back to article OpenOffice 3.0 - the only option for masochistic Linux users

In a brilliant execution of public relations, 3.0 was released without enough capacity to handle the demand for downloads. Servers buckled under the traffic, and some of us in the media took the bait: Shit, this thing must be hot. Are people really getting that excited over an open source productivity suite? …


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  1. nav

    simple instructions (easily found by a ubuntu noob)

    a simple search gives this

    has nice intsructions, there is a x64 package and dpkg does install into 'Applications' folder

    i think you should edit first part of your article to include instructions from above link


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just linux.

    The windows install went very nicely, and was required because some muppet had

    sent me a doc in ODF.

    I barely use these things, but sometimes you just need them, I'm quite glad I don't have to spend hundreds on Microsofts Orifice.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only rpms?

    " Unfortunately, as an Ubuntu user, you'll get the RPM version, which makes things a little tricky considering Ubuntu doesn't, you know, use RPM."

    You guys didn't try using "alien <name of package>.rpm" to convert the .rpm to a .deb?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody slow on my PowerBook G4

    I hope NeoOffice is faster.

  5. Coalescence


    Why install like that? Installing it like that is a _bad_ idea.

    It's available in the ppa repository, at least for 8.10.. should be for hardy too.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are other office tools

    AbiWord, Gnumeric

    Along with KOfiice.

    But, really most in the unix world don't use these tools very much, tend to just be used to get information from other places.

    Much simpler just to use a RDBMS and link in via scripts. Even DSV is more preferable and simpler to use as a data storage or capture storage. Python allows you to pickle objects, and of course SQL alchemy is quite a time saver. I have them all on gvim as well, makes people think about the words more, some are even learning HTML, bit of markup spice to it all.

    But OpenOffice is fine for the numpties who have made the crossover, they seem to rather enjoy it.

  7. JJ James


    FYI, there is an option to use native file choosers instead of the crummy one provided by Openoffice.

    After several years of thinking "Damn this filechooser sucks" every time I saved a file, I found out that OpenOffice provides an option to replace it.

    It is found at the following convenient location:

    Tools > Options > > General > Open/save dialogues /[ - ] Use dialogues

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again...

    FOSS is loss, best tell the boss.

    After just reading the Ubuntu article (and the comments) and now this, I am stunned that people still persevere with these unstable, incompatible and user-hostile applications. Freetards must be real masochists!

    If you want to use office applications, send files and increase productivity; there's only on real-world choice. You know it, I know even the birds and the bees know it.

  9. James Le Cuirot

    I agree, it's not changed much but...

    I am pleased that it is now usable with a dark colour scheme. No more invisible tooltips. I suspect you got the default file selector instead of the GNOME one because you used 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system. I think it was a bit unfair to slate the fact that you had to install it manually when you didn't wait for the distros to catch up. If the OOo guys didn't release it to the public until the distros were ready then people would cry even louder. I admit that Ubuntu have been a bit slow to include it officially (I think it should be in backports by now) but it is at least available at I personally built it from source on Gentoo and was surprised to find that it actually didn't take more than a couple of hours. I guess a quad core helps. XD

  10. Tom Simnett
    Thumb Down

    You've clearly not heard of the PPAs

    There are Ubuntu packages, with the Gnome save dialog etc etc at:

    Maybe some investigative journalism might be in order...

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward


    I run it on Windows -it seemed easy to install to me!

    Ok. the article was funny, but do we need so many pages to point out the at a piece of software not designed for your version of OS is tricky to install and run?

    Was there a point to the 150mb download comment? The implication is that its a lot, but compared with an MSOffice iso it delivers rather more than you might expect.

    And on the "How Badly I Need OO.o 3" graph, surely only a habitual windows user (or perhaps a 1st day iPhone 3G buyer), missing the pain of paying license fees, would undergo so much installation pain for software they don't need!

    Icon: May the clue be with you!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Early adopter?

    So you didnt want to wait for all the testing to be done on ubuntu, so you decided to manually install it. Then you complain about not understanding the processes?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    office 2007 file support

    probably the primary reason for upgrade

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But it works

    I've used Open Office for several years now, on my Mac. It's nice that I no longer have to start X to use it (mostly because cut and paste doesn't always behave between environments and I can't get the '#' key to work in X).

    The point I would like to make though is that I like Open Office. It works... generally. I don't think it has ever crashed on me. As far as I remember, it's never screwed up a document, and generally it's ok.

    One complaint I DO have is that it has a habit of changing formatting willy-nilly (which is not good). The word processor often changes text formatting / size for no apparent reason (this was in a previous version - not had any problems with 3.0 yet).

    One problem I found in 3.0 has been in the spreadsheet - I had a cell that kept switching to "percent" format. I kept changing it back to "number" format, but the next time I edited it, it got changed back to a "percent". I think it was trying to be "helpful" because there were percentages in other places in the spreadsheet, but this is definitely a bug.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @There are other office tools

    "Much simpler just to use a RDBMS and link in via scripts.... Python allows you to pickle objects, and of course SQL alchemy is quite a time saver....."

