LibreOffice Is #1

The amazing vitality of LibreOffice is now reflected“Business users will appreciate that the quality of LibreOffice code is the highest for projects of similar size. According to Coverity Scan, the quality has improved tenfold during the last couple of years, with the number of defects per 1,000 lines of code being reduced from 0.8 to 0.07 thanks to the solution of 6,000 problems. LibreOffice is by far the largest project to have achieved such an outstanding score, with over 9 million lines of code.” in the quality of the code as measured by Coverity and the close partnership between The Document Foundation and business.

LibreOffice is a fine example of what FLOSS can be. When FLOSS projects reach this level of penetration in usage there’s no limit to how far they can go. We’ve seen this before in the Linux kernel, Apache web-server, MySQL database, PostgreSQL database and many others.

Have you enough LibreOffice? If not, download the latest release today.

See The Document Foundation joins the Open Source Business Alliance.

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.
This entry was posted in technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to LibreOffice Is #1

  1. DrLoser says:

    You don’t actually have any axioms at all, do you, Robert? You just make up fundamental requirements as you go along, discarding your previous requirements when they get tired and embarrassing.

    Typical physicist, if you ask me. Not nearly as reliable as us mathematicians.

  2. DrLoser says:

    I’m sorry, did I report 80% for left-justification?

    Let the record show that the actual percentage is 90%.

    No evidence given. Maybe only cack-handers (the other 10%) insist upon alternatives.

  3. DrLoser says:

    DrLoser wrote, “Remind me again. What was this prejudice you have against “bloatware?”

    As I understood your original description of “bloatware” these many moons ago, Robert, you were specifically referring to disk space. You were, weren’t you? You can’t deny it.

    Which would make Libre bloatware par excellence.

    Two things about this “feature comparison” novelty that you have but recently adopted to paper over your original hatred of “bloatware:”

    1) Just a tad inconsistent with your claim that 80% of desktop users will only ever use left-justification a la physical typewriters and need nothing else?

    Why, yes, Robert, it is. You should think first before making these preposterous claims on the record. Otherwise, as now, you will soon live to regret them.

    2) You’re choosing a very peculiar bottom line for Kingsoft and Softmaker being “directly comparable.” Both of them do a far better job of actually being a compatible office suite than either OpenOffice or Libre. And what happened to this concept of “Do one thing only, and do it well?”

    database/drawings/charts/mathematical writing.

    * Database? Libre? Try again, Robert.
    * Drawings?
    * Charts?
    * Mathematical writing?

    I feel fairly safe in my assumption that you have never once tried either product, have you, Robert? After all, you are on record as refusing to inflict the Black Helicopters Of Doom on your neighbour by asking to log in to his Windows 7 machine, so you’ve never actually availed yourself of the opportunity over the last ten or so years, have you?

    In other words, your accusations of missing functionality are nothing more than pointless unsubstantiated babble.

  4. Open Office>Libre Office was one of those programs like Firefox, Chromium, Thunderbird, VLC and Skype that made the switch from Windows to Linux for me and the many people I later helped with the move to free software.
    Im using it a bit less with Google Docs/Writely around but always been happy with it.

    I still remember telling some kids parents at school that they didnt have to buy Office just so their child could type some homework. By the start of the next year, half the parents had switched to OO/LO.

    reading this post I realized that like with many programs I use regularly without thinking about it, I take LO for granted. I dont think about it.

  5. DrLoser wrote, “Remind me again. What was this prejudice you have against “bloatware?””

    KingSoft is not as diverse an office suite as LibreOffice. There’s not database/drawings/charts/mathematical writing.

    Softmaker has some other features but still it’s not directly comparable.

    LibreOffice is somewhat modular. You can install just what you need. Some folks only need “writer” and no “help” and they can get that for much less bloat, 260MB installed in a virtual machine here:

  6. DrLoser says:

    OEMs can choose to sell stuff with bloatware but another OEM can sell similar products without at a lower price and make the deal…

    Talking of “bloatware,” Robert, here are the installables for some of these products:

    Libre 219MB
    Softmaker 110.9MB
    Kingsoft 62.4MB

    Remind me again. What was this prejudice you have against “bloatware?”

  7. olderman says:

    “If they fear competitors would copy the software and compete unfairly, they must be thinking in terms of monopoly rather than giving good service. ”

    I am at a loss to see how “giving good service” is going to pay googles bills, or make its investors a profit. Please enlighten me Robert Pogson.

  8. Deaf Spy wrote, “why do you pretend that commercial and close-source alternatives don’t exist – Kingsoft, Softmaker, Google Docs?”

