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OpenOffice.org 3.0 Is Officially Here 284

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-needs-office-anyway dept.
SNate writes "After a grinding three-year development cycle, the OpenOffice.org team has finally squeezed out a new release. New features include support for the controversial Microsoft OOXML file format, multi-page views in Writer, and PDF import via an extension. Linux Format has an overview of the new release, asking the question: is it really worth the 3.0 label?"
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OpenOffice.org 3.0 Is Officially Here

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  • Forbidden (Score:2, Informative)

    by liquidpele (663430)
    Great link!

    Forbidden

    You don't have permission to access /servlets/ContentHelmNoodle on this server.
    Apache Server at www.openoffice.org Port 80
  • Great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rimcrazy (146022)

    /. ed already.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:35AM (#25353807)

    is it really worth the 3.0 label?

    Look, it's simple: 3.0 is not really 3.0, but it should be considered 3.0-developer-alpha-gold. The next release will be 3.2-beta-silver-GTi, followed quickly by 3.1.1.0-gold-gold-always-believe-in-your-soul, which may (or may not) be ready for end users. Provided no show-stopper bugs are found in that (& if they are they'll just be re-classified as "WORKSFORME" and the submitter flamed), the final 3.0.1.45 version will be released to end users (apart from those in Arizona and Ohio. They have to wait for 3.1.5)

    This is so obvious you'd have to be an idiot not to understand it! Duh!

  • by xaoslaad (590527) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:36AM (#25353813)
    The main page is ./'ed but it appears the mirrors are still fine. Just use the mirror list in Google Cache.

    http://74.125.113.104/search?q=cache:chsA7FTyP3wJ:distribution.openoffice.org/mirrors/+mirrors+openoffice&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us [74.125.113.104]
  • Great ... err ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Selanit (192811) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:46AM (#25353931)

    Or it will be once the openoffice.org sysadmin fixes their server. Major egg on the face there.

    Anyway, this release has one feature that I've been longing after for years now: proper support for marginal comments.

    While OO.o has long been capable of opening documents with comments in them, the user interface for reading those comments sucked HARD. The presence of a note was indicated by a tiny, light yellow rectangle at the end of the sentence. Easy to miss. And then if you wanted to actually read the comment, you had to hover your mouse over it to trigger a small yellow pop-up box containing the comment text (which would be cut off if it was a long comment). Basically, actually READING a commented document in OO.o was not practical.

    This new version is much, much better. I tried it out using one of the copies that hit the mirrors before the official release, and it's soooo much better. Comments now actually show up in the margins, they've got little lines connecting them to the section of the document they apply to, and they're color coded by author. Hallelujah! Now I can finally quit depending on Word for grading student papers.

    • You don't have permission to access /servlets/ContentHelmNoodle on this server.

      Hmmm. Egg, Noodle. Add some bacon cubes and some HP Original Brown sauce and I'll convert.

      Anybody in the know care to elaborate what a contentHelmNoodle is? Just curious... I love the names developers give things sometimes.

      Yeah, yeah, I know - It's off topic, but kinda interesting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by electrictroy (912290)

      So as a newbie to this free software; open software paradigm:

      - Can I use OpenOffice to create "Word formatted resumes" and forward them to potential employers? Or is this like when I used GEOSwrite, and nobody could read the file, except another Commodore 64 user?

      • Re:Great ... err ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by fabs64 (657132) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:18AM (#25354261)
        I've used OO.o for my resume for a few years now with no issues, but that may be because I try to keep a resume plain and simple.

        Btw, unless word is specifically requested, pdf resume's look a lot nicer.
        • Btw, unless word is specifically requested, pdf resume's look a lot nicer.

          Can you explain how PDf resume's look a lot nicer? It's going to look the same as a printed copy which will look the same as the copy in the word processor you are printing it from.

          • Re:Great ... err ... (Score:5, Informative)

            by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Monday October 13, 2008 @10:12AM (#25355771)

            Can you explain how PDf resume's look a lot nicer? It's going to look the same as a printed copy which will look the same as the copy in the word processor you are printing it from.

            If the word processor is Microsoft Word, that depends on whether the recipient has a) the same Word version and language (and therefore the same platform) b) the same printer model and c) the necessary fonts.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Rude Turnip (49495)

            You can't get reliable and consistent documents from Word...if I print a document to a printer, that same document will look different when sent to another printer. It's damn near impossible for me to do a simple page replacement in a report without finding out who/where the original was printed because the pagination never matches.

