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LibO

One interface, many truths

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LibO

Today I’d like to discuss a topic that is constantly recurring about LibreOffice: the overhaul of its interface. I am aware the matter has some real trolling potential, but at least if one wants to troll it is important to get some things straight first.

Is LibreOffice’s interface outdated? It depends who you ask the question. The problem is that some part of the answer is really a matter of taste; another part of it is really about the kind of interface we could have; and yet another side of the matter is the perception of what its interface should be like. Let’s address the three issues separately.

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More: LibreOffice Conference 2014 to be held in Bern this September

And Several Months Later....

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GNU
LibO
Linux
GNOME

We are moving our production GNOME desktop to new physical hardware. After some discussions and reviewing work loads, we decided for now to stay with GNOME 2. The older server was cloned and was finally moved to the new hardware. The server is 100% solid state drives with 80 hyperthreaded cores. This increased capacity was needed for the next project:

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ODF FOI Update: Lost, Found and Lost Again

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LibO
Microsoft
OOo

This is really one of the most ridiculous get-out clauses, because it is so wide. The whole point of the FOI system is so that we can see precisely what is being said in these discussions, and to find out what companies are saying behind closed doors - and what ministers are replying. Although it's laudable that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills got in touch to correct its response to me, it's rather rich to do so and then simply refuse point-blank to release any of the information it has just found.

The only consolation is that whatever Microsoft whispered in the corridors of power to de-rail the move to ODF - since I hardly imagine it was a fervent supporter of the idea - it didn't work. However, there are doubtless many other occasions when it did, but we will never know. That's just unacceptable in a modern democracy.

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LibreOffice is coming to Android

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Android
LibO

I've been hoping to see this headline for some time now. At the first LibreOffice Conference, the Document Foundation announced its plans to migrate LibreOffice to mobile devices. The plan didn't include a total rewrite of the code, but repurposing at least 90% of the current code base. That meant the majority of the work was already done. That last remaining 10%? The user interface. The 90% already compiles on Android -- so there is a working model. Of course, what good is a working model without an interface to go along with it?

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LibreOffice 4.2.6 “Still” Released by The Document Foundation

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LibO

The developers from The Document Foundation have released a new stable build in the 4.2.x version of LibreOffice, just a few days after the main branch of the suite, 4.3, made its grand appearance.

“The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.2.6 ‘Still,’ the seventh and last minor release of the most solid version of the software, ready for enterprise deployments and conservative users. LibreOffice 4.2.6 arrives just one week after the successful launch of LibreOffice 4.3 ‘Fresh,’ the most feature rich version of the office suite,” reads the official announcement.

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LibreOffice 4.3 Open-Source Office Suite Enhances the User Experience

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LibO
Reviews

In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the new features in LibreOffice 4.3.

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LibreOffice 4.3: Today, You Can’t Own A Better Office Suite

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LibO

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.3, the 8th major release of the free office suite since the birth of the project in September 2010. The application includes the combined effort of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of developers, and has reached a point of maturity that makes it suitable for every kind of deployment, if backed by value added services by the growing LibreOffice ecosystem.

LibreOffice 4.3 offers a large number of improvements and new features.

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FSF congratulates UK Government on choosing Open Document Format

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GNU
LibO
OOo

If you live in the UK, you'll soon be able to fill out government paperwork with your freedoms intact. The British government announced last week that Open Document Format (ODF), HTML, and PDF will be the official file formats used by all government agencies.

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WebODF easily used, part 1: ViewerJS

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KDE
LibO
OOo

You possibly have heard of WebODF already, the Open Source JavaScript library for displaying and editing files in the OpenDocument format (ODF) inside HTML pages. For ideas what is possible with WebODF and currently going on, see e.g. Aditya’s great blog posts about the usage of WebODF in OwnCloud Documents and Highlights in the WebODF 0.5 release.

The WebODF library webodf.js comes with a rich API and lots of abstraction layers to allow adaption to different backends and enviroments. There is an increasing number of software using WebODF, some of that listed here.

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What the UK Government’s adoption of ODF really means

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LibO
OOo

Most of the migrations from one office suite to another tend to happen without any coherent document management policy. Many organizations moving from, say, Microsoft Office to LibreOffice do not necessarily adopt ODF as their default format and will carry on supporting whatever version of the MS Office file format internally. This usually leads to frustrations and compatibility problems. This time, the UK Government decision takes a different approach. By deciding about the formats first, the UK creates the conditions necessary to have real choices for its government and its citizens, thus setting a level playing field for everyone. Many people have understood this decision as being a move against Microsoft. It is not or at least it should not be. Microsoft Office implements ODF files and its latest editions, as I’m being told are actually quite good at it. What this move does, however, is to ensure no other solution will be at a competitive disadvantage because of a technical or legal (aka patents) lock-in. Of course, it remains to be seen what concrete actions the UK Government will take in order to ensure a smooth transition between proprietary formats and open standards; and it remains to be seen how well it will ensure a proper change management across all of its departments so that its agents feel comfortable with ODF documents and whatever new office suites that may be adopted as a result of the decision. Much could be lost at that stage, but much could be gained as well. And of course, just like with the Netherlands, the decision itself might end up being toned down or take a somewhat different meaning.

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