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NeoOffice :: View topic - Upgrade to LibreOffice 3.3.x?
Upgrade to LibreOffice 3.3.x?
 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    NeoOffice Forum Index -> NeoOffice New Feature Requests
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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Patrick,

Sounds like a plan Smile. Except that I think we dropped support for something after 3.1.2, so we might want to keep it around with an 'as is' disclaimer. Or may that was the version before 3.1.2...

Upside of the backporting is that without the resources of Sun/Oracle, the new features may have been less invasive than previously seen.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ovvldc wrote:
Sounds like a plan Smile. Except that I think we dropped support for something after 3.1.2, so we might want to keep it around with an 'as is' disclaimer. Or may that was the version before 3.1.2...


Sorry, but to make room for a new release, NeoOffice 3.2.1 has to be moved to the "old product" slot on the website. That, in turn, means that the old unsupported 3.1.2 release needs to be pushed off the site.

NeoOffice 3.2.1 has the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion features that have been very popular so I think it deserves to remain on the site. In contrast, NeoOffice 3.1.2 has not been supported for nearly a year now and the only reason to use NeoOffice 3.1.2 is because you are running Mac OS X 10.4 on an Intel machine or you are using a PowerPC machine. In both cases the user is running something that Apple abandoned support for long ago so dropping NeoOffice 3.1.2 off the list should impact very few people.

I have enabled the "NeoOffice 3.1.2 will no longer be available after X date" warning on in the NeoOffice 3.1.2 download pages so that people have plenty of time to save their own copy of that unsupported version. But even if they don't save a copy, users of obsolete Mac OS X versions and/or hardware want NeoOffice 3.1.2, they will be able to grab it directly off one of the many volunteer mirrors that archive our old releases.

Patrick
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sardisson
Town Crier
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ovvldc wrote:
Sounds like a plan Smile.

Agreed.

ovvldc wrote:
Except that I think we dropped support for something after 3.1.2, so we might want to keep it around with an 'as is' disclaimer.

10.5 PPC and all of 10.4.

I'm somewhat sympathetic to this request, but given that these are 2+ releases behind current Mac OS X, surely there's got to be diminishing need? Even if people are passing these Macs on to others, their useful life is going to be extremely limited at this point, or in June. (Also, I think Patrick previously indicated 3.1.2 was generating a disproportionate amount of the unwanted "private" support requests.) And unlike other organizations, NeoOffice doesn't have unlimited free mirrors and bandwidth… Sad

Smokey

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sardisson
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
I have enabled the "NeoOffice 3.1.2 will no longer be available after X date" warning on in the NeoOffice 3.1.2 download pages so that people have plenty of time to save their own copy of that unsupported version.

I almost suggested adding a message like that; glad you beat me to it Smile

pluby wrote:
But even if they don't save a copy, users of obsolete Mac OS X versions and/or hardware want NeoOffice 3.1.2, they will be able to grab it directly off one of the many volunteer mirrors that archive our old releases.

Ah, nice; I wasn't aware that any mirrors archived the old releases.

Smokey

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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your points. Again, I was just flagging potential issues.

If nothing else, someone can keep 3.1.2 on a torrent. And have The Pirate Bay track it so that they do at least some honest software Wink.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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grahamperrin
Sentinel


Joined: Oct 08, 2004
Posts: 23
Location: Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: +1 Reply with quote

Patrick, thank you for the explanations and for sharing your feelings about the code bases and directions. Most helpful.

With those things in mind, both parts (1) and (2) of your proposal seem ideal.

+1


Last edited by grahamperrin on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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djpimley
The Anomaly
(earlier version)


Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 481
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick, you're plan looks good. I'm in support on all points.
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vj1726a
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Joined: Mar 12, 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: stability first; then more DOCX, XLSX, PPTX support; headers Reply with quote

Three considerations:

FIRST

Stability is my #1 reason for using NeoOffice, so any other considerations about 3.3.x or 3.4.x should be subordinate to ensuring that stability is matched or improved.

Since stability is already superb -- near perfect -- any significant version changes of any type are likely to worsen stability in the short term. So pick whichever will least worsen stability.

