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Apache OpenOffice Lagging Behind LibreOffice In Features 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the healthy-competition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you are looking for small niche features such as interactive word count, bundled report designer, or command line filtering etc – LibreOffice beats OpenOffice hands down. 'Noting the important dates of June 1, 2011, which was when Oracle donated OOo to Apache; and Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is due probably sometime in May 2012; Meeks compared Apache OpenOffice 3.4 new features to popular new features from LibreOffice: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5. It wasn't surprising to find that LibreOffice has merged many features not found in Apache OO given their nearly year long head start.'"
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Apache OpenOffice Lagging Behind LibreOffice In Features

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  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ded Bob (67043) on Friday April 27, 2012 @02:13PM (#39824045) Homepage
    I think OpenOffice is under the ASF. Oracle is no longer involved is my understanding.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Friday April 27, 2012 @02:36PM (#39824365)
    The developers for Open Office mostly come from Oracle. However, most of the team was fired or had quit so now that's a much smaller group than the ones working on Libre Office. Also, given Oracle's recent record of attacks on former Sun open source even when it had a supposedly independent "community process" it doesn't seem like a safe bet to most people. It's embarrassing that the Apache foundation got involved in such an obvious act of vandalism.
  • by SurfsUp (11523) on Friday April 27, 2012 @02:58PM (#39824639)

    Openoffice was progressing more slowly than it should have. A lot of good contributions ended up in an infinite state of non-acceptance. That said, Openoffice is still a wonderful thing. But LibreOffice is even better.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:16PM (#39824845) Homepage Journal

    That's not going to work in long term. Probably it already doesn't.

    LO folks have spent about a year converting the code base to use standard libraries (most notably STL) instead of the old home-brew stuff OO.o still relies upon. That was a major clean-up done by LO people which allowed them to make code cleaner and accessible to new developers. But also made LO quite incompatible to OO.o.

    Due to that, many features already cannot be ported between the two without some effort.

  • Re:Merge! (Score:4, Informative)

    by SurfsUp (11523) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:19PM (#39824877)

    IINM LibreOffice forked form OpenOffice because issues under Oracle's stewardship. It made sense at the time. But, now that Oracle has "released" OpenOffice I really don't see why there needs to continue to be two branches. Indeed, I think that it depletes the developer base and dilutes the user base for both projects.

    It's time those forks merged.

    The Open Docuement Foundation does not hold all the copyrights to the code base as Oracle did, so is unable to relicense work done since the fork under the Apache license. The only way to merge is to add any new code from OpenOffice.org to the LibreOffice codebase so that the aggregate work remains under copyleft licenses wherever that applies. Do you think the Apache foundation will be ok with that?

    If so, then merge away and everybody be happy.

  • Re:Bloat (Score:5, Informative)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:28PM (#39825013)
    It takes a bit of manual work to remove it and verify that it was unused, that it's no longer being linked to, and that there wasn't another thing that was only being used by what you just removed (and is therefore unused). The graph shows that in 5 months they're removed 3000 of these things. That's pretty damn impressive if you ask me.
  • by aglider (2435074) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:39PM (#39825213) Homepage

    DIE!

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @07:27PM (#39828069)

    OOo pretty much lost the race within the first month or two of Libreoffice forking from it. They merged in the code changes from go-oo pretty much immediately and most of the developers fled to Libreoffice, at this point, we're talking about OO.org and honestly, it's a zombie and has been for over a year. They may release a few more versions, but anybody that's using OO.org, ought to realize that it's basically dead in the water and falling further and further behind.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey! (33014) on Friday April 27, 2012 @10:15PM (#39829257) Homepage Journal

    I am an professional with many years of experience with relational databases, and I recently did a thorough review of Base for a client. The client needed a file-based database management system that could be easily deployed to casual users who would only be connected to the Internet occasionally. After spending a solid week studying Base and putting it through its paces, I reluctantly recommended MS Access, a product which I loathe which would limit the customer to Windows only.

    I can say without reservation that the only "database" system I've seen that was worse than Base was ACIUS 4th Dimension.

    What's wrong with Base? Three things.

    (1) It uses HSQL -- good, but doesn't include all the jars -- bad. In effect is uses and *undocumented subset* of HSQL, and many key features like using java method calls for triggers simply don't work, even through a database console window.

    (2) There is no reference documentation. There is no way to know what Base is supposed to do and how it is supposed to act; there's only walk-throughs and how tos. Those are valuable of course, but no substitute for fundamental documentation of what the product's capabilities are and how the product is supposed to behave. Without real documentation the utility of Base is largely limited to the kinds of "catalog your CD collection" toy examples in the documentation, despite having (a randomly chosen subset of) quite a powerful relational engine under the covers.

    (3) The report writer GUI makes simple things like putting fields and text where you want them so difficult and fiddly it's physically painful to use because of the frustration involved -- and there's no alternative to the GUI as there is in something like JasperReports.

    Access wins over Base hands down, on either documentation or user interface -- take your pick. The one clear lead that Base should have -- using HSQL instead of Jet -- is nullified by shipping a bastardized and undocumented subset of HSQL.

    Base is nowhere near as robust as the rest of the OpenOffice suite; in fact I'd say it's so amateurish that it's a positive embarrassment. How they could ship something that poorly managed and implemented along with the rest of the suite is beyond me.

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