    What you say may be true, but it's a bloody stupid way of writing a letter!

  17. Brian


    Ted - where's the fscking swearing gone?

    Sure, there's some 'ass' etc., but we expect more from you!

    Please return normal swearvice as soon as possible...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Actually, I'd say they've made the slide layout selector *worse*.

    The use of colour gives visual prominence to several particular layouts, biasing the choice. Not good, IMO.

  19. Michael

    What are you, idiots?

    Installing within three months of release?

    You got everything you deserved.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    What about....

    ... emerge open-office

    ... emerge open-office-bin

    All works fine for me and has done since release.

    @AC that's the type of attitude that ensures Linux stays second to Microsloth - try getting

    your granny to use vi or wrestle with some SQL. pah.

  21. Colin Guthrie
    Thumb Down


    Dude, you really don't "get it" do you? Linux distribution is a different animal to Windows. Your distribution provides you the packages and the integration you want. If you go installing stuff from <random website> and it doesn't install easily or seamlessly etc. then that's your problem, don't go crying about it.

    The whole point in the distribution centric model is that the QA and integration work can happen in a tested environment. The trouble comes when the latest and greatest version of XYZ comes along any everyone wants NOW NOW NOW! Instant gratification is all well and good for a home user who doesn't mind cocking up their desktop, but in a company or school etc., stability and managed upgrades are the way forward.

    Your article was a total misrepresentation. It was basically "I'm a bit of an idiot and I don't really know what I'm doing here and I had a bit of a bad experience". It certainly wasn't a "review" in any recognisable form.

  22. Chika

    Gnu Isn't Ubuntu

    But, from reading this review, you might be forgiven for imagining that the author thinks it is. And the alternative isn't necessarily dropping back to an old version of RedHat either.

    Having said that, I can categorically state that I am in no hurry to download something that big if it doesn't give an appreciable improvement in usability. That can wait for when my distro gets its next upgrade, if at all.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Tom


    All I typed was "portupgrade -PP openoffice". Course, that's with FreeBSD, a real OS.

  25. Gareth Jones Silver badge

    Oh good

    Yet another Reg article written by somebody without a clue. Read this one sentence and you will realise that the rest of the review will be of little worth:

    "OpenOffice is really the only option for Linux users who don't understand the hype behind web-based office software like Google Docs"

    The only option? Ever heard of KOffice, or any of the other office apps available for Linux?

    The sentence also seems to imply that OOo isn't available for other platforms.

    And then there's the bit about Google Docs. "Don't understand the hype" what the hell are you talking about? Hyperbole might be defined as "obvious and deliberate exageration" and most of us do understand that the buzz around online office suites is indeed hyperbole. You, on the other hand, do not appear to understand what "hype" actually means.

  26. Kevin Eastman
    Gates Halo

    Not yet ready for Prime Time

    If a experienced linux user has this much trouble installing a linux package, how much harder do you think it would be for the new users or Windows converts. Just goes to show that with all the talk of wanting people to switch from Windows to Linux, Linux is just not ready for Prime Time. Until such a time that the different distros become standarized, and installing a package is as easy as double clicking on the equivilent of install.exe, Linux will continue to remain a fringe product.

  27. A J Stiles

    I'm using Debian 64 bit

    And I built it from Source Code.

    Alright, then, it was Debian's own pre-patched Source Code, from Experimental. But it built fine on Sid, with a few packages (in particular OpenJDK) and I haven't had problems with it.

    Mind, if you were running KDE, you'd know KOffice isn't bad -- and it doesn't slow to a crawl with every keystroke.

  28. Drew

    There is a big reason to go 3.0 from 2.4

    One word.


    OO Notes functionality works like comments in 'Word' now. This is a big deal for a lot of people. Oh, and track changes works properly in 3.0 too. User interface is much improved.

  29. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Up

    Most chortlesome.

    Thanks for the lulz, Ted.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy to reach 3

    Intrepid users add repo to Software Sources:

    deb intrepid main


    Easy as 1-2-3, see.

  31. Matt

    Bit of an idiot

    I've got to agree that the author is a bit of a nutter. He doesn't seem to know what he's doing, it'd be a bit like me installing Windows 95 software on Vista and then complaining when it doesn't work.

    If you stick to your distro sources Linux does tend to just work. Whether it's better than Windows is another discussion.

    What I will say is that we swapped to OpenOffice because MS Office had such a hard time handling 100+ page reports. MS Office just seems to slowly corrupt the file! MS support could only suggest breaking the file up into smaller pieces!

    I'm not really a heavy spreadsheet user so I can't comment on that part but the Word Processor is pretty good.

  32. Marco van de Voort

    File dialogs

    I wondered a bit about the file dialogs comments., specially the "pain in the ass" arrow from the filename bar.

