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Last post Author Topic: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice  (Read 27457 times)

Tuxman

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #50 on: April 24, 2013, 05:51:15 AM »
Worst spammer ever seen.

cyberdiva

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2013, 08:40:33 AM »
I second the recommendation for SoftMaker.  Several years ago, I began using what I think may now be FreeOffice (it was an earlier version of SoftMaker Office).  I liked it a lot, but I eventually decided to upgrade to the newer, commercial version for two reasons: it covered .docx format, and because I already had SoftMaker on my computer, I was eligible for the upgrade price.   For a small fraction of what I would have to pay for Microsoft Office, I have a program that meets my needs just as well.  I've experienced no compatibility problems with MS Office.  (I should mention that I use TextMaker more than the other parts of the SoftMaker suite.)

Edvard

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2013, 07:22:07 PM »
Softmaker has one of the worst GUIs I have ever seen on Linux IMHO, and that is saying a lot.  Not about my opinion, but... yeah.  Horrid.  LibreOffice has come a LONG way since it's roots in StarOffice, and it doesn't burn my eyeballs. 

Maybe SM is a decent suite at heart, but I just couldn't get past the initial shock.

40hz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2013, 07:35:44 PM »
^IMHO a wordprocessor is a wordprocessor is a wordprocessor. As is a spreadsheet.

For me, it doesn't have to look pretty or be a masterpiece of GUI design as long as it's reliable and works without any bad surprises. Truth is, virtually any WP GUI could be improved dramatically if you just cut back on the feature set. Most of the interface nightmares are caused by feature bloat which is done in order to justify the prices being charged for almost worthless and unnecessary upgrades.
 8)

Edvard

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2013, 09:17:24 PM »
Quote from: 40Hz
For me, it doesn't have to look pretty or be a masterpiece of GUI design as long as it's reliable and works without any bad surprises.

For the most part, I agree, though software with a well-laid out GUI (minimal or no) goes a long way towards productivity and usability, which immediately registers it in my mind as a superior product.  On the flip side, no matter how nice the GUI, prettiness cannot hide missing functionality or outright flaws for long.
The Softmaker Office GUI is just downright buggy.  As in, actual bugs in how it behaves, which not only affects my perception, but restricts how I might use it.  I just re-installed it to remind myself of what was wrong and yep, it's still bad.

A few items to mention, in "TextMaker":
  • Dat Gray
All the toolbars and flat areas are that weird gray color brilliantly showcased by default in most of the *step window managers and the TCL ToolKit.  Blah.  Bleah.
  • Is that a highlighted toolbar item? Or playing peekaboo?
When I mouse over icons on the toolbar, it shows the top of a square shape popping up behind the toolbar.  Weird.
  • Now you see it, now you don't
When I mouse over the Paragraph Style drop-down, the arrow and 3-D parts of the widget simply go away, and can be brought back if I Minimize/Maximize the window (this only happens on the Paragraph Style dropdown).
  • Show me the menu
OK, those were cosmetic, now we get to where it borders on unusable.
When I actually click on a dropdown (Paragraph Style, Font, Font Size), a blank menu drops down.  Blank.  White.  When I move the mouse down the menu (that isn't there), menu items show up highlighted under the mouse pointer.  If I click on one, the menu goes away as expected, but my selection doesn't show in the box.  If I highlight it, it's there, but it flashes until I remove the mouse and it's back to nothing.  

Admittedly, those are UI bugs, they can be worked around, though I didn't mention them all.  But why should I have to put up with something that is difficult to use, may have even deeper bugs, and is closed-source when there is a better alternative?
Maybe the Windows version is the bee's pants, but it's just not doing it for me here in Tux-land.  :(

Debian

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2013, 01:44:59 AM »
I agree with CoolCat26: FreeOffice is a great free office suite and in many points better than LibreOffice, but still relatively unknown, thanks for the recommendation. Especially it's SoftMaker filters for Microsoft Office formats are fantastic.

@Edvard: Which Linux distribution do you use? Maybe there might be issues with some, but I use Debian and everything works and looks fine. Btw., try to change some settings, maybe that helps:

tools > options > appearance > dialog style

Jibz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2013, 02:20:00 AM »
I've used SoftMaker as well, and it's quite good.

The only problem I had with it was that the user interface is not available in as many languages as the other suites -- for instance there is no Danish translation. That's okay for someone like me who doesn't really care if the user interface is localized as long as the dictionary is, but I can't really recommend it to friends and family who are used to Office in Danish.

