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Compared and Contrasted: OpenOffice V. LibreOffice

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the forks-and-spoons dept.

Open Source 294

GMGruman writes "Oracle's imposition of fees for some OpenOffice capabilities caused some of the venerable open source office suite's creators to head out on their own and create LibreOffice as a truly free OSS tool. InfoWorld's Neil McAllister reviews the two OSS productivity tools side by side to figure out where they differ, and whether you can jettison Oracle's OpenOffice safely for the fully free LibreOffice."

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Printable version (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223044)

Here's the print version [infoworld.com] (all one one page instead of four). There's still ads, but it's better.
Also, frist psto?

Re:Printable version (0)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223138)

What, you mean your browser doesn't consolidate multi-page articles for you? How 2010. :)

Re:Printable version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223652)

Hey, if you're going to give away useful info, than please sir, provide links to them washed masses. :) (AC cause don't wanna log in.)

Re:Printable version (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223736)

I was (snarkily) referring to the feature of the Safari web browser that consolidates multipage articles into a single article automagically. I don't even use Safari all that often, just found it handy in this case. Do you really need a link to download Safari?

Re:Printable version (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223770)

No, but we didn't know that Safari had that feature.. I didn't even use Safari when I had a Mac, and I'm sure as hell not installing it on Linux (especially not if it relies on WINE)..

Re:Printable version (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224014)

No, but we didn't know that Safari had that feature.

I actually think this is a big problem for software development. I often find myself talking to developers who only really use one OS and often only very specific tools on that OS. As such, there is a lack of general knowledge about what cool features have been invented by others and it sometimes takes many years for something really cool to make its way from one app on one platform to other mainstream apps on other platforms.

Nowadays there are plug-ins for Firefox and probably other browsers to do the same thing as the Safari feature, but despite the usefullness, most people have ever heard of them. It's a failing that is hard to remedy. I consider being a multi-OS user useful not only in being more versatile, but because it is informative about what I'm missing the rest of the time, some of which can be solved with a little setup.

Re:Printable version (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224166)

Oh, I'm a "multi OS" user too, I just didn't like Safari from the outset. I did of course try it out, I think it was just slow and incompatible with stuff at that point (maybe 3-4 years ago), compared to Firefox at least.

I'm sure I saw /. posters mentioning plugins to do this before too - not even recently, this was years ago. Perhaps it was a greasemonkey script. I prefer not to install too much guff though, I just use an adblocker. Perhaps browsers are sandboxed better these days so that plugins don't cause so many crashes, but they still must slow things down a little. Since I do most of my browsing on this netbook, it's best to keep things streamlined where I can.

Re:Printable version (2)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224042)

Firefox's Autopager [mozilla.org] does the same thing, I guess. Haven't tried Safari since leaving Windows.

Re:Printable version (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224118)

Hopefully this will kill those multipage articles.

Re:Printable version (3, Informative)

Sparks23 (412116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223796)

Safari comes with a Reader mode built-in [apple.com] , and there's the Readability [mozilla.org] add-on for Firefox and a similar one for Chrome [google.com] . For general browser-agnostic solutions, often with mobile variants, there is the web version of Readability [readability.com] , or the Instapaper [instapaper.com] service.

To the best of my knowledge, all of those will slurp in multiple pages of an article when producing the clean/readable version of the article.

All about features, not stability (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223128)

(Read the print version of the article on one page. [infoworld.com] It's one of those "short article spread across many ad-heavy pages" crap sites.)

The article just compares the feature lists. It's not clear if either is better from a bug standpoint. A big problem with OpenOffice is that it tends to crash too much. (Especially, for some reason, when exiting.) Also, OpenOffice had some features written in Java, but they were optional. Did LibreOffice get rid of the Oracle Java parts, replace them with something, or what?

It's encouraging that LibreOffice is around. I've been using OpenOffice since 1.0, and haven't used a version of Microsoft Word later than Word 97. OpenOffice in its later incarnations isn't bad, although it still, after ten years, has an amateurish feel to it.