    The standard windows (and quite old) filedialog with its fairly intuititive type ahead is one of the things I miss the most on non-windows.

    The same with keyboard usability, which for me is still one of the key advantages of Windows. The Windows classic GUI , despite popular myth, is still the best keyboard-only navigable GUI.

    Including Gnome, KDE, Mac and the classic X window managers.

    However this great feature is under threat, even on Windows, where the GUI of an average program tends to look more and more as a glossy blob. (with ditto usability)

  33. Pete Silver badge

    youi're not allowed to criticise ...

    ... because it's free.

    One of the tenets of free software is that you're only allowed to say good things about it. if you dissent, you can expect a stream of comments along the lines of

    "Hey, it's free. If you don't like it, just uninstall it" or, my favourite (also used by **** Air to justify crappy service):

    "What do you expect for nothing" with the implication that the supplier is actually doing you a favour by letting you have their software/service/product/flight.

    In fact, as we all know deep down, there's no such thing as free. Zero financial cost, yes - but when the time spent trying to turn a pigs ear into a silk purse is factored in, a lot of "free" software is very expensive indeed. In this particular case it provides no additional benefits over what I already have (not free) so I can't see any reason why I should spend my time on it.


  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not ready for prime time?

    @ Kevin Eastman

    Installing software in windows.

    1. Find the website of the vendor

    2. Find the download page

    3. Usually register.

    4. Download a file

    5. Open file - when are they going to standardise, zip, exe, msi

    6. Agreed a load of shit

    7. Choose where to install


    Open the application managed, choose app, install.

    Shall we start on getting all my software up to date, I still cannot find the windows control panel app that does that.

    So some retard wrote about his attempt at doing something he did not understand - so what.

    Shall I write an article about me unzipping an application and trying to copy all the files to the correct places, system32 etc, editing the registry

  35. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Muppets and ODF for Microsoft


    FYI, Sun has an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office. Works pretty well to import and export. I have Office 2003, Sun StarOffice, and OpenOffice installed in my Windows system so I am pretty flexible. Every so often I will open Office docs in StarOffice or OpenOffice, or save Office docs from the others, import an Open Document Format into Office, or export from. Eh, you get what you expect, mostly, but the information is still there.

    Paris, pretty flexible on imports and exports.

  36. Simon Elliott
    Jobs Halo

    Solver for Mac

    Umm, much as I hate Office for Mac, you seem to have not noticed the solver tool freely available for Office 2008 here:

    Simon Elliott

  37. Anton Ivanov

    A few comments

    Quote: "I'm glad that OpenOffice decided to dump GNOME's default save-as menu for their own harder-to-use menu"

    Well, I am glad they did. The cretins at GNOME have created a menu that is incapable of working versus automounted filesystems. As a result one of the greatest features of Unix and greatest tools in the hands of a sysadmin - the automounter is unusable for anything that uses Gnome menus. As a result you cannot use any gnome tool sensibly in a network environment designed and set according to system administration best practice.

    So applause for someone taking the sensible decision and telling the gnome to shovel their idiotic "usability improvement" where it belongs. Ahem and congrats.

    Also, wasn't there some sort of controversy about the solver's licensing?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    American Journalism?

    "it's no surprise that charts made by the Calc spreadsheet still kind of look like ass"

    Looks like "ass"??



    Step away from the keyboard.

    I bet you even think the Windows Aero interface looks "sick". Go get a job washing cars or something.

  39. Pierre
    Dead Vulture

    Ted's a n00b!

    c'mon, 6 pages on installing OOo? Rants about not finding it in the Applications menu? Ubuntu, for Dog's sake? Never heard of alien? "only option for Linux users"? You mean what, only option for Linux users who want to write a letter or do some number-crunching? Gawd, where have you been for the last 50 years? All this article reeks of poorly documented n00biness. I bet you still have problems finding the on/off switch. Please tell me your first encounter with the penguin was 2 weeks ago!

    I don't really use OOo much anyway, it's much better than MSOffice but still a bit too bloated for my taste. The output is a bit sub-optimal too, as compared to what you get from Lout or LateX. And for my number-crunching or plotting needs, I use some real number-crunching and plotting pieces of software. The only OOo tool I use is OOimpress, the presentation tool, because most moronic institutions/conference organizers only allow PowerPoint files. Idiots.

    Anyway, the logical way an article should be written is: 1) find subject. 2) do some research 3) write. This piece looks like it's been written following the slightly different method: 1) Try to do something too complicated for one's skills 2) Fail. 3) Rant. 4) get rant published. That last method is in the Silly Blogger's Handbook, not in the Seasonned IT Reporter Guide. For that reason, I'll be removing El Reg from my shortcuts, Youth these days, oh the nerve, back in my time the Register was much better, all that crap ;-)

  40. Gerry

    It's a shame

    There are many reasons above and beyond "free as in beer" why Free Software is important.

    Of course because it is free-as-in-beer quite possibly the servers, (y'know, the one you got it from, free?) were not mega-sized so they were not giving you an instant down load.

