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Apache OpenOffice Releases Version 3.4 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that Apache OpenOffice 3.4 has been released (download). This is the first release since OpenOffice became a project at the Apache Software Foundation. The release notes list all of the improvements, the highlights of which The H has summarized: "According to its developers, Apache OpenOffice (AOO) 3.4.0, the first update since OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 from January 2011, now starts up faster than its predecessor and introduces a number of new features such as support for documents secured using AES256 encryption. The Linear Programming solver in the Calc spreadsheet program has been replaced with the CoinMP C-API library from the Computational Infrastructure for Operations Research (COIN-OR) project. As in LibreOffice 3.4.0, the DataPilot functionality has been renamed to Pivot Table, and now supports an unlimited number of fields. A new 'Quote all text cells' CSV (Comma Separated Values) export option has been also added to Calc. Other changes include improved ODF 1.2 encryption and Unix Printing support and various enhancements to the Impress presentation and Draw sketching programs."
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Apache OpenOffice Releases Version 3.4

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  • So like... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Which office suite are we supposed to be cheerleading for here at slashdot? I though it was LibreOffice

    • Calligra (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:56PM (#39933877)

      No, it's Calligra. :P

    • Well, vi vs. Emacs was getting old already, thanks to Oracle we now have a more modern target: OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice. :-)

    • Re:So like... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:23PM (#39934279) Journal

      LaTeX and R.

    • Re:So like... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cupantae (1304123) <maroneill AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @08:50PM (#39936537)

      I'm glad both LibreOffice and OpenOffice exist.
      # The two will mimic each other's positive changes
      # They will presumably stay compatible, but distinct
      # One is a community effort, the other is a corporate effort (or at least, that's the image each has)

      The dream is that high-quality open formats become standard in all major office suites, so that people can choose to buy or download what they want. The choice should be in the interface used, and not the level of compatibility with the rest of the world.

  • by russlar (1122455) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:56PM (#39933883)
    This should really be from the I'm-not-dead-yet! department
    • by jsepeta (412566)

      I know! I just migrated my company to LibreOffice, and I'm not sure why I would want to migrate back.

  • The Real Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkn0va (807617) <apt.get@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:58PM (#39933919) Homepage

    The question on my mind as I read this, and I think many here would agree, is "so what makes this different from or better than Libre Office, now that Oracle has alienated a significant portion of OpenOffice's users and developers?"

    Yeah, diversity is good, but I'd like to see this project tout its advantages if they think there be any.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUKThYfZuzY

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, I still use OpenOffice at home because based on the LibreOffice install at work what's changed is mostly bugs, crashes, and perverse behaviour.

      For example: it seems to be impossible to open a tab-separated file in Calc. Try it from within Calc, and it'll dump the file into Writer instead.

      • by IANAAC (692242)

        Well, I still use OpenOffice at home because based on the LibreOffice install at work what's changed is mostly bugs, crashes, and perverse behaviour.

        For example: it seems to be impossible to open a tab-separated file in Calc. Try it from within Calc, and it'll dump the file into Writer instead.

        Confusing language. Are you saying that this happens in OpenOffice or LibreOffice? I use Calc/LibreOffice all the time to import tab-delimited files with no trouble. Writer's not involved at all.

        • He may be trying to open a csv file with an ambiguous extension. In that case. If you do not select Text CSV as the file type when opening the file, the document opens in Writer, not Calc. Actually he mentions specifically that he is opening a tab file. Which is sufficient for the program to not be able to read his mind.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      + 1 You-read-my-mind.

      Now we need someone to answer it. LibreOffice is free (both cost and open source). OpenOffice is???

    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:25PM (#39935701)
      I've got a great reason that I'm downloading openoffice right now for. It's this [freedesktop.org] issue. In a nutshell, many moons ago Excel changed their selection rules behavior for no explicable reason and every other spreadsheet on the planet has been copying their behavior. When you call the developers on this, like the guy who submitted this bug report, the developer response is "everyone else does it this way so I won't change it". If Libreoffice is going to strive to be the best clone of Excel that it can, why would I use it? Given the choice, I'll just use Excel. Maybe the Apache version of OO.org still has some distinct behavior instead of just being a clone of something else.
      • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:58PM (#39935969)
        I can confirm that the Apache OO still follows the sane way to select multiple cells unlike Libreoffice. For me, this is a "killer" feature -- I can't live without this so libreoffice has been uninstalled and OO has come back onto my desktop.