Re:All about features, not stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223168)

A big problem with OpenOffice is that it tends to crash too much. (Especially, for some reason, when exiting.)

I initially read that as "Especially, for some reason, when existing." Harsh, but fair.

Re:All about features, not stability (3, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223192)

The article just compares the feature lists.

This isn't true at all. While their testing was very limited they notes several bugs where the specs claimed a feature would work, but did not actually function or was inaccessible.

Also, OpenOffice had some features written in Java, but they were optional. Did LibreOffice get rid of the Oracle Java parts, replace them with something, or what?

If you had RTFA you'd note the discussion of needing to download the JRE if you used LibreOffice in order to get some features to work. So, no, there is still a dependency. You'd also note the JRE comes bundled with OpenOffice, but is an out of date version.

OpenOffice in its later incarnations isn't bad, although it still, after ten years, has an amateurish feel to it.

Agreed. It really needs some good paid developers from Canonical or Redhat or someone to do proper usability assessment and testing, and then rework the UI and other relevant parts of the code.

Re:All about features, not stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223266)

Canonical ... to do proper usability assessment and testing

This is a joke right? The same Canonical who did lots of UI "improvements" that were almost universally hated by users but Canonical pushed them through stubbornly anyway?

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223934)

What improvements were hated? About the biggest complaint I saw was them moving the min/max/close buttons to the opposite side of the task bar. I seriously don't even notice, and that's despite having to remote desktop into Windows a lot of the time.

Of course, I basically always close windows in Linux with ctrl-w or ctrl-q anyway, so they could get rid of all the buttons and I wouldn't give a toss.

Re:All about features, not stability (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223364)

Downloading a JRE doesn't seem that big of a deal. Most people have that installed already.

The review specifically stated:

I found no difference between the two offerings either in performance or stability. Neither crashed on me, even when handling documents designed to put productivity apps through the wringer.

That is my assessment as well. I've never seen any crashes on either version.

I agree that the UI puts things in odd places, and some things are done in un-obvious ways.

But basically I disagree with the author's "amateurish" assessment. That is pure Microsoft speak there, which translates into "Not all the things learned from years of swearing at Word translate to either of these packages".

Re:All about features, not stability (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223418)

"I agree that the UI puts things in odd places, and some things are done in un-obvious ways." Sounds like a description of Microsoft Office to me.

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223942)

Well, since 2007 anyway.

Re:All about features, not stability (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223936)

I agree that the UI puts things in odd places, and some things are done in un-obvious ways. But basically I disagree with the author's "amateurish" assessment. That is pure Microsoft speak there, which translates into "Not all the things learned from years of swearing at Word translate to either of these packages".

Comical, but fair. User interface design is so often done poorly in the computing world that calling terrible usability amateurish is not really fair. Individual mileage may vary. I'm, perhaps, overly harsh because I use OS X as my default desktop, only resorting to Ubuntu or Windows when I need specific software for that platform or that only runs well on that platform, or when testing on multiple platforms. As such, most of the software I use inherits a lot of good usability defaults from the dev tools and native UI widgets. OpenOffice has always ignored OS X native UI, however, concentrating instead on consistency across platforms and ignoring both the UI issues this causes and the functionality offered by OS X to native programs, which OO and LibreOffice cannot use (system services for example). This makes it seem like a usability disaster on OS X, when in truth it is just another poor to average usability program, badly ported to an OS it was clearly not designed for.

As for OO versus MS Office, I had a fun interaction at work where a co-worker was demanding MS Office because they did not like the supplied OO. When they obtained it, it was the new version with a completely different interface than they were used to and they ended up switching back in short order. Personally, I've used both about the same amount and curse at both equally. Word probably takes the cake for hellish UI design choices, but Calc is pretty close.

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223634)

If you had RTFA you'd note the discussion of needing to download the JRE if you used LibreOffice in order to get some features to work. So, no, there is still a dependency. You'd also note the JRE comes bundled with OpenOffice, but is an out of date version.

