Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.6

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.2.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family, targeted to enterprises and individual users in production environments.

TDF suggests to deploy LibreOffice in large organisations, public administrations and enterprises with the backing of professional support by certified people (a list is available at:
http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.6/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.6/RC2 (fixed in RC2).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.2.6 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Several companies sitting in TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and training, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation.

Statement by The Document Foundation about the upcoming discussion at the City of Munich to step back to Windows and MS Office

The Document Foundation is an independent, charitable entity and the home of LibreOffice. We have followed the developments in Munich with great concerns and like to express our disappointment to see a minority of politicians apparently ignoring the expert advice for which they’ve sought.

Rumours of the City of Munich returning to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office have been regularly leaking since the election of Mayor Dieter Reiter, who was described as a “Microsoft fan” when interviewed by StadtBild magazine in 2014.

Mayor Dieter Reiter asked Accenture, a Microsoft partner, to produce a report about the situation of the City of Munich’s IT infrastructure, that resulted in a 450-page document where the main issues were identified as organizational ones and not related to open source operating systems and applications.

In the age of open data and transparency in political decision making, we are glad that the report is now made available to the general public (https://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII/RII/DOK/SITZUNGSVORLAGE/4277724.pdf).

According to the report, only a minor percentage of users (between 18% and 28%, based on different applications) had severe issues related to software, which could be solved by migrating these users to Windows and MS Office. Incidentally, 15% of users acknowledged severe issues related to MS Office.

In fact, the Accenture report suggests decoupling the operating system and application to reduce dependencies at client level. To ensure this, both Windows and LiMux should be deployed in a basic configuration, which includes operating systems as well as applications, such as LibreOffice, calendar and e-mail, required by all units and self-service providers. The basic configuration should be extended depending on the application.

In spite of the suggestions, on Wednesday, February 15, Munich City Council will discuss a proposal – filed by a minority of city councillors – to install Windows 10 and MS Office 2016 on all workstations by 2020. This would cost taxpayers close to 90 million euro over the next six years, with a 35% aggravation over the 66 million euro figure suggested by Accenture.

In addition, according to estimates provided by Green Party councillors, another 15 million euros should be spent to replace or upgrade PCs which are perfect for a small footprint operating system such as Linux, but cannot support even a Windows 10 basic configuration.

Last, but not least, most expenditures related to the purchase of Microsoft licenses will contribute to the GDP of Ireland (where all Microsoft products sold in Europe are sourced from) rather than to local enterprises who support the open source solutions deployed today. This is a rather striking difference in the allocation of taxpayers money, which should be carefully considered.

Apart from the cost aggravation, the proposal under discussion ignores the main reason behind the decision to migrate from proprietary to open source software by the City of Munich, i.e. independence from a single software vendor and the move from proprietary to standard document formats.

In fact, although the proposal associates MS Office document formats with the “industry standard” concept, it should be clear that all MS Office documents are proprietary and obfuscated, and therefore inappropriate for interoperability, even when they have been recognized by international standard bodies such as ISO. A standard document format, to be considered as such, must be implemented in the real world and not only described on paper.

If the current proposal will be approved, the City of Munich will not only lose the vendor independence it has sought over the last dozen of years, but will pursue a strategy which ignores the current trend mandating open document standards in countries such as UK, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Taiwan.

Instead of investing in the education about open document standards, to increase the adoption and thus reduce interoperability costs, the City of Munich will adopt a pseudo-standard document format which is known to create issues even when upgrading from a previous release of the same MS Office software.

Based on the above considerations, The Document Foundation thinks that the proposal to be discussed on Wednesday, February 15, represents a significant step backwards for the City of Munich, with a substantial increase in expenditure, an unknown amount of hidden cost related to interoperability, and a questionable usage of taxpayers money.

The Document Foundation announces feature-rich LibreOffice 5.3

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3, one of the most feature-rich releases in the history of the application. The office suite is immediately available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and for the first time also for the private cloud.

LibreOffice 5.3 represents a significant step forward in the evolution of the software: it offers an introduction to new features such as online with collaborative editing, which increase the competitive positioning of the application, and at the same time provides incremental improvements, to make the program more reliable, interoperable and user-friendly.

“LibreOffice is backed by a fantastic community of developers”, says Michael Meeks, a member of the board of The Document Foundation. “In 2010, only a few people were betting on our capability of attracting a large number of code contributors, which are instrumental for the success of a large code base. In six years we have attracted over 1,100 new developers and, thanks to this large community, during the last two years we have had an average of 300 people active on the source code”.

LibreOffice 5.3 highlights

LibreOffice 5.3 offers a number of interesting new features in every area: a new cross-platform text layout engine that uses HarfBuzz for consistent text layout on all platforms, with significant advantages across languages and alphabets; a revised Help menu, with new quick links to user guides and community support forums, for an improved user experience; and better import/export filters to new and legacy MS Office documents.

