The Document Foundation (TDF) has celebrated the opening session of LibOCon with the announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.1, the first minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family.
LibOCon is a showcase of the project activity, and will feature over 60 talks in three days, covering development, QA, localization, ODF, marketing, community and documentation, a business session in Czech focused on large deployments of LibreOffice, and a meeting of the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA).
Details of the conference, including the program and collateral activities such as the traditional “hacknight” – a hands-on session where developers hack over food and drinks – are available on the event website: http://conference.libreoffice.org.
Nextcloud 10 is now available with many new features for system administrators to control and direct the flow of data between users on a Nextcloud server. Rule based file tagging and responding to these tags as well as other triggers like physical location, user group, file properties and request type enables administrators to specifically deny access to, convert, delete or retain data following business or legal requirements. Monitoring, security, performance and usability improvements complement this release, enabling larger and more efficient Nextcloud installations. You can get it on our install page or read on for details.
Recently the Document Foundation has published its annual report for the year 2015. You can download it as a pdf by following this link, and you can now even purchase a paper copy of the report. This publication gives me the opportunity to talk a bit about what I think makes a great FOSS project and what I understand may be a great community.
If it is possible to see this topic as something many people already went over and over again, think again: Free & Open Source Software is seen as having kept and even increased its momentum these past few years, with many innovative companies developing and distributing software licensed under a Free & Open Source license from the very beginning. This trend indicates two important points: FOSS is no longer something you can automagically use as a nice tag slapped on a commodity software; and FOSS projects cannot really be treated as afterthoughts or “nice-to-haves”. Gone are the days where many vendors could claim to be sympathetic and even supportive to FOSS but only insofar as their double-digits forecasted new software solution would not be affected by a cumbersome “community of developers”. Innovation relies on, starts with, runs thanks to FOSS technologies and practices. One question is to wonder what comes next. Another one is to wonder why Open Source is still seen as a complex maze of concepts and practices by so many in the IT industry. This post will try to address one major difficulty of FOSS: why do some projects fail while others succeed.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE, https://fsfe.org) is joining the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation. At the same time, The Document Foundation is becoming an associated organisation of the FSFE (https://fsfe.org/associates/associates.en.html).
The Free Software Foundation Europe’s aim is to help people control technology instead of the other way around. However, this is a goal which no single organisation can achieve on its own. Associated organizations are entities that share the FSFE’s vision and support the foundation and Free Software in general by encouraging people to use and develop Free Software, by helping organisations understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency and self-determination, and by removing barriers to Free Software adoption.
This week has been full of surprises. The new semester has started and with that, much of what used to be paperwork is becoming digital files. When I entered the platform to obtain the lists of my students in the courses I'm currently teaching, I realized that it now had two options to download such lists: "as a pdf file" or "as a spreadsheet."
Since I didn't want to have anything to do with .xslx, I went for the pdf.
But later, when I told Mechatotoro about it, he entered the platform and gave "spreadsheet" a try.
"I love these people!," I heard him say.
I recently discovered this on YouTube from a few years ago (2013) and had to share.
I'm posting this not because it's Super Mario Bros, and not because it's stop-motion animation. It's because it was done in OpenOffice. An abuse of a spreadsheet, to be sure, but pretty impressive effort with some cool results.
The Document Foundation today released its annual accounting report highlighting accomplishments for the year. "TDF Annual Report starts with a Review of 2015, with highlights about TDF and LibreOffice, and a summary of financials and budget." LibreOffice saw two major and 12 minor releases that year earning €1.1 million in donations. The project now sports over 1000 contributors with 300 making commits in 2015.
This years report covered a long list of topics beginning with the City of Munich and Russian RusBITech joining The Document Foundation's Advisory Board. The migration team got a honorable mention before the diagram of the power structure. But the best portion was that dedicated to the releases. Two major releases were announced in 2015, 4.4 and 5.0, as well as 12 minor updates, 4.3.6 through 5.0.4.
One week ago we announced LibreOffice 5.2, a new major release with enterprise-level features and user interface improvements. So what has happened in the meantime?
I recommend LibreOffice for many typical desktop tasks and I run it on Debian GNU/Linux. It works for me and mine as it did for students and previous employers.
LibreOffice is an office suite that rivals Microsoft Office yet costs nothing. There are versions for Windows, OS X and Linux along with a portable edition that works from a USB drive.
If you’re on a tight budget and have a Windows PC, LibreOffice is by far the best alternative to Office. It is more complete than Google Apps and leaves Apache OpenOffice for dead.
OS X users have a good alternative free option. Apple’s iWorks suite is free with new Macs. Even so, you might prefer LibreOffice because it has better Microsoft Office compatibility.
LibreOffice looks and feels more like Microsoft Office than iWorks. If you know Microsoft Office, moving to LibreOffice will be less of a wrench. It also includes a database unlike either the OS X version of Microsoft Office or iWorks. If you need a simple database and have no budget, LibreOffice would be ideal.
Some Linux distributions include LibreOffice either as standard or as an optional download. It’s a more straightforward choice than using a tool like Wine to run Microsoft Office.
Every computer needs applications to do any work, and that means more money. Except for open-source software, like OpenOffice, which is free. In the case of OpenOffice, the free software looks and acts like Microsoft Office circa 2003, and includes a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation creator. Not only does OpenOffice look and feel like Office, but it also reads and writes Office files so well that most users could exchange files between the two suites and no one would know the difference.
The Document Foundation just released version 5.2 of its fully open source office suite LibreOffice. This release brings many new features and UI improvements. When I got the press release, I started updating LibreOffice on my MacBook. But here's the thing: I'm also a user of Microsoft Word.
That made me pause and consider why I use LibreOffice when I am forking over $99 a year to Microsoft. The flash of introspection surprised me. I'm an unabashed open source and Linux fan, but I am kind of agnostic when it comes to the tools I use. I use what works for me. So I reached out to my followers on Google+ and Facebook to learn about their reasons for using LibreOffice.
Here are some of the many reasons why people, myself included, love LibreOffice.