Can it not run with OpenJDK? IIRC that's what I installed to get it running on my Ubuntu laptop...

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223798)

Can it not run with OpenJDK? IIRC that's what I installed to get it running on my Ubuntu laptop...

I don't know as I haven't tried. Google says there are some fairly serious bugs doing so, but it may depend upon your OS.

Re:All about features, not stability (2)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223254)

The main thing I've seen is that it seems to open a lot faster. That's just anecdotal; I haven't used a stopwatch and I only have a limited set of machines. But I'm used to downloaded Excel spreadsheets taking tens-of-seconds to open, especially the first time. (I don't like fast-starters because they make the already interminable Windows startup even slower.)

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224040)

The main thing I've seen is that it seems to open a lot faster

Which one opens faster?

Anybody reading this, can you spare me from having to read the fucking article and just tell me if LibreOffice is better than OpenOffice? I'm in the middle of Dead Space 2 and I don't have time to mess about with reading articles.

Thank you.

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224106)

I found LibreOffice to open faster than the previous version of OpenOffice. But like I said, anecdotal.

Summary of the article: On a feature basis, they're practically identical. Lots of small changes that matter if you care about that particular bug/tiny feature but no dramatic reason to switch.

Re:All about features, not stability (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223440)

GMGruman: Galen is executive editor at InfoWorld, and a long-time technology journalist for a variety of publications.

Not all that surprising, as most InfoWorld posts seem to come from their employees.

Re:All about features, not stability (2)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223520)

Did LibreOffice get rid of the Oracle Java parts, replace them with something, or what?

The article says that LO does support Java, but you need to download it separately (licensing issues?). Certain features (database for one) require Java, but for basic Word/Excel clone stuff, you probably don't need it.

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223830)

I was surprised that I had to get the JRE after installing LO on Windows 7. That was just to open LO's Writer.

Re:All about features, not stability (1)

jvin248 (1147821) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223752)

I find LO a bit better at handling MSOffice open document format (.docx, .xlsx, etc) than OOo. Downside is presentation minimizer that I use a lot (all those MSO users I work with can't seem to minimize .ppt's) only works on OOo and not LO, yet. I find LO more stable than OOo.

I have an install of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that I removed OOo and replaced with LO, so no dependency issues since it was all taken care of with the original OOo install and stayed for LO.

Oracle-induced format problems (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223880)

I have a few different versions of OO 3 and recent proof that more than paranoia keeps me from updating all to Oracle's.
Why? My much-changed resume is a native Oracle OOo 3.2 file created in Ubuntu is having a problem I never saw while it was Sun's property. I just spent the last quarter hour seeking help for cross-platform corruption but found no relevant bug reports or solutions. It's the third time that the native format and the exported DOC file can't be opened in Windows' OOo and MS's Viewer --PDFs are safe for now. I can still edit them in Linux.

I keep several versions, some "e-mail obscured" to prevent job-board scammers from easily spamming me. When the job agents call and ID themselves (which spammers don't, and few scammers dare to) I e-mail them the "full" one. That's a pretty bad time to realize the file is corrupted.

I'll hit the LibreOffice repos and hope people there have fixed the problem. Oracle won't see me downloading their version starting with the next Ubuntu upgrade cycle.

so who won? (1)

Chaseshaw (1486811) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223132)

someone give me a one-word answer. Which is better: OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

Re:so who won? (5, Funny)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223140)

Depends

Re:so who won? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223174)

I prefer "Oops! I Crapped My Pants" instead of Depends.

Re:so who won? (-1, Troll)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223244)

I thought that was the answer to "What do old women taste like?".

Re:so who won? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223376)

I thought that was the answer to "What do old women taste like?".

Wow... Watson is posting on Slashdot!

Blue stretchy pants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223468)

LibreOffice won... because it wears stretchy pants in it's room.... for fun!

Re:so who won? (3, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223148)

Well 6 words: Not different enough yet to matter.

Re:so who won? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223158)

someone give me a one-word answer. Which is better: OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

yes

Re:so who won? (0)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223210)

someone give me a one-word answer. Which is better: OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

yes

Looks like you should have asked for an appropriate one-word answer.

