We reported a couple of months ago that a group of Ubuntu Touch developers started developing a new core app for Canonical's mobile operating system, a viewer for documents created with the open-source LibreOffice office suite.
Viewing LibreOffice documents inside GNOME Documents (the Evince Viewer) will soon yield a better experience thanks to work accomplished this year as part of Google's Summer of Code.
Second-time GSoC student developer Pranav Kant focused this year on improving the LibreOffice support within GNOME Documents. His GSoC project summary explained, "Integrate gtktiledviewer into GNOME-Documents - Today, GNOME Documents spawns LibreOffice via a rather unreliable unoconv command-line that converts documents to PDF. It is not only unreliable but also the results are not good, for example, spreadsheet rendering results are quite bad. With this project, we would be improving the existing libreofficekit based gtk tiled renderer, which would, then, be a very good replacement of the unreliable unoconv command in gnome-documents."
Today’s release of LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.4 combines Collabora’s latest compatibility, deployment management, and document integrity features with a host of improvements from the LibreOffice community. Redesigned toolbars, menus, rulers, and dialogues make these powerful additions more attractive and efficient to use.
The latest LibreOffice 5.0 is out for some time and it looks like the feature parity with Microsoft Office 2013 is now a lot better. The official wiki from The Document Foundation that shows off the differences and similarities between the two office suites has been updated, and it paints a pretty accurate picture of the progress that's being made.
It’s free! It’s open! But does LibreOffice deliver on its promise of a powerful office suite for normal users?
Saying LibreOffice or OpenOffice to people can lead to interesting reactions. For some people, LibreOffice is the darling of the open source world, and for others, it is a crappy Microsoft Office alternative that they look down on.
I believe that LibreOffice plays an important function in the world, and one that spans beyond the mere function of an office suite. Before we get to that though, I think looking back through the tremendous journey that led to the LibreOffice project we know today is important.