LibreOffice Had a Great Year

The Document Foundation put out a Christmas card with this bit of information:
“Today, over 30 million people use LibreOffice in 109 languages, a software developed by 40 core developers and a total of over 300 active developers plus 280 localizers. Probably the biggest achievement is the fact that 230 of those developers are totally new, have never been contributing code to the free office suite before, and were attracted by our open, transparent, meritocratic and inclusive community. Over 16.000 mailing list subscribers are on our 100 mailing lists, and TDF now counts 138 members.”

If one looks at Distrowatch’s Top Ten:

  1. Linux Mint,
  2. Ubuntu,
  3. Fedora,
  4. Debian GNU/Linux,
  5. openSUSE,
  6. ArchLinux,
  7. PCLinuxOS,
  8. CentOS,
  9. Mageia, and
  10. Slackware

.

Only Slackware, CentOS, PCLinuxOS, and ArchLinux do not ship LibreOffice. RedHat is a major contributor to LibreOffice so it will likely be shipped by them sooner or later and CentOS will follow. I think the number “over 30 million” is a conservative estimate. The distros shipping LibreOffice ship more than 30 million. The number must come from their downloads which include users of that other OS so the number could be twice as large as that. I would not be surprised if LibreOffice reaches 100 million users shortly. It’s that good.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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31 Responses to LibreOffice Had a Great Year

  1. oiaohm says:

    It is possible change the install location of Libreoffice that does not trigger the UAC. Network software installs it installs as administrator so avoiding UAC. Run as administrator avoids the UAC again. So UAC support is basically not there because there are many ways to avoid it. Not supporting UAC directly is not a secuirty fault.

    Detecting and interface with UAC would only place something extra in LibreOffice installer to stuff up on a network install. Network installs you want it to fall flat on it face if its running as the wrong user. Not pop up a dialog asking for permission on the machine it running on. Since you will not be there. Supporting UAC could turn into a secuirty fault and a hanging somewhere because something did not fail when it should have. Other words failure to fail is a defect for business deployments.

    Basically UAC itself is piss poor. Gives people a false sense of secuirty. You have the wrong logic that installers have to support UAC. Most bad programs hide the fact they need higher rights or claim high rights when what they are doing does not require it using UAC.

    How to most programs avoid showing UAC to update run a service in background todo the updating. Result is more and more services running so a less and less secure system. Sorry Libreoffice has decide not to make your system a secuirty mess.

    You are complaining about the other miss understand
    of new that lot of people work out. Its a failure to understand what you ask the program todo.

    wollmux fixes the other path as well as adding more options. Yes there is a reasons why a new from windows interface spits up a blank document.

    You asked for a new document writer and got given exactly what you asked for Dr Loser. A true new document containing the default template. In side the program or from the quicklaunch you can get to “templates and documents” under new instead of selection application.

    Templates are in fact by the logic used old documents. What they truly are.

    Really this split makes is simple for remote assistance to workout if libreoffice is damaged or not. If a new blank document will not open you know something is badly wrong. Now the MS Office path the user could click in the wrong place and be opening something else.

    Its one of those things you have to accept as different between the two programs. Both made two different logic selections. Both are wrong from the others logic.

    Opening a blank document basically tests that all is well with the program. So you don’t have the nasty of I opened a template and MS Office crashed. Ok what was it the template I selected or MS Office damaged somewhere. Yes a quick health check does make sense. Also previewer of templates requires the engine working.

    There is logic to what libreoffice is doing to you basically DR Loser. Maybe not logic you are directly seeing.

    Interface side is known to be a bit rough in places. Mostly logical.

    The background-foreground object/image stacks is another one that causes people from MS Office confusion. Useful when you get use to it.

    Yes OpenOffice and Libreoffice does have some unique features that you will find if you use it long enough instead of making excuse to stop at what appears to be the first hurdle.

    Libreoffice does not try to clone MS Office never has. Now if Libreoffice starts cloning MS look items like the better object placement might end up given up.

  2. Dr Loser says:

    @Oiaohm:

    “The templates and wizards thing unfortunately has to be education about what the difference is.”

    Why should that be?

    “People are shouting for more templates when they should be shouting for more Wizards.”

    Why do you imagine that?

