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  • LibreOffice 7.1 "Community" Edition Released

    Phoronix: LibreOffice 7.1 "Community" Edition Released

    LibreOffice 7.1 has just been released as the latest version of this cross-platform, open-source office suite that now carries "Community" branding and promoting of "Enterprise" variants as well...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...e-7.1-Released

  • #2
    Despite this recommendation, an increasing number of enterprises have chosen the version supported by volunteers over the version optimized for their needs. This has had a twofold negative consequence for the project: a poor use of volunteers’ time, as they have to spend their time to solve problems for business that provide nothing in return to the community, and a net loss for ecosystem companies."
    Hum, this sounds more like "we are loosing revenue" than anything else. I understand that enterprise have some especial needs, but I don't buy that most of it will not be beneficial to the "community" too, like auto-updates and "lets not play shenanigans with the UI", among another functional optimizations.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 03 February 2021, 09:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Yeah idunno, I wouldn't hitch my trailer to anything LO; the quality of the software is so low that we're literally better off rewriting it when we actually need to rely on it. (As we have, we wrote our own spreadsheet engine because embedding LO is not only painful but error prone, and we wrote our own typesetting system because again, embedding LO is a non starter).

      Even when it doesn't crash; like a three year old in the kitchen, you have to check LO's work, all of its work, because you never know what it's going to screw up, even if it didn't crash while you were exporting that PDF or setting that field.

      What good are "enterprise" features on an office suite that literally just crashes on you at random?

      And then there's the file format. I get that every format has compromises, but my god ODF is a total mess, and LO takes that total mess and makes it measurably worse. Want a default style? LO will make a style called "Default" and embed it in your file, instead of using properly the "default-style" element or whatever it's called; they do include the element, they just don't use it. Then they include a bunch of other styles that you can't remove, even if you never intend to use them.

      Then there's the braindead way that expressions are stored in ODS; OASIS seems entirely uninterested in actually making it *good*, it's almost as though they are a touchpoint of industry lobbying to keep it mediocre. Somehow again, LibreOffice takes this bad format and uses it to make something terrible. No printer on your system? LO stores that in every document you touch; never even looked at a page style? LO has embedded your install's preferences for that, the default ones, in every file you touched. Only have five cells with default formatting? Don't worry, LO has embedded 200kb of default and automatic styles that you literally can't delete. Never used a hindi or han font in your document? Don't worry, because technically you *could* have, your LO install has now duplicated and triplicated the number of attributes on most of the elements in your XML, to make sure that if you some day put hindi text in the document, the font selection will be the same as it was where the document was created, rather than... Idunno... The first place that was interested in adding Hindi text; makes total sense.

      P.S. if your response to this is "file a bug report", now you know why people don't use the software.
      Last edited by microcode; 03 February 2021, 10:40 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by microcode View Post
        Yeah idunno, I wouldn't hitch my trailer to anything LO;....
        P.S. if your response to this is "file a bug report", now you know why people don't use the software.
        Funny,
        My company uses LO across the board (Usually Fedora).
        My family uses LO across the board (Fedora and Windows).

        Can't say that I share you experience.

        Guess my anecdotal evidence is as good as yours, if not better.

        P.S. If you can't be bothered to "waste time" filing a bug report and help the developers fix the issues you encounter, why should anyone bother to waste time reading your rants?
        Last edited by gilboa; 03 February 2021, 11:35 AM.
        Devel: Intel S2600C0, 2xE5-2658V2, 32GB, 6x2TB, 1x256GB-SSD, GTX1080, F33, Dell UP3216Q 4K.
        oVirt: Intel S2400GP2, 2xE5-2448L, 96GB, 10x2TB, GTX550, CentOS8.3.
        Win10: Gigabyte B85M-HD3, E3-1245V3, 32GB, 5x1TB, GTX980, Win10Pro.
        Devel-2: Asus H110M-K, i5-6500, 16GB, 3x1TB + 128GB-SSD, F33, Dell U2711.
        Laptop: ASUS Strix GL502V, i7-6700HQ, 32GB, 1TB+256GB, 1070M, F33.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by microcode View Post
          Yeah idunno, I wouldn't hitch my trailer to anything LO; the quality of the software is so low that we're literally better off rewriting it when we actually need to rely on it. (As we have, we wrote our own spreadsheet engine because embedding LO is not only painful but error prone, and we wrote our own typesetting system because again, embedding LO is a non starter).

