back to article LibreOffice 5.0 debuts, complete with fewer German code comments

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 …

  1. mt_head

    A slight step backward in MS Word compatibility...

    I've been using LibreOffice since I got my latest laptop; I've been telling myself I'll fork out for Office365 if I run into anything that LO can't handle. It's been nearly a year, and so far no need. But today I upgraded to 5.0, and this afternoon I tried to open a change-request form from our hosting company. I've been using this form just fine for months now; it has a nightmarish little mess of Word tables and a stupid number of font changes, but LibreOffice-prior-to-5 handled it OK.

    Sadly, 5.0 mangled it: made wonky font substitutions, and totally destroyed the last table (the bit where I specify the date, window, and time zone, so non-optional.)

    So I had to choose: fix the form, or buy Office365? For the moment, I fixed the form...

    ETA: I should mention that otherwise I'm liking it: all the Excel files I've opened have been just fine, and the load time is significantly improved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A slight step backward in MS Word compatibility...

      Now, question is, how easily could you extract a test case for upstream to try and figure out why it butchered the table so badly?

      What's the bet that Word didn't produce that file either, but rather some proprietary CRM system whose authors thought they understood OOXML?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @mt_head - Re: A slight step backward in MS Word compatibility...

      In the mean time you can also download the portable version 4.4.5 from PortableApps and run it along side v5, a luxury you don't have with any version of Office Microsoft ever provided.

    3. Hans 1

      Re: A slight step backward in MS Word compatibility...

      Great, you found one, please report a bug on https://bugs.documentfoundation.org//

      Mention that it is a regression. Ideally, if you could upload the word file, that would "really help" - You can, of course, remove any company identifying information from it, although, honestly, the dev's don't care about that, they wanna squash the bug.

  2. xperroni
    Coat

    (Some joke about code Nazis)

    ...couldn't really think of anything, but I bet that's what on everyone's minds right now.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

      No, what surprises me is how much faster the Germans are at getting it compared to Brits. KDE, Suse, (Star office), Knoppix for instance not to mention that the German IBM was where Linux was first successfully run on IBM hardware.

      There are Linux distros in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey I know of. So what is keeping you Brits back. The again your government seems to get it.

      1. Thecowking

        Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

        So Ubuntu, based in London, is what?

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

          So Ubuntu, based in London, is what? And Chaplin when based in the USA was American.

        2. hmv

          Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

          Or the MCC Interim distribution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCC_Interim_Linux).

        3. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

          "So Ubuntu, based in London, is what?"

          Surprisingly reluctant to offer an easy way to use GB English rather than US English. for a so-called British company.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Linux

        Re: (Some joke about code Nazis)

        http://linux.caixamagica.pt/pag/a_index.php :-P

  3. Michael Thibault

    Wow! I'd completely forgotten that I had it installed. So I went to update and, in a war of wills--myself against a stubborn pop-up at libreoffice.org--, won the right to upgrade it to the n-1th version (4.4.5). Of course, I'll also get the latest and greatest, (5.0) and might even use it (someday). Can't imagine a real need for it, though. It's just like Word--in that respect, anyway.

    p.s. My $deity! It's full of megabytes! Two-thirds of a gigabyte, in fact. That's some digital paper-weight.

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      "p.s. My $deity! It's full of megabytes! Two-thirds of a gigabyte, in fact. That's some digital paper-weight."

      @MT: It's ~150MB of source code in a .tar.xz! My compilers will shortly be screaming at me again 8)

    2. Lazlo Woodbine

      "p.s. My $deity! It's full of megabytes! Two-thirds of a gigabyte, in fact. That's some digital paper-weight."

      Which version did you download, the English 64bit Windows installer is 234mb and the help file is 5mb

      1. Michael Thibault

        The 667.9 MB version. LibreOffice_5.0.0_MacOS_x86-64. Just opened it. Then opened the readme (a plain text file), as I had nothing in the "Recent Files" menu off of the "Startcenter". Curiously:

        "LibreOffice requires a recent version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for full functionality." Ooops!

        Reflexively, I'd (eventually) have gone to the preferences and unchecked the "Use a Java runtime environment" setting--but no need, as there's no Java on this machine! Two wins in one.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    /* Ich werde die neue Version testen. */

  5. John Miles 1

    Star office ?