    “Your case Libreoffice give me a darn good report wizard please is what you should be asking for.”

    No, darn good or otherwise, and wizard or otherwise (why a wizard?) I just want a choice. God know, M$ Word doesn’t give me much of one, but at least the possibility is there.

    “Instead you are complaining about a template…”

    No, I’m not. I’m complaining that the choice doesn’t even exist.

    “…that should never give you what you want unless the Office suite is security screwed.”

    Well, it was a fresh installation, at your command. I’m not quite sure where “security” comes in here, unless you are prepared to admit that the Libre Office installation is so piss-poor that it doesn’t even understand UAC. Which it is, btw. It isn’t even difficult to get right. It’s just typical laziness.

    I had to dip in to “God” on my Windows machine to get it installed. I quickly reverted to “peasant.”

    And, you know what? I don’t think I was denied access to the templates simply because I was a mere mortal.

    What, exactly, is your point? In three paragraphs, please. I’ll grace you with a certain amount of verbosity, but to be honest you are generally both extremely dull and almost entirely opaque.

  3. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    “Normal LibreOffice, OpenOffice and StarOffice first timer problem. What is happening is exactly what should happen when you open a template.”

    What happened is that I couldn’t even figure out how to open a template.

    I hit the “New” button.

    Now, call me stupid, but I sort of expect a choice of templates to appear.

  4. Dr Loser says:

    @Koz:

    OK, on Oldman’s behalf, I’ll try to fill in the blanks.

    “Common Good? this is bu$ine$$ sir, not a commune! Once OpenOffice was open sources, its commercial value effectively went to zero. And by the time that Sun realized that they couldn’t make money off an open sourced product the way they thought they could, it was all over.”

    I’ve pointed out (above) that this is a misrepresentation of what (I think) Sun was trying to do.

    However, let’s assume that Sun (and let’s face it, engineers of any kind in Northern California are not cheap) had a business plan for OOo.

    They had deep pockets: not every company has that amount to expend on what is effectively R&D.

    They had the choice of going in almost any direction they wanted. Heck, they could probably have talked to Apple, ten miles down the road, and offered to build an OSX office suite (with pop-ups advertising Solaris, natch) for free!

    They could have even said, you know what, we don’t need this grief. The Bazaar model is that other people will build this for us, and for everybody else. Here’s what we do: we implement an ecosystem in which the million eyes will thrive and prosper, and everything will be fine.

    Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. People, even experienced and qualified people, don’t have either the time or the inclination.

    OOo died because OOo was set up to die. Libre will do the same.

    Sorry ’bout that, but as oiaohm repeatedly says, “simple fact.”

  5. Dr Loser says:

    “Dr Loser ignores … IBM which invested $1billion in 2000 and recouped/broke even in one year,
    RedHat which has had a long period of uninterrupted growth…”

    I don’t actually ignore it, as it happens.

    It’s interesting that IBM invested exactly the same (in 2000) as Red Hat is now capitalised at, isn’t it? Over the intervening ten years, that looks like a mis-placed investment to me.

    I can think of a thousand reasons to use Linux; I’m not about to discount it, just through sheer intellectual distaste. For example, there’s a company just round the corner from me (on the Warwick University Science Park) that specialises in massively parallel debugging (using something built off the free and open source of gdb) to help build HPC systems.

    Why would I want to object to that? I even interviewed for the buggers. It looks like a seriously good place to work.

    What I object to is this insane assumption that Linux on the desktop is ready for everyday work.

    It isn’t anywhere close, you know. It’s about at Win 98 levels (or Mac pre OSX). And there’s no evidence at all that it will ever get better.

    If anything, this diseased upstream/downstream, bickering, unstable ABI/API, Heinz baked bean distro theory, will we use Wayland or will we just keep patching one or the other version of X, who cares about audio and WiFi and so on nonsense is causing Linux to go backwards.

    Which is a shame. It was a beautiful idea.

    In 1993.

  6. Kozmcrae says:

    “this is bu$ine$$ sir”

    @ldman’s cliche #2 used 23 times. Or should that be, overused.

    “this is bu$ine$$ sir” Does not say a damn thing. You are hoping the reader will fill in the missing meaning with his own. It’s a cheap trick @ldman.