            Stick to PDF if you're trying to impress a potential employer.

          • Not necessarily. If they're using a different version of word, don't have the same fonts, or are using a different view in word, things could look very different.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by suggsjc (726146)
            Yeah, but you can embed a nice handwritten font so it has that "personal touch" to it.
      • PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:19AM (#25354269)

        Send your resume as PDF. As long as even different Word versions can't open other Word files correctly there is no hope formatting will be preserved.

        And if 'they' insist on Word files, you wouldn't want to work there anyway, as they are clearly deluded and stupid beyond measure.

        Not kidding either, actually.

        • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ozphx (1061292) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:28AM (#25354371) Homepage

          And if 'they' insist on Word files, you wouldn't want to work there anyway

          Wrong. It means they are used to paying more than they should for things. Sounds like a great environment for negotiating a starting salary in.

          • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dmbasso (1052166) on Monday October 13, 2008 @09:04AM (#25354829)

            If you only look for money, instead of quality of life...

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Wrong. It means they are used to paying more than they should for things. Sounds like a great environment for negotiating a starting salary in.

            I think you have it wrong. Since the spend too much for software, they save by offering lower salaries. Look elsewhere.

        • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Zashi (992673) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:48AM (#25354639) Homepage Journal
          Wrong Wrong Wrong. Sorry. When I was applying for the job I have now I had to send in my resume in word format after initially sending it in PDF format. Big deal. I saved as a .doc file and sent it in. I prefer pdf because I can be sure it'll look right but OO.o usually gets MS doc format right for me.

          As for not wanting to work for a company that insists on MS docs... well. That really only speaks to how HR works. I work for a staffing company that mainly supplies employees for IBM. I'm a tester in IBM's superlab. I get to play with big iron servers: stuff like quad 6-core machines (yeah, 24 cores in a rackmount system). I use linux for my workstation with no problems. I come in and leave when I wish (we report our time via a webapp) and as long as my work is done and I'm here when I say I'm here management has no problems.

          Don't be so quick to judge a company.
          • by Whiteox (919863)

            Are IBM bringing out the equivalent version of Star Office soon? - Just wondering....

            • by Zashi (992673)
              Are you talking about lotus symphony [lotus.com]? I wouldn't bother. I haven't actually tried lotus symphony, but I HAVE to use lotus notes and notes is just terrible. I Can think of so many other solutions (with and without java) that would work better. But IBM paid X million dollars for a groupware software suite and they'll be damned if they don't use it. Frankly, I think something based on google docs and google gears would work MUCH better and have far less problems. But alas, I am but a peon whose opinion relativ
            • by miscz (888242)
              Like IBM Lotus Symphony [lotus.com]? It's based on very old version of OO.org and it's closed source though.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Actually, with most of the IT/tech jobs being staffed by recruiters, you should be used to providing the resume in Word. They do it so they can strip off all your pertinent contact information for initial presentation to the client. If you only provide it in .pdf format (I know, I've tried), then the headhunter simply won't submit you.
      • Re:Great ... err ... (Score:4, Informative)

        by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:19AM (#25354271) Homepage

        I think GeoWrite existed for Apple-II as well.

        Anyway, yes, you can export them to a Word-compatible format, and since OpenOffice is using a standard file format, MS Word should be able to read it as well. Also, OpenOffice will create smaller and nicer Word-files than Word.

        • by digitig (1056110)

          Also, OpenOffice will create smaller and nicer Word-files than Word.

          Not always the case under 2.x, don't know about 3.0. The trick is to keep the formatting simple if you're going to export to Word.

      • You can use OpenOffice.org to forward documents in [i]PDF[/i] to potential employers. Any potential (IT related) employer that insists on MS Word format for resumes isn't worth the bother.

        However, if you do want to bother, OpenOffice.org can open and save MS Word Document formats since at least MS Word 6.0 (the first version I ever used, and I still have files from that time).

        And, if that doesn't satisfy you, OOo can also open a variety of other "legacy proprietary file formats" 1 [wikipedia.org].

      • No, don't use it to save word docs unless that you can verify they look normal in word first.
        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Don't use word to save word docs unless you can verify they look normal in the same version and configuration of word used by whoever you send the files to...

          Version makes a big difference, as to arbitrary configuration options such as your default printer.

