Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice aim for Office 2013, cloud support in '13, '14

Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice aim for Office 2013, cloud support in '13, '14

Summary: Apache OpenOffice is expecting to release its 3.5 version in the first quarter of 2013 with improved Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2013 interoperability and later a 4.0 with next gen features. Meanwhile, tablet and cloud versions of LibreOffice are also underway.

TOPICS: Open Source

The two key developers of OpenOffice -- Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice -- are opening up a wee bit about their next versions. And yes, Office 2013, the cloud, social networks and tablets are on the minds of the open source office suite developers. 

Apache OpenOffice 3.5, slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2013, will offer better interoperability with Microsoft Office 2007-2013 XML formats, as well as enhanced performance, stability, usability and more language support, according to the OpenOffice.org blog.

Version 4.0 will follow will some of the features of the IBM Lotus Symphony code donated this year to the Apache Foundation. 

Rob Weir, an IBMer involved with Apache OpenOffice, said users are most interested in Office interoperability and user interface improvements, but he added that cloud-enabling the suite and making it easier to use with social networks and in enterprise settings are also important areas of focuss. 

"The top ideas received so far are for improved Microsoft interop, especially with the
Office 2007-2013 XML formats.  So that is a core focus for the next release," Weir wrote in an email to this blogger. "There were also a good number of comments and votes regarding the user interface and general desire to freshen it, make it more modern.  So we're putting together a proposal for how we can do that.   This might include some UI enhancements from Symphony as well."

Weir said offering support for standards is one way to better cloud-enable OpenOffice.

"As for the cloud-enabled stuff, I think it is important to distinguish between enhancements that are based on open standards and are generally useful, versus things that are applicable to just a single vendor.  I'm interested in enabling Apache OpenOffice support for
standards like OpenSocial, CMIS and OData," he wrote.

"Adding this support is generally good for the ecosystem.  It also helps enable extension authors to take advantage of this support to write 3rd party extensions that help bridge OpenOffice and 3rd party clouds and collaboration servers.  So again the idea is to push the support of relevant open standards into the core product, which then enables third parties to use that support to more easily connect OpenOffice to enterprise services.   That said, there are certain ubiquitous consumer services that it might make sense to support right out of the box, Twitter, Facebook, DropBox, etc."

He said making "OpenOffice easier to deploy and maintain in large installation environments" is also something being looked at. "So install automation, customization of installs, ability for IT departments to bundle and automatically install extensions, ways of doing incremental
updates,etc., are things that we're looking at," Weir wrote.

Meanwhile, The Document Foundation, which yesterday announced its second anniversary, lauded the release of versions 3.5 and 3.6 in 2012 and tipped its hat at next generation offerings for the cloud and BYOD wave.

"TDF has shown the prototypes of a cloud and a tablet version of LibreOffice, which will be available sometime in late 2013 or early 2014," wrote Italo Vignoli, a spokesman for The Doucment Foundation. 



Topic: Open Source

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  • Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice aim for Office 2013, cloud support in '13, '

    Kudos to OpenOffice and LibreOffice Teams.
  • But

    does it still look worse than Pages on OS X?
    Michael Alan Goff
    • Is it a beauty contest?

      Using most of these softwares regilarly (as well as abiword, gnumeric and focus) I'd probably say that features are more important. My favourite two for Pages being instant alpha and the full screen mode. Although I have to say that some things I don't use are excellent; like signature capture and addressbook tie in. However in terms of features, I'd say that Open Office Writer is probably a more powerful business/academic tool than Pages. I like Pages for it's simplicity, and it's definitely not lacking, but OO/LO is definitely more on par with MSO. I use pages and focus for full screen, distraction free typing, flyer/poster creation, but most of my personal documents are done in open office or MS office, and all documents I send out are at least checked in MS, if not created.

      Surely beauty is in the eye of the beholder? To my mind pages on iOS is very good looking, but on Mac OS, very dull and funtional. Depending on your taste, ms probably look the best, but OO/LO have really come on in recent years; they've not looked like office '97 for quite some time... Well except for abiword.

      That said
      • Since pages does everything I need it to right now

        It'd have to have something going for it. Pages does .Doc, so compatibility is out.