    And it was a whole 150Mb?, damn, on that piece of wet string connecting you to the internet, must have taken a week.

    And it's not perfect? Well, for my pains, I've been able to open .docx since June. (And I'm so pleased it doesn't write docx - what a good decision).

    Usability? (Despite it being good and getting better) let's measure it against Apple

    Ubiquity? Let's measure it against Microsoft

    Price? Not relevant, as your employer or the taxpayer picks the bill up.

    Enabling transparency, good governance and certainty, hmm, let's ignore those because we're a bunch of techies who don't (or for our own reasons, claim not to) understand that open source != Free Software.

    Closes digital divide without any need for intervention through unnecessary taxation?

    Let's label those involved as freetards.

    An ecosystem of well crafted software that doesn't charge your employer or the taxpayer enough money therefore you can't have your technical conference or golf day somewhere exotic?

    Let's not call you freetards.

    People who try to point out the benefits of Free Software without the polish or ducking and diving skills gained from an expensive, carefully crafted sales training programme?

    I expect they haven't got girl friends

    And so on

  41. Chris iverson

    @Not ready for prime time

    Installing on Windows:

    Download package

    unpack if necessary

    double click setup

    Agree to license (have to same thing with FOSS)

    click next a bunch of times

    get coffee

    use app

  42. Howard
    Thumb Down

    Is this article....

    ...supposed to be funny?

  43. Viet

    The good thing with Linux...

    ... is that pompous asses always take the beating they desserve. It's fairly easy with windows to get a wizard reputation for what amounts to basic script kid tricks. Because even seasoned IT pros are dumbstruck by how backward things are in windows, with every version sweeping clean the knowledge base, anyone with something up his sleeve nearly achieves instant Morris's fame among the clueless crowd of family and office.

    Not so with linux.

    Linux brings back rationality, predictablity, and learning investment back into the computing scheme. Lazy idiots can't help trying to pull their old tricks, but no-one will ever get impressed by someone stupid enough to build a mega software from source because he can't add a repo line to his apt config to save his life.

    Mister, I would have been impressed if you had taken the chance to edit some code and speeded the OO.o boot process by 1 second. But seeing you hitting all the walls like a blind fly because you just can't google and read is plain pathetic.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is Space Invaders still and Easter egg in Calc? If not there's no way I'm upgrading, that was the most useful feature...

  45. Daniel B.

    Desktop fever

    Hm. Dzuiba's got a point in the "save" menu: I usually prefer the open/save dialogs to stick with the underlying GUI theme (this is also why I hate those Apple apps that insist on forcing Aqua look-and-feel on Windows XP, or Office 2007.)

    But I find something even more annoying: the "Desktop" syndrome that some apps have of defaulting to save on the Desktop (I'm looking at you, Firefox!). Oooh yeeeah, it might've been cool on Mac when they started letting you do that, but these days it only leads to clutter on my desktop. Gah!

  46. Michael Fremlins


    You've just highlighted one of the problems with Linux - so many distributions. No doubt if arselinux was released and used the arse package system you would be able to complain that OpenOffice was not yet available from your repository (called, yes, the arsehole).

  47. Kev

    For those that bitch

    about how difficult it is, oh woe is me!!! Read some of the comments above, it CAN be as easy as a one line command.

    If you want to, you can run MSOffice on linux under wine, but i am that would be far too complicated for you.

  48. systemdude

    influenced vocabulary ?

    "a pain in the balls"

    "major asspain"

    "kind of look like ass"

    It looks like I'm not the only one happy to see South Park airing again :-)

    (however, I guess I'd better keep these influences out of my work docs)

  49. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Dont get me talking about file choosers

    Acorn had true drag and drop file saving on the late 1980s. That way you know *exactly* where your fail is saved, and no stupid menu systems to wade through, just drag an icon where you want the file to go.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    A quick software patent trolling...

    How come, if software patents prevent developers 'doing anything', there is yet another release of an office suite that replicates M$ office functionality and even lets you open M$ office docs? If there is one situation where you'd expect software patents to put the mockers on imitation it's M$ bleedin' Office.

    Or, just perhaps, the anti-software crowd are just full of tin-foil coated BS?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fail and Ted

    Open Office to difficult to install. Really?? Four installs (2 Ubuntu boxes, one Mac, and one Windoze) later and I have yet to see the litany of woes you've whined about. There are so many things to say about this ... Well I'd call it an article but that would be overly generous. However I won't because I think any commentary pointing out the glaring flaws in your little bitch fest would a waste of energy. As you seem to be hopelessly mired in some puerile hatred of anything not coming from Redmond.

  52. Dave Driver
    Paris Hilton

    Are we in a timewarp?

    OO 3.0 is not new. I got it as an portage update for gentoo in the stable tree back on October 18th. It just installed, and it just worked. What's all the fuss about?

    Paris cos even she could have coped with the update.

