Feeds

Apache releases new OpenOffice build, promises faster upgrades

New graphics focus and more to come from IBM additions

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.