Re:so who won? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223202)

emacs.

Re:so who won? (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223216)

Libre.

(Because Oracle is showing their evil ways, so go Libre and try to deal with the downsides, which appear to be minimal.)

Re:so who won? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223358)

For now because OpenOffice and LibreOffice really only differ in name right now. Wait until developer resources are put into OpenOffice and LibreOffice suffers again in compatibility just as it did in the early years.

Re:so who won? (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223226)

I-think-libreoffice-is-better-since-it-went-stable-because-they-fixed-icons-and-feature-wise-its-pretty-much-a-superset

Re:so who won? (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223248)

someone give me a one-word answer. Which is better: OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

Open Office.org now belongs to Oracle. That should settle it for many FOSS fans.

Re:so who won? (2)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223346)

I'm _far_ from a power user with Office, but I can get around with it. Having used Office 2008 for the Mac for years (and not wanting/able to spend the money on the upgrade) I got tired of how slow and unresponsive it got. I started looking around for a replacement. I didn't want to pick up iWork as I kept hearing mixed things about it. I started playing around with Abiword but realized I might as well find something more comprehensive so I could ditch Office entirely. Based on a number of reviews/articles I decided to get LibreOffice (I didn't know about the Oracle angle, but I don't think it would have mattered to me) because the native OS X version looked the most polished (and I kept seeing things about porting OpenOffice to OS X - note: I don't know if those were links to binaries already compiled or instructions on how to do so. I really didn't want to mess around with anything other than, "Hey look. I double-clicked and it works.) Like I said, I'm not a power user but to date LibreOffice has done what I need. I've exported and imported Doc files via Word and Google Docs, haven't seemed to lose formatting (although I haven't tried track changes).

Re:so who won? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224070)

I didn't want to pick up iWork as I kept hearing mixed things about it.

"Mixed"? Who did you hear say anything good about it?

Re:so who won? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223384)

Free.

Re:so who won? (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223400)

More than one word, but the article pretty much, I think, nails it: If you *have* to have support becasue of IT rules or something, OO.o is the only choice. Feature-wise they're all but I identical; but since most of the developers went to Libre, the smart money is on it improving more and faster as time goes on.

Re:so who won? (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223606)

Most of the developers went to Libre? Are you sure about that? The last I heard most of the development was still carried out in Germany by (former) StarOffice developers on Oracle's payroll. Has that changed?

Re:so who won? (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223576)

LibreOffice

--tl;dr friendly section ends here--

LibreOffice has everything that OO.org has, plus the Go-OO patches, minus an evil megacorporation at the reigns.

Re:so who won? (1)

MartinJW (961693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223626)

Office

Re:so who won? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223900)

someone give me a one-word answer. Which is better: OpenOffice or LibreOffice?

The one with the OneNote clone.

Tl, dr (2, Informative)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223152)

To summarize the summary of the summary: They're the same.

Outlook (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223156)

Neither has an equivalent to Outlook. I would think that the corporate lock-in to Outlook would be a strong message to OS writers that this is a big opportunity. I keep hearing from MS Office users that they'd ditch Office in a nanosecond if there was a competitor to Outlook, but since there isn't they don't bother moving to the OpenOffice/LibreOffice half-offering.

Re:Outlook (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223206)

There are lots. Zimbra in particular and many more [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Outlook (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223274)

He said "competitor" not half-assed attempts at cloning Outlook but with reduced functionality that somehow end up being buggier than Outlook is.

Re:Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223324)

Have you ever used Zimbra? The web client is awful, and it only goes downhill. Since email is often a major professional tool, that's kind of like telling someone that GIMP can replace photoshop for professional work. Can you make it work? Probably, but losing quality on your core tool is never a good idea.

Re:Outlook (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224192)

No I've used Thunderbird and mail.app. I was thinking the thick client not the web client.

