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Looking Back On a Year of LibreOffice 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-on-keeping-on dept.
superapecommando writes "Simon Phipps, former head of open source at Sun and a backer of LibreOffice, looks at a tempestuous year for the OpenOffice fork. 'Once framed as an impetuous fork, LibreOffice has become the standard-bearer for the former OpenOffice community,' he says. 'It's far from perfect, of course. New open source projects never are and volunteer projects lack the corporate resources to make it look otherwise. But I have no doubt that it's working.'"
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Looking Back On a Year of LibreOffice

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  • After seeing a post on here, Ive switched to Lotus Symphony, which I have been much happier with. It feels like a much better replacement to me, and I now use it full time over Open or Libre Office.

  • by vossman77 (300689) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @09:26PM (#37607308) Homepage

    I switched immediately after the fork and have been really happy. I had to use NeoOffice before because OpenOffice is completely unusable on MacOSX.

    • I've been happy with it, enough that I'd say that it's the best thing to happen to OpenOffice.org in years. But seriously, it's been a year and they still haven't come up with a decent name? The whole 'Libre' thing was supposed to be temporary!

      *sigh* I know, this is the same type of folks who still think the GIMP is well named.

      • It's okay, you never actually need to refer to it by name, just use the abbreviation. LO.o, pronounced loo, is less of a mouthful. As in 'I'm going to open your document in the loo'.
  • I still have OOo on my Linux box, and switched my Mac to LibreOffice a month or two ago. I don't spend a huge amount of time in Libre on the Mac, but it worked great for one 250 page spec document and a few smaller pieces.

  • All That I use (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rueger (210566) * on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @09:45PM (#37607428) Homepage
    For years I always installed OpenOffice, but always wound up relying on MS Office because OO was slower, only about 85% compatible in terms of opening and saving files, and just generally wasn't as good. And as good as WINE is, running the MS product on Linux is not always easy or fast.

    When I upgraded Ubuntu to natty LibreOffice came with it. I can honestly say that I haven't opened up Excel or Word for weeks. LO opens all of my existing files, with formatting unchanged, and works flawlessly. Plus it has that glorious one button PDF export, which in the past was so good that I would write in Word, save, and then open in OO just to use it.

    For most people who use a lot of Word or Excel, but not the more exotic functions, I'd say try LibreOffice. It's fast, and does great job. It's what OO always tried to be, but failed.

    Disclaimer: I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 and Reveal Codes.
    • by Kozz (7764)

      As for PDF generation, I've gotta tell you that I still use PDFCreator. Yeah, OOo / LO has that button, but I've found that PDFCreator makes them a bit slimmer in terms of file size. Install it now from sf.net and you won't find yourself changing from MS to LO just for getting a snazzy PDF.

      • I stopped using PDFCreator back when their SF installer started coming with malware auto-installed, even if you said no to the browser bar.

        Instead, I use the MS plugin for Office which supplies PDF as a save as option.

        • by Kozz (7764)

          I stopped using PDFCreator back when their SF installer started coming with malware auto-installed, even if you said no to the browser bar.

          Instead, I use the MS plugin for Office which supplies PDF as a save as option.

          I completely understand, and I'm by no means a fan of apps installing browser crap of one kind or another. However, if you're careful and say "no", it won't install the browser / BHO crap. Foxit PDF I think also is another free product that comes with potential crapware, but I've just learned (and re-learned!) to be careful installing pretty much anything at all.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Aren't OO and LibreOffice currently the same? I read the changelogs and didn't see much differences in terms of compatibilities. Maybe I missed them?

    • "Plus it has that glorious one button PDF export, which in the past was so good that I would write in Word, save, and then open in OO just to use it."

      Wouldn't "Save As" directly from Word have been easier? Just select PDF as the filetype and you're good to go...

      I'm still trying to get LibreOffice to scroll properly with Thinkpads... no scrolling => tedious navigation => me pulling my hair out.

      Office 2010 on the other hand, while expensive, works quite well and provides a lot of functions that just don

    • by Ash Vince (602485) *

      When I upgraded Ubuntu to natty LibreOffice came with it. I can honestly say that I haven't opened up Excel or Word for weeks. LO opens all of my existing files, with formatting unchanged, and works flawlessly

      Do you get many Office 2010 files? We often get sent them at work as most of the corporate world is on MS and it often gives me issues when opening or saving them and formatting going a bit wrong. I would like to move away from Ms Office as I am loathe to learn that crazy ribbon thing but unless I can 100% rely on Libre Office or Open Office to always create or save a file that opens perfectly in Ms Office then I just can't use it.

      Disclaimer: I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 and Reveal Codes.

      Here here.

  • by tyrione (134248) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @10:32PM (#37607742) Homepage
    I've still yet to use it. For Data acquisition I've got MATLAB. For numerical analysis I've got MATLAB and Octave, never mind other options. For Publishing I've got LaTeX/XeTeX. I'm glad i have it and will start leveraging Calc and more sooner rather than later, but it's not like the old days when Borland Quattro Pro for Engineers and AmiPro for word processing were fighting against Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Word 2.0, etc.
  • I've had LibreOffice installed on my laptop ever since I bought it last year. I typically use MS Office but I really didn't feel like paying for yet ANOTHER licence of it in addition to the one on my desktop. LibreOffice has been pretty solid for me over this past year, though I wish it had better support for DOCX...
    • by nwf (25607)

      LibreOffice has been pretty solid for me over this past year, though I wish it had better support for DOCX...

      I wish MS Office for the Mac supported DOCX better. Granted I don't have the very latest, but it's horrendous on older versions. Of course, Mac MS Office can't really read any complex Word or Excel files from the PC properly and they are from the same company.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      You shouldn't be using docx, it's not a legitimate standard and it's definitely not interoperable the way that ODT files are.

      Ultimately, it's ISO's fault for forgetting that it's a standards organization and that competing standards are really not as useful as ones that are compatible across software programs. Well, that and refusing to acknowledge and properly deal with the voting irregularities involved with OOXML being accepted as a standard.

      • I suspect the problem isn't as much that he's using docx as it is that everyone that wants to send him files is.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I typically use MS Office but I really didn't feel like paying for yet ANOTHER licence of it"

      I don't pay for software from corporations which annoy me. If I need it I download it.

      There is no reward for behaving differently towards our masters, so grab what crumbs you can.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q [youtube.com]

  • Lacking templates (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jbov (2202938)
    Disclaimer: I rarely use any office products.
    I was an OO user, but switched to LibreOffice when Debian made the switch. I've been happy the few times I've used it.

    Over the years, while trying to sell the idea of OO or LO to clients and friends, I've not had much success. Other than the ridiculous gripe they've had about not saving new documents as MS .doc formats by default, the major complaint has been lack of templates. A vanilla install of OO or LO doesn't have nearly the amount of templates that are
  • LibreOffice works well enough on OS X Lion as does OpenOffice.org. However, neither of them are a native OS X application with the look and feel and this is a reasonable deal breaker for me. Plus it's not as fast as MS Office running under VMWare Fusion!

    DSL

    • LibreOffice works well enough on OS X Lion as does OpenOffice.org. However, neither of them are a native OS X application with the look and feel and this is a reasonable deal breaker for me. Plus it's not as fast as MS Office running under VMWare Fusion!

      DSL

      So, it works ok, but it doesn't look right on OS X, so your solution is running Windows' MS Office? Just trying to follow the logic here.

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