THE LONG-AWAITED 5.0 EDITION of the LibreOffice open source productivity suite has been made available for download.
Big changes include a 64-bit version for Windows and the addition of basic editing in Android, expanding on the ODF viewer released in May. As ever, new versions have also been released for Mac and Linux.
Italo Vignoli, a stalwart of the Document Foundation, was on hand to give us a little more information about the work that has been done to deliver the most stable version to date.
"We have gone from one semantic problem per 1,000 lines of code to two in the source code in seven million lines of code," he said.
"We have bugs like any other software, but after the source code has been fully cleaned during version 4, we now have 0.0003 problems per 1,000 lines, which is a fraction of a fraction."
Aside from stability, a new start centre UI has made for a more eye-catching experience. But it is the rigidity of the new edition that has been the most notable change.
"Everyone knows that software on Windows sometimes crashes, and I want to make special mention of the developers of Red Hat who have been working tirelessly on finding and removing causes of crashes on Windows," said Vignoli.
However, he warned that we shouldn't all rush to upgrade at once.
"We are not telling all users to upgrade to LibreOffice 5.0 today. We maintain two branches and 5.0 - what we call 'Fresh' - is for early adopters. We're telling large users and enterprise users to use 4.4.5 because it is more stable, and a long-term supported charged version is available," he said.
LibreOffice is released on a calendar, rather than a feature, basis but there are a huge number of new features on the change list nonetheless.
This version has been confirmed compatible with Windows 10, but Vignoli would not be drawn on whether there is work in hand to turn LibreOffice into a Windows Universal App.
He also confirmed that an iOS version is on the roadmap, but no timelines have been confirmed. µ
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