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OOo

Apache OpenOffice versus LibreOffice

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LibO
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Following yesterday's LibreOffice report for 2014, comes another interesting report from Document Foundation members Barend Jonkers and Cor Nouws comparing the features of LibreOffice and OpenOffice. The 60-page report "focuses on areas as feasibility, smart use, quality and improvements, localization and more." It makes clear that LibreOffice has undergone massive improvements as compared to OpenOffice.

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Proprietary OOXML document format makes you more vulnerable to attacks

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Security
OOo

Using the proprietary OOXML document format, i.e. docx, pptx and xlsx, makes you more vulnerable to phishing and other attacks. Earlier this month, the Japanese anti-virus company Trend Micro published a blog post describing how the attack group "Operation Pawn Storm" uses spear-phishing mail messages with malicious Office documents to target the military, governments, defense industries and the media.

Four years ago, Thomas Caspers and Oliver Zendel from the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) already presented research results stating that most spear-phishing attacks targeting specific persons or a small group of victims are using "launch actions" in Office and PDF documents to have their malicious code executed.

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When enthusiasm for free software turns ugly

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In theory, maybe some way exists to encourage the enthusiasm that free software inspires while discouraging the ugliness of insularity. The idealism of free software has shaped my life so thoroughly that I wince when it is twisted.

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What's Next for Apache's Open Source Office Suite, OpenOffice?

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Still, as one of the longest-standing open source productivity apps, and one that played a major role in making desktop Linux viable, OpenOffice is a venerable project. Indeed, its history stretches all the way back to 1985 (when I was still merely an idea!), and it has been open source since 2000. If it folds, it will be one of the first big-name open source apps to do so—even if few people notice as they continue happily chugging along on LibreOffice.

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Is OpenOffice Dying?

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OOo

In September 2014, rumors were flying that Apache OpenOffice was floundering and might soon merge with LibreOffice. The rumors were denied, but revived in March 2015 when Jonathan Corbett used development activity statistics to show that OpenOffice was seriously short of developers, and had corporate support only from IBM. Now, OpenOffice's most recent report to the Apache Foundation appears to reinforce these previous reports, and then some.

To be fair, the report is listed as "a working copy and not to be quoted." However, I am discussing it anyway for two reasons. First, much of the report was mentioned in earlier reports, which suggests that its information is accurate. Second, when I contacted Jan Iversen, the new OpenOffice Chair, three weeks ago, he gave the same warning even more strongly. Since then the contents has gone through at least one more draft, but with little change of content, which makes me suspect that the excuse is an effort to delay discussion of the content. If I am mistaken, the fact will eventually become obvious, since the report is, after all, a public document.

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ODF in the age of Big Data

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OOo

One may notice that the points listed above loosely match the main points usually mentioned when discussing the benefits of ODF in the more standard settings of the desktop. This is not surprising, but it was not necessarily intended; if anything this is a testimony to the value of a standard like ODF and its importance. The key point here is that when it comes to the cloud and big data, ODF is both a factor of transparency and innovation. This is something worth promoting and is a potential path to renewed success of ODF in the future.

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UK Government Now Main Driver of ODF Advance: Kudos

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OOo

Back in July last year, I wrote about an incredible opportunity for the open source world. After years of disappointments, and despite the usual lobbying/threats by a certain large US software company against the move, the Cabinet Office announced that it was officially adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents. At the time I exhorted everyone involved to do their utmost to make this work, since it was the biggest chance to show that open standards and open source were not just viable as a government solution, but actually better than the alternatives.

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Development activity in LibreOffice and OpenOffice

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OOo

The LibreOffice project was announced with great fanfare in September 2010. Nearly one year later, the OpenOffice.org project (from which LibreOffice was forked) was cut loose from Oracle and found a new home as an Apache project. It is fair to say that the rivalry between the two projects in the time since then has been strong. Predictions that one project or the other would fail have not been borne out, but that does not mean that the two projects are equally successful. A look at the two projects' development communities reveals some interesting differences.

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What will it take to merge LibreOffice and OpenOffice?

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Ordinarily, I'm all for diversity in free software projects. However, I make an exception in the case of LibreOffice and OpenOffice. The sooner they become a single project, the better.

In other cases, I'm slow to accept arguments against duplication of projects. Combining projects does not automatically make for greater efficiency or quicker development; especially in the beginning, personalities can sabotage or even reverse any gains.

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Why the UK government must adopt Open Document Format

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Today is Document Freedom Day. As of November 2012, all government bodies have had to adhere to Open Standards Principles; an agreed set of standards to make IT more open, cheaper and better connected.