        Office for Mac is also rather nice looking.

        If everything works for what I need it to, I'm going for the UI. And last I checked, the UI on OO was.... basic.
        Michael Alan Goff
        • Basic in what form?

          “And last I checked, the UI on OO was.... basic.”
          • Basic

            might have been the wrong term.

            Dull and boring is the better term.

            Rather poor looking is another thing.

            Then again, I like the ribbon... so you'll likely be saying my opinion is worthless.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Thanks

            Just trying to understand your comment.

            As long as you like the ribbon and does what you want, what others think means nothing.

            Again Thanks.
        • Symphony has looks OO needs to get the attention it deserves

          Looks, as we all know, aren't everything. Bu the truth is folks like them nice. And Symphony has a great interface compared to the basic one of OO/LO. So go for it, Apache, and you can guarantee to add a rake of users.
    • of course...

      of course it does, but just slightly... but then again Pages looks great, so thats not saying much.
      • Pages does look nice...

        I'll give it a chance, then, if it's only slightly worse looking.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice aim for Office 2013, cloud support in '13, '

    I still wouldn't use it. They keep claiming compatibility with Microsoft Office but it is never there. The only time it works is if you have only the most basic formatted document in which case you are better off just using a simple text file. I'll continue to use Microsoft Office and recommend it to anyone who wants to swap documents with me. I have no time to sit there and try to reformat some libreoffice document.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Given your dismissive tone

      and apparently unique understanding of the subject, I hope you'll understand that I don't just take your word on it... can you reference some type of source for the assertion that OpenOffice or LibreOffice is not compatibility with Microsoft Office?
      • Well..

        Compatibility between Libre/Open Office and MS Office is definitely not good. As LD points out, if you are using documents with heavy formatting you never know how they will look between the two.

        I base this assertion on personal experience. A while back I used Open Office on Fedora to create my school reports and they always looked sub par compared to ones created in MS Office. What's worse, fonts never matched either and so I ended up fiddling with formatting options instead of the actual content.

        This is unacceptable in a school setting and even less so in a business setting.
        • some of the problems your discussing...

          some of the problems your discussing is not unique. Especially Fonts... if the Fonts are missing, then they are missing. I've typed up documents at home on MS Word, and then opened it on another computer that had the same exact version of MS Word, and the documents looked different because the Font wasn't available,a nd it through off all the formatting. If your Font is available, that shouldn't be a problem anymore. LibreOffice (the real OpenOffice) has improved a bunch since it used to be called OpenOffice, before Apache started owning the name.

          I've used OpenOffice and then LibreOffice for years, and most of what you describe is still a problem, but rarely, and much less than it used to be years ago... but then again, I try not to save anything in MS proprietary formats. Microsoft is supposed to be adding in support for Open Document formats in the next version of Office, which are the default ones that LibreOffice uses, and there may be less problems after that... if everyone can stop using MS formats.
      • have you used libre office or open office much

        especially with powerpoints, compatability is not so great. if you just want to write something and print it, or keep it for yourself, fine, but if you need to send things between people on different computers when they're using the MS version it can get pretty annoying fast.
        • yes...

          yes, it can get annoying, but so can MS Office docs on Mac to Windows... or even Windows to Windows with different versions. All this has gotten better in recent years though... even with LibreOffice.
      • LD is a troll

        But in this case, he's a 100% correct troll. OpenOffice is simply useless for working on Office documents if you care about formatting at all.
        x I'm tc
      • I am with you.

        I keep hearing this archaic myth, too. However, the tech docs I wiite with tables, pictures, columns, point lists, and many other advanced formatting methods in LibreOffice have never resulted in any MS Office user complaints.
        I think these people need to stop using OpenOffice 1.x. Its free, so upgrade already.
        • So the issue that Lovey proclaims “Is with OpenOffice 1.x,” that sounds li

          So the issue that Lovey proclaims

          “Is with OpenOffice 1.x,” that sounds like users that have Office 2002 having problems with users sending Office 2007 without some type of Office 2007 converter of certs....

          (Office 2002 users. there out there,,,)
    • Why i´m answering to this blabla, i dont know, but ...

      there is just Micro$oft to blame. They do anything they can to avoid compatibility !!