After that, two other considerations:

SECOND, I find that .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX conversion is poor in 3.2.1. However, if I go into Microsoft Office and save the file in the .DOC, .XLS, or .PPT format from within MSO, the import into NeoOffice is much smoother and I can continue to work with the file in old MS format within NeoOffice (as I also need to easily edit at work with MSO where I can't install NeoOffice). Since everything I need is preserved it isn't an DOCX to DOC etc. issue per se (I'm not using things that can't convert) but the conversion within NeoOffice or NeoOffice's OpenOffice base code. Please consider this issue if LibreOffice 3.3 or 3.4 base code differs in handling imports/conversions from DOCX, XLSX, PPTX.

THIRD, I find that NeoOffice Writer does not handle well any imported .DOC file (not .DOCX) if I have section breaks with different headers for each section in MS Word. The way NeoOffice / OpenOffice Writer handles headers is sufficiently different that I have to re-do manually the page style so I can't work with the file on both NeoOffice and go back and forth with Microsoft Office if I need different headers for each section. Furthermore it's quite cumbersome in NO / OO to change headers/footers in comparison to MS Office's implementation -- especially a different first page. So if LibreOffice 3.3 vs. 3.4 differ from each other in this respect please consider that. But again, subordinate to stability.
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pluby
The Architect
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: stability first; then more DOCX, XLSX, PPTX support; hea Reply with quote

vj1726a wrote:
Since stability is already superb -- near perfect -- any significant version changes of any type are likely to worsen stability in the short term. So pick whichever will least worsen stability.


Agreed. LibreOffice 3.3.x appears to the least risky upgrade at this point and we are planning on having a long (2 month) beta phase so that $25 donors can let us know if they see any critical LibreOffice bugs or strange new LibreOffice functionality that we can fix before we release to it to the $10 donors.

vj1726a wrote:
SECOND, I find that .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX conversion is poor in 3.2.1. However, if I go into Microsoft Office and save the file in the .DOC, .XLS, or .PPT format from within MSO, the import into NeoOffice is much smoother and I can continue to work with the file in old MS format within NeoOffice (as I also need to easily edit at work with MSO where I can't install NeoOffice). Since everything I need is preserved it isn't an DOCX to DOC etc. issue per se (I'm not using things that can't convert) but the conversion within NeoOffice or NeoOffice's OpenOffice base code. Please consider this issue if LibreOffice 3.3 or 3.4 base code differs in handling imports/conversions from DOCX, XLSX, PPTX.

THIRD, I find that NeoOffice Writer does not handle well any imported .DOC file (not .DOCX) if I have section breaks with different headers for each section in MS Word. The way NeoOffice / OpenOffice Writer handles headers is sufficiently different that I have to re-do manually the page style so I can't work with the file on both NeoOffice and go back and forth with Microsoft Office if I need different headers for each section....


We backported the LibreOffice 3.3.4 .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx import/export code into an early NeoOffice 3.2.1 patch so NeoOffice has the latest code.

Ed and I do have the engineering skills to fix most OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice import/export bugs so feel free to post any such bugs along with a sample document in the NeoOffice Support forum. Unfortunately, fixing such bugs is usually very timeconsuming so to prevent Ed and I from getting overwhelmed, we limit posting of such bugs to the more restricted NeoOffice Support forum.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has been a lot of discussion in response to my original question as to whether or not we should upgrade the NeoOffice code to the code from one of the newer LibreOffice versions. Realistically, however, neither Ed nor I think it is feasible to start this work given that Apple has promised to release Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion this summer.

When I originally posted the question of upgrading our code to LibreOffice's code, Apple had not yet announced Mountain Lion so we assumed that Apple wouldn't be releasing any new Mac OS X versions in 2012.

Stability is our first priority so we want to ensure that there is a stable version of NeoOffice available when Apple starts shipping Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Most of our donations come from people who have purchased a new Mac and since Apple has always shipped the latest Mac OS X version on new Macs, we feel that doing we should make preparing NeoOffice for Mac OS X 10.8 our first priority. Hence, we are deferring any work on upgrading NeoOffice to the LibreOffice code.

In the meantime, we are putting much of our effort into removing Java from our windows, menus, and printing code. While Apple still provided Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has stated in the past that they will stop providing Java in the near future so we have decided to "bite the bullet" now and remove the need for Java to launch NeoOffice before Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is released.

Patrick
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