      • by sveard (1076275)

        Or is this like when I used GEOSwrite, and nobody could read the file, except another Commodore 64 user?

        Peter Griffin, is that you??

      • by Benanov (583592) <brian.kempNO@SPAMmember.fsf.org> on Monday October 13, 2008 @12:38PM (#25358311) Journal

        I make my resume in OO.o and save it to .ODF.

        I then take screenshots of it (or print to postscript), then paste the cropped screenshots into OO.o and save that result as a .DOC file.

        And hey, it keeps formatting exactly as you want it! :)

    • by digitig (1056110)

      Multiple views on a document is a big win for me, I've been cursing its absence in OO.o. I hope you can turn the marginal comments off -- I work a lot away from base, using a lightweight laptop, and those margins take up too much screen real-estate on a small screen.

  • PDF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow (319597) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:47AM (#25353943) Homepage

    The only thing of any interest, then, is the PDF import/editing/export. Ironic, considering that the ad's on /. for this article seemed to consist mostly of Adobe Acrobat ads...

    But if it really *can* import any PDF, allow basic editing and export, that could really be a boon. Other apps that allow that are either incredibly expensive, horrible to use or just too out-of-date. Does it support "encrypted" PDF's if you have the passwords, etc.? Does it allow image/text editing/extraction from a PDF? If so, then this update would be worth it for that alone.

    The rest is just eye candy and basic bug fixes (e.g. >256 columns in Calc).

    • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:05AM (#25354121)
      What's an ad?
      • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:16AM (#25354219)
        It's one of those things that used to pop up and ask us to buy stuff before adblocker came out.
      • Re:PDF (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday October 13, 2008 @11:12AM (#25356809) Homepage Journal

        The things that pays for the bandwidth, servers, and salaries of those that run Slashdot.
        I would really like to white list Slashdot but every time I have tried they put up some stupid animated banner.
        Really is too bad since I would bet the ads on Slashdot are for things I may be interested in.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dave420 (699308)
          Get that sand out of your vagina, and allow the ads to be served. It's pathetic how some people get all angry with an animated banner. You seem to understand that adverts are a massive source of income for many websites, yet don't seem to have a problem with using an ad-blocker on those very websites. That's fucked up.
    • The opposite of irony is not irony. It's logic. You're stating that acrobat PDF ads are not surprising and a logical consequence for an article featuring PDF functionality. I'm only griping about this because the misuse of irony is prevalent in comments.

      (Also, it's 'ads' and PDFs -- plural form, and not possessive form or a conjunction.)

      Indeed, poor word usage and grammar in a posting about an office suite is ironic.
    • Re:PDF (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:35AM (#25354477)

      Yes, it can really import PDF's
      tested this out on the RC's (haven't tested the final release yet) and it worked OK
      not great, but OK

      there seemed to be no problem at all loading a simple PDF'd document or spreadsheet
      importing took a little longer than I'd have hoped, but I got a fully editable document, formatting intact

      just for kicks, I loaded the PDF of my motherboard manual into OO.o just to see
      and while I did get editable text, it did not do particularly well on complex formatting
      in particular, changes in page orientation & dimensions threw it, resulting in some pages being malformed

      Just from briefly playing around with it, I've found the following:
      - Importing a PDF'd spreadsheet gets you a tabulated word processing document, with spreadsheet rows & columns made up of drawing lines and text in textboxes

      - sometimes (haven't been able to narrow down what causes it) random spaces are inserted into words
      "Some text" may become "Som e te xt"

      - Borders around objects (textboxes, shapes) are sometimes inconsistent

      - no support for transparent PNG's (alpha channel turns to solid black)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by domatic (1128127)

      But if it really *can* import any PDF, allow basic editing and export, that could really be a boon. Other apps that allow that are either incredibly expensive, horrible to use or just too out-of-date. Does it support "encrypted" PDF's if you have the passwords, etc.? Does it allow image/text editing/extraction from a PDF? If so, then this update would be worth it for that alone.