Re:Outlook (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223258)

Mozilla Thunderbird or Mozilla seaMonkey or Mozilla Classilla (mac) or Mozilla Spicebird are all alternatives to MS Outlook for email and usenet access.

Re:Outlook (3, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223314)

Outlook is more then just a e-mail reader. Corporate support for Outlook and nothing else is from running Exchange as their collaboration suite. Nothing works better with Exchange than Outlook and replacing all the functionality of Exchange/Outlook is not easy.

Re:Outlook (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223452)

replacing all the functionality of Exchange/Outlook is not easy.

Nor even remotely necessary.

Re:Outlook (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223656)

Nor even remotely necessary.

While I agree with you. Try asking your boss if he/she can work without outlook/exchange. Or you could just try taking it away form the "suits" and see how fast you hit the unemployment lines.

Just to get back on topic. Here is a shout out for my favorite exchange replacement Kerio connect. http://www.kerio.com/connect/download [kerio.com]

Re:Outlook (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223748)

Well, what I was getting at is there is a lot of functionality in Exchange/Outlook that is not needed, seldom used, designed for specific markets. Like every other Microsoft product, everything thrown at it sticks, and crappy functionality leads to code bloat.

Kerio and several others try to cut to the core needs. Instead of replacing everything they provide the essentials.

Re:Outlook (5, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223696)

It is if you want to replace Outlook.

My company makes sells a service which can be used from within Outlook via an COM addon. A couple things I can tell you about Outlook users.

They aren't using it for email only. Those people quickly go switch to something that doesn't suck at reading email.

Sales people LIVE in Outlook. Contacts, notes, scheduling, reminders, workflow, document management, CRM and sales process are just the first and obvious things that come to mind. Every one of our customers that uses Outlook in a corporate environment has multiple plugins installed before we even get to them. These plugins make Outlook a client for some other system in their company and typically roll it all into one client reasonable well for the more well established plugins.

To put it bluntly, as much as Outlook sucks for Email, it is in a class all by itself when it comes to being a PIM for someone in a large company.

Nor even remotely necessary.

What you utterly fail to understand is while you think Outlook is an email client, you have absolutely no clue how people actually use it in the real world. You're just spouting off random crap because you think you understand what Outlook is used for, when in reality you don't. Its not a email client, its a PIM with a large feature set that you actually DO need to mimic if you expect people to use something else.

There isn't a Outlook/Exchange replacement, I've been looking for years. If it wasn't needed or people didn't want the features of Outlook, people would use something else in large companies ... but look around, it doesn't happen unless.

I haven't even touched on server side features.

With all that said, I freaking hate Outlook and Exchange, they are big over complicated piles of crap that need to be replaced by an open alternative, but thats not going to happen until the OSS world stops trying to change the way people use software like Outlook into their model and instead tries to make software that fits what those users want. That won't happen until someone can make money off it as its a very big project to take on.

Re:Outlook (2)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223970)

There are a few things that Microsoft does very well that the OSS world hasn't had the ability to duplicate. Excel is one. It flat out beats Calc for advanced functionality. I still use Calc. Outlook/Exchange for all the reasons the parent just detailed. I still use Thunderbird. I haven't really made an in-depth research for an OSS/FLOSS alternative for shared address books, notes, and calendars that integrate seemlessly with Thunderbird. I've seen a few that have made the attempt and haven't quite succeeded (yet), have I missed something?

Re:Outlook (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224016)

Exactly. The killer feature of Microsoft Outlook isn't email, but calendar functionality that works, is relatively easy to use, and interoperates with other Outlook users and a veritable horde of PDAs and cellphones. It seems this is only very slowly coming to the open source world, but I will be happy once it's there, because this functionality really does help me be more productive.

Re:Outlook (5, Interesting)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223442)

*facepalm*

Zimbra, as has been mentioned before, is among the closest I've seen, but the list you wrote are NOT outlook substitutes.

