LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice Part 2: All Bugs Are Shallow When Blogged to a Linux News Feed

October 10, 2012 at 9:10 am | Posted in Operating Systems, Technology | 4 Comments

In my prior blog post, my intended lessons for OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice were  1. Try both. 2. Use both. 3. Use what works best for particular cases. 4. Where there is no problems with either, prefer LibreOffice for its community support.  5. I had a specific important case for my usage where I had to use OpenOffice. Now it appears my options will expand in a month.

The comments represented the general community preference for LibreOffice.  Not only that, they were enough for Michael Meeks, a well-known open source developer to comment, find the outstanding bug report for it, which was miscategorized but had already been fixed in the 3.7 branch, and backport it to next month’s 3.6.3 LibreOffice release.  Thanks LibreOffice team, community, and Mr. Meeks!

So now, the opposite of the last post,  I am blogging a longstanding OpenOffice bug that is fixed and “just works” in LibreOffice.  So will the OpenOffice community respond as quickly to fix the problem as the LibreOffice community did to my last blog post?

When I go to “print preview” in Apache OpenOffice Calc 3.4.1, (and all older releases I recall) and then hit the print button from there, it defaults to printing every single worksheet instead of just the active one, even though I carefully selected the print range on the active worksheet to print a precise area and only one sheet.  In my case, OpenOffice prints 22 pages instead of just one.  There is a workaround, that as long as I close out of print preview first before hitting the print button, OpenOffice will print only my selected worksheet.

LibreOffice inherited this long standing OpenOffice bug (I would dread this waste of paper and ink being called a feature.) However, LibreOffice fixed it, I think around their 3.5.0 cycle.

So a final tangent about being for below average in technical skills relative to the Linux community.  Everyone recommends bug reporting, and I occasionally do that.  However, I have had little success in my six years of using Linux in bug reporting.  If there is a proper existing bug report already out there, I have little to add. Certainly not any programming skills to fix it.  If I’m creating a new one, assuming it does not get marked as a duplicate by my failure to find the existing one, I usually don’t have enough precise details to aid in a solution or convince anyone it is important.  I also say this without a solution.  Maybe I need a class on bug reporting for dummies.  Getting bugs fixed by getting a blog linked on a Linux news feed (Thanks Lxer.com!) is surely cheating.

Maybe if this blog post is especially lucky in drawing the right readers, someone will have an idea on fixing this 3 year old Wine bug on 15 year old software.  I can at least say that I reported a bug that has stayed outstanding that long without being either fixed or closed for other reasons.  That almost counts as an accomplishment, right?

Last thought: The particular usage of LibreOffice and OpenOffice on .xlsx files was not just because of desire to use open source, but because Excel 2003 to Excel 2010 have a bug that does not let me hide the full 130 columns I need hidden.  Notice, despite the helpful comments for LibreOffice and OpenOffice, no one had advice on making Excel work.  That, I believe, would truly be a lost cause in attempting to report a bug to Microsoft.

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  1. [...] LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice Part 2: All Bugs Are Shallow When Blogged to a Linux News Feed In my prior blog post, my intended lessons for OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice were 1. Try both. 2. Use both. 3. Use what works best for particular cases. 4. Where there is no problems with either, prefer LibreOffice for its community support. 5. I had a specific important case for my usage where I had to use OpenOffice. Now it appears my options will expand in a month. [...]

  2. I am really disappointed with Libreoffice. It simply too buggy for me. I can search for bugs that have no solutions. I have a spreadsheet that I cannot print. I do not know what bug it is.

  3. Have you tried the Bug Submission Assistant for Libreoffice:

    https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/bug/

    Also available via ‘feedback’ on the help menu.

  4. I jumped into Libre Office soon after Oracle showed its colors, and continued using it until… on an upgrade, they added the heading widget thingy — which I found extremely annoying, and removed the page borders. Among other things, I use it for book layout:s, and that was disorientating. I installed Apache Open Office and have been entirely satisfied. I wish AOO was an installation option: I set up my parents with a Linux machine (finally!), and wanted the GUI to be as Windows-like as possible. They had been using OO, so for name recognition purposes, and reliability, I removed Libre Office from the Mint-Mate installation and installed AOO. So far the only feature that’s been missed is the ability to import old Works files.

    As an aside, I have found Gnumeric to be more efficient than Excel and both Open Offices. One spreadsheet in particular with thousands of calculations which gave Excel (XP version) indigestion, and slowed OO to a snail’s pace, works flawlessly in Gnumeric — which also saves it in a fraction of the original size. Although it lacks the formatting candy and macros — but in just doing basic spreadsheet work, it’s in another league (that’s my experience, anyway).


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