40hz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2013, 05:53:55 AM »
@Edvard: Which Linux distribution do you use? Maybe there might be issues with some, but I use Debian and everything works and looks fine. Btw., try to change some settings, maybe that helps:

+1. I have it running on Debian plus a few Debian derivatives and I'm not running into any of those interface or display issues. Sounds like you're having a video driver or compositor issue.
 :)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: compare LibreOffice with SoftmakerOffice,2008?
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2013, 06:06:21 AM »
Overall, it appears that LibreOffice has OpenOffice beat. However, can somebody please compare LibreOffice with SoftmakerOffice,2008? Thank you.

Well, first of all apparently SoftmakerOffice,2008 is obsolete. They have a new version out. You'll be redirected to it.

I'll poke around and try to do a small comparison. I've been using Open/Libre office off and on for a fair while now, mostly with basic documents. Somehow, (what is now) LibreOffice has this strange feel to it, compared to Excel. Its sort of like the feel when someone with English as a Second Language doesn't have the vernacular down. (Skipping the humor examples!) So you get the point, but only after your brain throws a "syntax caution" note in your head.

I'm a bit of a fan of simple programs for simple uses, so it will be interesting to see what SoftMaker looks like. In the game of Find a Replacement for Excel, LibreOffice has been the only serious contender non-web for a while now. (I tried Gnumeric some time back, but I ran into problems.)


40hz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2013, 06:28:21 AM »
apparently SoftmakerOffice,2008 is obsolete. They have a new version out.

I think it's more correct to say it's an older version rather than obsolete when it comes to Linux. Most Linux apps don't much care which kernal or flavor of GNU/Linux they run under. At least not from my experience.
 ;D

About the only minor complaint I have is that Softmaker's Linux installer places shortcuts on the desktop like a Windows installer often will. And to add insult, it does so without asking. A definite platform faux pas on Softmaker's part AFAIC. Especially since most Linux users soon discover there are far better ways to keep their favorite apps readily at hand. As a result, very few ever develop the Windows habit of keeping program shortcuts on their desktops.

This is hardly a show stopper issue. But I still find it annoying. :-\

In the game of Find a Replacement for Excel, LibreOffice has been the only serious contender non-web for a while now. (I tried Gnumeric some time back, but I ran into problems.)

Agree. As will many if not most Excel users who have tried.

Excel is probably the single best guarantee I'll always need to keep at least one Windows machine (real or virtual) somewhere in my house.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 06:36:30 AM by 40hz »

pilgrim

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2013, 06:43:40 AM »
As of 2 minutes ago Softmaker Office 2008 was still available HERE.
Links for download and registration both working.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Debian

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2013, 07:06:02 AM »
@pilgrim: Yes, it's still available, but it makes more sense to use FreeOffice, because it's import and export filters are new and better. E.g. you can't open docx, xlsx, and pptx files with SMO 2008, but that's no problem with FreeOffice. You find all features and the download link here:

freeoffice.com

pilgrim

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2013, 07:48:35 AM »
Debian,

Yes I found that a couple of days ago after reading this thread.

I gave up on Open Office around the time it moved to Oracle.

I have Softmaker Office 2008 on my Netbook and I might replace it with FreeOffice.

On my new computer I installed a copy of Word 2002 because I still have a lot of .odt files.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Tuxman

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2013, 07:49:30 AM »
Softmaker Office works fine with .odt files.

pilgrim

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2013, 08:28:20 AM »
Now you've got me wondering?

It was some time ago now but I remember I had issues with format not being retained.

I'll give FreeOffice a try in place of 2008 and if it will do what I want I'll consider putting it on the PC as well.

Not that it's an issue but including all the extras the Word installation is around 250 MB in total.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Tuxman

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2013, 08:30:12 AM »
I tried SoftMaker 2010, it read my tested .odt files quite well.
Only .ods failed...

Darwin

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2013, 09:04:35 AM »
My problem with LibreOffice is how resource intensive it is (and OpenOffice before it). A computer tech installled it on an old notebook my employer has provided for employee use - it's running an anaemic Intel duo-core chip, Vista 32-bit, and "rocking" 2GB RAM. LibreOffice was a pig to open and significantly slowed the machine when running. I had an unused Office 2013 license and installed it and it's much more manageable - though still not a dream to use... That said, I have a license for SoftMaker Office 2012 that I'm not using - maybe I should install that and uninstall MS Office. SM Office should be even lighter on resources on that seutup and I don't care too much about the license whereas an Office 2013 license is hard to walk away from ;D
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

zridling

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2013, 09:44:11 AM »
My problem with LibreOffice is how resource intensive it is (and OpenOffice before it).

Open with a 3-sheet spreadsheet open, LibreOffice is using 128k of memory on my openSUSE Linux machine. I don't know what it would do on a Windows machine, which I assume you're using?

