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Open Office Plans To Party Like It's Version 3.0 396

Posted by timothy
from the undervalued dept.
penguin_dance writes "The Register reports that 'OpenOffice.org is throwing a launch party in Paris on 13 October' to celebrate eight years, and hopefully announce the release of version 3.0. Some notes: [OpenOffice.org 3.0] will support the OpenDocument Format 1.2 standard, and be able to open files created by MS Office 2007 and Office 2008 for Mac OS X." As maj_id10t notes, though the OO.o site does not yet carry an announcement, "Lifehacker has posted an entry stating the final release of OpenOffice 3.0 is available for download via their distribution mirrors."
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Open Office Plans To Party Like It's Version 3.0

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  • by fullgandoo (1188759) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @08:26PM (#25342623)
    Having made an honest effort for more than a year to switch to something other than MSOffice (removed MSOffice from Vista and installed OpenOffice, also installed NeoOffice on Mac), I have recently gone back to MSOffice.

    There is such a huge difference in features and usability that there is no way that OpenOffice would gain any ground over Microsoft, in my opinion.

    OpenOffice was an absolute torture. I had originally expected that after moving to OpenOffice, I would be able to convince everyone else in my office to make a move as well (eventually).

    I guess that takes care of that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrHanky (141717)

      What exactly were you missing? My two major gripes with OpenOffice were poor implementations of comments and tracking changes in Writer, and those are fixed now.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Does it now have "outline view" mode?

        Actually I'm not entirely happy with what MS Word outline view - I wish you could view numbered lists that way, not just headings.

        • Does it now have "outline view" mode

          I don't think so. However, there is good news. On the forums on the OO site, the developers finally acknowledged that it's "navigator" mode (or whatever it's called--the thing they kept telling people to use who said they wanted something like Word's outline mode) is not an adequate substitute, and said that a proper outline mode is a high priority.

          Unfortunately, they also said that implementing this will be a lot of work, so will take a while to get in.

    • by neuromanc3r (1119631) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @08:43PM (#25342719)

      There is such a huge difference in features and usability that there is no way that OpenOffice would gain any ground over Microsoft, in my opinion.

      I'm not a big fan of OpenOffice myself and I can't really say anything about features, but to praise MS Office's usability seems utterly absurd to me.

      I am reasonably computer-savy, but if I have to do anything more complicated than typing a really simple letter, Word drives me up the wall. It constantly feels like I have to work against it, instead of having it do work for me.

      Same thing in Excel: I'd rather use pencil & paper or write my own scripts instead for every calculation I have to do, than trying to get Excel to do anything that even remotely resembles what I want it to do

      Mind you, I'm not saying OO is any better in that respect. I'm just saying it can hardly be any worse

      • by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @10:03PM (#25343089) Homepage

        Apple's got some intereting ideas in terms of Office Applications. They don't highly tout iWork, or even promote it that much, despite the fact that it shows quite a bit of promise.

        Keynote is hands-down the best presentation app out there.
        Numbers is considerably more intuitive than Excel, with its vastly superior UI. A few minor features are missing, though it's really a joy to work with.
        Pages is the enigma of the bunch. Apple seems to want to combine the roles of the layout app with the word processor (Publisher vs. Word). They seem to have done a pretty remarkable job at the layout part, though the word-processing bits could still use some work. It's "different" enough that users might have a tough time getting used to it.

        More importantly.... none of the apps are trying to mimic Office, OoO, or AppleWorks. If OoO tried to be daring for once, and adopted a completely new set of paradigms, rather than mimicking MS Office, they might actually have a compelling product. For now, though, it's a second-rate knockoff of an already mediocre product.

      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @10:03PM (#25343091)

        I am reasonably computer-savy, but if I have to do anything more complicated than typing a really simple letter, Word drives me up the wall. It constantly feels like I have to work against it, instead of having it do work for me.

        Do yourself a favor and learn LaTeX. Yes, it has a learning curve and you need lots of documentation and/or an internet connection to know which packages you need but at least it provides consistent results, doesn't reformat half of your text on a whim and isn't nearly as frustratingly annoying as any Word-like program.

    • by zappepcs (820751)

      When you stand there and hold up MS Office as 'the' standard, you are asking for ridicule. Remember that one size does NOT fit all. To say that MS Office is that one size fits all is ridiculous. It's quite probable that for any given conversation about office productivity software you'll be holding the rotten sea bass that nobody likes. Sure, in some conversations you'll be holding the golden calf, but it is likely that more often you will not be. This is true of any software package that you hold up as the

    • by Leebert (1694) * on Saturday October 11, 2008 @09:09PM (#25342853)

      I largely agree, but every couple of months I check it out again. It's made tremendous strides since that abomination that was StarOffice.

      To draw an analogy -- I remember using early versions of the Mozilla suite. It was hideous. Now I can't imagine a web without Firefox.

      Give it time. This *is* a major version release, after all. Might be worthy of another go-around.

  • No support for PPC OSX any more, or is it just delayed?

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @08:28PM (#25342633) Homepage Journal

    OO.org works pretty well me but I am not really a big user.
    I would love to see a feature list.
    Also I would really like to see Base fleshed out. Or at least better documented.
    I have tired to play with it but it just makes me nuts.

