Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

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Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Handel » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:10 pm

I humbly ask you not to take this post as an attack. I really want to understand. I haven't yet found an answer to this question anywhere else. The best I could find was claims that AOO is more stable than LibreOffice, but not much more.

You could even make this post sticky such that anyone visiting this forum understands your reasons, from different perspectives, namely:

  • I'm a developer who wants to contribute to free software (I really am a developer, by the way). Why should I spend time developing AOO? Wouldn't my time be better spent contributing features or bug fixes to other, more popular projects?
  • I'm a user. Why should I use OpenOffice instead of other alternatives?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby RusselB » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:07 pm

Welcome to the Forums.
Generally speaking there are few, if any, AOO developers that actually visit these forums, thus there will be no to little commentary regarding the first category you have mentioned (developer's pov)
As to the second category, from a user's pov, you may get more responses. Some people prefer AOO for the layout.. No "ribbons" as some of the other options are turning to.
LibreOffice, to my knowledge, is, was, and will be supported and, if needed, recommended to any user that is having trouble doing something in AOO that is: 1) Impossible to do in AOO, but doable in LibreOffice (eg: saving in .???x format) ow 2) Harder to do in AOO, but easier in LibreOffice (eg: Multiple conditional formats in Calc)

The main focus for these forums, is Apache OpenOffice, part of the reason the Apache OpenOffice mark is at the top left corner of your screen (unless you've scrolled down far enough that it can't be seen).
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:26 pm

There are many millions users of OpenOffice who never heard of LibreOffice. They would sit in the dark when they notice that Apache OpenOffice has died. And guess what they would do?
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Handel » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:33 pm

Villeroy wrote:There are many millions users of OpenOffice who never heard of LibreOffice. They would sit in the dark when they notice that Apache OpenOffice has died. And guess what they would do?

Why don't just redirect to the LibreOffice website? (again, I'm trying to understand)
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Handel » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:41 pm

RusselB wrote:The main focus for these forums, is Apache OpenOffice, part of the reason the Apache OpenOffice mark is at the top left corner of your screen (unless you've scrolled down far enough that it can't be seen).

In my view, separating software projects from their real-world contexts and ecosystems is not a good idea, and that includes competing products.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:11 am

Your question has much similarity with "Why does Boeing make aeroplanes while Airbus exists?"

Each thinks their planes are best.

Users are free to choose - let them do so.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:38 am

IMHO, AOO is more stable because LibO is more dev oriented, with more features implemented, perhpas too quickly sometimes (just saying that based on others feedback since I don't use LibO).

Just remember that if you contribute to AOO, your code can be used in LibO. The opposite is not possible.
AOO suffers a slow progress but it's not dead at all.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby keme » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:09 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:...
Just remember that if you contribute to AOO, your code can be used in LibO. The opposite is not possible.
...

This may be the most important reason to choose the Apache development camp over Libre.

As I gathered, the main reason why developers moved away when OOo became AOO was the procedures Apache has established for their developer community. The devs were bothered by the red tape, and wanted freedom for their creativity. This is also reflected in the "Libre" part of the name, and the more "aggressive" development strategy of LO.

There is also a choice made for storage format, which may be important to you. In brief:
ODF is an ISO standard for storing office-type documents as files in a computer system. MS Office supports this format, but will warn you when opening ODF files created by non-MS software.
ODF extended is a "standard" which reflects the proposed and published developments of the ODF standard. AOO and LO both use "extended" as the default. (It is not clear to me whether "LO extended" is the same as "AOO extended", but I have lived well under the assumptions that they are the same.)

Microsoft went from their proprietary doc/xls/ppt/etc. file formats to the published OOXML format around the same time when ODF was approved by ISO.
OOXML (strict) is currently an ISO standard for storing office-type documents as files in a computer system, approved by ISO's "fast-track process" (rephrased "sidetrack process" by some people, for good reason) some months after ODF was approved.
OOXML (transitional) is a proposed ISO standard for storing office-type documents as files in a computer system. It is approved by ISO as a transitional solution for Microsoft, to allow support for existing functionality in Office software, but not as a general format for Office documents.

AOO can open some OOXML files, but will not save to this format. LO will open and save OOXML files. I do not know, for either title, whether this support is limited to the "strict" spec or also extends into "transitional" territory.
By default, MS Office will use the transitional "standard", and there have been cases (and I am sure that more will follow) of Microsoft adding new features to their software before the spec for those features are published. (Hence the quote marks around "standard" in this sentence.) The politics inherent in the distinction between "Strict" and "Transitional" will elude the typical user, and as it seems, also the typical developer (who will of course understand the technical distinction). So, people in general will want to use the OOXML transitional, because "everyone does". This opens LibreOffice to the EEE strategy (Embrace, Extend, Exterminate). You expect to work with the same formats as in MS Office, and are often met with situations where you can't. LibreOffice may grow a reputation as a "poor man's Office suite" from this, even though it has a complete toolset, because it can't handle the MS elements created with unpublished extensions.
With AOO you make a more restrictive choice, but also one which is less vulnerable to EEE. You are more conscious about the MS formats being "foreign", and (more or less) force yourself to work mainly in the ODF realm.
Last edited by keme on Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:15 pm

keme wrote:AOO can open some OOXML files, but will not save to this format. LO will open and save OOXML files. I do not know, for either title, whether this support is limited to the "strict" spec or also extends into "transitional" territory.

keme

I think that should be "AOO can open all OOXML files but AOO does not support the "transitional" content which is ignored".