Writer now supports Table Styles, for applying formatting to a table which is preserved when you make edits to it; a new Page Deck in the sidebar lets the user quickly customise page settings without having to go through a separate dialog box; and a new Go to Page Box makes it possible to jump to another page in the document with just a few keystrokes.

Calc provides a new set of default cell styles, with greater variety and better names than in previous releases; in fresh installations, “Enable wildcards in formulas” is now the default option, rather than regular expressions, to improve compatibility with other spreadsheet software; and a new text entry box lets the user narrow down the functions he is looking for, and simplifies the search for the right one.

Impress now opens with a template selector, to get the user off to a quick start; and a new Slide Properties Deck is now available in the sidebar while in slide master mode.

A list of the most significant new features is available in a separate document (http://tdf.io/lo53features) and is presented in a series of short videos (http://tdf.io/53vids). A page with the top new features is also available on the website at http://www.libreoffice.org/discover/new-features/.

LibreOffice 5.3 has also been improved “under the hood,” thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers. This translates into an open source office suite which is easier to develop, maintain and debug. Although this is not visible to users, it is extremely important for enterprise deployments.

LibreOffice is deployed by large organizations in every continent. A list of the most significant migrations announced in the media is available here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_Migrations.

LibreOffice Online

LibreOffice 5.3 features the first source release of LibreOffice Online, a cloud office suite which provides basic collaborative editing of documents in a browser by re-using the LibreOffice “core engine”. Rendering fidelity is excellent, and interoperability matches that of LibreOffice.

LibreOffice Online is fundamentally a server service and should be installed and configured by adding a cloud storage and an SSL certificate, which are not included in the solution. It might be considered an enabling technology for the public cloud of ISPs or the private cloud of enterprises and large organizations.

Builds of the latest LibreOffice Online source code are available as Docker images: https://hub.docker.com/r/libreoffice/online/.

A background document providing the positioning of LibreOffice Online is available here: http://tdf.io/loonlineback.

Experimental UI features

Starting from the 5.3 family, LibreOffice UI has been extended with the addition of an experimental Notebookbar, which offers another UI option in addition to the Default UI (with two toolbars), the Single Toolbar UI and the Sidebar with a Single Toolbar. Each UI layout has been thought to serve a different cluster of LibreOffice users.

LibreOffice UI is code named MUFFIN, an acronym for My User-Friendly & Flexible INterface. A background document explaining the UI concept is available here: http://tdf.io/muffinback.

Availability and enterprise deployments

LibreOffice 5.3 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users.

For enterprise class deployments, TDF maintains the more mature 5.2.5 version, which should be supported by certified professionals according to best practices recognized worldwide (http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

LibreOffice 5.3 is immediately available from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates, and all community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Press Kit and Screenshots

The press kit, with background documents and high-resolution images, can be downloaded from http://tdf.io/lo53presskit. Screenshots can be downloaded from http://tdf.io/lo53screenshots.

Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.5

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.2.5 “still”, the fifth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family. Based on the upcoming announcement of LibreOffice 5.3, all users are invited to update to LibreOffice 5.2.5 from LibreOffice 5.1.6 or previous versions.

TDF suggests deploying LibreOffice in large organizations, public administrations and enterprises with the backing of professional support by certified people (a list is available at http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

Road to LibreOffice 5.3

LibreOffice 5.3 will be announced in less than a week, on February 1st, 2017. Users can start learning about the new features on LibreOffice 5.3 Release Notes page (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.3).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.2.5 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh/. LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Several companies sitting in TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and training, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation.

Let’s celebrate with LibreOffice 5.2.4

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.4 “still”, the fourth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family. Based on the upcoming announcement of LibreOffice 5.3, all users can start to update to LibreOffice 5.2.4 from LibreOffice 5.1.6 or previous versions.

TDF suggests deploying LibreOffice in large organizations, public administrations and enterprises with the backing of professional support by certified people (a list is available at: http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

Road to LibreOffice 5.3

With the availability of LibreOffice 5.3 RC1, the project has entered the last stage of the road to LibreOffice 5.3, which will be announced on February 1st, 2017. In the meantime, we have announced the UI concept: https://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2016/12/21/the-document-foundation-announces-the-muffin-a-new-tasty-user-interface-concept-for-libreoffice/.

Users can start learning about the new exciting features on LibreOffice 5.3 Release Notes page (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.3). The page will be updated until the very last minute.

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.2.4 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh/.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Several companies sitting on TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and trainings, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice has a new Extensions & Templates website

The Document Foundation announces the new Extensions & Templates website, which offers an improved user experience to both developers and end users: https://extensions.libreoffice.org/. The resource is now based on the latest version of the Plone open source Content Management System, and has been both coordinated and developed by Andreas Mantke, deputy member of the board at The Document Foundation.

