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LibreOffice uncloaks online extension cache beta

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LibreOffice has opened a new online storage facility to house extensions and templates for its open source productivity-software suite, as well as for OpenOffice software and compatible applications.

The site, which is currently in beta, has been set up so that users would have a single point of contact for all open extensions and templates, with proprietary applications barred from the site. LibreOffice spokesman Italo Vignoli told El Reg that such a scheme had always been in the cards, but that development of the project had been speeded up.

“We’re not Google; we’re not going to stay in beta for 10 years. It’s already working quite well and we want to make sure everyone is at ease with the interface before going live with the final version,” he said.

“We don’t want to offer extensions available within proprietary licenses on the site. Third parties are free to develop proprietary extensions, but we don’t want to mix and match different licenses in one space.”

The space also serves a useful purpose in educating users about the range of software available, he said, and the team at The Document Foundation that is developing the site also hope it would help bring in those new to the code.

The latest build of LibreOffice Portable, which allows users to carry around the code on a USB stick if they're unable or unwilling to do a full install, has also been released by coders associated with The Document Foundation. Portable 3.3 has all the fixes and stability enhancements contained in the installed version, but can be run without administrator privileges.

Overall, Vignoli said that the project was still signing up new developers at a prodigious rate, and more and more companies are getting involved by assigning their own staff to work on the code. The German open source consultancy Lanedo has taken this route and is covering development costs to get a better understanding of the code, which it can then use to help customers who run LibreOffice. ®

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