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OpenOffice 2.3 Released

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the yay-free-software dept.

Software 293

ClickOnThis writes "Surely I'm not the only one who noticed that OpenOffice.org has announced the release of version 2.3! From the website: 'Available for download now, OpenOffice.org 2.3 incorporates an extensive array of new features and enhancements to all its core components, and protects users from newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It is a major release and all users should download it. Plus: It is only with 2.3 that users can make full use of our growing extensions library.' You can download it but be kind and use a P2P client instead, such as bittorrent."

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293 comments

I wonder (5, Insightful)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664147)

When will they focus on usability and speed rather than adding features. It may or may not be feature-complete (whatever that is) but it certainly is not yet quite as easy and streamlined to use even as some early nineties suites... Just my $0.02, don't bite my head off =)

Re:I wonder (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664161)

You must be the other guy who used AmiPro back in the 90s. Man, now that was a good word processor!

Re:I wonder (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664269)

No Samna was the bees knees.

Re:I wonder (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664319)

Unless I'm mistaken, Samna was the company. Likewise, AmiPro was not rewritten by Lotus until they rebadged it WordPro.

So Ami Pro == Samna?

Re:I wonder (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664425)

when I bought a PC in 1994...

it came with Lotus 123r5
and Lotus AmiPro.

it was definitely badged Lotus.... but who actually did the work, heh I dunno.

Re:I wonder (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665073)

Yes, Lotus bought Samna's Ami Pro, and instead of continuing to update it, they made it into WordPro, incorporated it into Lotus Smartsuite got bought by IBM, and Ami Pro, the best word processor ever, disappeared...

I actually still used Ami Pro until a few years ago, despite it's problems (8.3 file names, outdated (by 10 years!) import/export of .doc, and a few bugs).

I use TextMaker now because it sucks much less than the others overall, but I still regret Ami Pro...

Re:I wonder (3, Interesting)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664163)

For me, the only two missing features is quicker startup and better performance during use... I couldn't care less about anything else they might add.

Re:I wonder (4, Insightful)

cyborch (524661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664221)

Speed has a lot to say about user experience. It feels slow, which makes it fell like a huge bloated application. Somehow that needs to change, at least before I personally would feel better using it.

Then egain, I may really just be in the market for a .pages -> .odt converter, rather than a full OOo suite...

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

barry_the_bogan (976779) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664195)

Too true, I'm doing all my office type work on windows and MSOffice again because I couldn't stand how slow OpenOffice runs. I'll still download this to try it, but I'm unlikely to use it regularly until they make it somewhat more efficient.

Re:I wonder (5, Informative)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664359)

Have you tried turning off Java and increasing memory usage?

Doing that makes OO on Linux run about as well as MS office on Windows on a P4 with 1Gb (I know, I know, but its the only comparison I have).

It is still slower than Gnumeric or Lyx, which start up instantly and are never sluggish, but that is not an altogether fair comparison either.

Of course Oo are still at fault for using defaults that MOST people would be better off changing.

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

Budenny (888916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664427)

Yes, I have tried turning off Java and increasing memory. Makes no difference. The problem is this 'adapt row height' thing that it does on opening a workbook. I have some array formulas, and it simply takes forever to get through it. Its not acceptable. The row heights are all defaults in any case, so it must have some other than its literal meaning. There seems to be no information on it, no way to turn it off or find out what it is really doing.

This needs fixing asap, or its not competitive.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664635)

Yes, I have tried turning off Java and increasing memory. Makes no difference. The problem is this 'adapt row height' thing that it does on opening a workbook. I have some array formulas, and it simply takes forever to get through it. Its not acceptable. The row heights are all defaults in any case, so it must have some other than its literal meaning. There seems to be no information on it, no way to turn it off or find out what it is really doing.