See Items 8 and 9 in [Tutorial] Differences between Writer and MS Word files for a discussion of this very point. AOO has, I believe, support only for Strict OOXML. LO has support for Textboxes which are "transitional" but LO does not have full support for everything in "transitional".

Differences between files.png
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Bill » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:59 pm

I prefer AOO because it does what I need it to do and the user interface is stable. I don't need any of the new features of LO and I definitely don't like having to search for the old features which LO has moved or renamed.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby RoryOF » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:03 pm

I agree with Bill. AOO works for me for what I do; there is an old rule about not changing horses mid-stream. Also, I dislike religious wars.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:23 pm

Well, for me AOO it stopped working on Ubuntu Linux. https://bz.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=127710#c10
I aggree that most of the UI changes in LO are bad but I've got things to. As a hobbyist programmer I can adjust my mind to interfaces whereas the LO developers try to do the opposite.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby orangeli » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:36 am

I used to think it is important to have both AOO and LO for variety.
But I have changed my mind.
I also see no reason to maintain what is more a clone than an original and unique office suite.
The development is also pathetically slow.
A merge with LO seems like the best option.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:21 pm

orangeli wrote:I used to think it is important to have both AOO and LO for variety.
But I have changed my mind.
I also see no reason to maintain what is more a clone than an original and unique office suite.
The development is also pathetically slow.
A merge with LO seems like the best option.


Let me rewrite that slightly so you can see the idiocy of what you have written

I used to think it is important to have both Boeing and Airbus for variety.
But I have changed my mind.
I also see no reason to maintain what is more a clone than an original and unique aeroplane company.
The development is also pathetically slow.
A merge with Airbus seems like the best option.

Or

I used to think it is important to have both Ford and General Motors for variety.
But I have changed my mind.
I also see no reason to maintain what is more a clone than an original and unique car company.
The development is also pathetically slow.
A merge with General Motors seems like the best option.

And, incidentally, how can AOO possibly be a clone of LO? AOO came first. LOis a clone of AOO and started out with AOO code which LO is now modifying.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:05 pm

You mean a motor company that maintains no more than its own museum, show room and owners club?
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby orangeli » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:08 pm

@John_Ha
What I meant, at a glance (and beyond) AOO and LO look the same.
There are differences under the hood, but they are negligible IMHO.
Indeed, LO forked from AOO so technically AOO is no clone.
But I would LOVE to see the code sharing between projects terminating.
And AOO with a totally different GUI than LO, and totally different approach than LO etc.
So even in a glance it will be clear the two have (almost) nothing in common.
As long as there are no radical differences between the suites, there is very very little justification for their coexistence.
Hope I am clear :)
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:05 pm

I don't find that many reports about stability issues with LO. LO can start in a "safe mode" after a crash and it offers to reset the user profile for you. AOO lacks stability and adjustments to recent changes in its respective environments. For instance, AOO can not open a remote files like smb:server/path/file.odt unless it the resource is mounted to a drive letter or a Unix mount point, thus being addressable like a local file. AOO has a lot of unspecific issues with Windows 10. I've never read about anything similar with LO on W10. A huge amount of beginners questions on this forum can be solved easily by simply installing LO where the spreadsheet syntax can work like in MS Excel and MS file formats are covered more extensively and which interfaces flawlessly with the default 64-bit Java runtime suggested by java.com. And yes, even though many new features are somewhat questionable, some of the new features in LO are awsome and long waited for.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:16 pm

Villeroy wrote: AOO has a lot of unspecific issues with Windows 10. I've never read about anything similar with LO on W10.

That is interesting.

It could be because Windows 10 Windows Defender includes C:\Program Files\LibreOffice\program\soffice.bin as an acceptable file but does not include C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenOffice 4\program\soffice.bin.

Bingo! Windows 10 causes problems with AOO but not with LO.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:44 pm

MS defender maintains a list of privileged program files? :shock:
If so, why can't AOO be a member of that list?
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby keme » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:01 pm

Villeroy wrote:MS defender maintains a list of privileged program files? :shock:
If so, why can't AOO be a member of that list?

Probably because we (sic! ;) ) never asked.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:41 pm

Villeroy wrote:MS defender maintains a list of privileged program files? :shock:
If so, why can't AOO be a member of that list?

