Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: LibreOffice 3.3 Suite Advances While Staying True to OpenOffice Roots
In September 2010, a third of OpenOffice.org developers (about 20) objected to the open-source office suite falling under the custodianship of Oracle after the company completed its buyout of Sun Microsystems. They feared that Oracle wouldn't provide whole-hearted support to an open-source application project that didn't significantly contribute to its bottom line. They created the Document Foundation and forked the office suite code to create another open-source suite they dubbed LibreOffice. A little more than four months later, the developers unveiled on Jan. 25 a stable release of their first product, LibreOffice 3.3 (the numbering sequence conforms to the OpenOffice product chronology). The developers spent the time adding new features as well as extensively cleaning up portions of the the legacy code, said Italo Vignoli, one of the founding members of the Document Foundation. Previous OpenOffice fans will appreciate that LibreOffice 3.3 looks very similar to OpenOffice 3.3 and that many of the new features are also new in OpenOffice. But there are also a number of key differences that set the two open-source suites apart. The installer file is available on libreoffice.org, as well as a "help pack" executable, which contains the English language help files. Not installing the help pack means users end up in the documents section on the LibreOffice Website. If Java is not installed on the system, the application returns an error, but the installer doesn't perform that check. So check that Java is installed before running the installer. Here are a few new features and cleanups that eWEEK found noteworthy.