sidebar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365377)

The choices aren't mutually exclusive. It's entirely possible that he's all 3.

We don't need more features (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363831)

And we don't need more extensible frameworks.

We want something that installs and works smoothly from the get-go.

Still needs Java? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363891)

Then it's NFG (No Fucking Good)

Re:Still needs Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364321)

I see you were modded Underrated so I will reply. There is no "hard" Java requirement to use OO. The database engine and some other special functions do use it, however it doesn't require it (you just won't be able to use those functions.) Additionally there is no longer a bundled JVM which cuts down on bloat. If you have your own JRE/JDK installed, OO will detect and use it. Most of OO is written in C++.

Never thought I'd see the day (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#44363901)

*Two* open source offerings competing against each other instead of against Microsoft.

Keybindings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363947)

Does it yet support easy alternate key binding configurations, like emacs style editing keys? Firefox has had it for many years via the gtk config, and some of us have been asking for it in OO for close to ten years.

It seems each OO release breaks the past support for custom keybindings, and my old config files become useless. I am forced again and again to manually re-create basic emacs editing shortcuts (go to start of line, end of line, forward char, etc).

Why does that config api *always* change?

What's it gonna take for an easy to use option to do this?

Applixware (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#44364031)

Anyone else remember Applixware? I remember buying a shrink-wrapped copy in CompUSA in their Linux section back in the day.

Absolutely. Very fast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364889)

even on older hardware. And an extension language (ELF), and it could
pull from databases into a spreadsheet if you tweaked it a bit.

I think I plunked down a couple of hundred dollars for the initial RedHat release
as my contribution to the escape from microsoft.

you Faijl It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364111)

is perhaps Goals. It's when SureS that by the fact there won't dur1ng this file raise or lower the 'Yes' to any that has grown up Raadt's stubborn may also want

Output format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364113)

Tried to save to HTML, doesn't work, only PDF. Not good for what I need!?!?!

Sidebar the differentiator - really? (4, Interesting)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | about 9 months ago | (#44364121)

Well since they laud the new sidebar so much for better use of widescreen monitors they should love the fact that LibreOffice will have it within a few days...

4.1 [documentfoundation.org] is due in a matter of days which has an improved sidebar [documentfoundation.org] that's resizeable and not just a static part of the screen.

I really question what the point of AOO is at this juncture given that LO is clearly the more active project [ohloh.net] and has two years of code clean up and development over AOO due to the way Oracle let it stagnate for so long.

If you want to try 4.1 now it is on the pre-releases page [libreoffice.org] and it's the final RC there ... ie the same that will be released as final GA in a few days.

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (2, Informative)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44364317)

Too bad users use the product and don't gain direct productivity merely from looking at Ohloh stats.

But if they did, the numbers you point at show an interesting story. It shows that the average AOO contributor makes twice the number of commits as the average LO contributor. And the average AOO commit is far more significant, touching twice the number of files as the average LO commit. Net it out and the average AOO contributor is 4x as productive compared to the average LO contributor!

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (3, Interesting)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | about 9 months ago | (#44364515)

Too bad users use the product and don't gain direct productivity merely from looking at Ohloh stats.

But the stats do paint the picture of the direct benefit to the users...

See all those deleted lines? That's code clean up that is... That means less bugs and easier to maintain and also easier for new people to help with when they get an itch they need to scratch.

It shows that the average AOO contributor makes twice the number of commits as the average LO contributor. And the average AOO commit is far more significant, touching twice the number of files as the average LO commit. Net it out and the average AOO contributor is 4x as productive compared to the average LO contributor!

Way to twist the statistics...

In a way what you say is absolutely true but then that misses the mark but quite an impressive amount. It's almost to the point I feel a need to call you out on this as being literally true so no one can call you a liar but that truth being represented in such a way as to mask the real situation.

The recent libreoffice blog post [documentfoundation.org] covers the the growth of committers and includes a brief discussion of "the long tail" with a large number of people in the community submitting small fixes here and there because they can and to scratch a small itch... this is not happening on the AOO code base.

To me that shows a healthier development community of in the LO camp.

Put it this way if a project has 100 people each committing to 2 files over a code base and another project which had 2 people committing to 100 files over another fork which would you say was "more productive" and would you equate that with project healthiness?

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365309)

> In a way what you say is absolutely true but then that misses the mark but quite an impressive amount. It's almost to the point I feel a need to call you out on this as being literally true so no one can call you a liar but that truth being represented in such a way as to mask the real situation.

Yeah, that was some "interesting" statistics. But it is really easy to refute. In the last 12 months there were 52 developers on the Apache side (note they include people "hacking on the website" and 351 developers on the TDF/Libreoffice side (who are "pure" code hackers, website, etc is done by other people). Now lets just pretend those 300 "extra" LibreOffice hackers aren't there. Just look at the top 50 hackers on both sides. Also on Ohloh you can find that the 50th most active Apache hacker did 2 commits in the last 12 months, the 50th most active LibreOffice hacker did 53 commits the last 12 months. To get to the contributor in LibreOffice that only did 2 commits in the last 12 months you need to go down all the way to contributor number 150 (!).