This needs fixing asap, or its not competitive.
I probably shouldn't say anything since I don't have a clue what I am talking about but have never let that stop me so: Have you sent the OO devs a copy of your spreadsheet sans any proprietary or otherwise private info with a detailed comment of your issues with it? The particular formulas that you are using, while probably correct for you could still be bringing software bugs to the forefront and your spreadsheet might help them find and fix them.

Re:I wonder (3, Informative)

khanyisa (595216) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664643)

Presume you've filed a bug with a sample spreadsheet? Do it ASAP and you'll find that someone will probably take it up and fix it, even if it takes a while. The beauty is that it helps everyone else too...

Re:I wonder (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664995)

You actually expect someone who's complaining about free software to offer up 5 minutes of his busy day to even be bothered by thinking about contributing?

Re:I wonder (1)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665031)

Does anyone know what using Java in OpenOffice actually does? What difference does it make if you disable it?

Re:I wonder (2, Informative)

carl0ski (838038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665145)

mostly affects the database engines in Base (Access Clone) and some wizards in the other programs

Re:I wonder (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665019)

Is this purely a windows issue? I don't seem to have start-up issues on Linux, especially on older and underpowered hardware (running Debian in both cases), but then I only have Koffice Gnome-office to compare it to side by side, all three are open and ready to go within 3-8 seconds of launching the application (normally 3-5 seconds, closer to 8 at desktop start-up for obvious reasons.), The only start up annoyance I have is the recovery options.

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664213)

It is always good if someone bothers to post about an application that (s)he is not impressed with (Like you did). But it will help more if users like you give specific examples of what's missing or what's slightly difficult to use etc. In my case, I got so frustrated by the slow loading of documents in MS Office, the ever-so-frustrating virus-scanning of every document, and the lack of flexibility and anti-virus/anti-spyware mess of Windows (I know that the topic is not OSes), that I decided to move to Linux completely (After 5-6 years of dual-booting - Linux for work and Windows for gaming and office documents etc). Surprisingly I haven't had a single format problem in any MS document that I have imported, and I am very happy with my odt documents that I just save as Word doc before sending and nobody has complained. Although I know that I am no power user. So maybe you are saying that OpenOffice is not ready for the power user. But in that case, I would like to know where and why.

Re:I wonder (4, Informative)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664273)

Well I didn't want to come across as a whinger and I did want to get the first post so I had to make it quick ;) but I was referring to a general sluggishness. It does work. It does work well and I use it as my main suite at home, and I have never had any problems with MS formats (other than some obscure PPSs with macros but I understand why this is like that [and how to fix it] so I don't complain about that). Nevertheless it does take its sweet time to load the application and to open large, heavily-formatted files. Also the fact that it freezes while saving is annoying. So my point was: it is good, but rather than adding extra functionality I would like it better that they made the excellent stuff they have now to work faster. Like somebody else rightly said, making it feel smoother adds a lot to the "it's a serious and professional app" experience.

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664309)

I am by no means a "power user". I've used OO.o for a few years when doing mostly linux-work. Now I'm transitioning into project management more and more and in this world, almost everything is Microsoft. Documents are put into sharepoint, all documents exchanged are MS-Office and MS-Project is the standard tool.
Sharepoint connects nicely into MS-Office and so does MS-Project. Everything is "interleaved" or whatever I should call it. This doesn't mean that I can't use OO.o or KPlato or something else, but it does mean that its harder for me to do so.
Yes, the filters on OO.o are great, but are they good enough for me or do I have to do some extra work to convert those documents? Most likely there's something that won't work and I'd hate to be the one to explain that I broke document just because I wanted to use OO.o instead of the MS-O that the company provides.

Microsoft is damn good at making sure that it's harder to use competing products than it is to use theirs. Let's hope that the EU will make them open up all specs so that all companies can compete on equal terms.

.haeger

Not compatible ? (1)

SuurMyy (1003853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664587)

I almost never use ooffice, and just two days ago I witnessed a problem in an EU project w/word docs. Using anchored tables in the word doc caused compatibility problems w/ooffice. Granted, I heard that using those anchors is evil, but that's somewhat beside the point.