These were developed following the public consultation ‘Open Standards: Open Opportunities – flexibility and efficiency in government IT,’ to help government to deliver more innovative IT services and further drive savings, encouraging more open competition for government contracts.

It was a major initiative and went a long way to making government documents more accessible and available. Today, as the globe celebrates International Document Freedom Day, it’s time to take this initiative even further.

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More in Tux Machines

Kodi 15.0 Release Candidate 1 Arrives

The first release candidate for Kodi 15 has arrived. Kodi 15 is building up many new features from Android 4K@60Hz support to adaptive seeking support to Android H.265 support to many other updates and additions. Read more

7 stories that make you feel good about open source in 2015 (so far)

One of the great things about open source is its reach beyond just the software we use. Open source isn’t just about taking principled stands, it's about making things better for the world around us. It helps spread new ideas by letting anyone with an interest modify and replicate those ideas in their own communities. In this collection, let’s take a look back at some of the best articles we’ve shared this year about the ways that open source is making an impact on communities and improving the lives of people across the world. Read more

Exclusive interview with Hans de Raad

In my daily life (both personal and professional) I use open source for just about anything, from LibreOffice to Drupal, Kolab, Piwik, Apache, KDE, etc. Being part of the communities of these projects for me is a very special extra dimension that creates a lot of extra motivation and satisfaction. For me, open source isn’t so much of a choice it is simply the standard. Read more