I know a LOT of Outlook users, and NONE of them have ever listed Usenet as a necessary feature. If you're going to list Thunderbird as a viable alternative, you'll then by definition have to also list Windows Live Mail, since techncially it does do e-mail. ignoring user familiarity and data lock-in, here's what you're missing:

-Exchange support - yes, Exchange does POP3 and imap, but device sync, user policy and dozens of other backend features make it a staple in many server rooms. Again, there are FOSS alternatives, but "just because" isn't a good enough reason to ditch a perfectly working exchange server for a product many sysadmins don't know how to use (and "well they should" is a load of crap if their organization isn't using a non-exchange product already, and most of us have better things to do in our day like work on the actual Exchange server). There's also Blackberry server, OWA, and a swath of other things in the exchange ecosystem that the alternatives simply can't compete with yet.

-Calendar features - Sunbird is great, and has decent Thunderbird collaboration, but it's nowhere near as fluid. Meeting requests, room scheduling, and 'presence' features are just a few things off the top of my head that my office would crucify me for if I switched them to something else.

-Instant search of large mailboxes - can any of the applications you list do near-instant, as-you-type searches of inboxes that are 20GBytes or larger? heck, how do they handle mail of that volume? It's not as ridiculous as you might think, I've got several users with PST files that large.

Outlook has its issues (the fact that PST repair utilities exist is telling of one of them), but at the end of the day, I've yet to see an e-mail program of the FOSS variety that can compare to Outlook. Zimbra is pretty close, but it still comes up short - ask anyone in my office.

Re:Outlook (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223516)

Your argument is reminiscent of those who argue LibreOffice and Ubuntu Linux can not be used as replacements for MS products either.

Re:Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223670)

So, what you're saying is that those arguments turn out to possibly be correct?

Re:Outlook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223716)

Your argument is reminiscent of those who argue LibreOffice and Ubuntu Linux can not be used as replacements for MS products either.

And yours is non-existent. Almost anyone working for a large organization can tell you how superior Outlook with Exchange is over the competing solutions (even pay ones like the awful Lotus Notes). Actually his synopsis of the situation is spot-on. Add in SharePoint and the integration gets even better.

Re:Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223610)

I agree with most of your remarks, except...

Instant search of large mailboxes

Um, what? This is definitely not my experience. I have a 1GB mailbox and search is glacial.

near-instant, as-you-type searches

What magic mushrooms are you feeding your computer/server and can I have some for mine?

Re:Outlook (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224018)

Okay so if you want to get technical it's not part of the RTM installer for Outlook, but adding Windows Desktop Search allows for indexing of the inbox. Search on an inbox without this is, as you point out, a glacial affair, but once indexed, WDS makes searching in Outlook a MUCH more useful tool.

Re:Outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35224038)

Only one thing to say. Exchange and outlook don't work well with non-windows products. To compare them with multi-platform standards compliant products just doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying Windows has poor NFS support so it's not a viable solution.

One other thing "near instant as you type" indexes searches do not exist. Exchange builds the indexes and refers to them as you search/type. If you believe that exchange is the only option then you keep living in your little bubble.

Re:Outlook (4, Informative)

kabloom (755503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223288)

Nobody's integrated an Outlook substitute into OpenOffice because Outlook is very different from the other office applications (which are all centered around creating documents of various types). Outlook is focused on connectivity, mainly email, address books, and calendars and the open source world has had a full stack for these capabilities for a long time. The recommended way to replace Outlook is with open protocols (IMAP, LDAP, CalDAV), but if you need Microsoft Exchange support, that's available too. One can use Evolution as a substitute for Outlook.

Re:Outlook (2)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223768)

One can use Evolution as a substitute for Outlook.

Maybe I'm alone here, but I won't use Evolution until it supports recurring tasks. And since that particular bug [gnome.org] has gone unclosed for over eleven years, I'm not holding my breath. Well, not anymore.

Re:Outlook (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223914)

One can use Evolution as a substitute for Outlook.

If Evolution does not improve their mailbox performance, forget about substituting Outlook or any other email program with it.

Re:Outlook (1)

sintral (1080829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224194)

That may well explain why it hasn't been done (successfully), but it isn't a good reason not to do it. Evolution is horrible on Windows and Thunderbird (while superior in my opinion) lacks certain functionality, OS integration, and provides a contrasting UI to the rest of any office suite.

