[Solved] Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development

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[Solved] Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development

Postby LastUnicorn » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:39 pm

The reason I'm asking is because I've read some comments on the web that keep saying that people expect AOO to fold. I'm just wondering if that is true or if AOO is in a healthy state with a future ahead of it.

Also I'm thinking of switching from LibreOffice to Apache OpenOffice and am wondering if that is a wise move.
Last edited by LastUnicorn on Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby FJCC » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:03 pm

The voting to approve the next version, 4.1.3, completed on Saturday so there is certainly some activity. And a release manager has stepped forward for 4.1.4. The withdrawal of IBM's support was a big shock that led to considerable turmoil. A small group of developers with a good working relationship now seems to have emerged.
Much of what you read about the OpenOffice/LibreOffice situation is strongly influenced by hard feelings from the split several years ago. It has all the accuracy of a man describing his ex-wife.
Use whichever software you like better. If you store in the Open Document formats, you will be able to switch to other software later if you want.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:04 pm

AOO is creeping at a pace of one bug fix release per year.
LastUnicorn wrote:Also I'm thinking of switching from LibreOffice to Apache OpenOffice and am wondering if that is a wise move.

May I ask why you think that AOO could be any better than LO? Just curious.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby LastUnicorn » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:45 pm

Villeroy wrote:May I ask why you think that AOO could be any better than LO? Just curious.


I don't think that AOO would necessarily be better than LO (except in one regard). However, there is the issue of support which, for an ordinary user like myself, is pretty much down to official documentation and forums. Recently the LO Unofficial forum folded - pity because it was actually a pretty good forum. For specifically LO that only leaves the ask.libreoffice "forum" which to say the least is not well laid out (unlike this AOO forum) and, in my opinion, is pretty well unusable. So for that reason I am thinking of going (back to) AOO - if I run into problems then the better route to forum help is here.

There is though one thing that I know about in AOO that is different from LO. I like to use a light-ish green colour as my document background. I also like to always view paragraph end markers (the kind of reversed P symbol) in my documents. With LO if I set the document to a light green colour then LO automatically turns those paragraph end markers into a powder-blue colour. Problem is that powder-blue colour is difficult to see on the green background and I find that immensely irritating. I've looked all over for a solution to this but it seems there isn't one - their is no control over the colour of those paragraph end markers. However, AOO will let me use the green background and doesn't change the colour of the paragraph end markers - they stay black and are easy to see because of that on the green background. So, though it might sound like only a cosmetic issue to some people, I give AOO an up-tick for acting in that way.

May I ask the question in reverse direction: If you use AOO why do you prefer it over LO?
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:00 pm

You can ask LO related questions here.
With LO if I set the document to a light green colour then LO automatically turns those paragraph end markers into a powder-blue colour.

Possibly there is a solution. I don't know.
At work we use LO because of better MS "compatibility" and because "my girls" prefer the green one over the blue one.
On my home PC I prefer AOO because I don't care about MS "compatibility" and LO changed the user interface too much. I always have a hard time trying to use LO without touching the mouse. The AOO menues, the shortcuts and the mnemonics (underlined characters in the menues) are almost the same since many years.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby LastUnicorn » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:23 pm

Okay, many thanks for the responses.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby RoryOF » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:27 pm

OO4.1.3 should release very soon (hours/days)
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby acknak » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:34 pm

TBH, if AOO never made another improvement, I'd still prefer it. I applaud LibO's effort, especially in cleaning up some of the development issues, but the UI changes are jarring and annoying. There are too many changes for too little real improvement.

This won't last forever; eventually AOO will just be too far behind, but it could last a long time.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:42 pm

Your issue with the blue colored non-printable characters is a typical LO issue. A double-edged, not so well thought modification. Somebody wanted to distinguish the non-printables from the printable characters because ... eeerrr ... well, some users are irritated by non-printables, don't know what to do with them nor how to turn them off. When implementing this feature, nobody thought of changing background colors.
AOO simply displays the non-printables in the same color as the other characters in the same text snippet so the readability is the same.
I can not find any color setting for this particular feature. But this would not be the first new LO feature where a configuration option has been added later.
https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/index.cgi is the one and only place where things can be changed.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby LastUnicorn » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:01 pm

Villeroy wrote:https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/index.cgi is the one and only place where things can be changed.

Thanks. Seems this is an old argument for LO from (so far) June 2014 to Sep 2015 and it ended inconclusively (from my reading of it): https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=80054.

So, if I want get my oar in, then I need to join LO BugZilla and add a plea to that thread.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:28 pm

Thank you for digging out the issue. I added a vote for configurability and a link to this discussion.
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:56 pm

You may be interested in this topic: Contemplating the possible retirement of Apache OpenOffice. It should explain the comments you've seen on the web.

Since then, the version 4.1.3 has been sped up and is about to be released.
So no, AOO needs some energy but it's not dying.
Even it had to die, I would stay with AOO.

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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby RoryOF » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:05 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:Since then, the version 4.1.3 has been sped up and is about to be released.
So no, AOO needs some energy but it's not dying.
Even it had to die, I would stay with AOO.


Agreed - AOO is very stable and its display suits me. A Release Manager has just been appointed for a forthcoming AOO 4.1.4
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Re: Is Apache OpenOffice Still Under Active Development?

Postby LastUnicorn » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:25 pm

In case anyone is interested in this non-printing characters (NPCs) colour issue in LO. I just stumbled across a solution to the NPCs being the horrible blue colour they are. That said the solution then raises an issue all of its own.

To get the NPCs to show up black (not blue) launch Writer then go menu:

Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Accessibility > Options for High Contrast Appearance > Use automatic font colour for screen display

And put a tick in that box. Once done click “OK” to exit the Options. Then shut down Writer. Then re-launch Writer. Now the NPCs will show up as black. Fine that’s a solution to the NPCs colour problem.

However, now if you enter in any text that is a font colour different to the default (“Automatic”) colour then the text will not show up as the colour you chose – you will actually be entering text in the font colour you chose, it just won’t display as such. To get it to display you need to go back to the setting described above, untick it, shut down Writer, then re-launch Writer. Now your different colour font will be displayed - but you’ll be back with the blue NPCs again. :crazy:

As I don’t use different font colours this isn’t an issue for me but it might be for some folks.
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