Re:Not compatible ? (1)

khanyisa (595216) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664663)

You've filed a bug? Or checked if one exists and voted for it? I sure hope so :-)

Re:Not compatible ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665023)

The problem with your slightly flippant reply is that some of us did once file and vote for bugs, but after seeing some of the most popular bugs in the whole system stay dormant for literally years and given that the OO bug reporting system is ludicrously overcomplicated for casual users, we don't generally bother any more.

Re:I wonder (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664235)

When will they focus on usability and speed rather than adding features.
Probably the same time that people stop bitching about stuff that MS Office does that it doesn't.

- RG>

Re:I wonder (5, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664243)

When will they focus on usability and speed rather than adding features.

"they" being every software developer who ever existed

Re:I wonder (1)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664263)

Couldn't agree more. I usually start writing in KWrite then convert to OOo to do formatting. When I am at work, I just open MS Word.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664293)

If you haven't tried a recent version, please do so. Once upon a time I felt the same way as you, noting issues such as usability and speed. Recent versions however have greatly improved.

Re:I wonder (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664301)

I agree, but let's come up with some specific examples for the OOo developers,

1. Use Tango Icons [freedesktop.org] (another example [musichall.cz]).
2. Ditch the floating toolbars, dock everything by default.
3.1 Simplify the toolbar: only show toolbar icons by default that are used every hour (eg, open, save, bold/italics, etc.). Eg, I haven't tried 2.3 but in Ubuntu 2.2 there's a button to toggle AutoSpellCheck. It's not used that frequently -- move it to a dropdownlist. And then we might even see the OpenOffice.org help button.
3.2 Group toolbar items into tabs (call them the Office Ribbons if you want... the Office Ribbon is just a ripoff of Dreamweaver UI Tabs [webindexing.biz] anyway and I'm sure they borrowed the idea from someone else. Stealing good ideas is a good thing).
4. Don't flicker in the spreadsheet when scrolling through lots of selected cells (eg, select a whole page and scroll)
5. Choose good default graph colours and design. Get gnome's jimmac to pick some... he may be colour blind but that guy knows colours [musichall.cz].
6. Grey-out icons with alpha, not with a every-second-pixel-grey mesh.
7. Make better HTML output targetted at profiles of browsers... the current one doesn't understand shadows or borders, and with CSS3 you can support that stuff. For older browsers that don't support CSS3 drop shadows then fake it with nested DIVs or something.
8. Have a strict ISO OpenDocument profile to save documents as... not just ODF 1.0 but check for proprietary stuff all through the document.
9. Don't use Java for ODF... well allow it as an option but come up with some JavaScript syntax (Java is too heavy to type, prefer Javascript/Python/Ruby or something). Use a P4X syntax for accessing a document object.
10. Allow arbitrary border images. Allow acronyms and abbreviations for disabled users.

Some of these are probably addressed in 2.3... sorry for the dups :)

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664419)

Just to clarify 9. I meant only for macros, not internally (use whatever you want) and of course I mean E4X not P4X.

Honestly, (2)

gondwannabe (1028488) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664485)

I have to use the OO spreadsheet to support some gawdawful SQL queries that are linked to some legacy CRM stuff...but it's like walking barefoot on gravel compared to Excel.

I think OO would do fine for anyone who hasn't spent years living in MSOffice - otherwise it's torture - I had to buy Office for an Admin who threatened to walk over OO formatting frustrations.

Wahhhh! Where's the frickin format painter???

Re:I wonder (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664597)

Yup. I've contributed lots of test cases, bug reports and enhancement requests to OOo.

But still, they just need to get power users to use the thing and lots of low hanging fruit will magically appear.
Problem is much of it requires confidential docs I don't want to post..

For example in very long text documents I would sometimes see it try to split it into pages to display it even though not displaying in print view.