    So why don’t you fill in the blank for us @ldman with words that have real meaning.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser You have SUN wrong.

    What was going wrong with SUN and OpenOffice has everything todo with the existence of StarOffice.

    StarOffice did not disappear in 2000 when OpenOffice was released.

    SUN internal coders were trying to make new features for StarOffice so they could sell StarOffice. These features would be kept away from the outside developers. So basically creating a internal fork of the code base that external patchs had to be compatible with. Very much like trying to hit a dart board blind folded.

    This leads to major problems. Outside developers does no have full access to the source code that SUN or Oracle was working on. A classic case was SVG support. Third party developer design a full patch to provide SVG support. Just happened that a SUN developer at the same time was working on a SVG patch for StarOffice. Third party developer cannot work out why his patch is being blocked by SUN staff since the StarOffice patch and work is secret and still did not work properly.

    The issue is trying to keep a foot in both camps. Releasing a closed source product with exclusive features that are released on the market by surprise and work with the FOSS world at the same time. Simply never works.

    You can get away with exclusive features for a time if you tell the third party developers that you are working on them this way you don’t end up butting heads repeatedly with them so you don’t annoy the crap out of them to the point they fork off.

    Third party developers can spend weeks developing a patch only to find out in the 80% of stuff in-house hidden for StarOffice someone was working on fixing the same issue. This pisses any sane person off major.

    Oracle was aiming to keep up this pattern.

    If OpenOffice from sun had not had StarOffice next to it and Sun was not trying to profit that way third party developers and internal developers would have been using the same code base.

    Libreoffice has no problem running 300 plus developers spread around the world. Patches merge simply even better when patches don’t merge you can send them back to the person who made them for revision because they have access to the master source code as well.

    Basically OpenOffice was not a FOSS poster child. Linux kernel is a FOSS poster child running thousands of developers with each other without major issues most of the time. You get 1 or 2 developers who but heads every now and then.

    US vs Them really by the end was running really strong in OpenOffice.

    SUN was not desperate enough to give up on the goal of commercial pay back from Star Office.

    Oracle took it step deeper. Oracle was going to release a cloud based OpenOffice that only was run by them. Oracle basically ended staroffice name and was going down the path of still selling a commercial version. Oracle Open Office. Yes Oracles goal was to take as much of the Open Source and convert it to closed.

    Lots of the FOSS project run by SUN jumped ship from Oracle.

    SUN had always promised OpenOffice third party developers would at some point get it own foundation and its own management. This is what was giving third party developer hope that things would improve if they held in there with the issues. Oracle to the foundation idea said a flat no. So killing third party developers hopes so creating Libreoffice.

    Really the third party developers should have not held in as long as what they did.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser
    “What I actually wanted to do is to open a new report template (not an unusual activity), and, just like OOo, it dumps me straight into plain text.”

    Normal LibreOffice, OpenOffice and StarOffice first timer problem. What is happening is exactly what should happen when you open a template.

    Problem is you are expecting a template to react like a wizard. This is secuirty bad for that to happen. So you are asking for something that cannot be fixed unless we want Libreoffice to be virus weak.

    First is tell you the difference between template and wizard.

    A template is just that a template no active code no dialogues just drops you straight into a preformed document. No macros.

    A wizard is the one that brings up dialogs and asks you questions how you want it to look and so on. Wizards contain Macro code to make them work.

    MS Office mixes templates and wizards up with each other. This is what allows macro viruses to work so well under MS Office. The default.dot yes the default template when you open up a blank document in MS Office can do everything from VBA that any other Wizard in MS Office can. Opps I get in a a macro virus infect default.dot and now I am spreading to everything created new blank.

    Yes the blank document template in Libreoffice and OpenOffice and staroffice before it is just a template no wizard features. Wizards you have to go to the Wizards menu to use them.

    The mix up of template and wizard common to anyone normally use a Office Suite that is not MS Office who is use to MS Office. Microsoft was about the only one that mixed templates and wizards into one file.

    Yes I do admit LibreOffice needs more Wizards.

    http://code.google.com/p/wollmux/ can be good to add for businesses.