          Even when it doesn't crash; like a three year old in the kitchen, you have to check LO's work, all of its work, because you never know what it's going to screw up, even if it didn't crash while you were exporting that PDF or setting that field.

          What good are "enterprise" features on an office suite that literally just crashes on you at random?

          And then there's the file format. I get that every format has compromises, but my god ODF is a total mess, and LO takes that total mess and makes it measurably worse. Want a default style? LO will make a style called "Default" and embed it in your file, instead of using properly the "default-style" element or whatever it's called; they do include the element, they just don't use it. Then they include a bunch of other styles that you can't remove, even if you never intend to use them.

          Then there's the braindead way that expressions are stored in ODS; OASIS seems entirely uninterested in actually making it *good*, it's almost as though they are a touchpoint of industry lobbying to keep it mediocre. Somehow again, LibreOffice takes this bad format and uses it to make something terrible. No printer on your system? LO stores that in every document you touch; never even looked at a page style? LO has embedded your install's preferences for that, the default ones, in every file you touched. Only have five cells with default formatting? Don't worry, LO has embedded 200kb of default and automatic styles that you literally can't delete. Never used a hindi or han font in your document? Don't worry, because technically you *could* have, your LO install has now duplicated and triplicated the number of attributes on most of the elements in your XML, to make sure that if you some day put hindi text in the document, the font selection will be the same as it was where the document was created, rather than... Idunno... The first place that was interested in adding Hindi text; makes total sense.

          P.S. if your response to this is "file a bug report", now you know why people don't use the software.
          I'm not saying you are wrong but i haven't seen LO crash like in 5 years, maybe your use case is pretty advanced but for me(ArchLinux) and my brother(on windows) to work with your regular office documents and accounting level use of calc has been really good outside a couple of local goverment excel tax tools written on broken VBA that only excel can open

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          • #6
            What good are "enterprise" features on an office suite that literally just crashes on you at random?
            From my experience at least the 6.x and 7.x series are quite stable an I have not seen crashes for quite some time. Get to work with quite some crappy doc(x) docs every now and then, using LO on Windows, Linux, Collabora App on IOS and Android and Online with Nextcloud and Online as part of a large enterprise supported solution (which involves a contract for at least 5 years and using Collabora Online). Could be that the early versions (4.x-5.x) were not that stable after just breaking from OOo, but since breaking a lot of clean up in those first LO releases has been done to get to the point today new features can be build upon that foundation; most notable LibreOffice/Collabora Online and the Collabora App's.
            There is quite some info on how they have optimized LO and prevent bug's to happen in the future like can be found in next weekend's Fosdem presentation https://fosdem.org/2021/schedule/eve...logyfosdem.pdf

            ODF may not be perfect (yet), but at least it is an open standard which is about to get it's next version 1.3 certified by ISO and which does addres quite some (interoperability) mistakes that were made in the past.

            Rewriting the code base sounds tempting but is said such would be a too large project as when by the time that would be ready it's aged again. And all that time (estimate 5-10 year?) those involved cannot spend time on getting "new" stuff done, such simple things like technology you have-to follow to keep being relevant: address documents standards (ODF 1.3, better OOXML interoperability), new platform support Android, IOS, Chromebook ("App Stores", Microsoft is heading there also with Win 10X), Online/web and silicon support like x64, and ARM for MacOS and Linux (inevitably Windows will go down that path). Then you still need to add new features, like interfaces, etc. So, the path chosen to refactor and maintain is just better then to choose a rewrite which inevitably would result ending up with two solutions to maintain.... just look at Apache OpenOffice vs LibreOffice as an example, or GIMP vs Glipse for that matter. There have been several presentation is the past about the how and why's around this.