Also I just tried the db forms thing for a client to be able to access a mysql db. It is totally unintuitive! Once you edit a form it is hard to get it back into the admin console, whatever that area needs some work. But it does seem to work though, even minimally it was useful. Any guides anywhere about using it?

Also, if you edit a live db in it, do rows that are displayed get locked while being displayed or might they be old data not reflecting current state of the db?

Also OOo formatting does not follow MS formatting in particular PPT. But it seems to work this is mainly interoperability I guess. I do use OOo myself now a lot, especially autocorrect helps my hands, so perhaps I should go back to usability testing it again.

Also I find the portableapps.com version of OOo very useful but a bit worried about updating, OOo should link to them.

Re:I wonder (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664599)

p.s. I was quite bummed I couldn't get mysql editing through OOo working in the PortableApps.com version. Worked okay with windows though. OOo should help them get it going and recommending it, it's a very good way to show people OOo and I like being able to carry my own configuration with me.

Re:I wonder (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664671)

"3.2 Group toolbar items into tabs (call them the Office Ribbons if you want... the Office Ribbon is just a ripoff of Dreamweaver UI Tabs [webindexing.biz] anyway and I'm sure they borrowed the idea from someone else. Stealing good ideas is a good thing)."

Actually the Office Ribbon are probably more properly considered 'ripoffs' of the Blender Button panel - the tabs for Blender are icons instead of text but other than that the resemblance is quite strong.

LetterRip

Re:I wonder (3, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665077)

OK, I'll play too. Some of these are really usability flaws and some might be classed as bugs but feel like usability flaws to the user:

  1. Fix mail merge in Writer. The whole data sources mess is broken, and the mail merge feature itself is unable to do simple things like merging to a single document that can subsequently be edited.
  2. Fix handling of fonts and typography (starting with being able to draw OpenType fonts properly and export them to PDFs at all).
  3. Fix the style selection mechanism. I don't generally use around 100 styles in one document, and I don't need 15,746 different views of the styles. I just want a list of the dozen or so styles I actually care about.
  4. Provide commands to revert the formatting of selected objects/text to the default for the current character/paragraph/whatever style individually. The vague "Default" command on the menu is unhelpful.

Obligatory disclaimer/excuse: I haven't yet had chance to install 2.3, so although I've seen no reports that the above have been addressed in this version, some of this may now be out of date.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664495)

When will they focus on usability and speed rather than adding features.
The new chart module is primarily for better usability. It doesn't make me immediately open xmgrace to make nicer charts as it did before and as Excel still does.

A slimmed down version would be a plus (1)

waterbear (190559) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665311)

I'm not sure that a version announced using the word 'growing' is a good thing at all. My ooo installation, on Mandriva Linux, already takes up 440 Mbytes and is sloooow! This is too much already! I'm considering getting rid of it and changing to something less bloated before it engulfs the whole machine!

-wb-

OpenOffice has a long way to go (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664207)

I haven't checked out this new release, but the previous release, imo, wasn't even up to par with Office 2003.

I'm an avid linux user but flat out Office 2007 is years ahead of OO. I hope this new release brings it significantly closer.

Re:OpenOffice has a long way to go (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664307)

Hopefully the extensions will close the gap.

From what I see, you can do rather nifty things with them.

Re:OpenOffice has a long way to go (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664331)

How long did you use OOo for? I'm finding it does take some acclimation to and it often requires more steps then Office does, however I would say its fairly close to Office 2003.

Re:OpenOffice has a long way to go (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664843)

I find this odd. I don't use word processors much, same for spreadsheets. You probably wouldn't catch me even thinking about doing anything with power point.

But when I do need to do something, I find OO.org to be easier to get it done with then MS office is. I have both and I'm not really sure why we are at the exact opposite of the experience unless experience in using the app is the big difference.