  • Mac OS X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @08:39PM (#25342695) Homepage Journal
    It is wonderful that we have a native intel Mac OS X version(I know the neooffice people try, but it has not been stable for me). Thanks to the developers. My question is will there continue to be an X windows build for PPC macs. The PPC macs still have a good year or two years left in them, given that we will not see snow leopard for 12-18 months. It would be nice to have a version of OO.org to run them.
  • Like MS Office of a couple of revisions ago.

    And as a couple of other users said its not documented terribly well.

    For the folks who use it day to day - do you actually get used to it or is it something you simply work around?

    • I use OO.o daily. 3.0 has some major improvements, and you should check it out.

      I largely prefer OO.o Writer to MS Word now that OO.o Writer has better commenting and revision control. I can rely on it for 99% of my work, but I find I still sometimes switch to Word under Wine if I get a manuscript that uses EndNote (rather than Zotero) or very complex embedded equations.

      I have grown used to Impress. PowerPoint users might still have grips. I prefer LaTeX Beamer, but sometimes need to make or read PowerPo

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        Does it have an equivalent to Word's Normal View, and are the outlining features on-par with Word's?

        Last time I tried OpenOffice (about a year and a half ago), there was no Normal View, and the outline mode was simply pathetic. I seem to also vaguely recall that you couldn't split the scrollbar, but that might have been an earlier OpenOffice problem...

    • by drfireman (101623) <dan@@@kimberg...com> on Saturday October 11, 2008 @09:02PM (#25342825) Homepage

      Like any other piece of software, there are things you feel like you couldn't live without and things you have to get used to. I remember it felt clunky when I first started using it, but that went away very quickly. Some things are more elegant than in MSOffice, some less. I've been using v3.0 for a while now (beta and fc releases), and I like it quite a bit. One of the big clunkinesses, the graphical depiction of comments/notes, is now very nice. There are still some screen rendering oddities that don't get in my way but do contribute to the impression of clunkiness. On the whole, I imagine it's still clunkier than its commercial counterpart, but the gap is narrowing. However, I rarely edit documents that are more than a few hundred pages long, and I know many of OO's critics say that its shortcomings are especially obvious if you work on long documents. So I can't comment on that.

      How has MSOffice come along in the same time? Is pdf writing integrated now? Do files still bloat to ridiculous sizes on repeated editing?

      • How has MSOffice come along in the same time? Is pdf writing integrated now?

        There is a gratis download from microsoft to allow this feature. Adobe did not want them to ship it built-in to MS Word (arguing that MS's near-monopoly would do damage to sales of Acrobat). I think MS is pushing their own XPS format more heavily, to some success (at least I seem to get them from PHBs).

        The new version of OO.o has a plugin that can import PDFs for editing. So it still has Word beat in the area of PDF handling.

  • ...I've not only RTFA, but also DTFS and UTFS, and the only thing I can say is: Just in time for a major economic recession, right Mr Ballmer? Now all we need is to get rid of your tax, which, with help from the recession, will be duly done.
  • by emarkp (67813)

    I cofounded a company last year and we decided to use Office 2007 since we're consulting with clients.

    Wow it's been bad. Office 2007 has been a nightmare (endless bugs--crashing when accepting revisions, randomly moving to the top of the document as I'm paging through it, etc.), and interoperability with clients hasn't been as important as we thought.

    I can't wait to use 3.0 in the office.

  • by assassinator42 (844848) on Saturday October 11, 2008 @10:14PM (#25343145)
    I just download 3.0 out of the stable directory on the CS Utah mirror and it shows as OOO300m9 (same as RC4)build 9358.
    I tried the PDF import plugin, but it doesn't give me any options and imports it directly as a slideshow with messed up text.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nimey (114278)

      Perhaps they're using the classical definition of "release candidate" (this is a candidate for being tagged as the release) instead of the newer usage equating to "late beta".

      Sounds like the PDF import plugin is still beta regardless.

  • Locale (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bravni (133601)

    OK, so I give it a try for the first time since I switched back to non-free OS world (many, many years ago).

    The good: it is about 1 million times faster and more polished than 1.x iterations.

    The yummy: the perspective of writing macros in Python instead of craptacular VBA

    The puzzling... and maybe the ugly: I have yet to find a way to set OOo locale to "system locale".

    Microsoft did a pretty good job with the regional settings, allowing for a lot of customization. Very useful for people who juggle with around

  • OpenType Fonts (Score:4, Informative)

    by OverZealous.com (721745) on Sunday October 12, 2008 @02:11AM (#25343951) Homepage

    As a Mac user, I'm excited to finally be dumping NeoOffice. I hate the system-deep installer. With OO.o v3, it's a proper single-directory bundle. Installation is just drag-and-drop. And no more random boat - the OO.o icon is slick and looks great in the dock.

    My biggest complaint with OO.o (and I use it exclusively now, and have moved over my parents from MS Office with no issues) is a frustrating bug with OpenType fonts. They always render fine, but exporting to PDF (something I do often) converts them to some other random font.

    Looks like it will be fixed, but not until 3.2 — which feels like forever, since this has been an issue for a very long time. It's especially frustrating since some of the best free fonts out there are OTF fonts.

    If you to help increase the visibility of this bug, please vote for Bug #43029 [openoffice.org].

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