I have a distinct hate
-love relationship with so-called 'office-suite' software.
Complex and seemingly chaotic as their menus and icon-bars appear I don't know what to do with them that task-dedicated software on separate workspaces can't do better.
In times of electronic communications, where even e-mails appear outdated, the 'cloud' is taking over the desktop and not some 'office suite'. Only now and then I used Sun's 'OpenOffice' software that is present in nearly any Linux distro. No longer though, then Canonical Ltd.
, producer of Ubuntu
, announced to switch to the new "LibreOffice
" package per April 2011. Their upcoming Ubuntu 11.04
will be released with it. By the way: "LibreOffice" (pron.: lée-breh, meaning 'free' in Spanish) is "OpenOffice", but as its offspring. It is a 'fork' of the latter. After Oracle
bought Sun Microsystems its open-source commitment gradually became questioned by a group
of 33 software developers. That meant the start of a new organisation, the 'Document Foundation', that since September 28, 2010 intends to manage 'LibreOffice' and further its future development. Having started their work in October they succeeded in releasing a final, stable version 3.3.0 these days
, that looks quite promising indeed. The differences
with 'OpenOffice' are minimal at best and reside mostly under the hood with some new code and some refinements. Later this suite is expected to take its own course.
Who could be interested in this free office suite? I think that new small businesses and independents, as well as new desktop users might benefit from this development. It is refreshing to see something happen here. The office-suite market is stagnant for years already. Why this new foundation? Well, it is interesting to know that this appears primarily inspired by uncertainties
, controversies and some resentment, rather than by plain common sense. Aspects that make me believe
that personal ideologies and perhaps some cultural aversions may have played a role as well...