    Didn't Libre/Open office come from a German product Star Office that Sun bought years ago? I wonder if the German comments are a hang over from the original code ?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Star office ?

      Yes, that's why. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarOffice

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Star office ?

        Should have been named "DasOffice" then!

        1. DropBear

          Re: Star office ?

          "SternOffice", shurely (of course, "Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän" is also always an option)...

          1. Grass Mud Horse

            Re: Star office ?

            Schurly. SJS /* So, jetzt stimmt's */

  6. Phuq Witt

    Nein! Nein! Nein!

    "...Version 5.0 is all about making the suite “smarter”..."

    Well that should set alarm bells ringing, for a start!

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Nein! Nein! Nein!

      @Phuq Witt

      The phrase "an improved user interface" worried me as well. I shall download and try.

      1. MrWibble

        Re: Nein! Nein! Nein!

        You're safe for now - no sign of a ribbon...

        1. WylieCoyoteUK
          Thumb Up

          Re: Nein! Nein! Nein!

          sigh of relief......

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Nein! Nein! Nein!

          "You're safe for now - no sign of a ribbon..."

          That could actually be a problem. Although us oldies don't like the ribbon there's a new generation of MS users who haven't seen pre-ribbon versions. They could find the strange ribbon-less LibreOffice interface an obstacle to adoption. Maybe the LibreOffice team needs to look at the possibility of switchable interfaces.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Version 5.0 is all about making the suite “smarter”

      So will the next update be all about "social"...?

      1. Tom Paine

        Re: Version 5.0 is all about making the suite “smarter”

        > So will the next update be all about "social"...?

        >

        Unlikely, "social" was ten years ago. Three years ago it would have been "big data"... now I should think "machine learning" would be the buzzword-compliant featuritis that would be added -- if it was a commercial / proprietary application.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And still, non-signed language packs..

    Main OSX file: signed

    Language pack UK: unsigned. Still forces users to say it's allright, I trust this, which is the EXACT wrong thing to do.

    Sigh. I hope the change is worth it, but I'll keep the old version close at hand. Phrases such as "faster" and "improved" have been used too often by Microsoft to announce and justify absolute dogs, so pardon me for being cautious..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And still, non-signed language packs..

      Update: it's worth it, although you may want to change the icon scheme to something more comfortable (Preferences, LibreOffice, View, Icon size and style, choose anything but "Breeze").

    2. Tom Paine

      Re: And still, non-signed language packs..

      It seems unlikely that a language pack would contain executable code, so it's a pretty low risk. Still, TLS everywhere, and all that

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LibreOffice on OSX: not damaged after all..

    Well, on the Mac it came up as "damaged. let me bin that for you", but that may be due to me applying the UK language pack before I had opened it for the first time.

    Just grabbed it again, installed and started it, then applied language pack and set it up. It's fine now, and *thankfully* no significant changes to the UI (the main reason I switched to LO in the first place).

    As a matter of fact, it looks so much the same (other than a somewhat "flatter" design) thatI'll have to look up what actually changed* :)

    * No, I don't normally install an "major update v1", but LO quality has consistently been so good that I don't consider it a risk to go for a new version. They *earned* that trust IMHO.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: LibreOffice on OSX: not damaged after all..

      "Well, on the Mac it came up as "damaged. let me bin that for you", but that may be due to me applying the UK language pack before I had opened it for the first time."

      That's a long standing problem and really ought to be documented on the language pack download page.

      You've got to open it before applying the language pack so that OS X can check its signature.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me go and check...

    Every recent version of OO/LO has an annoying bug whereby any text annotations you make to a chart in Calc get resized after closing the file and opening it again (and yes, before you ask, the file is saved in .ods format). Let's see if version 5 has fixed this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me go and check...

      Nope, still broken. Also, the problem of painfully slow search&replace is still present which is even more of a deal-breaker and had previously forced me to switch to using OO which doesn't suffer from this bug.

  10. msknight Silver badge

    Making it smarter?

    Oh gods.

    "It looks like you're typing a letter...."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Making it smarter?

      Would you like help?

    2. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Making it smarter?

      "Es sieht wie Sie einen Brief schreiben", surely…?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Making it smarter?

        I think it would be more like "Angeblich schreiben Sie ein Abschiedsbrief"

        Germans do grok black humour, see Martin Perscheid :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Making it smarter?

          Aaaand nobody got that one. Sigh. Now I know how Izzard must feel at times :)

  11. K

    Winds are changing direction.. Should Microsoft be concerned?

    Possibly - I thought my company's network would be stuck with MS Office forever. But after receiving a quote of £30k to renew our OVS, we decided to take a very close look at how MS Office is utilised, we then ran an experiment giving users Libre Office, WPS Office and OWA.

    Interestingly we found that it was feasible to completely replace MS Office for 80% of the company, and staff were more than happy with it. The only issue we had was a few members of staff hated OWA as they didn't get their pop-up calendar reminders.

    So we compromised, we ditched Office Pro Plus, replacing it with Libre Office and Outlook for those 80% of staff, then remaining people got Office standard - We've managed to save about £60k over a 3 year OVS agreement.

    BTW as a side note - Some resellers will tell you Office Standard and Outlook standalone are not available on OVS, don't listen to them, its bollocks!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Winds are changing direction.. Should Microsoft be concerned?

      Your story is exactly why MS is seeking to change their revenue model to subscriptions.

      The whole upgrade sales model is pretty much dead because there isn't really that much more to innovate on the basics of a Wordprocessor unless you want to stray into niche markets, and the move towards any defined file standard (even MS OOXML) pretty much froze the deliberate incompatibility between versions that would make people give in otherwise.

      I've been using Libreoffice for ages now (ironically because a properly bought copy of MS Office failed to work after a harddisk replacement) - quite happy with it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Winds are changing direction.. Should Microsoft be concerned?

      "replacing it with Libre Office and Outlook"

      Any reason for not testing with Thunderbird? Just asking because in my testings with Exchange, Thunderbird had some nice features over Outlook, like when typing the email address in the To: field, Thunderbird would connect to the Exchange and show the adds available. On Outlook you need to "look" for the addresses....

  12. nineworlds

    Whatever happened to LibreOffice Online?

    At one point, the developers were demonstrating LibreOffice running in a web browser, with collaboration baked in so that you could run a cloud collaboration suite on your own servers. Nice proof of concept, but I've seen no mention of it for ages.

    1. 420Penguin

      Re: Whatever happened to LibreOffice Online?

      LO 5 will be the base that the online version will be built upon.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Whatever happened to LibreOffice Online?

      I've seen no mention of it for ages.

      Ah, do not despair! :)

      The changes to the code that brought you LO v5 are apparently in preparation for that. I quote from their features list:

      LibreOffice 5.0 is the corner stone of our mobile clients on Android and Ubuntu Touch as well as our upcoming cloud version. It is also the first version to come in 64 bits for Windows. As such LibreOffice 5 serves as the foundation of our current developments and is a great plaftorm to extend, innovate and collaborate with!

      I'm personally not so keen on the idea, but I can see it being useful in many situations. It helps that they also managed to reduce the code base. Maybe I'm biased, but this new version feels snappier than v4 so I think the upgrade was worth it.

  13. batfastad
    Go

    Go!

    Well done LibreOffice peeps for sticking it to the old OpenOffice codebase. I know OO is still chuntering away under Apache Foundation but there's been more progress in the 4(?) years of LibO than there had been in the previous X of OO under Oracle. Even under Sun it seemed like the project was full of internal political nonsense holding back development.

    I've used LibO as my daily driver office suite for a few years now and it just works. Does everything that my old version of OfficeXP used to. Which it turns out is everything I've ever needed.

    Have converted relatives to LibO too... once I got that goddamn M$ Office bait-n-switch free trial off their new laptops.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go!

      Have converted relatives to LibO too...

      Awesome!!! I only managed to convert their computers!!!

      Hey, it's so late here that it's already Friday..

  14. Trixr

    Sizing tables with the mouse b0rked

    I downloaded the new shininess earlier this week, and gaily started adding tables to the doco, only to find that you can't resize columns or rows with the mouse. According to the bugzilla, they've fixed the columns in the nightlies - which I don't bother with - but not the rows.

    Also, can't embed a table in a text box. Can't recall if it's ever been able to do that (since text boxes were never very good in LibO, although they seem much improved in this version in general).

    Also, yay x64 - working well otherwise so far.

  15. energystar
    Linux

    Es que nadie habla alemán?

    la mia mamma!

    Arigato.

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