Or the other way around, the top contributor to Apache (rcwier an IBM manager who mainly does HTML edits) contributes 755 commits in the last 12 months. The top 8 LibreOffice hackers contribute more than that number of commits (and all of them actual code, not just website promotion edits).

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364365)

I really question what the point of AOO is at this juncture given that LO is clearly the more active project [ohloh.net] and has two years of code clean up and development over AOO due to the way Oracle let it stagnate for so long.

The point is that without the Apache guys there wouldn't be a sidebar in either project. LibreOffice has done a lot of stuff but none if it is as visible as the Apache guys have done.

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (0)

Palestrina (715471) | about 9 months ago | (#44364829)

Exactly. LO seems to focus on making charts to explain how great they are, while AOO is just writing code and letting that speak for them.

LAWL @ "Letting the code speak for them" (0)

jensend (71114) | about 9 months ago | (#44365327)

As opposed to AOO, whose project lead spends his time writing juvenile insults and lies on Slashdot and LWN?

Nice try, Rob Weir.

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (3, Informative)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | about 9 months ago | (#44365011)

The point is that without the Apache guys there wouldn't be a sidebar in either project. LibreOffice has done a lot of stuff but none if it is as visible as the Apache guys have done.

This is nonsense... The sidebar stuff wasn't written by anyone in Apache - it was IBM code from the symphony project/fork donated to Apache that was then merged into AOO and merged (with small improvements like resizing) into LO as well...

As for the not visible bit have a look through the new features and fixes in 4.0 [libreoffice.org] and 4.1 [libreoffice.org].

There's a lot of nice new content with visible useful features such as chart import and export as both ODC and images in calc, presentation mode in Impress, visio import in Draw (that was LO 3.5), huge reduction of java dependencies, refactor how calc views cells internally for much faster performance on large spreadsheets, MS Publisher import, and the list goes on ....

As for letting the code speak for itself ... yes please do and it's obvious which project is currently healthier and better overall.

Re:Sidebar the differentiator - really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365019)

I use LO all the time now, but I'm not convinced that it's entirely better than OO. After all, this sidebar, which is years overdue (the whole UI needs a complete overhaul, although this is moving in the right direction), came from AO. That is, if OO didn't exist, LO would not be getting a sidebar (please correct me if I'm wrong, sincerely, although that's my understanding).

My impression is that LO is more active, and the releases contain more bugfixes and enhancements, but they're more trivial in magnitude than the ones OO makes. I.e., LO tends to bugfix and polish things, OO tends to introduce significant features like a sidebar.

It's for this reason I've been thinking the last few months about switching back to OO.

Remember that OO isn't the same as the old OO under Sun/Oracle, so any assumptions about development process may have changed.

Even though I use LO almost exclusively now, I would feel horrible if OO disappeared, because I have a sense that LO would stagnate in a sea of trivial bugfixes without making any real progress.

I give up on WISYWIG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364159)

I now use LaTeX because I just get the job done and done well.

WISYWIG is evil, we need to go back to WRITING our documents rather than dicking about with font sizes and colours.

Re:I give up on WISYWIG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364743)

And we should all go back to beige 486-based machines too, right? You know, you can still write in a WYSIWYG word processor, without "dicking about with font sizes and colours."

BTW, don't you change font sizes in LaTeX? Pretty sure I have.

Re:I give up on WISYWIG (3, Insightful)

kasperd (592156) | about 9 months ago | (#44364873)

I now use LaTeX because I just get the job done and done well.

WISYWIG is evil, we need to go back to WRITING our documents rather than dicking about with font sizes and colours.

As an added benefit you can store your documents in a source control system such that you can actually keep track of changes. (The change tracking I have seen build into some office suites was fundamentally flawed. They could only compare with one previous version and not show in which order changes were made. And they were relying on all the software used by the various parties to accurately record what was changed. Not really useful as anything other than a toy.)

Reveal Codes? (2)

TCPhotography (1245814) | about 9 months ago | (#44364329)

Does it have a WordPerfect-like Reveal Codes feature?

No?

No dice.

Re:Reveal Codes? (1)

Fierlo (842860) | about 9 months ago | (#44364799)

Reveal codes was such a great feature for making sure the formatting did everything as expected.

I always fight with Word at work to make sure everything is formatted properly.

NSA's backdoor (2)

beefoot (2250164) | about 9 months ago | (#44365177)

I don't know about you, I feel like exposing my erotic story I write to NSA. If openoffice does not have a back door to NSA, it will not cut it for me. Just saying.
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