Feeds

Apache releases new OpenOffice build, promises faster upgrades

New graphics focus and more to come from IBM additions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has released an updated version of the OpenOffice free software suite, with enhanced graphics and better encryption support.

Version 3.4 of the office suite has had major changes in the graphics capability of the package. OLEObject handling has been improved, thanks in part to volunteer coder Armin LeGrand, as well as support for scalable vector graphics and better chart rendering. Line cap graphics have also received an improvement that should improve the look and feel of the code.

Other new features include a speeding up of the boot process and better support for ODF, notably ODF 1.2 encryption, as well as multiple images within the format. The entire software suite is now also under the Apache License 2 regime.

This is the first major revision to the OpenOffice code since Oracle handed OpenOffice over to the ASF, and will go some way towards regaining ground on its rival LibreOffice. OpenOffice Podling Project Management Committee member Donald Harbison told The Register that more revisions were coming soon and the team is already considering additions to the version four release.

"We wanted to make sure we had a really clean and stable built for version 3.4," he said. "Within six to eight weeks we should be in a position to get to version 3.4.1 out and then we'll be working on version four with the help of code from IBM."

IBM is due to hand over a chunk of its Symphony code for the OpenOffice project, which had been on hold until version 3.4 was released, and other companies are adding features. SugarCRM is working on integrating sections of its code base and SourceForge has been helping with extensions, although these are outside the Apache license, as well as adding a new distribution channel.

The releases will go some way to making OpenOffice more relevant for users, after much of its support has moved to LibreOffice, a similar suite set up by defectors from OpenOffice who left when Oracle started sticking its oar into the project. LibreOffice is now on version 3.5 and is included in most of the major Linux distributions, as OpenOffice used to be, and is gaining both developers and customers in government and enterprise.

It's not all cut and thrust in the open source office suite world however. Plenty of developers code for both packages – indeed the new work on line caps was done by a female German academic who has a foot in both OpenOffice and Libreoffice.

Harbison said that so far demand for the new build of OpenOffice was strong, with a significant spike in downloads so far, and Apache would be bringing in new features like a British English dictionary and application control features, with future releases. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.