Yesterday the LibreOffice developers released their 4.0.0 milestone. This is essentially the same code as the 3rd Release Candidate for which I dropped some testing packages a few days ago.
Quoting the announcement, “LibreOffice 4.0.0 is the first release that reflects the objectives set by the community at the time of the announcement” (On 28 September 2010, several members of the OpenOffice.org project formed a new group called “The Document Foundation” and forked LibreOffice from their former project). These objectives are (quoting again): “a cleaner and leaner code base, an improved set of features, better interoperability, and a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem“.
The most important highlights of this version 4.0.0 are:
- Integration with several content and document management systems – including Alfresco, IBM FileNet P8, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, Nuxeo, OpenText, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service and others – through the CMIS standard.
- Better interoperability with DOCX and RTF documents, thanks to several new features and improvements like the possibility of importing ink annotations and attaching comments to text ranges.
- Possibility to import Microsoft Publisher documents, and further improvement of Visio import filters with the addition of 2013 version (just announced).
- Additional UI incremental improvements, including Unity integration and support of Firefox Themes (Personas) to give LibreOffice a personalized look.
- Introduction of the widget layout technique for dialog windows, which makes it easier to translate, resize and hide UI elements, reduces code complexity, and lays a foundation for a much improved user interface.
- Different header and footer on the first page of a Writer document, without the need of a separate page style.
- Several performance improvements to Calc, plus new features such as export of charts as images (JPG and PNG) and new spreadsheet functions as defined in ODF OpenFormula.
- First release of Impress Remote Control App for Android, supported only on some Linux distributions. (The second release, coming soon, will be supported on all platforms: Windows, MacOS X and all Linux distros and binaries.)
- Significant performance improvements when loading and saving many types of documents, with particular improvements for large ODS and XLSX spreadsheets and RTF files.
- Improved code contribution thanks to Gerrit: a web based code review system, facilitating the task for projects using Git version control system (although this is not specific of LibreOffice 4.0, it has entered the production stage just before the 4.0 branch).
You can read the “features and fixes” page if you want to learn the full scope of the new release.
Of course, the best way to experience this new feature set is to download and install packages which have been built on and for Slackware natively!
I rebuilt the “RC3” packages which I already had, this time also compiling a dictionary for every language pack, using a newly added LibreOffice “dictionaries” source tarball (the total number of source archives has still shrunk to four). I checked with other distro packages but so far, nobody seems to be incorporating these new dictionaries. I can not tell you anything about their quality yet, so what I would appreciate is if you comment on what you think of the quality of dictionary available in the language pack you install. If you are not happy with the included dictionary you can always download and install one of the dictionaries found at the LibreOffice extensions site.
Please note that LibreOffice 4 stores its configuration in a new numbered directory, “~/.config/libreoffice/4/” and I have not found a way to automatically migrate the settings from the old “3” directory. If you find a way, let me know in a reply to this blog.
Packages can be downloaded from one of the mirrors, and keep in mnd that they were built on Slackware 14, which will make them unfit for Slackware 13.37 or earlier (but of course the packages will work on slackware-current):
- http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/libreoffice/ (my own mirror)
Remember, you can subscribe to the repository’s RSS feed if you want to be the first to know when new packages are uploaded.