Tagged With openoffice

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org developers have posted prototype screenshots and demonstrations, and while the toolbar content and look could likely change, the commenters are not apparently happy with the very Microsoft-Office-like "ribbon." Some argue the look doesn't play well on non-Windows systems, and others say it's just another learning curve for the noble-intentioned, but often disadvantaged, open source office suite. Let's hear what you think of the prototype, or where else Sun should look for design ideas, in the comments.


If you want to try out the new release of open-source office application OpenOffice 3 without having to install it, you can check it out in your browser thanks to Ulteo Onine Desktop. Sign up for free to access a full-feature version of the software in your browser, and try it out for up to 25 minutes a session (paid accounts start at $US6.50 a month). ArsTechnica has an updated review of OpenOffice 3 via Ulteo, and say the new version running is a tad snappier than the previous one.


Windows/Mac/Linux (OpenOffice): The Sun Wiki Publisher, a free extension for the OpenOffice.org office suite, lets you edit and contribute to any MediaWiki-based page on the web, assuming it accepts anonymous editing or you have credentials. The real benefit lies in being able to use OpenOffice's styling tools—bolding, lists, tables, and the like—instead of having to remember the MediaWiki markup style. Creating a new page is relatively simple, but editing an existing page requires, at least with this version, copying and pasting an article in Writer, then sending it to the wiki for updating. For those rocking their own wiki web pages (or thumb drives), this extension might make a nice go-between. The Sun Wiki Publisher is a free download, works wherever OpenOffice.org does.

Sun Wiki Publisher


Windows/Mac/Linux (all platforms): OpenOffice.org, the free office application suite, has released a beta of its 3.0 version to the public with a few key features rolled in. The biggest update is native support for Mac OS X platforms, meaning no need to install X11 packages on older Macs or switch to NeoOffice for a smoother experience (although NeoOffice plans to release a 3.0 of its own, so stay tuned). OpenOffice also adds built-in conversion filters for Office 2007/Mac Office 2008 files, a new "solver" function for spreadsheets, enhanced notes and viewing options in Writer, and other enticements for those willing to risk a few bugs. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems.

OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta


Linux only: Expand OpenOffice.org's document opening, saving, and conversion powers to Office 2007 documents with the OpenXML Translator, a free plug-in intended for Ubuntu systems (although other Debian-based systems might be able to use it as well). Grab a package for your 32- or 64-bit system, install it (hitting the via link if you need help with that) and OpenOffice will be able to read and save files to the .docx format. Conversion from Microsoft Office-authored files remains hit-and-miss, but it's a nice step forward for the free and open-source office suite. The OpenXML translator is a free download for Linux systems only.

OpenOffice.org OpenXML Translator


If you've come to know and love your OpenOffice.org platform, new online office suite Ulteo might just pull you away from Google Docs or Zoho, or even the upcoming Microsoft Office Live. Ulteo uses Java to re-create nearly the same interfaces as the deskop software's word processor, spreadsheet, and database applications. While obviously geared toward OpenOffice enthusiasts, Ulteo can import and export to Microsoft Office and PDF files like its desktop brother. The beta webapp is accepting 15,000 users from North America and Europe at the moment; I got in this morning after fishing the confirmation email out of the spam bin. Ulteo requires a browser have both JavaScript and Sun's Java Runtime environment enabled—Ubuntu users in particular might have to check their packages to ensure compatability.



OpenOffice has been given the online app treatment by Ulteo, who've just launched the beta of their service which aims to provide Firefox and IE users with an online version of the document suite. Along with instant access to OpenOffice via browser without having to download it, Ulteo also offers collaboration features.A user working with OpenOffice on the Ulteo server can invite other people to work with her on a shared document in real time. Invitations are sent via email and allow access in either read only or full edit mode, simply by clicking on a link in the email.It looks like Ulteo are seeking to follow Google Docs, Zoho and Microsoft's Office Live Workspace down the online apps path - but they are aiming squarely at the existing install base of OpenOffice users. The company's statement on Ulteo said "Ulteo plans to release other services simplifying the life of PC users by providing easier access to desktop applications and online services as well as data management in the coming months."The Ulteo beta is being opened up to 15,000 users, however they've stipulated it's for European and North American users at this stage. I'm not sure whether they're being strict on that or not as there seems to be a lag between registering and getting your invitation (or knockback for being in the wrong hemisphere!). If you want to register for it, go to http://www.ulteo.com/home/ooo.  If you get into the beta, please let us know how you find it.


OpenOffice.org has identified a highly critical security vulnerability in its open source word processing package OpenOffice 2.3 and prior versions.

In the security advisory OpenOffice.org warned of a security vulnerability in HSQLDB, the default database engine shipped with OpenOffice.org 2 (all versions) which could allow attackers to execute arbitrary static Java code by manipulating database documents to be opened by a user.

OpenOffice.org has asked users to update to version 2.3.1 which is unaffected by the security vulnerability in the previous versions. You can download OpenOffice 2.3.1 here.


In other OSDC news, speaker Stewart Smith gave a Lightning Talk on OpenOffice 2.3 yesterday. To illustrate the speed issues with the open source office suite, he started to open the program at the start of his talk. And finished the talk before the program had successfully opened. Admittedly Lighting Talks are usually 5-7 minutes long, but still. Ouch.

I'll admit I'm disheartened to hear that even on a high end laptop, OpenOffice can be so ridiculously slow. Have you used Open Office, or are you using it now? How have you found it? Should I be looking around for a different open source office suite?


Via Pia Waugh - yet another reason to ditch that PowerPoint addiction. Long-time OpenOffice user Chih-Hao Tsai created a range of templates for its Impress presentation software, including the one to the left, which uses a NASA photo of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.

 "... unlike Microsoft PowerPoint, OpenOffice.org Impress does not come with a set of good templates. Even the ones coming with StarOffice are not polished enough... Therefore, I decided to design my own Impress templates and make them available to the public."

 OpenOffice.org Impress Templates