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2013, 01:49:01 PM »
apparently SoftmakerOffice,2008 is obsolete. They have a new version out.

I think it's more correct to say it's an older version rather than obsolete when it comes to Linux. Most Linux apps don't much care which kernal or flavor of GNU/Linux they run under. At least not from my experience.
 ;D

Heh well 40hz, this is like my joke about not using the language the same way with people...

The original download link was:
http://www.softmakeroffice.com/
But it has a small page on it that says:

SoftMaker Office 2008 for Windows and Linux
SoftMaker Office 2008 is no longer offered as a free download.
But don't worry! We have a successor: SoftMaker FreeOffice for Windows and Linux.
Download SoftMaker FreeOffice
http://www.freeoffice.com/en/

So what part of having a successor doesn't make the first one obsolete?
I'm confused! Maybe I'm stuck on the difference between older versions and obsolete!?

 :)

Tuxman

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2013, 01:52:20 PM »
LibO 4.0 has a much  better resource usage than 3.x, though.

40hz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2013, 02:07:41 PM »
Heh well 40hz, this is like my joke about not using the language the same way with people...


Oh! It wasn't meant as a knock - so I hope you weren't offended. :tellme:

What I was trying to say is: what does "obsolete" mean when it comes to something that's as mature a product as a worprocessing app? If it does text editing - and doesn't crash - it can't possibly be obsolete. :D

This is all just part of my little rebellion against Microsoft (and all the others) who try to sell endless cycles of feature bloat as "new" versions when it comes to their office suites. Or who are constantly changing their file headers and formats for no real reason other than to make them incompatible with their competitor's products. :-\

Edvard

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2013, 09:37:00 PM »
I agree with CoolCat26: FreeOffice is a great free office suite and in many points better than LibreOffice, but still relatively unknown, thanks for the recommendation. Especially it's SoftMaker filters for Microsoft Office formats are fantastic.

@Edvard: Which Linux distribution do you use? Maybe there might be issues with some, but I use Debian and everything works and looks fine. Btw., try to change some settings, maybe that helps:

tools > options > appearance > dialog style
For the record, I'm running Debian "Wheezy" 64-bit with Xfce 4.8.  Changing appearance helped some (no more blank menus), but didn't fix everything.  Overall, these issues just make it 'feel' sketchy and amateurish.

+1. I have it running on Debian plus a few Debian derivatives and I'm not running into any of those interface or display issues. Sounds like you're having a video driver or compositor issue.
 :)
I am running the normal radeon driver, not the accelerated one (doesn't install on my system, never has), and no compositor.  Everything else runs great.  Only this one office suite is having these issues.

...
About the only minor complaint I have is that Softmaker's Linux installer places shortcuts on the desktop like a Windows installer often will. And to add insult, it does so without asking. A definite platform faux pas on Softmaker's part AFAIC. Especially since most Linux users soon discover there are far better ways to keep their favorite apps readily at hand. As a result, very few ever develop the Windows habit of keeping program shortcuts on their desktops.

This is hardly a show stopper issue. But I still find it annoying. :-\
+1.  Noticed that too. >_<

Like I said before, SM Office may actually be great software, but I can't use it without distraction from the GUI, which is a big  turn-off.  Maybe it IS just my system, and it's rebelling against closed-source software  ;D

techidave

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #72 on: April 26, 2013, 05:31:33 AM »
My problem with LibreOffice is how resource intensive it is (and OpenOffice before it). A computer tech installled it on an old notebook my employer has provided for employee use - it's running an anaemic Intel duo-core chip, Vista 32-bit, and "rocking" 2GB RAM. LibreOffice was a pig to open and significantly slowed the machine when running.

Darwin, I am with you.  I just installed LibreOffice 4 on a fresh install of Win XP.  Its an older machine with 1 gig of RAM and a older Celeron processor like 1.8.   Before Libreoffice, it was zipping along pretty good with not too many lags.  Now its pretty much crawling.   :(

I may have to try the portable version or a different alternative.

techidave

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2013, 06:08:32 AM »
cpu was Celeron 2.4

40hz

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Re: Goodbye OpenOffice, Hello LibreOffice
« Reply #74 on: April 26, 2013, 09:10:43 AM »
@techidave - if you're on Windows XP, give this free wordprocessing gem a try. Light on it's feet, resource frugal, with all the extras you'll likely need. Plus no bloat!

It's still my favorite "full feature" WP for Windows since it feels more like Word 2000/2003 to me - and IMO that iteration was where Microsoft should have left it. It's also pretty much what I use on most of my Win laptops. (Actually, I use it's bigger brother, their "gold" paid version because I wanted native support for odt and docx files. For around $30 I'm happy to pay to help support these guys.)
 :Thmbsup: