Open Source LibreOffice 4 Debuts – This Isn’t OpenOffice Anymore

From the ‘Fork that Lives’ files:

LibreOffice 4.0 is now generally available and in my mind, it truly marks the endLIbreOffice of legacy.

Though LibreOffice started out as a fork of OpenOffice is has evolved to become so much more. The new LibreOffice 4 feels faster, because it is. It has more features than before too. Though to be honest my biggest pet peeve with OOo was also the speed of startup, which is no longer a problem with LibreOffice.

LibreOffice 4.0 is intended to be the first of a new generation – breaking from the 3.x series, which grew up in the shadow of its OpenOffice originator.

I mostly use Writer and it has felt pretty stable and feature rich to me for at least a year. The new CMISstandard integration is interesting as it will enable users to collaborate with systems such as, Alfresco, IBM FileNet P8, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, Nuxeo, OpenText, and the SAP NetWeaver Cloud Service. There have also been some improvements to interop with DOCX and RTF documents, though i’ve not had much difficulty with the majority of files i’ve received in those formats either.

The continuous evolution of LibreOffice – getting rid of all the cruft and legacy decay that was OpenOffice truly is the big story for me here.

“During the last seven months, since the branch of LibreOffice 3.6 and during the entire development cycle of LibreOffice 4.0, developers have made over 10,000 commits,” Italo Vignoli of TDF wrote. ” On average, one commit every 30 minutes, including weekends and the holiday season: a further testimonial of the incredible vitality of the project.”

To be fair, OpenOffice has moved on too – Under Apache, it’s doing much better than it was under Oracle alone, but it’s vitality is still not nearly as widespread (esp in the Linux community) anymore and perhaps ever again.


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

News Around the Web