today's leftovers

  • OpenVZ / Virtuozzo 7 Beta First Impressions
    There will eventually be two distinct versions... a free version and a commercial version. So far as I can tell they currently call it Virtuozzo 7 but in a comparison wiki page they use the column names Virtuozzo 7 OpenVZ (V7O) and Virtuozzo 7 Commercial (V7C). The original OpenVZ, which is still considered the stable OpenVZ release at this time based on the EL6-based OpenVZ kernel, appears to be called OpenVZ Legacy.
  • Libdrm 2.4.62 Is An Important Update For Open-Source GPU Drivers
    Libdrm 2.4.62 was released this week as a significant update to this DRM library for interfacing between the kernel DRM drivers and user-space.
  • X.Org Server Lands More Mode-Setting/GLAMOR Improvements, But No Sign Of 1.18
  • KDE Ships KDE Applications 15.04.3
    Today KDE released the second stability update for KDE Applications 15.04. This release contains only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.
  • Global Shortcuts In KDE Plasma Under Wayland
  • KDE Marks Four Years In Its Process Of Porting To Wayland
  • KDE Plasma 5.3.2 Fixes Shutdown Scripts, Few Dozen Other Bugs
  • Qt 5.5 Officially Released
  • KStars Observers Management patched
    This update is a little break from my current GSoC project so i won’t talk about my progress just yet. I will talk about the current observers management dialog that is currently active in KStars. Basically, an observation session requires observer information like first name, last name and contact. Currently, an observer could be added only from the settings menu so i thought that it would be more intuitive if this functionality was placed in a more appropirate place and a proper GUI was to be implemented for a better user experience.
  • The Kubuntu Podcast Team is on a roll
    Building on their UOS Hangout, the Kubuntu Podcast Team has created their second Hangout, featuring Ovidiu-Florin Bogdan, Aaron Honeycutt, and Rick Timmis, discussing What is Kubuntu?
  • Road so far
  • July Update for KDE Applications 15.04
    Today, the KDE Community is happy to announce the release of KDE Applications 15.04.3. This release contains only bugfixes and translation updates, providing a safe and pleasant update for everyone.
  • KDE ActivityManager in Emacs
    Today I whipped up a small Emacs minor-mode to interface with KDE's ActivityManager system. It's my first minor-mode and it's janky as fuck right now, but I'm going to expand on it to eventually be able to filter, for example, to just buffers that are linked to your current activity, pushing me towards a long-standing goal of mine to create a system which flows with what I'm doing, rather than forcing me in to its workflow.
  • Convergence through Divergence
    This time around, I’m adding a mechanism that allows us to list plugins, applications (and the general “service”) specific for a given form factor. In normal-people-language, that means that I want to make it possible to specify whether an application or plugin should be shown in the user interface of a given device. Let’s look at an example: KMail. KMail has two user interfaces, the desktop version, a traditional fat client offering all the features that an email client could possibly have, and a touch-friendly version that works well on devices such as smart phones and tablets. If both are installed, which should be shown in the user interface, for example the launcher? The answer is, unfortunately: we can’t really tell as there currently is no scheme to derive this information from in a reliable way. With the current functionality that is offered by KDE Frameworks and Plasma, we’d simply list both applications, they’re both installed and there is no metadata that could possibly tell us the difference.
  • smarter status hiding
    In heavily populated IRC channels such as #debian on Freenode, a lot of idle IRC users are joining and leaving every couple of seconds. At the moment, we display a status message for every user in the room which in some cases results in a lot of visual noise.
  • Photos: future plans
    This is the third in my series of blog posts about the latest generation of GNOME application designs. In this post, I’m going to talk about Photos. Out of the applications I’ve covered, this is the one that has the most new design work.
  • West Coast Summit
    This is the last day of the GNOME West Coast Summit, and for the past three days we’ve been working and discussing topics...
  • OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2 "The Scion" Pays Tribute To Mandrake
    With Mandriva having been liquidated (allegedly due to employee lawsuits), OpenMandriva is paying tribute to it -- and its precursor, Mandrake -- with their new point release.
  • Good bye credativ [moving to Red Hat]
  • Hello Red Hat
    In my new position I will be a Solutions Architect – so basically a sales engineer, thus the one talking to the customers on a more technical level, providing details or proof of concepts where they need it.
  • Oracle Linux 6 Administration Professional Certification Now Released
  • Digital education presents new challenges and opportunities for IT
    At Red Hat, our IT organization is working with each of our business partners to help them develop digital strategies and solutions to enable them (and us) to be more effective. We’re investing in the deployment of new communication and collaboration tools in the organization. And we’re trying to better understand the needs of our end users as individuals rather than solely as a part of sales or as a part of marketing. We’re building an internal consulting capability so that we can help our end users be more efficient and effective in their jobs as a community of associates, in addition to being part of a business function.
  • RHEL for SAP HANA now on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-5 Update Will Bring Interesting New Features
    As you may know, Canonical has released the Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Update and while ago, and now is working at implementing new features for the OTA-5 Update, which should get released in mid-July, if it does not get delayed for some reasons.
  • The 1TB UbuTab Ubuntu Tablet Is A SCAM!
  • How to use PPAs to install bleeding-edge software in Ubuntu and Linux Mint
    Linux users install most of their software directly from a centralized package repository managed by their Linux distribution of choice. This is a convenient, one-stop shop place to get your software—but what if the repository doesn’t have the program you need, or you want a newer version? For Ubuntu and Linux Mint users, that’s where personal package archives come in.
  • Linux Mint 17.2 officially released
    Well, it’s here. Linux Mint 17.2 is now available for download. Currently only the Cinnamon and MATE releases are out and other editions will launch later. For users on 17.0 or 17.1 more announcements will follow next week when the update is made available for those users as an upgrade. It’s not clear yet whether 17.0 users will be able to choose to go to 17.1 or 17.2 or whether 17.2 will be the single destination those users can jump to.
  • Linux Mint 17.2 Officially Released With Cinnamon/MATE Flavors
    Just a few short weeks after the Rafaela 17.2 RCs, Linux Mint 17.2 has been officially released this morning in the form of the Cinnamon and MATE desktop spins.
  • Data Translation Offers Real Time ARM-Based Data Acquisition Module
  • Tough, IP67-sealed box PC runs Linux on Atom
    X-ES unveiled a rugged, sealed embedded PC that runs Linux on an Atom E3800, and offers 4GB of ECC RAM, IP67 protection, M12 ports, and -40 to 70°C support.
  • Firefox 39 Has Been Delayed A Few Days Due To A “Last Minute Stability Issue”
  • Engine Yard's Deis Launches Support for its PaaS
    This year, Engine Yard bought Deis, an open source Platform-as-a-Service project. It provides a PaaS that can rub on public clouds, private clouds, or bare metal. Starting now, Engine Yard will offer its well-known support options to companies that want Deis support.
  • Elastic puts its open-source Big Data search engine in the cloud
    The Netherlands’ Elastic BV is ticking another item off the fairly narrow list of ways to monetize open-source software with the launch of new hosted implementations of its hugely popular free search engine for unstructured data that offer a simpler alternative to manual deployment. The launch couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
  • Security advisories for Wednesday
  • What We Call Security Isn’t Really Security
    Well, it’s probably no shock to you that the security industry can’t agree on a definition of security. Imagine if the horse industry couldn’t agree on what is a horse. Yes, it’s like that.
  • UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends
    Those contacts include their Outlook.com (nee Hotmail) contacts, Skype contacts and, with an opt-in, their Facebook friends. There is method in the Microsoft madness – it saves having to shout across the office or house “what’s the Wi-Fi password?” – but ease of use has to be teamed with security. If you wander close to a wireless network, and your friend knows the password, and you both have Wi-Fi Sense, you can now log into that network.