I guess it would make sense that someone who isn't as clued in to MS Office might take to something else easier. But for me, OO.org just seems more intuitive and natural when I use it or the features. I have to hunt for things in both products but I tend to locate them and use them easier in OO too.

Re:OpenOffice has a long way to go (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665003)

Well unlike you I don't have to hunt for things in Office, because I did it a long time ago and I simply know where it is now. However in OOo I have to hunt for it.

Re:OpenOffice has a long way to go (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665067)

OO also tends to be more intuitive to people who learned on systems other than msoffice (eg wordperfect)...
The only people who prefer msoffice, tend to have never really used anything else. A lot of people try openoffice very briefly, before giving up on it. Not giving it a proper chance to get used to it. Conversely, most msoffice users are forced to at work, so they have to use it long enough to get used to its quirks.

Error bars - woohoo! (5, Informative)

Goonie (8651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664211)

Openoffice's charts have been pretty much useless for any scientific work because they don't support proper error bars.Apparently the new charting tool [blogs.com] will have full error bar support.

With any luck, I won't have to fire up MSOffice ever again...

Re:Error bars - woohoo! (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664339)

Openoffice's charts have been pretty much useless for any scientific work because they don't support proper error bars.

Then don't make errors ;-P
     

Wah!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664397)

You do scientific work with MS Office???
You must be kidding!

Re:Wah!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664477)

Get with the program asshole. Thats why noone will hire you.

Re:Wah!? (3, Informative)

sophanes (837600) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664505)

I'd have to agree - compared to proper packages like OriginPro (or even Matlab) Excel produces the most amateurish and ugly looking graphs. Simple tasks (like adding error bars) are made much harder than they should be. Data analysis options are non-existent, and forget about being able to export to EPS.

Depends (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664759)

Not everybody needs super-duper charts (though I may need something fancier for my current project). For most of my previous charts, either using Gnuplot or Excel produced acceptable output. Excel was quicker for very basic purposes. But if your graph doesn't have error bars on it when you present at a conference, the attendees laugh at you, and there's nothing more disconcerting to be laughed at presenting a conference paper!

As for data analysis, there are innumerable other packages available for that, all the way up to stuff like GNU R (or writing your own code).

Re:Depends (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664877)

Given what day it is today, should that not be GNU Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr?

Seriously, R's graphical output is thoroughly production-quality. I use it all the time and wince with pain to see the nasty looking graphs produced by most spreadsheets.

Re:Wah!? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665037)

Not to mention the reputation for inaccuracy excel has... And unfortunately, openoffice seems to copy (i assume for compatibility, people will assume openoffice to be wrong if it returns a different answer to excel regardless of which one is in the wrong).
Anyone using excel for scientific purposes is compromising the integrity of their research.

Re:Error bars - woohoo! (3, Informative)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664437)

I got really excited when I read your post. Error bars were the sole reason I reinstalled MS Office last week. Unfortunately, I just ran Calc and checked out the new chart tool. Nothing seems to have changed, other than a new, fancy interface. It still lacks the ability to use a data range as error bars for a range of data points, and still lacks the ability to display a trendline equation on the graph. Looks like I'm still going to be split between OO Writer and MS Excel.

Re:Error bars - woohoo! (2, Informative)

kocsonya (141716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664701)

Charts have been useless for any serious work since always. With every beta test that Sun ran on the StarOffice variants detailed reports of missing chart features have been submitted to them. Nothing happened throughout quite a few revisions.

A lot of work went into eye-candy like all those toolbars that pop up and disappear, which is extremely annoying when you just move the cursor through the document and your view jumps up and down as the toolbars came into existence and disappear, but many reported bugs and actual usability issues remained unresolved. I haven't updated for a while: I did beta testing of StartOffice and tried OOo every now and then and decided that it was actually better to use the old stuff, most of the problems were not fixed. GUI changes were plenty but I don't really care how the dialog box looks like, I am much more interested in the dialog being a non-modal context aware box rather than the usual modal boxes with themable icons.

