Oracle’s 2009 acquisition of Sun Microsystems threatened all that is good in the software world, so Sun’s OpenOffice.org team decided to stand up against the man and fork off into a separate entity, aptly named “The Document Foundation“. With fears of being buried gone, the developers have been able to work freely on creating “LibreOffice”, a freshly revived variant of the premier open source productivity suite.
Today marks the release of the first stable version of LibreOffice 3.3, a major milestone for the fledgling project — which has grown considerably in the past four months. The developer community has accomplished a great deal in the short time frame, from both a developmental and logistical standpoint.
The 3.3 release features scores of improvements, including:
- New dialog box for creating and managing title pages
- SVG and PDF import into Writer
- Import of MS Works documents
- “Experimental” mode, to allow users to test out as-yet-unfinished features
“We are excited: this is our very first stable release, and therefore we are eager to get user feedback, which will be integrated as soon as possible into the code, with the first enhancements being released in February. Starting from March, we will be moving to a real time-based, predictable, transparent and public release schedule, in accordance with Engineering Steering Committee’s goals and users’ requests.” — Caolán McNamara, RedHat
LibreOffice is available on all major platforms, and will always be both libre y gratis.
Full press release:
The Document Foundation launches LibreOffice 3.3
The first stable release of the free office suite is available for download
The Internet, January 25, 2011 – The Document Foundation launches LibreOffice 3.3, the first stable release of the free office suite developed by the community. In less than four months, the number of developers hacking LibreOffice has grown from less than twenty in late September 2010, to well over one hundred today. This has allowed us to release ahead of the aggressive schedule set by the project.
Not only does it ship a number of new and original features, LibreOffice 3.3 is also a significant achievement for a number of reasons:
– the developer community has been able to build their own and independent process, and get up and running in a very short time (with respect to the size of the code base and the project’s strong ambitions);
– thanks to the high number of new contributors having been attracted into the project, the source code is quickly undergoing a major clean-up to provide a better foundation for future development of LibreOffice;
– the Windows installer, which is going to impact the largest and most diverse user base, has been integrated into a single build containing all language versions, thus reducing the size for download sites from 75 to 11GB, making it easier for us to deploy new versions more rapidly and lowering the carbon footprint of the entire infrastructure.
Caolán McNamara from RedHat, one of the developer community leaders, comments, “We are excited: this is our very first stable release, and therefore we are eager to get user feedback, which will be integrated as soon as possible into the code, with the first enhancements being released in February. Starting from March, we will be moving to a real time-based, predictable, transparent and public release schedule, in accordance with Engineering Steering Committee’s goals and users’ requests”. The LibreOffice development roadmap is available at http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan.
LibreOffice 3.3 brings several unique new features. The 10 most-popular among community members are, in no particular order: the ability to import and work with SVG files; an easy way to format title pages and their numbering in Writer; a more-helpful Navigator Tool for Writer; improved ergonomics in Calc for sheet and cell management; and Microsoft Works and Lotus Word Pro document import filters. In addition, many great extensions are now bundled, providing PDF import, a slide-show presenter console, a much improved report builder, and more besides. A more-complete and detailed list of all the new features offered by LibreOffice 3.3 is viewable on the following web page: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/new-features-and-fixes/.
LibreOffice 3.3 also provides all the new features of OpenOffice.org 3.3, such as new custom properties handling; embedding of standard PDF fonts in PDF documents; new Liberation Narrow font; increased document protection in Writer and Calc; auto decimal digits for “General” format in Calc; 1 million rows in a spreadsheet; new options for CSV import in Calc; insert drawing objects in Charts; hierarchical axis labels for Charts; improved slide layout handling in Impress; a new easier-to-use print interface; more options for changing case; and colored sheet tabs in Calc. Several of these new features were contributed by members of the LibreOffice team prior to the formation of The Document Foundation.
LibreOffice hackers will be meeting at FOSDEM in Brussels on February 5 and 6, and will be presenting their work during a one-day workshop on February 6, with speeches and hacking sessions coordinated by several members of the project.
The home of The Document Foundation is at http://documentfoundation.org. The home of LibreOffice is at http://www.libreoffice.org, where the download page has been redesigned by the community to be more user-friendly.
*** About The Document Foundation
The Document Foundation has the mission of facilitating the evolution of the OOo Community into a new, open, independent, and meritocratic organization within the next few months. An independent Foundation is a better reflection of the values of our contributors, users and supporters, and will enable a more effective, efficient and transparent community. TDF will protect past investments by building on the achievements of the first decade, will encourage wide participation within the community, and will co-ordinate activity across the community.
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