“Two of LibreOffice’s most distinctive characteristics are the possibility of adding features through extensions, and improving quality and consistency of documents thanks to templates”, says Andreas Mantke. “After six years, we decided to refresh the existing resource, to make it easier for developers to upload their files, and for end users to search and download them. I’d love to see an increasing number of contributors uploading extensions and templates”.

LibreOffice Extensions & Templates website offers 304 extensions, with 678 different releases, and 339 templates, with 376 releases. The three most popular extensions are: “Clipart gallery of danger signs”, “Copy only visible cells” and “LanguageTool”. The three most popular templates are: “Personal Budget Template”, “Simple FAX Template” and “LibreOffice Presentation Templates”. A large number of available resources have been contributed by end users.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Second Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 5.3

LibreOffice 5.3 will be announced at the end of January 2017, with a large number of new features which are summarized on the release notes page: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.3. In order to find, report and triage bugs, the QA team is organizing a second bug hunting session on Friday, November 25, 2016. Tests will be performed on the Beta version of LibreOffice 5.3, which will be available on the pre-releases server (http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/pre-releases/) a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), MacOS and Windows, and will run in parallel with the production version.

Mentors will be available on November 25, 2016, from 8AM UTC to 10PM UTC. Of course, hunting bugs will be possible also on other days, as the builds of this particular Beta release (LibreOffice 5.3.0 Beta1) will be available until mid December.

During the day there will be two dedicated sessions: the first to chase bugs on the main LibreOffice modules between 3PM UTC and 5PM UTC, and the second to test a set of the top 7 features between 5PM UTC and 7PM UTC. All details of the second bug hunting session are available on the specific wiki page: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/QA/BugHuntingSession/5.3.0Beta1.

During the dedicated sessions, we will concentrate all efforts to chase and reproduce the bugs, in order to confirm and file them in a more comprehensive way. Of course, the more comprehensive will be the bug report, the easier will be for the developers to solve the bugs in time for the final release.

Announcement of LibreOffice 5.2.3

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.3 “fresh”, the third minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family, representing the bleeding edge in term of features and as such targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users.

For all other users and especially for enterprise deployments, TDF suggests LibreOffice 5.1.6 “still”, with the backing of professional support by certified people (a list is available at: http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.3/RC1 (fixed in RC1), https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.3/RC2 (fixed in RC2), and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.2.3/RC3 (fixed in RC3).

Road to LibreOffice 5.3

With the availability of the LibreOffice 5.3 Alpha, the project has entered the road to LibreOffice 5.3, which will be announced at the end of January 2017. The next step in the process will be the release of LibreOffice 5.3 Beta around the end of November, and the announcement of the user interface concept.

Users can start learning about the new exciting features on LibreOffice 5.3 Release Notes page (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/5.3). The page will be updated for the next month, when the feature set will be frozen for the final quality assurance activity and the preparation of launch materials.

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.2.3 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh/.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Several companies sitting in TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and trainings, based on best practices distilled by The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice 5.1.6 available for download

The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.1.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.1 family launched in January 2016, targeted at individual users and enterprise deployments. Users of previous LibreOffice releases should start planning the update to the new version.

For enterprise deployments, The Document Foundation suggests the backing of professional support by certified developers, migrators and trainers (the full list is available at: http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/).

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.1.6/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.1.6/RC2 (fixed in RC2).

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.1.6 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-still/.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org.

Several companies sitting on TDF Advisory Board (http://www.documentfoundation.org/governance/advisory-board/) are providing either value added Long Term Supported versions of LibreOffice or consultancy services for migrations and trainings, based on best practices detailed by The Document Foundation.

First LibreOffice 5.3 BugHunting Session

LibreOffice is approaching the 5.3 release season with the first bug hunting session, on Friday, October 21, 2016. Tests will be performed on the Alpha version of LibreOffice 5.3, which will be available on the pre-releases server (http://dev-builds.libreoffice.org/pre-releases/) a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), MacOS and Windows, and will run in parallel with the actual installation.

Mentors will be available on October 21, 2016, from 8AM UTC to 10PM UTC. Of course, hunting bugs will be possible also on other days, as the builds of this particular Alpha release (LibreOffice 5.3.0 Alpha) will be available until the end of November.

During the day there will be two dedicated sessions: the first to chase bugs on the four main LibreOffice modules – Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw – between 3PM UTC and 5PM UTC, and the second to test the top 10 features between 5PM UTC and 7PM UTC. The list of the top 10 features will be decided during the week before the session, and will be added to the wiki page.

During the dedicated sessions, we will concentrate all efforts to chase and reproduce the bugs, in order to confirm and file them in a more comprehensive way. Of course, the more comprehensive will be the bug report, the easier will be for the developers to solve the bugs in time for the final release.

As usual, there is a page on the wiki (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/QA/BugHuntingSession/5.3.0Alpha) with all the details about the bug hunting session. You should visit the page before October 21, 2016, as further details will be added while getting closer to the date of the event.