LibreOffice 5.0 debuts, complete with fewer German code comments

Lighter, brighter, more compatible with foreign file formats and kinder to batteries

The Gnu-look LibreOffice 5
The Gnu-look LibreOffice 5

The tenth version of open-source productivity suite Libre Office, Libre Office 5.0, has arrived.

If that numbering is a little confusing, prepare for more brow-furrowing as this release is considered the fruit of the suite's third development cycle. The first started in 2010, when OpenOffice forked and work on LibreOffice 3.0 kicked off with the aim of tidying up the source code. The second push resulted in LibreOffice 4.x, which aimed at making the suite more responsive.

Version 5.0 is all about making the suite “smarter”, says The Document Foundation, the suite's overseer. To that end, the new version of the suite features an improved user interface, more complex formulae in spreadsheets and better compatibility with Microsoft Office and Apple iWork.

Stability's been enhanced and so has speed.

Plenty of the changes are under the hood, such as a big refresh for the VCL toolkit the suite uses for rendering. Those changes mean the suite is now more respectful of how it uses CPU resources and therefore kinder to batteries.

The link in the previous paragraph also details impressive efforts at defect tracking and fixing, and bug-wrangling, that have resulted in big drops in the number of issues developers have to address.

One oddity records the number of code comments in German. At a guess, the project is keen to standardise on English to make the code base more accessible

the number of german comments in libre office source code

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LibreOffice 5.0 is yours for the downloading here and runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. ®

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