        As an aside, why is it nowadays that I spend more time trying to get software to behave the way it used to behave before it was updated? I've had problems with "upgrades" of MS Office, OS X, Windows, Openoffice, gnome, kde, and even just getting e17 to work any more on my home machine is an issue. Either I'm just getting old or the productivity of software on the desktop has peaked and in the continual drive for improving things, we're just making worse software. I still upgrade, because there are often some new features that I like in the new software, but it often feels like one step forward, one step back.
        • > As an aside, why is it nowadays that I spend more time trying to get software to behave the way it used to behave before it was updated?

          Possibly because if software progressed towards perfection you'd need updates less and less frequently. So commercial software rehashes stuff or even boycotts its own stuff, look at adobe/flash, microsoft/.net, oracle/java, nokia/maemo, apple/final cut pro. and sadly the pressure to look like the advertised latest and greatest affects free software developers that end

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Given the choice, I'll just use Excel

        Because Excel costs mucho deniro, where Open or LibreOffice does not. Oh and yes it is worthwhile to copy the behavior users are accustomed to, rather than something new that has to be relearned (and make users grumble).

    • by antdude (79039)

      I am having problems running installed and portable LibreOffice after v3.3. I posted http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/users/msg19652.html [libreoffice.org] in the public mailing list and added a bug report: ttps://www.libreoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=49499 .... Maybe someone else can help me? For now, I will have to use the old versions like v3.3.x.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @04:59PM (#39933945)

    Horribly out of date vs. LibreOffice - see the comparison [gnome.org] - missing a ton of filters, barely interoperable with Microsoft Office, etc. etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Licensing ensures that it will stay that way. ApacheOffice code can be copied into LibreOffice (Apache License -> LGPL), but the reverse is not true.

      • Plus the last I looked, (not sure if this is still the case), OpenOffice demanded copyright attribution, whereas LibreOffice doesn't. LibreOffice can't realistically change their license to a non-GPL compatible, non copyleft license, because they would have to get permission from every copyright holder. The only reason the Apache foundation could change the license was because Sun / Oracle demanded that all the authors sign their rights away.

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        Actually, it is easier for Apache license to be converted to LGPL but it is not completely impossible to do the reverse. To do the reverse, they would have to contact everyone who has made commits to see if they are willing to dual license their potion of the code. Any code that they can't get permission for they will have to rewrite.
    • Yeah an few users by comparison. People don't know what LibreOffice is. Sorry but the Libre folk should merge back with the product which has some market share.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @06:31PM (#39935147) Journal

        You can't merge GPL code into Apache license code, it's not compatible that way.

        Instead, Apache should just give the rights to OpenOffice brand to LibreOffice, and merge their changes into LO codebase (which is possible).

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          I disagree. Why should Apache have to?

          This is my only problem with GPL - its adherents think it's the One True License and that everyone else should comply.

          • I'm not a GPL adherent, not by a long shot. In this case, the reasons are purely pragmatical: it is already clear that the development of LibreOffice is going much faster than OpenOffice, and e.g. most Linux distro already ship LO. The situation between two forks right now is most closely resembling Xorg vs XFree86, and we know how that went for the latter. There's simply no meaningful purpose in having them different. That the more developed fork also happens to be LGPL-licensed is of no consequence - it's

        • by unixisc (2429386)
          Actually, GPL2 wasn't compatible w/ the Apache license. GPL3 is [gnu.org]. However, since few outside FSF are going from GPL2 to GPL3, for practical purposes, what you say is correct.
      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @06:37PM (#39935219)

        Yeah an few users by comparison. People don't know what LibreOffice is. Sorry but the Libre folk should merge back with the product which has some market share.

        Marketshare (as opposed to usage share or other shares) is usually defined as "$ sales for product/$ sales for all products in the market". As such, both LO and AOO have either 0% marketshare or undefined marketshare, depending on how you draw the boundary of the market.

