OpenOffice.org Releases New Version of Free Software Alternative to Microsoft Office


The OpenOffice.org Community announces the release of OpenOffice.org 2.4, a new and enhanced version of the leading open-source office suite. The free software package provides a viable alternative to Microsoft’s Office 2007 product – and an easier upgrade path for users of legacy MicrosoftOffice products.

Download OpenOffice.org 2.4 Free of Charge

Edinburgh, UK (PRWEB) March 27, 2008 — The OpenOffice.org Community is pleased to announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.4, the latest version of the leading open source office productivity suite. OpenOffice.org 2.4 includes new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to all its core components.

Users will appreciate changes such as usability improvements in printing, and further enhancements to PDF handling (OpenOffice.org creates PDF files ‘out of the box’ to ISO standard). The default font is now DejaVu, which supports more languages/localisations than the previous BitStream Vera -part of a raft of localisation improvements covering languages from Hiligaynon to Quechua. Mac OS X users will appreciate the use of the native Quicktime player and spell-checker.

Writer

OpenOffice.org’s word processor, now has easier selection of the language for spellchecking; users can set options for printing hidden and place holder text and for following hyperlinks; text selection and ‘find and replace’ have been improved; and ‘power users’ will appreciate new extra keyboard shortcuts for paragraph styles.

Calc

Regular users of Calc, OpenOffice.org’s spreadsheet, will appreciate the streamlining of data and formulae entry. Other new features include a ‘smart move and copy’ for blocks of cells; the ability to transform data into columns; and improvements to printing, data filtering, and the Data Pilot.

Draw

Usability improvements have been made to Draw, the drawing and diagramming module, and Impress, OpenOffice.org’s application for creating presentations. Both applications have enhanced PDF export capabilities. In addition, Impress now has a new range of thrilling 3D transition effects supported through an extension.

The Chart module, used throughout OpenOffice.org, continues to evolve rapidly. Novice users benefit from more intelligent default choices from the graphics engine; advanced users have more options allowing them to fine tune a chart exactly the way they want it.

Base
OpenOffice.org’s database application, Base, now supports MS-Access 2007 (accdb files on MS-Windows), and has enhanced capabilities for MySQL, Oracle/jdbc, and native (HSQL) databases. The Query Designer is also improved.

OpenOffice.org 2.4 is the eleventh release in the 2.x series (launched in October 2005) and demonstrates the Community’s commitment to continuous and regular improvement of its software. The next major release – 3.0 – is planned for the autumn/fall this year.

About OpenOffice.org

The OpenOffice.org Community is an international team of volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, translate, support, and promote the leading open-source office productivity suite, OpenOffice.org®. OpenOffice.org’s leading edge software technology (UNO) is also available for developers, systems integrators, etc to use in OpenOffice.org extensions or in their own applications.

OpenOffice.org uses the OpenDocument Format OASIS Standard (ISO/IEC 26300) as well as supporting legacy file formats such as Microsoft Office, and is available on major computing platforms in over 80 languages. OpenOffice.org software is provided under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL) and may be used free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial.

The OpenOffice.org Community acknowledges generous sponsorship from a number of companies, including Sun Microsystems, the founding sponsor and primary contributor.

Source: PRWeb

Philip Antoniades from Sun-MySQL presents at NYPHP.org

Last night I had the opportunity to attend to my first NYPHP.org meetup. In this ocassion, Philip Antoniades formerly MySQL’s Sales Engineering Manager, now Sun-MySQL’s Sales Engineering Manager gave a talk related to Sun’s recent purchase of MySQL for USD $1,000,000,000.

Project Indiana
I must say at the beginning of the presentation he switched from talking about the MySQL acquisition to selling us a new version of Open Solaris called Project Indiana, which seems to be led by no less than Ian Murdock creator of Debian. I suppose its his job now to sell sun and he had to do it, but things got a lot more interesting specially in the Q&A.

So for Project Indiana, as you can imagine having someone like Ian Murdock there means Open Solaris will have apt capabilities (like Debian or Ubuntu).

The other thing that caught my eye about Project Indiana (coming from the Linux world) is that Sun will require all drivers to be open sourced, otherwise they won’t be accepted to the distribution. I’m not sure if this has done anything for projects like Debian where they’re really strict, but Sun is a monster with a lot of corporate influence, maybe their new Open source approach will help things change (manufacturers releasing drivers with open licenses), and finally we’ll get lots of drivers available for Linux as well.

They also mentioned an “open source” license called CDDL (“cuddle” as they call it), no clue about its differences, if its good or bad, it seems to me there might be something weird behind it, but I’m just talking out of my ass here, I’ve not read it yet. It’d be good if someone could complement this article with their thoughts on CDDL vs GPL2 vs LGPL vs others…

How things have changed

Quoting Antoniades:

“Basically we have an influx of cash”

MySQL AB went from a 400 employee company to being part of an organization of about 34,000 employees, and now they have a lot more cash, the purchase according to Antoniades was mostly paid in cash (and you know cash is king baby!).

Entrance of IBM New York, where the meeting was held for NYPHP.orgPhilip even mentioned they’re hiring 2 SysAdmins for their New York office, (contact him if you’re interested), also, when they need a feature, they just don’t put it in the wish list, if its important enough they get 30 engineers from Sun to help them.

He made a lot of emphasis about how they already got a guru focused on optimization of MySQL and how they’re pushing for more threading (parallel programming) on MySQL. He said that Sun has a lot of DB experience, that they basically helped Oracle in getting their DB to run spotless on Solaris and they have the knowledge about DB development problems as well as a lot of smart people to help them.

On the Q&A session I finally learned that Yes there’s plans between Java/MySQL integration (stored procedures in java could be a project to come, and they mentioned that a couple of the MySQL AB engineers had already done something along those lines, and as the acquisition was happening the people from Sun brought up the fact they knew about such efforts. MySQL AB has always been a good Java shop, and they claimed their jdbc driver was always one of their best products). MySQL basically wants to learn a little more of that engineering discipline from Sun, and it seems like a nice blend between 2 very different cultures.

Other interesting topics of conversation during Q&A were about using Memcached as a storage Engine, so that you can use MySQL as a client for Memcached, maybe it sounds as an extra layer with a certain overhead, but you could certainly do a lot of more complex stuff just by using SQL, seems interesting, didn’t know you could actually do that (actually opens a lot of possibilities in my mind for stuff we need in MyBloop.com that we were planning to use raw key-value-approach on memcached)

Also learned about a new storage engine called Maria, that will be the successor of Innodb.

So I think that now, we can be sure that MySQL will be churning out a lot more fixes (in shorter periods, maybe MySQL 6.0 will come out sooner now) given the cash and new added man power, probably the folks using MySQL enterprise will be even more benefited by this, they talked about a lot of enterprise tools to optimize queries, analyze queries, very interesting stuff.