    I don’t. Those are just not relevant to me these days. Google is interesting but they’re still too restrictive IMHO. I think they or I are confused about the value of FLOSS. If FLOSS is good on the browser and Android/Linux and GNU/Linux, why is it not good for them in the cloud? That just doesn’t make any sense. If they fear competitors would copy the software and compete unfairly, they must be thinking in terms of monopoly rather than giving good service. That’s not good. e.g. Last time I checked Google Docs didn’t do ODT. What’s with that? There’s something wrong with that picture. Google may sort it all out and unite their cloud, Android, and GNU/Linux somehow but for now it seems they are an octopus and one hand doesn’t get what the other is doing. If I were running Google, I would commit to LibreOffice and pump resources into making a cloud/web application in LibreOffice, letting the world share the load and earning the trust of users. That would do what Google wants without the drama.

    Google can make a ton of money selling cloud-services, and advertising. Using FLOSS would just make it easier to do that. Instead, Google seems to be imitating its enemy, M$, rather than competing with M$. I don’t get it.

  9. Deaf Spy wrote, ” OEMs offer things they profit from. All the bloatware that comes with the laptops, OEMs get paid for. Even for otherwise free stuff like Chrome and Adobe Reader.”

    OEMs can choose to sell stuff with bloatware but another OEM can sell similar products without at a lower price and make the deal… Competition prevents OEMs from sticking with Wintel ultimately. Now that competition is thriving again, M$ doesn’t get to tell OEMs what to ship, paid or not. Eventually M$ may actually pay OEMs to include their bloatware, but if the product doesn’t sell to consumers that’s not sustainable. At the moment, consumers aren’t loving M$. Businesses may well for a while but I think it’s a temporary situation. Word from Digitimes is that OEMs are looking to ship ChromeBooks. There’s not a lot of bloatware there. Word is that thin clients are gaining share. No bloatware there either. Then there’s Ubuntu GNU/Linux which is forging ahead, an Linpus, and some others… OEMs can make a living selling hardware without that other OS.

  10. Deaf Spy says:

    It wouldn’t be any stretch of the imagination to think that OEM”s would offer LO with new purchases

    It would be a way too hard stretch of imagination, Dogie. Let me tell you secret. Come closer, boy, and hark! OEMs offer things they profit from. All the bloatware that comes with the laptops, OEMs get paid for. Even for otherwise free stuff like Chrome and Adobe Reader.

    Now, empowered by this astounding knowledge, tell me this, Dogie. Who’s gonna pay OEMs to install LO on their laptops? No one? I thought so.

  11. dougman says:

    It wouldn’t be any stretch of the imagination to think that OEM”s would offer LO with new purchases, but alas, M$ would not allow it and I am sure that M$ has in place, some restriction preventing them to do so.

    Countless customers have learned to enjoy using LibreOffice instead of freebie Office trialware.

  12. Deaf Spy says:

    Pogson, why do you pretend that commercial and close-source alternatives don’t exist – Kingsoft, Softmaker, Google Docs? People happen to use these, you know. Further, OEMs still give for free MS Works. LO needs to compete with more than just MSO.

  13. Deaf Spy observed, “no one bothers explaining why FLOSS Office Suits failed to gain any traction for the last ten years already”.

    Obviously no one does that because FLOSS office suites are gaining traction everywhere.
    OpenOffice.org: 40 million back in 2005, 100 million downloads reached in 2014.

    LibreOffice: “The latest update comes as the organization behind LibreOffice says that its products are now being used by some 80 million users around the world. In contrast, only 10 million users had downloaded the software by Sept. 2011.” see LibreOffice makes its case as open source alternative to MS Office

    I’d say even one million users would be traction. 100million+ is making the world a better placed. What does M$ have? 1100 million by their estimate. They opine that 400million users of their OS don’t use their office suite. What are those users using? Nothing? or is it FLOSS?

  14. Deaf Spy says:

    Still, no one bothers explaining why FLOSS Office Suits failed to gain any traction for the last ten years already. We’ve been constantly told that OO / LO are all people need, but people, obstinate as mules, keep buying MSO. And no, as WSJ write, there is no monopoly, there are many alternatives, free and cheap, thanks for asking.

    We have two options here. First, a few million MSO users are stupid. Now I give you three guesses what the second option is.

  15. Thanks for the link to WSJ, dougman. It’s decent, even giving LibreOffice a plug.

    I would change the title a bit, of course: Do You Really Need Microsoft Anything Anymore? NOOOOOO!