  53. Jonathan Adams

    Installing in Ubuntu

    Took me about 20 seconds on google to find this one:

    Umm ... even installs the menus

  54. Anonymous Coward

    Get the flame retardant

    You DARE to mock the interface of the mightly OpenSource GAWD? You shall surely be smote (or at least, flamed heavily) by a raving pack of bearded acolytes!

    Have you no shame?


  55. J

    Ya... fail.

    If it was supposed to be funny, I'm sorry, but it wasn't.

    If it was supposed to be informative, I'm sorry, but it wasn't either. (see numerous comments above)

    Be either funny, or informative, or feck off. Waste of time.

  56. BlueGreen

    @Daniel B. - it's not hard

    In FF, Tools:Options... then click the Main tab. Download behaviour settings, right in the middle.

  57. Pete
    Gates Halo


    Took one look at that arsing about with the command line and said "no".

    Thankfully I can get a copy of MS Office Enterprise 2007 for a tenner through work.

    I'll stick with the industry standard thanks, and not some ropey half arsed office clone.

  58. Neil Kay

    And your objective was...?

    So the author has a hall pass that gets his work on El Reg. Beyind that, what was the point of the article? Did he really sit down and think "My work gets published - I must write something that makes me look like an complete and utter twat"?

    Yours etc.

    //(Typing on my Acer Aspire One with Open Office 3.0 installed.)

    ////God, that article sucked balls.

    ////Yes, I am being harsh - but take it on the chin from a veteran IT Magazine freelancer from the 1980-90 season - constructuve criticism, darling.

    /////Tux laughts at your amateur ramblings

  59. Brendon Lucas
    Thumb Down

    WTF? is comparable to MS Office, but is considerably easier like every package on a Linux system to install and keep up-to-date, if the author of this review wants to give his personal opinion without actually having any knowledge on something he should do it in a blog not on a respected technology news portal, we expect better el'reg, this article is utter tosh, and you no it.

  60. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down


    Or you could, you know, just wait till packages come out for your distribution.

    Why do you have a sudden burning need to get 3.0 the day it comes out? Did 2.4 suddenly turn to poison, vile poison, or something?

  61. Russell Chait

    Installation ease

    I use Gentoo Linux with x86-64, the upgrade from O.O. 2.4 to O.O. 3.0 required only one command as root. I found that this was a lot simpler than mucking around with installing under Vista.

  62. James Carter
    Gates Horns

    It installed quite easily on my MBP

    Right next to NeoOffice 2.5. Maybe the use of OO file dialogs is intended to make the package more OS agnostic, eh?

    But I do the graphing portion of OO and all it's derivatives really sucks and blows.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Free, not gratis...

    Presstards and Officetards, no patient for them anymore...

  64. Pierre

    Bite! (patent trolling)

    OOo, a clone of MS Office? Shurely you're kidding? OOo took a lot of stuff from Sun Office (and vice versa), but the relationship with Redmond has always been one way, with the Evil MS Beast shamelessly stealing ideas (and not implementing them correctly). Latest example: xml-based document format. All the patent sabre-rattling by MS shouldn't obscure the fact that they always have been, and still are, mainly a reverse-engineering sweatshop with an eyecandy sprinkler above the exit.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    Manure !

    Installed from the OpenSuse OO repository and worked like a charm - no hassle

  66. Mark
    Thumb Down

    re: software patents

    Because OOo isn't using any patents. The UI patents aren't in the WordProcessing field.

    But have a look at photo/image creation projects. Pantone cannot be used in GIMP not because it's impossible or because they aren't good enough but because those spot colours are patented.

    ASF is patented and MS threatened a video editing tool and close the project down because of it.

    Just because you see one (well funded) project producing DESPITE software patents (you reckon that Sun don't have lawyers???) doesn't mean software patents are a-ok.

  67. Schugy

    This isn't even FUD

    The author of this news must be kidding. I've downloaded the German deb-files from a German ftp-server at highest possible speed and the installation worked flawlessly with Kubuntu Dapper.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu and OOo 3.0

    What's so hard to understand about the fact that OOo 3 didn't make the cutoff date for inclusion in the Intrepid release? The Ununtu team had enough on their plate shipping a new version of their OS without also testing and integrating a new app.

    I'd be more inclined to ask why the OOo crowd haven't produced a specific install for Ubuntu. If they want to see their app out there it's surely up to them to do the work. After all they've produced a specific version for Windows.

    I find that 2.4 does what I need to do, but then I find twatting around in Office apps tedious and unnecessary. If you feel you've got to have the latest office apps then there is clearly a problem somewhere.

  69. Walter Francis
    Thumb Down

    Nice to see some real unbiased intelligent reporting

    Elsewhere... there's none in THIS article.

  70. alexc

    boring review. lots of attitude nothing to say.

    Right, so obviously a lot of things wound up the reviewer. I use MS office and OO office. Both work. Got to be said that Calc is not as good as Excel. Yet, OO office is free. Winner.

    Is MS now the biggest advertiser on this site? bet it is......better not upset 'em eh?

    And dunno, but i cannot understand how you can screw up installing OO on linux. just installs in home directory, and runs does it not? doh. Does not need any special rpm? maybe i am a know it all.

    Can get fed up with the Sun/daily mirror style reviews. :-)

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ummm, whaat?

    Well, my mileage certainly varied from the reporter's.

    I only started using Linux after I bought my Eee earlier this year, so I am a n00b. Installing OO3 was as easy as anything else on Xandros -- I downloaded the correct deb package, fired up the terminal, and was done in in less time than it took me to write this much.

    As for the speed of the program, I've found that after disabling Java, OpenOffice starts as quickly as AbiWord.

    On my Mac, I've been using NeoOffice for three years. No need for X, and it had docx compatibility this spring. In fact, NeoOffice 2.x has better Arabic language support than OO3 does so far, although I'm sure the language support team will get on it eventually.

  72. storng.bare.durid


    Does this thing have a good outliner built into the word processor?

  73. Max
    IT Angle

    "Distro" packages are for noobs...

    "The whole point in the distribution centric model is that the QA and integration work can happen in a tested environment.'

    The above statement is crap, esp. in light of the fact of the Debian SSH fiasco, and the fact that still to this day upgrades often mutilate large swaths of /etc customizations.

    Most pros rather prefer to use their own source compiled apps for production purposes; usually "distro"packages are there when you're in a hurry or don't care. Oo3 definitely falls into the "don't care" category.

  74. SkippyBing

    and this is why Linux will never conquer the world

    My Mother can install things in Windows without phoning me, I couldn't install anything in Linux without losing the will to live and developing body odour. I don't care if it's really easy if you execute two lines of text at a command line prompt I just want to write a fucking letter not learn another language. You may call me a noob and a fucktard, but 99% of the population are of the same opinion and until you can install something on Linux by double clicking the file you downloaded it's going to be stuck in the cul-de-sac of spotty geeky people who can't get dates.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    one page too many

    the first page of this rather biased article.....

    there's a rpm and a deb. both 32bit and 64bit

    so what's this all about ?

    Perhaps you forgot that OO is opensource, which means you get what you paid for or more ?


    paris, because she would have spotted the deb and rpm packages sometime during the 1st second........

  76. Tom

    do people still use office software

    to prevent them computerising their work?

    Microsoft: the man with the red flag walking very slowy in front of your computer.

  77. Sal


    I installed Oo3 on Suse as an auto update - took minutes after a single mouseclick and is working fine.

    I find the argument as to whether it's better than Microsoft Office or not irrelevant to me as it's free and does what i want it to. I'm sure Microsoft Office is superior in many ways but I'm not going to spend hundreds of pounds to find out what those ways are.

  78. Mark


    "My Mother can install things in Windows without phoning me"

    Unless it's Windows 95 only and she only has WinXP.

    Or it's XP only hardware and she has Vista.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Cannot install oOO 3.0

    Because the only language available is English version available is US. If I want a word processor that cannot spell, I'll use MS Word.

    So I am stuck with 2.4 for now.

    Yeah, I probably can get the source, merge it, recompile it and generally piss about; but as a general consumer I don't want to nor should I have to. Freetards just don't get that.

  80. Lee Field

    Inaccurate Installation Info

    Whilst openoffice does have it's issues, I believe that it is a good if sometimes slow to start package but enough of opinion......

    'Since this isn't an Ubuntu package, it doesn't have Ubuntu integrations' is quite frankly incorrect an ill researched.

    I have installed the beta previously on Ubuntu 8.04 and the now stable on 8.10.

    Firstly you uninstall the 2.4 openoffice from your system.

    Download the deb version .tgz and untar. (this is available from any of the mirrors)

    Open a terminal, change into the directory where you extracted to, in my case: OOO300_m9_native_packed-1_en-US.9358

    and type


    This then installs the main openoffice 3.


    cd DEBS/desktop-integration

    and finally

    dpkg -i openoffice.org3.0-debian-menus_3.0-9354_all.deb

    And surprise surprise all the nice pretty icons under: Application > Office on the gnome menu.

    A word of advice for the author, whilst some time has been spent on the article, it has not been properly researched and a few minutes spent on google would have been time well spent.

  81. This post has been deleted by its author

  82. Anonymous Coward

    And this is why

    All of the comments above me, is all the proof you will ever need as to why Linux will never get anywhere.

    Command Line?

    You guys reply like its a good thing that you need to type reams of code to get a crappy piece of software to work.

    I'd rather pay for Office.

  83. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo


    It's still shite, lacking basic functionality like copying cell, column or row background or text color when sorting. Instead you have to use the advanced sort menu/screen. Fuck me. *highlight area, click A-Z, it works!* How hard is that you cheeto munching open source ass-hats!

  84. John Werner

    Solver tool

    The hype is interesting about the solver tools, both in OO and MS land, especially considering that both of these pale in comparison to the grand-daddy of all equation solvers, Tk!Solver. I was using this spreadsheet like program 20 year ago to solve matrix equations.

  85. Chika

    @Will Godfrey

    Yay! I knew I wasn't alone on here!

    Mind you, I think that the last bit of software I got involved with on RISC OS that was as bloated as that was the Firefox port. When I consider the size of some of the software we use, I have to giggle.

    Pity that the OS is dying. I really wonder what it would have become if the various idiots that supported the Merkan Pooter effort had given the home market a bit of support. Hmm... sounds like csa fodder to me!

  86. Alex Davidson
    Thumb Up

    And lo, the flames did roll in.

    Another fantastic controversial Reg article. Amazing how many people are willing to argue religion on the internets, isn't it? I think I'll join in.

    As others have pointed out, Ubuntu's strength lies in the package management system, and only a real enthusiast (with time to burn) is going to bother installing something that's not yet available via said system. Or trust an unpatched release, for that matter.

    As still others have pointed out, Windows still rules the desktop. This isn't likely to change until the much-marketed 'Cloud' actually starts to mean something. Windows may be big, slow, and unimaginably bloated, but everyone and their grandma can use it. Unfortunately, the assumption in the world of Management seems to be that Windows servers can therefore be adminned (properly) minus Clue and must be better. So Linux/Unix will never be ousted from /that/ sphere.

    Me, I'm just damn glad my job doesn't require me to use any office apps except for viewing files.

    Except for LookOut, which will be disappearing just as soon as I get the chance to bring our email back in-house.

    Nice one, Ted. Keep 'em coming!

    PS: Incidentally, this myth of the OS dying is a pet peeve of mine. It isn't dying. It's just becoming less visible to the user. In the Cloud context, you'll still need an OS of some sort to run Cloud terminals on. In the virtualisation context:

    Time was, the OS was a thin layer of APIs and libraries that everything else could talk to the hardware through without worrying about the details, and all the user saw was the UI (graphical, text-based, whatever). Then it got a GUI and a 'consistent user experience' (mainly a Windows and Mac trait, but desktop Linux will doubtless get there eventually too). Now virtualisation and paravirtualisation have come along, with the idea of virtual appliances, and we're back to the nice thin layer of hardware abstraction again, which is invisible to the user.

    So if you mean 'the big shiny consistent GUIs that the user sees are being replaced with infinitely-variable, often-crap web sites and apps', then yeah, the 'OS' is dying. In any other sense, it's just the usual cycle of reincarnation combined with vendor waffling.

    Give it ten or twenty years and we'll be moving back towards monolithic platforms and consistent GUIs again.

  87. BioTube
    Thumb Down

    FIle picker

    How is that confusing? It doesn't force you to point-and-click when you know the filename you want. If you can't find your way around a mildly powerful utility(and, seeing as you use Ubuntu, you probably can't), it's nobody's fault but your own.

    "Build something even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it."

  88. nick

    ubuntu 8.04 amd64

    Installation can be easy with Ubuntu/ Kubuntu 8.04 with the 64 bit version. Downloading the .deb is not available on the website directly, but go to the torrent (P2P) section and download them. Install all the packages in the unzipped file. You don't even have to remove 2.X from your machine.

    Although I do concur 2.X works just as good, but for me Solver is extremely necessary as an engineering student. Definitely saved me money. Thanks Oo.o

  89. Gilbert West

    It should just work

    Well I thought it was funny and I use it on all 3 OSes

  90. Yfrwlf

    Please oh please...

    ...for the love of all things penguiny and the sanity of it's users, create some god damn package standards that all the most common distros will be compatible with. We have document standards. We have web standards. You'd think the open source communities would be all about creating package standards that will be implemented by most all package managers.

    I'd like to click on any package I want and have it work, whether it be DEB, RPM, or some new format, give me the freedom to do that, please. If it's not cross-distro, it's a garbage format.

  91. Tr0n


    hahaha - you ass!

    Gnome's dialog is much worse, you can't even configure OOo correctly to give you nice graphs, and it seems you can't even download from a website correctly.

    Try using Fedora, and you'll be able to install directly from firefox using RPM.

    I'm not sure about ubuntu - but I'd be suprised if something similar wasn't going on.

    And why the hell are you using 64-bit when you're not using it in a server environment?

    There are a fair number of troubles with 64-bit computing at the moment and the best corse of action is to stick to i686 (i386/i486/i586). and leave x86-64 alone for the time being (hell, do you purposefully go and install 64-bit windows and try running windows 95 code on it?).



  92. Mark

    re: Please oh please...

    There is.

    RPM is the mandated part of the Linux Standards Base.

    This is why "alien" is available for debian based Linux distributions.

    However, since you cannot tell a distributor they CANNOT do X or MUST do Y and have every single one of them obey (this is NOT a dictatorship), some systems don't use RPMs.

    The bad stick RPM gets is more to do with the piss-poor work most people put into creating an RPM. Similarly, the good rep a deb package has is because of the extreme care taken by deb packagers.

    PS why don't you ask that MS produce a single installer package, not a new frigging one with each application (and forbid others using anything other than the One Blessed Package Manager)?

  93. Gerry


    At least one distro provider is starting to do just as you ask (Novell). Quite nice of them, as it's all done free of charge and they only use RPM, so there's not much in for them to provide .deb .

    It's a different model, in case you were not sure.

    Free Software, among other things is rooted in gift culture, I get all this work free,thank you.

    Perhaps, (for those of us not skilled in development) if you find something goes wrong, or want a new feature, you might consider filing a rational and cogent report to one of the developers, so they can do something with it.

    Then we all benefit

    Just a thought

  94. A J Stiles

    @ Yfrwlf

    There *is* a common standard for software packages on any distribution. It's called a Source Code Tarball. Often ends in .tar.gz or .tar.bz2.

    If you think that's too hard for you to deal with (and *is* rather more complex than just ./configure, make, make install), then wait for somebody at your favourite distro to make a package for your favourite distro.

    You can no more expect a package originally compiled for Ubuntu to run on Mandriva than you can expect a map of the route from your kitchen to your bathroom to be valid in someone else's house. That's just how distributions are, and you should bear in mind the size of the official package repositories when choosing one.

  95. Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu is a pretty decent desktop OS,

    but another that is a very good desktop alternative to Microsoft is PC-BSD. Those having trouble with Ubuntu should give it a try.

    Penguin, because there is neither a puffy nor daemon icon.

  96. Chris
    Gates Horns


    I just want to preface by saying I don't use Ubuntu ,I'm a Suse fan.

    That being said I just downloaded and installed it ,no problems at all.

    I can't see how this guy had so much trouble one way or the other.

  97. Anonymous Coward

    I don't know why everyone is bashing the author

    I don't know why everyone is bashing the author. As he said, the default x86_64 3.0 Linux build does not include an en_GB dictionary, and God knows where they keep it on that mares nest of a site. And yes, it is very nice if your distro includes it in it's repositories, but the creators of my distro considers the Spawn of Satan and sometimes I agree with them. As to the comments about why are you using X86_64 on the desktop, well i386 distros won't be around forever and someone has to find all the programs that don't run properly for you lunkheads who are incapable of running anything other than Ubuntu and who think "emerge" is hardcore programming.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OpenOffice 3.0


    1. OpenOffice has been part of the standard Fedora install for a number of releases problems.....put the DVD in the drive and 40 minutes later Fedora 9 comes up complete with OpenOffice.

    2. Adam Osborne was being given grief about Wordstar and SuperCalc in 1982 ("Not as good as some competing product" etc, etc). Same complaint as voiced in your article. Osborne's answer was simple - "Adequacy is enough". Now speaking for myself, OO is perfectly "adequate" ......even though it doesn't have absolutely every bell or whistle to be found in MS Office. Most MS Office users only use only a small percentage of the fucntionality in the software. Guess what - OO covers MY needs - including interoperability with MS Office.

    Regards from Charlotte NC.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How ridiculous. I prefer to install by printing the installer onto paper, then manipulating the magnetic disk domains directly with a sewing needle and a magnet. All you lazy Ubuntards and Windickheads don't know what sheer fun you're missing. Come on developers, make a special installer just for me. Me me me me me! Me me me!


  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Installing 3.00 on Ubuntu 8.10

    I searched 'install 3.00 on Ubuntu 8.10' on Google and found the following:

    How much easier could it be?

  101. Homard

    @all the whingers

    OOO is free FFS ! My daughter whined - where's word - I showed her where OOO was, and expected some complaints about stuff not being where she expected. None forthcoming, and loads of happy noises later her work was printed out. OOO did what she wanted. Now its a regular thing.

    I object to paying 100s of pounds for an office suite with features I will never use. OOO gives me all I need, and does what I want. I say THANK YOU to the OOO developers for this - VERY MUCH.

    I have to use m$ office at work because it's our business office app. excel I have no objection to as we have specialist add-ins, so no real choice. powerpoint - hmm why do I have to use this ? word is so idiotic captioing images that I took a report home and used OOO over the weekend (unpaid, note) to get the job done.

    Now for the money, m$ office should not give me grief with basic tasks, but as my example above shows, it does. OOO does what I want.

    Now stop flaming whinging about this fine piece of software !

  102. Alan
    Thumb Up


    Really enjoyed that review. Can't believe I missed it at the time.

  103. Mick Hellstrom

    Where's the problem with installation?

    It would seem there is a huge amount of anti-hype with OO 3.0. For me, running Debian Lenny it was a breeze to install.

    1. Download deb file.

    2. Extract deb files.

    3. root@pc % dpkg -i *.deb

    That was it. What's the fuss?

    Granted I don't have links in the Applications menu now. But that's not so much of an issue for me.

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