    Libreoffice has not got to redoing the GUI a lot yet there have been some correct but those have been limited. So lot of the back end stuff by the sound of it is gone that is fixable. The templates and wizards thing unfortunately has to be education about what the difference is.

    Part of the problem is the failure to understand terms is causing miss communication as well. People are shouting for more templates when they should be shouting for more Wizards. I guess you would falling into that camp. Your case Libreoffice give me a darn good report wizard please is what you should be asking for. Instead you are complaining about a template that should never give you what you want unless the Office suite is secuirty screwed.

  9. Dr Loser wrote, “Makes you wonder why other commercial companies don’t embrace FOSS, doesn’t it?”

    SUN’s problem was their dependence on hardware. Their FLOSS stuff could have stood on its own but the stock holders only saw the shrinking revenue for hardware. Oracle is making a ton of money on the hard core of that hardware revenue but it is scaled back from the heyday of SUN.

    Dr Loser ignores:

    • IBM which invested $1billion in 2000 and recouped/broke even in one year,
    • RedHat which has had a long period of uninterrupted growth,
    • HP, Dell, Samsung, Fujitsu, and most other OEMs which have sold a ton of equipment running GNU/Linux and more recently Android/Linux,
    • thousands of hardware and software companies all over the world making $billions from selling and servicing FLOSS, and
    • ISPs and web businesses like Google, Amazon, Rackspace, Barnes and Noble etc.

    So, Dr Loser, recant.

  10. Dr Loser says:

    It’s all so sad, really. Sun really was a champion of FOSS, back in the pony-tailed day, and now all they get is another disparaging oiaohm wall-of-text.

    Makes you wonder why other commercial companies don’t embrace FOSS, doesn’t it?

    Oldman was, in fact, wrong (as I understand it). Sun’s goal was never to make money out of OOo (although naturally the license was written by Silicon Valley lawyers, a little-remarked-upon breed, so it built the possibility in).

    I believe (and am open to correction) that Sun wanted to drive the cost of office automation software down to zero, which is what you do with a product complement. Once at zero, you now have the benefit of selling your (overpriced) hardware and your (Rools Royce) OS without the bother of your customers having to pay that pesky extra cost that would otherwise drive them to Microsoft.

    This is a fine idea, in practice. Unfortunately Sun was a hardware company, not a software company, and OOo was consequently a total bomb.

    I’m pretty sure they were desperate for community involvement. I’m pretty sure they tried. Unfortunately, the nature of something as complex as OOo (or indeed Libre) is such that you are going to end up doing 80% of stuff in-house, and any Community contributions are just icing on the cake. In fact they may even be unreasonably expensive icing, since you have to integrate them and test them and what-not.

    Oracle’s contribution is different. If I may summarize it: “You want me to keep paying for that profit-draining piece of shit? Laugh on!”

    Which, I think, is a pretty normal reaction.

    I’ve just downloaded Libre, btw. It took a few contortions, since the installer doesn’t understand UAC for some reason, but I have at last got to try it out.

    Bullet points are no longer screwed, sort of. The undo button is in a stupid place. Actually picking bullets (or numbering) is in a stupid place. Selecting the “Bullets and Numbering” dialog brings up something that is supposed to define customization; well, ok, but I haven’t managed to make it do anything useful.

    And that’s just bullet points. What I actually wanted to do is to open a new report template (not an unusual activity), and, just like OOo, it dumps me straight into plain text.

    I’m afraid it’s just too damn shoddy. It might have a million capabilities, and the code behind might be the purest code you have ever seen, but basically the thing is barely usable.

  11. oiaohm says:

    oldman Sun never gave up on the idea that one day they could make a profit from it.

    “Once OpenOffice was open sources, its commercial value effectively went to zero.”

    Sun placed a evil bet. Copyright assignment to them meant at any time in the future they could take the source code make a closed source product and profit.

    “And by the time that Sun realized that they couldn’t make money off an open sourced product the way they thought they could, it was all over.”
    Basically sun did not believe this. Neither did Orcale. Open sourcing was meant to give Sun more developers to work on StarOffice than they could afford. OpenOffice was always to be a cheep copy of StarOffice in Sun eyes.

    OpenOffice was also being used as a tool to push other Sun Products.

    You don’t make a good product when you lose view of the common good the application should provide.

    oldman
    “Common Good? this is bu$ine$$ sir, not a commune!”
    Common Good is a require factor to make good software. If the software is not doing a good job for everyone using it and your selections are harming that fact. You software will be crap and users will hate it.

    Common Good is a factor idiot companies don’t understand. Developing a product for the common good for all its users does not mean you cannot make a profit. Does mean your users are happy.

    Seriously oldman mind commenting again when you have the slightest clue what sun and orcale were doing and the goals. Because everything you responded with does not match the reality of what was going down.

  12. oldman wrote, “Once OpenOffice was open sources, its commercial value effectively went to zero. And by the time that Sun realized that they couldn’t make money off an open sourced product the way they thought they could, it was all over.”

    Chuckle. Tell that to IBM who makes a ton of money from OpenOffice.org. They love the ASF project because they will be able to take a more valuable product with less effort on IBM’s part and still sell it for full price. IBM has many customers who want an office suite costing less than M$’s but they are still willing to pay something for it. Then there are the experts with OpenOffice.org who sell services training or helping with migrations. Hundreds are contributing to OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice and many of them do it because it helps them make a living. SUN lost nothing by opening OpenOffice.org because they were mostly interested in getting an office suite for less than M$’s cost. What ever revenue they earned by selling copies of StarOffice was not the main reason for acquiring StarOffice. That acquisition was much less than one round of M$’s licensing showing how overpriced M$’s stuff is.

  13. oldman says:

    “It was a disaster because a commercial body was control it and placing all its own interests in it ahead of the common good.”

    Common Good? this is bu$ine$$ sir, not a commune! Once OpenOffice was open sources, its commercial value effectively went to zero. And by the time that Sun realized that they couldn’t make money off an open sourced product the way they thought they could, it was all over.

  14. oiaohm says:

    “OpenOffice did not have diplomatic management when out side testers had equal voice against SUN or Oracle staff.”

    Should have been more correct. Testers and developers from outside had equal voice against SUN or Oracle. What as basically nothing.

  15. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser self-respecting tester that started the upheaval in OpenOffice.

    Because they would find a bug want to fixed and find Oracle in way. Because implementers who could fix the problem could not fix upstream.

    Basically Libreoffice comes out of everyone getting highly pissed about the low quality they are able to provide. Due to the management system in OpenOffice.

    Yes the push for foundation was to get sane management.

    OpenOffice moving to appache might give it a chance of some decent management.

    Yes one of the first things libreoffice did implement is a formal QA-tester system. http://www.libreoffice.org/get-involved/qa-testers/

    Sections of the libreoffice testers are paid full time by different companies. This avoids a problem 1 company at top decide what is good or bad can think what it will do for there PR so push something out the door early.

    Including the power for the QA-testers to stop the release if the issue is bad enough and force developers spend more time fixing it.

    Tester is not a forbin FOSS word. Libreoffice is also taking the idea Automated Tests seriously as well.

    Company wanting to make a closed source product at the same time as a opensource product from the same code base is not a good idea. It leads to the conflict of interest problems that OpenOffice was.

    Its also hard to fix fundamental, usability problems when the code base is a mess. Yes over 12 months down the track they are still cleaning out crap form the OpenOffice code base that should not been there.

    You don’t need 6 implantations of regex. Many other things like that as well. They are looking to rid Base of its dependence on a java database.

    Reason why Base used a java database was because sun owned java. Yes commerical interested of the controlling force overriding the common good.

    Basically Openoffice was a disaster. It was not a disaster because it was FOSS. It was a disaster because a commercial body was control it and placing all its own interests in it ahead of the common good.

    OpenOffice did not have diplomatic management when out side testers had equal voice against SUN or Oracle staff.

  16. gewg_ says:

    @oiaohm Libreoffice is a demo of how much of a road block copyright assignment is.
    An important point to make, but someone might misinterpret what you meant. I would word it as:
    Libreoffice is a demo of how AVOIDING mandatory copyright assignment removes a roadblock.

    @Dr Loser something that most people could care less about
    http://incompetech.com/Images/caring.png

  17. Dr Loser says:

    However:

    “The people who hate the software and can say why are exactly the people you need to talk to so errors are known.”

    Mind with that “you,” you. It presumes that I give a rat’s shit, which I don’t.

    Now, there are certain usability problems where you should certainly get an outside opinion. I don’t really think that botched bullet points fall into this category.

    And there are other, rather more fundamental, usability problems where you should actually get it right in the first place.

    This is not up to the users, whether or not they can be bothered to reply.

    It’s up to the designers and the implementers and dare I speak the Forbidden FOSS Word? the testers.

    How could any self-respecting tester let this crap out into the wild?

    Well, assuming there are any testers in the first place (which as far as I can see there are not. It’s an upstream/downstream problem), the answer is that they won’t. You only get this sort of quality control if you pay for it.

    And just to make my point blatantly obvious: FOSS does not pay for it.

    Occasionally you will get Google or IBM or even Red Hat paying for it, but you know what?

    It’s like Ronald Reagan trickle-down economics.

    Sadly, it never trickles down.

  18. Dr Loser says:

    OK, O.

    I promise I will try it again. It’ll have to be on Windows, because I am limited in my facilities here (I don’t have a Beast, I have a Whimper, so I can’t virtualise).

    I will now download LibreOffice and see how it goes.

  19. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser I was more wondering from a interface future design ideas with Koffice.

    “From my point of view, this is clear evidence of appalling design, lousy implementation, and a random but presumably very large number of hacks attempting to cover up the mess that went before. I’m a programmer on large-scale projects. I’m entirely familiar with this.”

    I don’t dispute this Lot of libreoffice work is cleaning up the foundation code. This is why I see it as interesting if you retried it to see how much has disappear just from back end clean up.

    The people who hate the software and can say why are exactly the people you need to talk to so errors are known.

  20. Dr Loser says:

    I’ve had many other bad experiences with OOo, btw; I just thought it was worth throwing out a nice simple yet inexplicable example of how it sucks so badly.

    What I will say is that it reads my CV in a very helpful way. All the other bits of free software I’ve tried fail miserably at the most important thing. I think even WordPad fails miserably.

    I am, of course, talking about my being able to read my mobile phone number from the top right-hand box. I can never remember my mobile phone number.

    It’s a bit of a hefty, bloaty thing to carry around just to remember your own mobile phone number, though, isn’t it?

    Incidentally, it makes a real pig’s ear of the rest of the layout.

  21. Dr Loser says:

    No, oiaohm, I do not want to do something “fun.” Your scenario is preposterous. Mine is a small facet of every day.

    Let me explain this one more time.

    I had a very specific need. It isn’t a common need. However, the world of people who use word processors is chock-full of people with very specific needs.

    I didn’t need something complicated.

    I didn’t need something that would interfere with the workings of the rest of OOo.

    I just wanted bullet points to work intuitively. And as I explained, they didn’t even do this at the first level … although it got much, much worse further in.

    From my point of view, this is clear evidence of appalling design, lousy implementation, and a random but presumably very large number of hacks attempting to cover up the mess that went before. I’m a programmer on large-scale projects. I’m entirely familiar with this.

    Besides, eight is NOT a large number. It’s two to the power of three. It fits inside the smallest type available to the compiler. There is no possible excuse for this inadequacy.

    To answer your direct question: I spent half an hour looking at KOffice, and it didn’t appear to give me anything that OOo wouldn’t give me, which as I have said is bugger all in the first place. You’d have to really sell me on this one, considering the vast number of dependencies that KOffice imposes on me even before I invest any of my time in actually trying to use the thing.

  22. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser Ok most people don’t get 8 deep in bullet points. There is a cure in Openoffice late versions. There was also a disgusting work around insert a table with only 1 cell and you could do another 7 deep again.

    You want to do something fun to MS office assign images to bullet points.

    Format painter pre-dates the open sourcing of OOo. Someone from star division is to thank for that Dr Loser. Really old feature to be correct it predates the existing of MS Office. Ie stone age feature MS Office was lacking.

    Basically the last time you tried OOo was when the developers who made Libreoffice were starting to get insanely pissed with orcale getting in the way of them fixing stuff.

    Really you should run libreoffice just to get a idea how many bugs can disappear when road blocks are removed.

    Libreoffice still has a growing number of developers.