        Usage share, I suspect that LibreOffice has at least as much as AOO (which, after all, just had its first stable release), though they both probably have less than their common ancestor, OOo.

        LibreOffice is also more feature rich and under more active development, so from all indications AOO is likely to get further and further behind over time, which is going to make it very hard for it to maintain, much less gain, usage share against LO.

    • by fermion (181285)
      Your beliefs do not depend on others agreeing with you. Repeat that 100 times.

      I need something that works. I know Libreoffice works now, but in the past basic functionality has been subservient to features. It doesn't matter if you disagree. This is my experience. At some point if OO.org stops doing what I need it do, then I will try Libreoffice.

      MS functionality is very important to those that have depended MS for their livelihood. This is beyond just a workflow to the point where the MS lords giv

  • Great news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Palestrina (715471) * on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:16PM (#39934169) Homepage

    I've been using OpenOffice.org for years. I just want it to work. I don't care so much about the bickering about whose license is better. So it is good to see the code land at Apache, a foundation with a decade of experience running open source projects. I think the move to Apache shows a seriousness of purpose and a focus on producing a solid product and growing a open source community free from corporate domination.

    And in the end, the question is not how this compares to LibreOffice. That is a non-question considering that their market share is a round-off error. The real question is how Apache OpenOffice compares to Microsoft Office, and what will they do to make it something that users will prefer. Free is nice, I don't question that. But debating who is free and who is libre and who is more free, etc., misses the point entirely. Users have work to do, and generally don't care about licenses. If they did then 90%+ would not be running MS Office.

    So good news. I've upgraded. But the big question is, "What next?" And maybe, "How can we help?"

    • by Harbo (111712)

      Subscribe to their lists. http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/mailing-lists.html
      Some ideas here: https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/OOOUSERS/Help+Wanted
      Also it's fun to write extensions...which are hosted over on SourceForge.

    • Not so great news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:27PM (#39934327)

      Picking Apache "because they know how to do this OpenSourc-ey thing" is like buying IBM because it never gets you fired - a pointy-haired boss decision of cluelessness. It meanwhile looks like the folks at LibreOffice know how to build nice communities just alright.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But debating who is free and who is libre and who is more free, etc., misses the point entirely.

      No, thinking that the main difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice is about one being more free than the other is missing the point.

    • Re:Great news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by feranick (858651) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @05:38PM (#39934493)
      "the question is not how this compares to LibreOffice. That is a non-question considering that their market share is a round-off error. "

      I am sure you have actual evidence to back your statement. Libreoffice is the de facto standard office suite in any linux distro. Besides, the fast pace and the publicity coverage it received (correctly so, I should say), compared to OO.org, made it a much more known product that you think it is (The Document Foundation in September 2011 claimed an installed based of about 25 million users).
  • Oracle (Score:5, Funny)

    by dmbasso (1052166) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @06:11PM (#39934873)

    So, how long until Oracle sues them for using Java? :p

  • I guess anyway.

    To be honest, its hard to get excited when there are 2 competing groups using basically the same code-base, targeting the same audience... Seems like such a waste of talent.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      It's the same with anything, should there only be one car company in the world? How about Nvidia vs AMD? Surely if they just worked together.. Just because both are open source doesn't mean much.

  • Dead Man Walking.
  • Well then, the 10 people still using OpenOffice will be able to update... I mean, LibreOffice is faster and their template site works. Plus it does not have that Oracle logo...

  • by demon driver (1046738) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:43AM (#39939121) Journal

    I can't say which I find less encouraging and less trust-inspiring, the fact that the support for writing StarOffice 5 binary formats (sdw, sdc, sda, etc.) has been dropped per se, or the circumstance that such a significant change has been introduced quietly and without even being mentioned in the release notes.

    Did they hope nobody would notice, perhaps assuming that users of StarOffice binary file formats would have all died of old age by now?

    Not all have, though, and some do even remember that StarOffice 5.2 used to have a feature set which OpenOffice and LibreOffice, more than ten years later, still do not completely replace, which is why some still keep their StarOffice 5.2 setup (working perfectly well on Windows 7 x64) alive, some alongside whatever else they may be using these days, some (like myself) even as their primary office application suite.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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