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LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration 192

Posted by timothy
from the when-free-is-valuable dept.
Billly Gates points to this basic summary of the features of the recently released LibreOffice 2.4, writing: "In catching up with MS Office, the new LibreOffice 4.2 now has full Windows 7/8 integration including Aero peek, thumbnails, jumplists, and recent documents all from the taskbar. In addition, one weak area for LibreOffice has been enterprise network support and the lack of active directory tools: LibreOffice now has GPO and active directory support for system administrators to deploy and manage LibreOffice over corporate networks. LibreOffice also includes an expert configuration Window to assist power users and system administrators when deploying to hundreds of workstation at a time." Read on for some more details about the release, including some information about support for AMD's Mantle CPU acceleration support.
Also of particular interest is AMD/ATI is expecting to finally release Mantle in the next coming hours for games like Battlefield 4. Surprisingly LibreOffice also supports mantle as well according to the release notes. However you will need the 14.1 driver which is being compiled and uploaded at the time of this writing to utilize this feature. Mantle will accelerate lower-end CPUs by up to 300% in some tasks while having modest improvements for those with more recent powerful CPUs. Real niceties for those like myself on AMD phenom IIs with the later 7000 series cards.

The only issue (some on Slashdot may say benefit ) is the lack of a ribbon UI. However, for recent articles about governments considering OpenOffice this release addresses shortcomings with the new active directory and GPO support."
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LibreOffice 4.2 Busts Out GPU Mantle Support and Corporate IT Integration

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  • by eladts (1712916) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:20PM (#46113557)
    Anyone who tried to move files between different versions, system with different system languages or, if you are really daring, different platforms knows this.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:26PM (#46113645)

    Even Microsoft Office does not guarantee 100% compatibility with older documents. And I've personally witnessed simple things breaking between MS Office on a Mac or on Windows.

    When I dug through some very old Office 98 docs of mine a few years back, Office 2007 broke rather badly, but OpenOffice was able to read them. I'm sure it wasn't pixel-perfect, but it was readable and more-or-less as intended, unlike Office proper.

    As far as trading between various offices, I've noticed more problems with Office For Mac than with LibreOffice. Granted, most people in my office are using either Google Docs, iWork or LibreOffice, but we get a fair number of outside docs that were made in MS Office.

    For most uses of Word (glorified RTFs), everything is compatible. I've even had no issues going from AbiWord to MS Word. If you get crazy with auto-summaries or embedded docs, it might get problematic, but do you really use those? Presentations are much the same, although I've not worked with them nearly as much (because I do real work).

    For spreadsheets, its a bit more hit-or-miss. If all you're doing is glorified CSVs, once again everything works, but the crazier your formulae get the more likely it will only work in one program.

  • Re:2.4? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:26PM (#46113653)
    Whoosh.
  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:44PM (#46113813)

    Nobody can, at least until Microsoft opens up their entire API library. Until then, when someone gets close enough to endanger Microsoft's cash cow, they will change just enough stuff to keep them at arm's length. Repeat ad nauseam.

    All of the MS Office file formats, both legacy binary and OOXML, are publicly documented. The binary documentation, I think, was released at the insistence of the European Union regulators.

    Now, it is true that the formats are really badly designed and inelegant, and that there are a lot of MS Office "guts" spilling out of the specs. They are not easy to implement. But with enough time and effort, it should be doable. And MS is not introducing new breaking changes – to the contrary, they are finally introducing compliance with OOXML 'strict', which fully complies with the ISO standard. (MS Office 2010 can read 'strict' OOXML documents, and MS Office 2013 can both read and write them.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @05:18PM (#46114239)

    The real answer. The code is the spec. Not even Microsoft can guarantee 100% backwards compatiblity. They only offer compatibility. The file format version for an Office product can only be read perfectly by the same version that created it, even down to the patch level sometimes. Every newer version offers compatiblity because the code in the new version isn't exactly 100% identical to the code in the original version.

    If Office is made available on Linux Windows will get steamrolled.

    The non-Microsoft office providers should all agree on a formal file format standards with compliance testing and a scripting language like VBscript and then start pushing that standard, but it will take years.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @05:43PM (#46114521) Homepage

    >> Unclear if I can get a copy without all this unwanted bloat.
    >
    > Yes, use vi for your documents. There's also a spreadsheet called sc, haven't tried it though.

    If it is a simple document, why not?

    You also don't need the proprietary network effects and malware vectors associated with more 'feature rich" alternatives.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @06:08PM (#46114799)

    Right here. [microsoft.com]

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @11:45PM (#46116971)

    It is pretty uncalled for to claim zealotry when you are uncompromisingly demanding an absolute 100% accuracy with MS-Office documents before LibreOffice could be used.

    There are plenty of businesses where pixel perfect accuracy is not required when sending documents outside the company. If people really need to read my documents with absolute accuracy, then I can PDF it. If I want to test a slideshow then I can use the Powerpoint viewer [microsoft.com] (it even works under Linux using Wine).

    Even without changing the version of Word, a document's pagination can vary wildly depending on the printer driver being used. You don't even change your software for Word to go wrong.

    Excel can be a problem if you use complex macros, but 99% of the ones that I see are just being used a glorified table editors with basic calculations. I constantly move between different computers, using Excel, Calc and even the shareware spreadsheet Spread32 [byedesign.co.uk] (when I want to view something quickly) and it all works better than I had expected. The bigger problem that I have is when a package doesn't implement a feature that you are used to. For example, if I want to search for something spanning the sheets of a workbook I will always use Excel because LibreOffice disables the "Find All" button when you choose the option to span worksheets.

    But even you there may end up being some problems, you should not dismiss the use of LibreOffice within any business environment just because you might have some formatting problem.

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