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Libre Office: Close, But No Cigar

Written by Gary North on March 6, 2013

We are told by reviews that Libre Office is better than Open Office, which for years has been a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

Why is Libre Office better? Because there are more coders working on it. “But when Oracle bought Sun, legions of developers abandoned OpenOffice, and instead threw in with a forked version called LibreOffice.”

Then there is this.

“They have been coding like mad for years now while OpenOffice.org was checking licenses,” he added. “Really, OpenOffice.org was good, but it seriously lacked useful features like SVG, which Sun sat on for years.”LibreOffice, on the other hand, “made it a much higher priority,” Pogson noted. “They also threw out dead/sub-optimal code, so LibreOffice is pretty smooth these days.”

Then there is this.

Since Oracle is despised in the open-source community, and most of the time for a good reason, OpenOffice stopped being a program of choice for people who wanted a free office suite, and it became LibreOffice.

So, Libre Office has better coding. It has better code-writers.

That’s why Open Office is better, at least for now.

I tried to download Libre Office. It is easy to download Open Office. But Libre Office is not easy to download. You first have to download a pre-installation program.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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5 thoughts on “Libre Office: Close, But No Cigar

  1. I disagree that LibreOffice is not a better product that OpenOffice. If one goes by techie advertising one will be misled as to why LibreOffice is better. Techies love to present "better" in terms of technical abilities, but usually ignore the benefits to end users.

    Installation of LibreOffice is a breeze, but depends on which browser you are using. Click on the Main Installer icon.

    In FireFox a dialog window presents you with the option of saving the installation file or cancel download. This will require an extra step of clicking the install file to run it.

    In Windows Explorer the dialog window presents an extra option to run the file. This option downloads the file in a temp folder and automatically runs the file. No searching for the install file required. I doubt you can get much simpler than this.

    I used OpenOffice for years and have had compatibility issues with regular Microsoft documents. I could not exchange documents with my clients. I kept a copy of Word just in case. I have been using LibreOffice for nearly a year and a half and have not had any compatibility issues with any Microsoft documents. I now do not have MS Office on my system because I never needed it.

    Added to that the support and compatibility of many other features plus the fact that the code gets maintained and updated on a regular schedule makes for a more stable system. I could go on and on, but I only addressed the issues Dr North brought up.

  2. dalek1967 says:

    I'm a Linux user, Gentoo, and installing LibreOffice is no different than installing anything else. So far, I have opened many M$ docs and not had any problems at all.

    Maybe the problem for this guy was the person in the chair driving the mouse?

  3. Sveinung says:

    Most of the developers behind LibreOffice probably use a system that has a system wide package manager. A package manager is a piece of software that downloads, installs and updates all software that is properly installed on the system. I therefore suspect that installation on systems without a system wide package manager, like Windows and OS X, is an afterthought.

    If the people behind LibreOffice care about their share of the Windows and OS X market a friendly reminder will solve the issue. If they don’t they’ll probably accept an offer to help improve the situation from (someone that is hired by) someone that does care about making LibreOffice easy to install on Windows and OS X. See https://www.libreoffice.org/get-involved/ if that someone is you.

  4. Sveinung says:

    I think I misunderstood you. Above I assumed you referred to some kind of installer program when you wrote “pre-installation program”. Did you actually mean a downloading program that can “speak” BitTorrent? In that case: Did you click the link that says “Main installer” or the link that says “Torrent”? If you downloaded the torrent file all you have is instructions for a Bit Torrent client telling it what it should get you until you open it in a Bit Torrent client. Clicking “Main installer” should download LibreOffice using your web browser like you are used to without needing a BitTorrent client. Perhaps “Main installer” isn’t clear enough?

    Bit Torrent is a protocol for downloading that let users download from each other. This is cheaper for server owners that has to pay for the bandwidth he uses. It can also be faster then downloading the entire file from a central server using a web browser if the server’s connection is slow or the client’s connection is fast. (It will seem slow until you have downloaded some parts of the data your BitTorrent client can “trade” for other data)

  5. oblongau says:

    Others have described how there may be some confusion about the use of a "Torrent"(which requires the use of a torrent client) rather than the normal "Main Installer" link which does not require such a "pre-installer" if that's what Dr North was referring to.

    Also, any difficulties with the Web site should not be used to judge the quality of the program itself.