Ubuntu Switches From OpenOffice to LibreOffice for 11.04

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News Posted: Tue, Jan 25 2011 6:21 PM

If you are one of the people that happens to be running a bleeding-edge 'alpha 1' version of Ubuntu Linux on your main desktop machine (and who isn't?), you may have noticed a particular change in recent days: OpenOffice has been replaced by LibreOffice for the upcoming (next April) Ubuntu 11.04 release.

What is OpenOffice, what is LibreOffice, and what is the difference?
For those unaware, both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free open-source office software suites which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation apps, graphic design tools, and database systems. Both of these suites are available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

LibreOffice itself is a fork of OpenOffice. That is UNIX-speak for “LibreOffice began as a rebranded OpenOffice, but now includes its own unique features and bug-fixes”.

LibreOffice includes the enhancements pioneered by the Go-oo project. Go-oo is another, pre-existing, fork of OpenOffice. Go-oo includes performance fixes, improved platform integration, UI improvements, and better file format compatibility with apps such as MS Works.

Go-oo began life due to the fact that certain patches to OpenOffice were not accepted by Sun (the company that owned OpenOffice at that time) for varying reasons. Go-oo has now been discontinued, as all of the improvements are rolled back into LibreOffice.

Why the switch to LibreOffice?
Short answer: Oracle acquired Sun.

Slightly Long answer: The Oracle acquisition precipitated several key OpenOffice team members to pack their bags and begin work on LibreOffice. Oracle's past behavior, such as what they have done with OpenSolaris (kill it), leaves their long term direction for OpenOffice in question.

That question, for Ubuntu at least, was answered when Mark Shuttleworth announced “Office productivity software is a critical component of the free software desktop, and the Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu.”

The upgrade:
So what will existing Ubuntu OpenOffice users need to do when they run the dist-upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04? Nothing. The openoffice.org package has been replaced with a transitional package that will upgrade the suite to LibreOffice.

The transition should not be of concern to most users. LibreOffice will simply appear to be a slightly improved update to OpenOffice. Don't fear, though. It's not as if they replaced the menus, with which you're already familiar, with a ribbon or anything crazy like that. You will not have to re-train your users.

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realneil replied on Tue, Jan 25 2011 9:07 PM

So it's the result of a defection that was due to an acquisition by a typically hostile company with a bad track record for open source support.

Simple,............

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Jan 25 2011 10:58 PM

realneil:

So it's the result of a defection that was due to an acquisition by a typically hostile company with a bad track record for open source support.

Simple,............

That's the beauty of open source:  When companies misbehave, or follow some path that is perceived to be "bad", those who have the skills can simply fork the project and take it in their own direction.  Forks that follow the general user consensus live, and those that don't... die.

With closed-source software, you have no choice and end up stuck with dead-end formats.  Look at what happened to companies married to WordPerfect (Which I used to be an expert with).

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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coolice replied on Wed, Jan 26 2011 3:41 AM

It takes guts just quitting your job and working on open source software, even though u got acquired by a company with a bad track record.

I applaud their courage!

Also, i wouldnt call it "thats the beauty of open source" but rather, Thats the beauty of a few good people who are willing to stop and start their lives/work from scratch to make their dreams come true (open source for all). I'd never be able to do that... coming from a student who's in debt... my perspective from where i stand now.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jan 26 2011 7:19 PM

>> Also, i wouldnt call it "thats the beauty of open source" but rather, Thats the beauty of a few good people who are willing to stop and start their lives/work from scratch...

They didn't have to start from scratch. The code is LGPL so they just forked it (start a new project, but keep all the existing code). That's the beauty of open source. :)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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phil9x replied on Tue, Feb 1 2011 8:04 AM

Perhaps you are under the assumption that all the developers of OpenOffice were under the employ of Oracle?

While this may be true for some, all OpenOffice developers were not on the Oracle payroll. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the "Open Source Model" of development, then the truth of the matter will become clear to you.

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rrplay replied on Thu, Feb 10 2011 9:56 AM

Here is a bit more info updated Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 LibreOffice 3.3: First Impressions7959?hq e=el&hq m=1174302&hq l=4&hq v=1d2eda0db8

 

 

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