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LibreOffice 3.3 released, first since OpenOffice split

More enhancements scheduled for February 2011
LibreOffice Calc now has hierarchical axis labels for charts

LibreOffice Calc now has hierarchical axis labels for charts

LibreOffice, the fork of the open source OpenOffice.org productivity suite, has released it first stable product in version 3.3, now available for download.

LibreOffice is a project of the newly formed The Document Foundation which started in September last year following Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the principal sponsor of the OpenOffice.org project.

Since its inception, LibreOffice has grown from 20 to more than 100 contributors, many of whom left the OpenOffice.org community project.

“This has allowed us to release ahead of the aggressive schedule set by the project,” according to The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice 3.3 has undergone a “major clean-up” of its legacy code base and the Windows installer has been reduced from 75 to 11GB.

Caolán McNamara from Red Hat, a LibreOffice developer community leader, said the first stable release will integrate user feedback as soon as possible into the code, with the first enhancements scheduled for release in February.

“Starting from March, we will be moving to a real time-based, predictable, transparent and public release schedule, in accordance with [the] engineering steering committee's goals and users' requests,” McNamara said.

The LibreOffice development roadmap is available at: http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan

New features of LibreOffice 3.3 include:

  • Support for SVG files
  • Easy formatting of title pages and their numbering in Writer
  • An improved Navigator Tool for Writer
  • Improved ergonomics in Calc for sheet and cell management
  • Microsoft Works and Lotus Word Pro document import filters

The release also bundles extensions for PDF import, a slide-show presenter console and a much improved report builder.

A detailed list of all the new features in LibreOffice 3.3 is online at: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/new-features-and-fixes/.

LibreOffice developers claim to have met feature parity with OpenOffice.org 3.3 (still in release candidate), including new fonts, 1 million rows in a spreadsheet, improved slide layout handling in Impress and a new easier-to-use print interface.

According to the developers, several of these new features were contributed by members of the LibreOffice team prior to the formation of The Document Foundation.

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More about: Microsoft, OpenOffice, OpenOffice.org, Oracle, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems
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