Story 2014-07-31 3S3 LibreOffice 4.3 gets good marks for useful improvements

LibreOffice 4.3 gets good marks for useful improvements

in code on (#3S3)
story imageSteven J. Vaughan-Nichols has just reviewed the recently released LibreOffice 4.3, and gives it a thumbs up. It has made huge strides since the - LibreOffice "divorce" and this version includes improvements in office format interoperability, spreadsheet performance and usability, comment management, and the arrival of 3D models in Impress.
The program's code quality has also been greatly improved in the last two years. Coverity Scan found the defect density per 1,000 lines of code has shrunk from an above the average 1.11 to an industry leading 0.13 since 2012. According to Coverity, "LibreOffice has done an excellent job of addressing key defects in their code in the short time they have been part of the Coverity Scan service."

Like previous versions, LibreOffice is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows systems. You can also run an older version, LibreOffice 4.2, from the cloud using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.

With the United Kingdom making LibreOffice's native ODF its default format for government documents, LibreOffice is certain to become more popular. Other cash-strapped governments, such as Italy's Umbria province, have found switching to LibreOffice from Microsoft Office has saved them hundreds of thousands of Euros per thousand PCs.
The release notes are available here. Gentlemen, start your downloading engines!
Reply 19 comments

No LibreOffice Online? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-31 10:56 (#2QR)

Wait, what? The web based (oh 'scuse me, CLOUD! SAAS!!) feature has been planned or promised going on 3 years. I've been waiting for it to be fully cooked so people can get the heck off GApps and self-host their own web office suite.

And now it's been dropped from the latest version? I hope I'm misinterpreting.

Re: No LibreOffice Online? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 10:48 (#2R7)

My interpretation is that they've got round to releasing 4.2 to the cloud service, but 4.3 is coming.

rollApp (the cloud platform they're using) itself is in beta, so they're probably feeling the water with a version that's been out a while, so that they can tell if any bugs are cloud-related.

Btw, the difference between a web-app and SaaS, is that a web-app is written for a browser (usually in Javascript or PHP), whereas SaaS is written for a traditional platform (in C++ or whatever), then virtualized, and accessed by clients through a VNC-like web interface. The web-app in this context is the thing that is rendering the virtualized display buffer to the browser, the SaaS is the virtualized x86 code execution environment.

'Cloud' is an ill-defined buzzword that can mean anything internet/local-network based.

Re: No LibreOffice Online? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-01 18:35 (#2RA)

Thanks for that explanation. I never knew the difference, or that there even IS a difference. 'Cloud' is a marketing word and means nothing.

Re: No LibreOffice Online? (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 18:56 (#2RC)

No no. I'm not talking about the commercial paid/ad-supported remote desktop service version!

I'm talking about "LibreOffice Online", which has been in development as PART of LibreOffice for years now, since v.3.5. You just install it in your own server (regular old desktop LO) and it has its own web server that let's you use the apps via a browser. No 3rd party required at all! And yet they've let this killer feature just fester, even to the point that a knowledgeable commenter assumes I'm talking about something else. It's tragic.

Re: No LibreOffice Online? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 19:24 (#2RE)

And/or he was simply correcting me because I didn't follow TFLink and the article was talking about the Rollapp service to begin with? :)

Ah well, points about MIA LibreOffice Online stand.

Companionship (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-31 12:08 (#2QV)

Since they split, is the relationship amicable? Are the projects contributing and benefiting from one another? If not, I guess I'll start recommending LibreOffice vs OpenOffice, though I've been using Open since before it was Open (Star Office). Sounds as if LibreOffice has cleaned up a lot of mess. Is it just coincidence that openSSL was forked as libreSSL as well?

1. Fork project
2. Clean up code
3. Rename project Libre*
4. ???
5. PROFIT!!!

Re: Companionship (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-31 15:00 (#2QY)

As far as I know, the OpenOffice people want nothing to do with LibreOffice.

Re: Companionship (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-07-31 15:48 (#2R0)

One thing I noticed (in the last few months) is the Open Office download is a *lot* smaller than the Libre Office download. I've stuck with Open Office since I don't need a lot of the fancy features they seem to be adding to Libre? Note, this is just my quick impression--I have not done any detailed comparison.

Re: Companionship (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 00:54 (#2R2)

"Want nothing to do with"? Baloney. They're not ALLOWED to use LibreOffice code anymore, because they changed to the Apache license (even though had been LGPL all along). It's "non-copyleft" now and can't use components from free software projects like LibreOffice.

I didn't know there was such a thing as OpenOffice FUD.

Even so, as a long time LibreOffice user I'm intrigued by the performance claims.

Re: Companionship (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-01 04:42 (#2R4)

You might want to lower the caffeine content of your coffee.

I was merely referring to the fact that initially, the LibreOffice team had reached out to the OpenOffice folks, to see if upgrades made to LibreOffice couldn't be integrated to OpenOffice. They refused and that's how LibreOffice became a fork.

I have been using LibreOffice for years as well so I can assure you that this is no FUD.

Re: Companionship (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-01 14:10 (#2R8)

Alright, feature request time: it would be nice if you could tell when a post was replying to a deleted comment. The indentation makes it look like I'm raging at the above guy for no reason. :p

Re: Companionship (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-01 16:08 (#2R9)

I once had this happen too. Turns out the other comment wasn't deleted but I needed to adjust the threshold slider down to -1 to see it again.

Re: Companionship (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 19:02 (#2RD)

Well yeah, it would help if the registered lurkers weren't so quick to downvote a post just because they disagree with it. A single chip-shouldered voter makes us ACs "-1" and logged in users don't see the comment by default, or so I gather. Too much power really. And I've yet to see a worthless troll AC on this site. The jerks seem to have accounts. ;)

Re: Companionship (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-08-01 18:40 (#2RB)

It's way bigger than that. Sun managed the code in a way that made it hard to contribute. LO is not just a forked code base but a management process that facilitates contributions and improvements. OO.o doesn't share those advantages and will soon fall behind.

Now what? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-31 13:26 (#2QW)

So, the project is becoming feature-complete and has good clean code. What next?

I expect we'll start seeing frequent, unnecessary and unwanted (by the users) updates to the GUI soon.

For bonus, maybe they developers will start wedging advertising in the program.

Re: Now what? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-01 05:24 (#2R5)

You are possibly right. I can imagine that the main feature of the next version will be the ribbon to make it look like recent MS Office.

Re: Now what? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-01 19:35 (#2RG)

The lack of ribbon, PDF writer, and ability to leave your paste buffer the hell alone are the killer features of LibreOffice.

Re: Now what? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-08-04 11:43 (#2RW)

Well, time to fork again! MS Office can keep their ribbon of crapulence.

Corel WordPerfect compatibility (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-31 18:24 (#2R1)

Interestingly, I have a need to open older .wpd files designed in Corel WordPerfect and my latest MS Word no longer reads these files. So, I currently have LibreOffice on my office computer to read and convert the WordPerfect files as they come by... This, even though my work has converted completely to MS Office...