There was an ApplixWare suite a long time ago. It was quite limited compared to OOo, however, they created a user interface that was quite friendly, non-modal dialogs all around, tri-state checkbox (yes, no, inherit) on all hierarchical features, ultra-flexible numbering scheme (OOo's outline numbering is a pain in the neck) and so on. Not to mention a very powerful and flexible chart (although sometimes you needed some creativity to work with it) and an absolute seamless intergation of the tools to each other. It wasn't perfect, had bugs, missing features etc. but it was quite flexible (when you got the gist of it). Unfortunately, it was also closed source, proprietary code and AFAIK it became abandonware when Applix switched from the multi-platform office suite to Windows-only business software service mode maybe 4-5 years ago. Still, a lot could be learnt from the way they did the user interface, for example. They did not copy MS Word, they created an application. IMHO, at least on the user interface and flexibility front, they fared far better than OOo.

Re:Error bars - woohoo! (3, Insightful)

antiknijn (752777) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664481)

If you're serious about your charting, why not look into good alternatives like R, Octave or GNUPlot? These all come for free and offer vastly superior charting possibilities than Excel.

Re:Error bars - woohoo! (1)

QuantumTheologian (1155137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664487)

I've always done scientific work using the ROOT analysis framework: root.cern.ch [slashdot.org]. Granted, it's designed and been developed with particle physics in mind, but it's free, it's actively developed, and it works. Is there any reason why one would use a general purpose office program (MS or OOo) over something more suited to scientific analysis?

Take a look at Veusz (2, Informative)

xiox (66483) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665059)

Take a look at Veusz [gna.org] if you want proper scientific charting on Windows, Linux and MacOS. [plug]

Extentions (1)

headbulb (534102) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664239)

The extensions if done right. As to take out the features that are not used.

So we have the core of the application and then if you want a feature you add it through extensions. Kinda like firefox. Whether it works out that way is another question. I haven't downloaded this release yet to know if they have made it faster.

I am with the stay with the features you have and make openoffice faster. What features are missing? None that I really use and if a feature is missing I could probably get by without it, for my needs.

Re:Extentions (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664455)

Extensions are good for things that:
* Are rarely used
* The developers don't have time to code
* Things the application can't do better natively

If there are features that are used regularly and can be done better natively, its certainly worthwhile coding them in. Beyond the speed at start up, I haven't found it to be particularly slow.

When complaining about missing features (4, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664299)

as is inevitable, it might help if you give details, and leave out things like "doesn't act exactly like Word"

Re:When complaining about missing features (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665267)

It needs to act like Word in one particular case. It must load Word documents and format them exactly like Word, and when it saves them there must be no way of telling whether it was done in Word or OpenOffice.

The purist will of course say, "OpenOffice shouldn't be defined by Word" - and in fairyland that's a very reasonable stance.

Word is the #1 word processing package (in terms of numbers) - like it or not (personally I don't). One of the distribution channels for OpenOffice must be by sneaking in as a faster replacement for Word - but it can't do that if someone sends me a document, I edit it and send it back to them, and they tell me that all the tables are screwed up or whatever, even though it looked fine for me on OO.

Outside of that, it should do its own thing.

An improvement to OOo (0)

d12v10 (1046686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664449)

It would be most appreciated if OpenOffice was sped up to the point where it doesn't take ten seconds to load up and then periodically halt every couple of minutes on a P4.

Re:An improvement to OOo (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664657)

I tested this assertion and found that despite your claims Calc, Writer does open as quickly as Excel. The only one that opened significantly slower was Base compared with Access.

Unfortunately Excel is able to open 500KB files significantly faster then Calc, although I've yet to have it freeze on my computer, an Intel Core 2 with 1 GB of ram.