    It’s very strange that people will actually pay M$ for something they can get for $0 with more or less the same functionality and a lot more flexibility. Need N copies? No problem. The licence for LibreOffice says “Let ‘er rip!”. Need full justification, various fonts and styles? You got it. I think when a paper of the influence of WSJ gets the message, the world is not far behind.

  16. dougman says:

    Solicited, or not, it is still a Zero-day vulnerability that can affect anyone using MicroSh1t. Normally what happens is one person gets hit with malware, then the malware resends itself to everyone in your email contact list. So essentially, a C-level entity could be responsible for sending out malware to the rest of the company.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/do-you-really-need-microsoft-office-anymore-1407873198

    The answer is solemnly…NO!

  17. Joe.M says:

    DrLoser,

    Wowowowowow. You are really reaching. Why don’t you just admit you are wrong and move on with your pathetic M$tard life.

  18. DrLoser says:

    Here’s the thing, Robert:

    If a hole in Microsoft Security somehow cost hundreds of thousands of people tens of billions of dollars, I would personally be devastated. You, on the other hand, would rejoice. You’d feel vindicated, wouldn’t you?

    If, on the other hand, a hole in Linux Security somehow cost hundreds of thousands of people tens of billions of dollars, we would bothpersonally be devastated.

    But I’d be worried about the people involved, and you’d be worried about your precious GNU/Linux.

    On the whole, I prefer my point of view.

  19. DrLoser says:

    Well, total control of a few systems is serious, no doubt

    Considering that those “few” systems (anywhere from 0 – 10 million or so) are servers with unknown security exposure to the rest of the Internet, Robert: you are correct. Using English understatement, I would say “quite serious.” But I’ll accept the unqualified Canadian equivalent.

    but how many normal users are out there processing files for M$’s office suite?

    You’d have to specify what you mean by “normal,” Robert, but whatever. This is a single Microsoft Advisory, I have no idea how difficult it is to “craft” the attack, and all I know is that some idiot has to open an unsolicited attachment to an email. Which isn’t really very likely these days, although I grant you it happens. And it would be caught by any sort of antivirus at all — note, incidentally, that neither Heartbleed nor ShellShock, not to mention that idiotic Debian SSL key issue from a year or two back, would be caught by any such thing — before it had a chance to do anything.

    Millions? Hundreds of millions?

    You could very well be right. There may very well be hundreds of millions of idiots out there who open an attachment to an email from a Nigerian Prince offering them the chance for untold ill-gotten gains.

    In which case, the human race (outside false Nigerian Princes) is doomed. That’s awful, but then again, it might be for the best.

    That certainly bumps the magnitude of the pain such things can cause.

    Not really: it bumps up the multiplier, not the magnitude. As usual, Robert, you didn’t pay attention to the details. This particular security hole allows the attacker access to user privileges.

    Now, I don’t want to minimise this in any way, and having somebody scan your “home” folder is not nice. But, unless you are a total moron, you don’t typically include things like your unencrypted bank details in your home folder, do you?

    How many bank accounts could be compromised?

    Just a guess: Not a single one. You got any better guesses? I doubt it, since you can’t even manage the simple task of calculating the entropy on a South Korean SSID.

    Now we’re talking $billions.

    “Now we’re fantasising billions.” One of us is right, and one of us is wrong. Posterity will judge, in what I would imagine is very short order by the general measure of these things … a week or two at most.

    What have those other two done to GNU/Linux users?

    Nice of you to consider the problems that the 10% of the world not using GNU/Linux on the desktop (I’m following your figures here: I may just possibly have them the wrong way around) might face, what with Heartbleed and ShellShock and a continual cascade of other basic security failures in GNU/Linux servers.

    Nothing newsworthy as far as I can see. Apparently, 160 mail servers became a bot…

    Yup, that’s the way the Russian Mafias (amongst others) work, Robert. The very first thing they do is to go on Global Television and boast about how they’ve installed a rootkit on 10% of GNU/Linux servers worldwide.

    Well, actually, the first thing they probably do is to get a fake tan and go down the hairdressers to get their 1980s mullet streaked blond.

    But after that the first thing they’re gonna do is to confess right up there on Global Television.

    Yeah … right.

  20. DrLoser wrote, “you were being more than a little dishonest by implying that this is a threat on the level of, say, Heartbleed or ShellShock.”