Re:Outlook (0)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223428)

Neither attempts to be Outlook.

A better comparison would be Microsoft Office.

That you spend your entire day in an overgrown Email program speaks to your skill set more than anything else. Perhaps Microsoft should just ditch Windows and make an Outlook OS since that's about all some people ever learn to do.

When the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, you tend to look at every problem as it it were a nail.

Re:Outlook (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223714)

When the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, you tend to look at every problem as it it were a nail.

So why are you still doing so? You clearly don't know and haven't bothered to figure out why people use Outlook, yet you keep beating away with the hammer ...

Re:Outlook (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223668)

Evolution?

Re:Outlook (1)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223832)

We use Thunderbird, lightning and davmail to talk to exchange. It works great.

Summary so you don't need to RTFA (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223162)

They are the same.
- except LibreOffice doesn't come with Java for the database
- and LO has some new stuff like SVG and MSworks/WordPerfect file support

I wonder how GO-oo and LibreOffice compare?

Re:Summary so you don't need to RTFA (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223250)

I wonder how GO-oo and LibreOffice compare?

Go-OO does not exist as a standalone project anymore. The only reason why it was there in the first place is the difficulty to get the patches accepted into mainstream by Sun/Oracle. This problem doesn't exist with LibreOffice, and, indeed, one of the first things they did after forking was to merge Go-OO in.

Re:Summary so you don't need to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223310)

G0-oo has been dropped and merged into Libre

Re:Summary so you don't need to RTFA (1)

WhiteSpade (959060) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223378)

I wonder how GO-oo and LibreOffice compare?

From what I understand, one of the first things LibreOffice did after forking was import the GO-oo patch-set. I believe GO-oo [go-oo.org] and BrOffice [documentfoundation.org] intend to merge into LibreOffice and combine their efforts. I am not affiliated with any of the projects though, so some of my information could be incorrect or out of date.

---Alex

Re:Summary so you don't need to RTFA (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223684)

LibreOffice has everything that Go-OO has.

OpenOffice is also fully free (2)

kabloom (755503) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223240)

OpenOffice and LibreOffice are both fully free. The difference between OpenOffice and LibreOffice is who's in charge, and whose contributions are getting accepted.

Not looking back (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223268)

At work we (and some of our customers) switched to OOO about 3 years ago, and for the types of documents (including some rather large manuals) it works just fine, and imported all of our old documents, from multiple different versions of MSOffice and Word.

When the devs jumped ship, we jumped with them to LibreOffice, retaining just a few seats of OOO in our customers shop, because they already paid for support contracts. But reports are that they have not been happy with what little help they got. The phone techs knew less than our people.

There are some missing functions that MS-Office users wish were available, and maddeningly well hidden features as well as stuff that just does not work. But these were not mainstream functionality that we needed in our shop.

LibreOffice is currently every bit as good as OOO, and in some ways better. Going forward, all the wet-ware is in their corner, and Oracle will probably take a year bringing replacements up to speed before any serious bugs can be addressed, let alone new features. (Although nothing will stop them from feeding off of the efforts of LibreOffice).

  LibreOffice probably needs to think about a revenue stream for the future. I'm fine with that. Let those who absolutely have to have support contracts in place (for what ever reason) foot the bill.

Re:Not looking back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223540)

Not entirely correct. Part of the reason why LibreOffice formed was because copyright of source code had to be assigned to Oracle to be included in OpenOffice. LibreOffice doesn't have that requirement, so it can use code that OOo (in its current structure) cannot.

Once LibreOffice starts pulling away from OpenOffice noticeably, we may see Oracle pull another Hudson.

Re:Not looking back (3, Informative)

NortySpock (1966236) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223590)

LibreOffice probably needs to think about a revenue stream for the future.

They have a funding drive going on right now. [documentfoundation.org]

They have a lot of people on their side, but the real issue will be paying down the technical debt in the codebase. It really needs an overhaul.