Re:An improvement to OOo (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664855)

I love OO as an idea but I've always said I can't use it till it gets competitive with excel. you think you had problems with 500kb file? I got a core 2 duo but my files are more along the lines of 40 mb..... open office just dies. excel doesn't do much better but I can be sure it'll run.

I find boot times for open office pitifully slow but I'm running version 2.0 or earlier.... it runs fast enough for my home use but I want to kill it every time I try to do work on it.

The big feature! (4, Informative)

aurelito (566884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664535)

The big feature, as far as I'm concerned, is the fact that the page is now centered in print layout view. Until now, it was left-justified, and that absolutely drove me nuts on my wide screen monitor. If it bothered you too, check this version out.

Re:The big feature! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664603)

Thanks for the tip, I wonder what was the original reasoning for a left justification.

Re:The big feature! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665191)

Probably to stick the Styles panel to the right. At least that is what I do on my 4:3 monitor.

That said, I would prefer that the styles panel could dock to the side... But hey, it's a free and good office suite, so I'm not complaining.

As a Gentoo user... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664559)

I am deeply troubled by this announcement.

Sign the damn installer (Windows) (3, Interesting)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664573)

This is getting old. In Vista, the UAC elevation process checks the file signature. Since the OOo installer for Windows elevates, it should be signed. So should the actual application binaries, but the installer is particularly problematic.

A code-signing certificate is around $100 per year. This is peanuts for the OOo Foundation.

Mozilla signs their Windows binaries. So do Adobe, Corel, Apple, NVIDIA, ATI, Sun, Microsoft, and thousands of small software companies.

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (1)

LinuxEagle (1123659) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664915)

Um... why should they have to spend $100? Last time I checked Linux and macs did not require programs to be signed.

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (0, Flamebait)

tomknight (190939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665063)

Are you *trying* to look stupid? Read the damn post - the guy's talking about *Windows* binaries. Not Mac, not Linux, but Windows. I'm sure you love Linux and want the world to know it but all you're doing is making Linux users appear illiterate.

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665089)

You're missing the point. Paying a fee to sign the installer is just a tax on legitimate software developers. Everyone else manages without it, and if all it takes is a $100 bill to get a certificate, then that is exactly what a certificate is worth (and deflation will take place the first time a major trojan is installed by signed software).

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (4, Insightful)

tomknight (190939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665183)

Certification isn't just about paying $100, it's about meeting a standard. Here's [209.85.135.104] an html version of the MS doc saying what a package must be/do to be certifiable (as 'twere).

I've had to deal with crappy installers (I've created a few of them...) and know that it's much easier to deal with a good one, especially when supporting a large number of machines. That bit of certification can help give a sysadmin confidence that this installation isn't going to be a PITA when it comes to upgrading/removing/conflicts/reboots over a large number of machines.

Does that help at all?

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20665121)

I might be totally wrong here but AFAIK, doesn't the signing cert have to be accepted by Microsoft? And dose not that cost money (lots probably) and why would they accept (quickly,fast etc) a cert for a product that is the main opponent to their second most profitable product? (Office 2007)

Re:Sign the damn installer (Windows) (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665185)

I might be totally wrong here but AFAIK, doesn't the signing cert have to be accepted by Microsoft?

Yes, you are totally wrong.

This isn't a Windows logo type thing, this is just origin verification.

Use the bittorent - it's fast (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664575)

It's faster than their download servers right now, maybe because the story just broke...

As for this release, I'm still a rabid fan of MS Office but when I dual-boot into Linux this is my Office suite (got it under Windows as well). It's nice that MS has some promising competition, even if it's not ready to quite replace MS Office (especially with the advancements made in 2007)

Zotero extension for bibliographies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20664585)

Anyone who makes documents with bibliographies should check out Zotero, but OpenOffice.org users in particular can benefit from the Zotero extension for inserting citations directly in odt documents. Like EndNote, but better.
http://www.zotero.org/ [zotero.org]

(Yes, there is a Zotero plugin for MS Word, too, for those unfortunate people who are stuck with that. :-))

Source Code Cleanup (5, Insightful)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664609)

What I really, really want from OOo is a cleanup of the code to the point where merely-mortal developers like myself can actually do something useful with it. As it is, the codebase is just this great big hairy ball of stuff -- completely unapproachable unless you have someone willing to fork out a paycheck for you to bang on it full time.