      It imports into Draw. Short edits to text and filling in forms is simple. If you're wanting to make extensive changes to the form

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      It lets you save password protected pdf files... not tried opening one..
      You need the plugin for pdf editing, i don't think it's part of the default install, but it really should be. Editing works quite well too, providing the pdf files were properly created in the first place (ie they arent just bitmap dumps as created by some very half assed pdf writing tools)

  • by ashraya (632661) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:50AM (#25353969)
    I have not RTFM. Nor the link. In true /. spirit, Let me state this - A new version number is sometimes needed for other reasons than adding more features. At work I use Office 2007 from MS. Of the five systems at home, all but one use a flavour of linux with Ooo 2.x (mostly Ubuntu, but have an OLPC too). I recently decided to work on a work doc from home, but only when I wanted to open it, I realized it was docx format. I had almost given up - Ooo 2.x came before the 2007, so I did not expect support. But some desparate googling brought me to a filter that I could add, and lo presto, I could use the doc in Ooo! I had honestly not expected the functionality in Ooo 2.x! I had given up based on version numbering and release dates, and most would too. A newer version number might prompt more of us to try harder. It helps! Ashraya
    • by lagfest (959022)

      Yes, for instance the subversion project increments the major version number to indicate a break in backwards compatibility.

      Get the new Subversion 2.0! it breaks stuff.

      Obviously they never had the guts to actually do so :)

  • OOXML (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How could they possibly implement OOXML support in OpenOffice? We've been hearing over and over how the OOXML spec is so convoluted and ill-specified that it is impossible for anyone but Microsoft to implement!

    • Re:OOXML (Score:5, Insightful)

      by waferhead (557795) <waferhead&yahoo,com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:04AM (#25354095)

      "How could they possibly implement OOXML support in OpenOffice? We've been hearing over and over how the OOXML spec is so convoluted and ill-specified that it is impossible for anyone but Microsoft to implement!"

      I know you're a troll, but I'll bite back...

      This may be be the first actual OOXML IMPLEMENTATION in a release version of ANY office suite... ;-)

    • Re:OOXML (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jcupitt65 (68879) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:07AM (#25354157)
      A basic level of OOXML support is pretty easy (you can base something off the existing .doc importers), a complete implementation is very, very hard.

      People say that it's a bogus standard because no one but Microsoft can really ever claim to have 100% compatibility.

      • by abigsmurf (919188)

        People say that it's a bogus standard because no one but Microsoft can really ever claim to have 100% compatibility.

        The W3C's been churning out bogus standards for years then :P

        • by amorsen (7485)

          The W3C's been churning out bogus standards for years then :P

          Those standards are implementable (and where they aren't, they get fixed.) It's just a matter of man-hours.

          You can't implement stuff like "Space like Word 6" because it doesn't describe what Word 6 does. Man-hours don't help.

    • Re:OOXML (Score:5, Informative)

      by Clueless Nick (883532) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:23AM (#25354329) Journal

      The Linux Format article says it can import docx, pptx etc., which means they are Microsoft Office 2007 XML files, and not OOXML, the Published Standard.

      Flawed summary.

      • Re:OOXML (Score:4, Informative)

        by SEMW (967629) on Monday October 13, 2008 @11:09AM (#25356761)

        The Linux Format article says it can import docx, pptx etc., which means they are Microsoft Office 2007 XML files, and not OOXML, the Published Standard.

        Office 2007 OOXML files *are* a published standard -- the published standard in question being ECMA 376.

        If what you actually meant was "...not OOXML, the Published ISO Standard", then say what you mean. But your original comment could be understood as saying that the spec Office 2007 uses is unpublished, wihch is obviously wrong.

        (Not to mention that even saying that is ambiguous -- does "The ISO standard" refer to ISO 29500/Transitional or ISO 29500/Strict? The former is practically identical to ECMA 376, with the exception of minor tag semantic cleanup; whereas the latter is significantly different).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:58AM (#25354047)

    In a few days 3.01, 3.02 and 3.03 will be coming out, so I'll wait for those fixes to come out before I put down my hard-earned money

  • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:03AM (#25354085)
    Best feature for me? New support for viewing a document as two pages side by side on the screen.

    That alone for me is worth the upgrade for me, as I can now see two full size A4 pages on my monitor at home whilst typing. Thanks guys! that was a major annoyance with me.

    OOXML *is* controversial and I expect a flame war - but they have read-only and I suspect it is a justified inclusion simply to keep abreast of current MS Office and help encourage adoption. I predict MS will be coming out with lots of new versions of this format, so lets see them keep pace....
    • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:08AM (#25354159)

      Ah OOXML support - So now even though I have licences for 4 different versions of MS Office I can now only read the documents people send me, by using a free program..... don't you just love Microsoft ....

