Today I wanted to discuss a press-release that was put out yesterday, which announced the beta of “LibreOffice.” This is being sponsored by The Document Foundation, and in all honesty is a fork of the popular OpenOffice.org office suite.
The main difference between the two suites is that OpenOffice.org will allow you to use “non-free” (closed-source) addons. LibreOffice restricts the addons to “free” (read as GPL or open-source) only. Also they are not supporting the OOXML format (which is Microsoft’s Open XML document format). Whether this means that they won’t support the Office 2007 formats remains unclear (although I did send an email to them asking about this).
If you’re on Windows, Mac, or Linux, you can download the beta at http://www.documentfoundation.org/download/ although it should be noted that the Linux beta is in .rpm form. This means that debian-based users (*buntu, Debian, Mint, and others) will have to either install from the source code, or use an rpm-deb conversion program like alien.
Also, since it’s a beta and a fork, there may be things that will still say “OpenOffice.org” and the addons will still point to the OpenOffice.org addon site. I plan to give it a go in the next few days (on both Linux and Windows), just to see how it compares. Right now, it should be essentially the same thing as OpenOffice–it’s the future that will be interesting.
Have a great day:)