I am guessing as I don't use W10. It does suggest that Defender has a list of approved programs.

Micro$oft decides what is on the list and the user then adds others (s)he says are safe. For AOO to be on the list you are assuming a measure of competence by Micro$oft.

I am a bit confused between Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Defender Security Centre. The problem might be with Windows Defender Antivirus.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Bill » Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:59 pm

AFAIK, LO is not on the "approved programs list". It wasn't when I was using Windows 10. LO even has FAQ's about installing and using LO on Windows 10.

Installing LibreOffice on Windows with Defender Controlled folder access feature enabled

Setting up Defender Controlled folder access exception for LibreOffice
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:10 pm

Bill

That is useful. It appears that the first link you post is for problems when LO is being installed.

It is the second link which is for problems when LO (or AOO) is running and files cannot be written to disk. It says:

Controlled folder access monitors apps for activities that may be malicious. Sometimes it might block a legitimate app from making legitimate changes to your files.

Yes - we have spotted that :crazy:

It then says:

Important

By default, Windows adds apps that it considers friendly to the allowed list - apps added automatically by Windows are not recorded in the list shown in the Windows Security app or by using the associated PowerShell cmdlets. You shouldn't need to add most apps. Only add apps if they are being blocked and you can verify their trustworthiness.

So this seems to be where AOO gets crippled by Micro$oft - it is presumably not on the list.

I wonder if Controlled folder access is something which can be switched ON or OFF? If so, it would explain why some users are not affected and some, namely those who have it ON, are affected.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:27 pm

See [Tutorial]Problems with Windows Defender under Windows 10.

Please add any information you may have to the thread and I will incorporate it and put the Tutorial on the Tutorial pages.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby RoryOF » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:28 pm

I have no personal experience of this, as I am not a Windows 10 (or Windows anything) user. Might it be possible to write a batch file or a small application that inserted the permissions for Oo into the permissions list? Such a file/application could be distributed with a later version of OO; but also made available as a post-problem remedy pending such distribution. Or is the permissions list locked?
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:30 pm

RoryOF wrote:Might it be possible to write a batch file or a small application that inserted the permissions for Oo into the permissions list?

I doubt it because, if it was possible to write to the file(s), a hacker could do so and enable his attack.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby RoryOF » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:30 pm

Thanks - typed this morning before brain/fingers in gear. Corrected.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:23 pm

RoryOF wrote:Thanks - typed this morning before brain/fingers in gear. Corrected.

You are running Linux where user #0 (root) can type all kinds of confidential information into plain text configuration files. Everything is stored in (encrypted) files and user #0 has full access to all files and all keys.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Villeroy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:38 pm

According to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/window ... ed-folders the following powershell command should do the job:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Add-MpPreference -ControlledFolderAccessAllowedApplications "c:\apps\test.exe"

requires admin privileges.
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Re: Why keep the AOO project alive when LibreOffice exists?

Postby Lupp » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:46 pm

John_Ha wrote:Your question has much similarity with "Why does Boeing make aeroplanes while Airbus exists?"

Not much similarity, imo. If a plane lacks a nose wheel you will see. You can count the seats and check the size of the cargo bay. Then you make your decision (as the represenatnt of an airline) what's best for your needs, and you can even negociate a modification and the price.
If software lacks necessary elements (cases of error catching e.g.) you may experience a crash. The license will tell you that the "vendor" didn't assure the usability "for any specific purpose" or just not to damage your system.
Admittedly the validity of this difference will decrease the more planes get to be flying software. However, there should be a litlle chance that authorities learn about the problem. Concerning office suites there is no approval procedure.
John_Ha wrote:Each thinks their planes are best.

Do they? Surely they would try to sell their product even if they didn't. Concerning commercial office software I think it's obvious that the vendor (Not of software but of licenses!) doesn't care much about quality of his so-called product, but the more about earnings ... and how to get their customers to accept the cloud idea (Not yet ready for the cloud?) and "software as a service". A relvant vendor has long started to call his main "product" Windows (TM) explicitly a "service".
John_Ha wrote:Users are free to choose - let them do so.

That may be ok concerning the specific case here. Basically it's a verse from the credo of market believers. I'm not a developer, and since I'm retired I also not am a serious user all the time, but I am a somehow informed user of lots of software. Even concerning office software which is the only kind of SW where I actually open different brands and many versions again and again to keep a good level of inforamtion, for what I could not afford the time if still in business, I would never claim to be sufficiently informed to be the "informed participant in the market" we are declared to be against every evidence by interestees (no copyright claimed for this invention). And if I read "comparisons" as sometimes published under a title like "Then Ten Best Something Programs" I cannot learn much except that there isn't much to learn.

As so often: It's complicated in many ways. We have preferences even if we not are "sufficiently" informed.
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