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        even though I have licences for 4 different versions of MS Office I can now only read the documents people send me, by using a free program

        This might be more down to your own lack of knowledge [microsoft.com] than any failing of Microsoft.

      • by EvilRyry (1025309)

        Which is why Microsoft has that free addon for MS office 2000+ that allows you to read and write MSOOXML. And no, I really do hate Microsoft.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:25AM (#25354343) Journal

      Hell, .docx can't be opened by half of a typical office staff now, even sans OOo (you know, where the execs and wannabes thereof rush out and get/requisition MS Office 2k7, but the rest of the office gets by on Office 2k3? Yep - I know there's patches for it, but apparently MSFT hadn't bothered to push it via Windows Update... I think they're kinda torn between wanting to sell 2k7 licenses and trying to push the format.)

      Even now, any document that you want to send outside of the company or for others' use, you send in "Office 97-2003" (plain ol' .doc) just to make sure the recipient has at least some hope of reading the thing... I just do PDF; makes it easier all around.

      To be honest, read-only of the .docx format is all that OOo actually needs. Then if you get a file ending in .docx, you send back the changes in PDF, then watch as the recipient gets all red-faced and demands to know why you did that (evil grin).

      Methinks it'll come to a head sooner or later.

      /P

      • Yep - I know there's patches for it, but apparently MSFT hadn't bothered to push it via Windows Update... I think they're kinda torn between wanting to sell 2k7 licenses and trying to push the format.)

        Actually Office 2003 will give you an explanation prompt and the URL to download the format convertors from when you try to open an Office 2007 document.

  • I "squeeze out a new release" several times a day. From different repositories, too.
  • Writer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by motang (1266566)
    Well I only use the Writer for majority of the time and I really welcome all the nifty changes that are in place. Good thing it is finally released, so when will the Linux distributions start to update OO 2.x to 00 3.0?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Knuckles (8964)

      Depends on the dates of their next releases, I would think. Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) might have a fighting chance to have it included in its release at the end of October, there are already testing previews (ppa's). But then, 8.10 is an in-between release that does not promise maximum correctness, so they can afford to take some risks.

  • Torrent link (Score:3, Informative)

    by snarfies (115214) on Monday October 13, 2008 @08:41AM (#25354555) Homepage

    Openoffice.org has been KO'd. Here's where you can snag a torrent file though:

    http://borft.student.utwente.nl/~adrian/bt.php [utwente.nl]

  • by occamboy (583175) on Monday October 13, 2008 @09:40AM (#25355263)

    I registered a bug with OO 6.5 years ago [openoffice.org], still unfixed, that causes spreadsheets to give utterly wrong results in even the simplest calculations. Sometimes OO treats a number as a string, and assigns it a value of "0" in calculations, e.g., 1+1 could equal 0 or 1.

    Either OO should throw an error "can't treat a string as a number" or it should guess the number of the string is a valid number. But a major undetectable error like this is murderous, as has been testified to by the folks reporting the same bug after I did.

    (Note the OO bug tracker seems to be having problems at this moment, so the link doesn't work.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Sometimes OO treats a number as a string

      Um, when? In OOo 2.x, when you input a string like "'1" into a cell or "a1", it's clearly a string (shows a character in the cell other than a number) and it will treat it as 0. Even if you hit F2 to edit the cell and replace it with just a '1' it will automatically convert that cell value to a number.

      IMHO, this is superior to the behavior in Excel 200x, for instance, where it will let you put in "'1", which will enter a string value of "1" as a string, and then ends up treating the result as a number! O

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Ah, ok, found it in Google's cache. This must be you:

      In the business world, spreadsheets are designed in Excel. They are tested in Excel. Then they are distributed to the sales force, who fills them out - in Excel. The spreadsheet designers put strings into formulas - it's rarely the end user who accidentally adds quotes when entering values.

      And any idiot spreadsheet designer who's putting a string value into a formula designed to take a number is doing it wrong. Just because Excel silently accepts the str

  • OOXML (Score:5, Funny)

    by krygny (473134) on Monday October 13, 2008 @11:49AM (#25357505)

    OpenOffice.org: "It's fully compliant and supports Microsoft OOXML file format."

    Microsoft: "AHAAAAHH!! That's not possible. Uh, ... I mean ... uh, ..." (Psst, hey, did we miss something? How'd they do that?)

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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