    Well, total control of a few systems is serious, no doubt, but how many normal users are out there processing files for M$’s office suite? Millions? Hundreds of millions? That certainly bumps the magnitude of the pain such things can cause. How many bank accounts could be compromised? Now we’re talking $billions. What have those other two done to GNU/Linux users? Nothing newsworthy as far as I can see. Apparently, 160 mail servers became a bot…

    This is the problem of “monoculture”. GNU/Linux has a problem and the 1/N fraction of systems that are vulnerable may or may not be protected by one or more other layers. That other OS has a problem and the millions of systems identically configured by M$’s central control fall over. Diversity is a good and healthy condition. Monopoly is not.

  21. DrLoser says:

    Leaving aside the entertaining notion of five adults in a room who can’t open a DVD “jewel case” between them, Robert (I’ve been there, I can sympathise, I too am ocularly challenged although I think in this case it’s mostly fingernails) …

    It’s just silly to pay for stuff you don’t use. It’s not like insurance against bears or such. It’s just software.

    It sounds exactly like “insurance against bears” to me, Robert. And I am not being flippant here. Here, in order, are the features of a sort of “covers every daily need life-pack” that would work around my parts in Birmingham.

    0) Insurance against bears. A nice-to-have. And admittedly I work near Dudley Zoo. But, er, I can think of other things to be insured against.
    1) Anything other than left-justification. You’d actually be surprised how many people expect this as a given. I’d go further: fully 20% of the basically skilled working class guys I know around here would expect, not just text wraparound on images, but even the ability to position that image and watch the text wrap around it in real time.
    2) A proper spell checker. A proper grammar checker. You can ignore both, at the risk of sounding like oiaohm, but most people want that.

    And those are just the basics.

    I’ve spent a year using nothing but OpenOffice at work (it predated Libre, so that’s no offence to Libre), and basically it sucked. On a daily basis.

    So much so that, reluctant as I am to pay M$’s fees for a full Office system at home, I shelled out $40 or so to get Softmaker (I recommend Softmaker) and have KingSoft as a backer.

    TBH, Libre is so bloody annoying, again on a daily basis, that I would rather pay for anything else.

    And on a cost/benefit analysis (you remember the “benefit” thing? The bit you always miss out?), I’d far rather stump up the $40.

  22. DrLoser says:

    How nice of you to expose your vulnerable soft and squishy underparts by subscribing to a Microsoft account, Dougie! Nothing at all to do with doing dirty M$ business at all, of course. When the black-hats come to lock you away, we will remember your sacrifice!

    For about five seconds. Anyhow:

    “Microsoft has said that all Office files could be infected with OLE objects, and the problem is not limited to PowerPoint.”

    Not entirely an accurate quote from the site, is it? Let’s try again, Dougie. I realise that the lack of educational qualifications might have hampered you, somewhat.

    The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file that contains an OLE object. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user.

    Let’s take this in two easy steps, just in case there’s anybody else out there in the audience who, like Dougie, has not quite fought his way up to a High School Equivalency.

    1) The user needs to open a “specially crafted Microsoft Office file,” presumably delivered through email by a Nigerian Prince.
    2) That said, and assuming there are no other protections (anti-virus comes to mind. I recommend Debian, which is sadly unavailable on my Windows 7 machines … Oh, OK, Microsoft Security Essentials. Free, and catches every single one of these)…
    2a) … “could gain the same user rights as the current user?”

    I mean, the current user is presumably not Admin. In fact, the current user is almost certainly a haploid cretin (with or without an HSE).

    These people need protecting, which is why Microsoft issued that security advisory … but, let’s face it, Dougie, you were being more than a little dishonest by implying that this is a threat on the level of, say, Heartbleed or ShellShock.

    Because it isn’t, is it?

  23. dougman wrote, “Libreoffice is good enough for 80% of the world”.

    It all boils down to needing features and being habituated to features offered. I’ve seen a lot of people use M$’s office suite and most of them never used a tenth of the features. e.g. Left-justified is default and I’m sure 90% of users rarely use any different. That’s accepting the default features of a manual typewriter as default on a machine that can full-justify instantly. I was with 5 adults in a classroom once when not one of us could figure out how to get the disc out of the box easily (eyesight…) and not one of us could figure out how “the ribbon” worked… We fired up OpenOffice.org on the kids’ PCs and did the job with no trouble at all. We probably didn’t use 10% of the features on that software either. It’s just silly to pay for stuff you don’t use. It’s not like insurance against bears or such. It’s just software.

  24. dougman says:

    Libreoffice is good enough for 80% of the world, the remaining 20% can fight with M$ office and its vulnerabilities.

    https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/3010060

    “Microsoft has said that all Office files could be infected with OLE objects, and the problem is not limited to PowerPoint.”

    Linux, never suffers the woe’s of Win-Doh’s.

Leave a Reply