Far too many open-source projects miss the point that one of their major "features" is clean code, design and architecture documentation; a big part of the "user base" are the people who might want to live (sometimes) inside the code. That means you have to keep the barrier to entry low for the programmer who is a noob to your codebase. (We could talk about how some OS projects lack developers who are clued enough to actually write clean code or design decently, but we won't go there ;-)

Until a real and deep codebase cleanup happens OOo is "open-source" in name only as far as I am concerned.

Re:Source Code Cleanup (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665041)

You are so right. The code is a mess. Everyone complains about it. The fact that there are very few contributors outside paid staff is also well known. There is some work on cleaning it up, but not nearly enough. Once the code is clean and modular, there will be many more contributors and much more advancement.

PDF Forms & Flash Animations (1)

Phoinix (666047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664641)

One of the best features is exporting PDF files especially while using a "Portable" version of OOo. They had some issues in exporting forms (thru the Writer) in the previous versions where the exported form failed to show or work with Adobe Acrobat and Foxit software.

A great future improvement would be the ability to export the presentation animations and transition effects (Impress) to Flash animations & transitions.

It would be also interesting to see the worldwide distribution of the downloaded versions (directly or via Torrent) and the clients used (browsers, torrents, and download clients).

Re:PDF Forms & Flash Animations (1)

jiawen (693693) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664729)

Impress already does Flash, at least as of version 2.2. In "Export", one of the options is .swf Flash files.

Re:PDF Forms & Flash Animations (1)

Phoinix (666047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664775)

Yes, and I always keep a copy of my presentation in Flash in case non of the other formats (ppt & PDF) worked or when I want to make it more dificult for someone to steal the presentation contents, but the last time I checked (2.1), the animations included in a presentation are not exported. I am not a fan of animations in presentations but it would be a great feature to encourage people to use OOo.

British English. (3, Informative)

Ashe Tyrael (697937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664917)

Depressingly, they still haven't fixed the British English localisation (Not the spell checker, the actual UI and stuff.) There was some hoohah about the en-GB versions after 2.0.2 being broken or something, so OO wouldn't release 'em. Even now, the OO website still has the same guy doing it who doesn't appear to have actually done anything since then.

Re:British English. (1)

netean (549800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20664969)

I live in Wales (for the Americans out there: Wales a seperate country that is part of the UK- where Tom Jones and Kathryn Zeta Jones come from!!!)

anyway, I NEED to be able write documents in both languages, British English and Welsh (CY). Never been a problem in M$ office. HIghlight some text and select the lanuage from the drop down. spell Check works in both languages.

Never been able to do this in OOo... language seems defined on a per document basis.

Surely I can't be the only person in the world who writes documents in two languages at once?

Re:British English. (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665217)

No, you're not the only one... However, the language settings are part of the "Character format". Which makes sense... Include it in your styles (e.g. "Body Text French", "Body Text English" and it becomes way easier than in Microsoft Office... Where it really seems to be document-bound (Tool->Languages->Set Language).

Re:British English. (1)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665221)

Surely I can't be the only person in the world who writes documents in two languages at once?
Tons of people from Sweden write documents with a mixture of Swedish and English. So no, you're not alone.

Maximized Macintosh Spreadsheets (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#20665279)

So will this version finally remember the window size of a spreadsheet and not always open it maximized on the 2048x1536 head of my two-headed Mac? Nothing I do to it changes this behavior. I have to manually unmaximize and resize every damn time!

And how about how if you try to move to another cell while it is recalculating it keeps repeating the recalculation until you wait for the redraw to finish?
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