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            • #7
              Gerrit, Git, etc... should switch LibreOffice to a "Community" edition, because it would "fit them better".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jrch2k8 View Post

                I'm not saying you are wrong but i haven't seen LO crash like in 5 years, maybe your use case is pretty advanced but for me(ArchLinux) and my brother(on windows) to work with your regular office documents and accounting level use of calc has been really good outside a couple of local goverment excel tax tools written on broken VBA that only excel can open
                To be fair, usually you need to be working with a slightly unusual or large document or spreadsheet, but for example, our company's bread and butter is a spreadsheet; for eight months LO-still would crash if we typed a character into the find toolbar; LO-fresh would crash if we resized the window and then clicked on a cell within about two seconds of eachother, or at random (even at idle) when using it on Wayland. Our big workbook has a couple million cells though, and one of the sheets is 800 columns wide.

                In Writer I've seen fewer crashes, but sometimes it'll just crash when I'm editing a document with more than two columns an the current page style.

                There were some months where my cofounder and I would be using Calc about 30h each, every week, so we were no doubt going to hit some bugs, but we encountered a new crashing bug on average about once a week, and we would have to change our workflow to avoid hitting it.

                As for the other guy saying it's dumb that we "wouldn't bother" filing bug reports, you try getting anything resolved there and tell me how it goes, all you have to do is read some of the old bugs sitting around for it. We've tried cracking the source to track down these errors, but this codebase is insane (not entirely their fault but still, not exactly a cakewalk to get started in 30 years of gradual evolution from StarOffice.

                My main point is, if these "enterprise" features are built into LO directly, I would treat that as a liability; because when LO fails us, maybe we can't even get at our documents, depending on the specific design of these features, whereas we can always keep appimages or VMs around that can read the files we store separately, when the current version of LO just crashes during normal operations.
                Last edited by microcode; 03 February 2021, 04:50 PM.

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                • #9
                  It's great that they decided to offer the user a selection dialog with a choice between the various available UIs. It makes it very visible for the user that he can pick different layouts.
                  It might be made more obvious though that "Tabbed" is the ribbon equivalent, could be beneficial to MSO switchers before trying out each one.

                  They're getting better at communicating. It's a part of software development that is way too often overlooked in the open source world (looking at you Gnome devs).
                  They also display a banner with a link to Release Notes at first launch after an update. So it seems to become a clear goal to inform the user of the possibilities.

                  Plus of course formatting a document feels (to me) much more intuitive than in MSO (where it is intrusive and failing).
                  There's still room for improvement of course, especially on the MSO compatibility front (many users have expressed that), but I believe it's been heading in the right direction.

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                  • #10
                    I'm glad they are doing this because there are some features (cloud features, sharepoint integration, central management, unique plugins) that might let them earn some revenue. I think open source foundations with a good track record of selfless, tireless work do better when they have more revenue streams than donations from individuals.

                    As a developer, I understand that it's frustrating to have complaints without a bug report, and it's probably 100x more frustrating for open source contributors--especially on massive projects like this that give so much to so many more people than whom would ever be able to contribute back. However, I'm in the camp of being frustrated with LO, and as long as I'm still thankful for what I get out of this, I think my frustrations are fair. For many years I wanted an option like F4 in MS Office (repeats the last command regardless of what it was--super time saver). Instead of my request staying open for someone to take it on one day, it was closed with commentary that LO will not copy every little feature of MS Office just for the sake of copying. I don't work with a tech stack similar to LO in the first place, so especially with the request being closed, I wasn't going to spend time trying to implement something for the request. Until the middle of last year, LO was crashing a few times per week. I can't recall for sure if it was Ubuntu 20.04, Win 10, or both. The crash report was empty every time. Sometimes it would be an empty doc I left open. Other times it was something I was working on and had left open. It was, I think, always while not working on something actively. I don't remember if I would always notice it after a wake from suspend, but that might have been the case. Is that enough for a bug report? Probably not, but it still meant I was seeing multiple crashes per week, which leaves a pretty sour taste. I've read about attempts to make auto updating work on Windows, and if it's really so hard that the volunteer community can't get it working, I guess it's fair since it's an old project and can't piggyback off things used by electron or other methods open source projects often use, but it's still frustrating and still not my tech stack.

                    I do understand Impress not having parity with Powerpoint and certainly blame MS for that, not LO, but there are little things like not being able to scroll to view massive slide comments (scrolling stops just a bit below the area reserved for comments, and sometimes someone writes a book in slide comments). That's something I should probably file, but it is rare enough that I'm sent a PowerPoint that I don't think about it for more than a few seconds per month. I'll get on that

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