    You have tried koffice or it releation? Dr Loser

  23. Dr Loser says:

    On a festive note, however, I would like to congratulate whoever it was in this typical FOSS mess that came up with the format-painter idea. I’m pretty sure that OOwhatever got it first, and M$ Office copied it later. Not only is it a damn fine idea in and of itself; it’s practically the only way to make an OOo document look like it was produced by a human being rather than by a baboon.

    I don’t much like M$ Office, either. Maybe you could start recommending Word Perfect? We’d be in agreement for once.

  24. Dr Loser says:

    @oiaohm:

    It’s also something that most people could care less about. Last time I fought against OOo (or apparently it was Goop, or something) was about three years ago, and I wasn’t inclined to debate the number of angels who can balance on the end of a pin. I was actually a little more concerned with getting simple layout issues to work right. In English, which I would assume is the default and the best-tested.

    Bullet-points, that most dreaded and difficult of word-processing issues, were a particular bug-bear. They just didn’t work right. The actual bullets refused to stay consistent from one line to the next, and once you’d got past a depth of six or so, they mysteriously morphed from black to white (from memory) and nothing on earth would get them back.

    Since I was writing an in-line flow-chart sort of thing (mirroring the C code I was testing, which was up to eight parentheses deep), this was a bit of a killer for me.

    That Indonesian thing, btw? I’d hate to think I was agreeing with you in any way. Actually I was using the country in the same sense as one uses double-decker buses, Olympic swimming pools, or the Empire State Building: ie as a visualisation tool.

    Not that that was obvious, of course.

  25. oiaohm says:

    Something most people don’t know is that most distributions have not ship with OOo for the past 5 years. They were shipping with Go-oo rebranded to OOo because OOo was too buggy.

    LibreOffice is a direct descendant of Go-oo.

  26. Kozmcrae says:

    Libre Manager ships with PCLinuxOS. In fact it’s on the desktop as a default icon. The manager takes care of downloading Libre Office from their site. It also takes care of updates. It’s brain-dead easy.

  27. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser good point. Turns out the Indonesian translation section was one area that did improve in LibreOffice because there government staff could submit corrects due to the removal of copyright assignment.

    Use hell yes they will find it better than the old OOo.

    The new OOo from appache next year with the copyright assignment requirement lost also will have better translation.

    Any Open Source project with that stupid copyright assignment idea is locking out highly useful people.

    Libreoffice is a demo of how much of a road block copyright assignment is.

  28. Dr Loser says:

    Oh, and speaking of cognitive dissonance, may I quote you, Robert?

    “I think the number “over 30 million” is a conservative estimate.”

    No argument there. (Surprise!) I’m prepared to accept the figure of a trillion or so. I’m quite liberal that way.

    “The distros shipping LibreOffice ship more than 30 million.”

    They probably ship, say, Evolution to the same degree. It’s inevitable. But, as you say, it’s all good.

    “The number must come from their downloads which include users of that other OS so the number could be twice as large as that.”

    I’m going to surprise you here, Robert: absent decent statistics, I think 60 million downloads of Libre Office is basically a certainty.

    “I would not be surprised if LibreOffice reaches 100 million users shortly.”

    Aaaaaand … that’s where we part company.

    I don’t care how many downloads (whether forced via the distro or otherwise) you get.

    A hundred million users is, let’s say for example, half of everybody in Indonesia. Now, yer average Indonesian might be able to download it. But, use?

    I rather doubt it. After all, they have the far more reliable OOo as a poster child of FOSS.
    It’s that good.

  29. Dr Loser says:

    Doesn’t it just hit your cognitive dissonance button a tiny little bit when you hear: “a software?”

    It does mine.

  30. see http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=arch

    That’s similar to how I often install Debian GNU/Linux, a minimal installation followed by what I want. I made a video of that: http://youtu.be/UBGQ5Wi9694 (379 views so far, so Hollywood need not fear…)

  31. Dan Serban says:

    ArchLinux does not ship LibreOffice, true, but that’s beside the point.
    ArchLinux does not ship xorg-server either, because it’s not supposed to.
    In the particular case of ArchLinux, the right question to ask is whether LibreOffice is available in the official repositories (which it is).

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