Ho Hum article. (4, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223272)

I haven't yet used LibreOffice, but I have been using OOo and NeoOffice (the Mac-native version of OOo) for years, and on the whole, I'm pretty happy with both. I'm a bit curious as to why TFA's author doesn't bother to mention NeoOffice. One glaring error I did spot is on the 3rd page of TFA where it is mentioned that Libre now supports SVG. All versions of the code have in fact done so for some time.

No doubt we shall shortly see posts from the Microsoft shills bagging OOo and variants, but the simple truth is that for 99.9% of purposes, the FOSS offerings are perfectly adequate.

Re:Ho Hum article. (1)

Temposs (787432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223688)

Open Office(and I assume LibreOffice) have offered a Mac native version for some time. For instance:
http://download.openoffice.org/contribute.html?download=mirrorbrain&files/stable/3.3.0/OOo_3.3.0_MacOS_x86_install_en-US.dmg [openoffice.org]

So as far as I know, NeoOffice is a bit obsolete at this point, if its only goal is to provide a Mac-native version of OOo.

Re:Ho Hum article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223824)

Open Office(and I assume LibreOffice) have offered a Mac native version for some time. For instance:
http://download.openoffice.org/contribute.html?download=mirrorbrain&files/stable/3.3.0/OOo_3.3.0_MacOS_x86_install_en-US.dmg [openoffice.org]

So as far as I know, NeoOffice is a bit obsolete at this point, if its only goal is to provide a Mac-native version of OOo.

Well, I have both LibreOffice and NeoOffice on my Mac (2010 MacBook Pro). The only thing I use NeoOffice for is printing, which seems to not work properly on either LibreOffice or OpenOffice.org.

Useless article to the last (1)

wangerx (1122027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223362)

Overall, I think this article is far too premature. The last paragraph says it all "The great thing about both suites, however, is that your decision need not be set in stone." In other words, there was nothing really to compare nor contrast. With the lead of "side by side" comparison, one would at least expect some form of tabular results. I got the feeling the author wanted to make the case for OO by mentioning the Win7 install issues and "hopefully this is a bug that will be resolved soon", and that paid support would be a requirement for larger installations which LO does not have (officially). But after running the cost figures for 100 users, dropping $9,000 for OO in the cited example would set a fair amount of stone.

Re:Useless article to the last (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223508)

Most of those support contract requirements are done from a CYA point of view.

The few I've seen, the end users didn't know there was a support contract, and in at least one case there was no record of it ever being exercised. Even their IT staff didn't know who to call, but just got on the web and found all the answers.

Those contract are almost never helpful.

Useful Info from InfoWorld (0)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223394)

(The "libre" in the suite's name is derived from a Latinate root meaning "liberty.")

Wow, I was wondering about that. Thanks InfoWorld!

Isn't LibreOffice, for now, Go-oo? (3, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223464)

As far as I know, Libre Office is based mostly (entirely?) on Novell's Go-oo. So this review compares OpenOffice with the much extended and improved Go-oo, which has better multilanguage support, a larger clip-art collection and better MS Office filters. Yes, this kind of article should have been written a long time ago, way before Libre Office appeared, because Go-oo deserved more exposure.

Better late than never.

they both are no better than my feces (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35223510)

they both are no better than my feces

neither of them can do vanila search and replace for new line character for last 10 years. i have 1 ticket per year. i can dig for ticket numbers.

Good and bad (2)

dskoll (99328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35223588)

I recently switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffice on Debian. LibreOffice is mostly better, and the SVG import is a killer feature for me.

However, the one really bad thing about LibreOffice is that "Help" is essentially non-functional. It opens up a LibreOffice help web site that is incomplete and difficult to search. OO's built-in "Help" feature was much better. I don't know why LibreOffice took it out (licensing restrictions, perhaps?)

Linux.com review (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224020)

See also an (overly?) praising review [linux.com] noting some changes that LibreOffice has made.

If it needs Java (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35224054)

Then it ain't "libre"

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