LibreOffice 6.0 is coming!

LibreOffice 6.0 launches on Jan 31

Considered as one of the best alternatives to the widely used yet proprietary Microsoft Office, LibreOffice is back with their latest edition. LibreOffice 6.0 will be released at the end of the month with new libraries helping users to export and import files between various platforms.

But first, let’s look at why this is considered as one of the best softwares to use:

A brief history of:

LibreOffice is a forked version of Apache OpenOffice. What it means is that, while the original base code is the same as that of OpenOffice, the software development of the former has gone in a different direction.

LibreOffice was formed in 2010 by developers of OpenOffice as they were vary of the takeover of Oracle who had acquired Sun Microsystems, who in turn had developed OpenOffice.org. They were suspicious of Oracle’s intentions with respect to what they would do with the codebase.

LibreOffice boasts the same six applications as Apache OpenOffice — Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base and Math — but the two suites differ in terms of applications features, usability and community support. LibreOffice is considered to be more actively developed than OpenOffice: the standard package, for example, offers PDF import, a presentation minimizer and a Wiki publisher.

Now over 25 million LibreOffice users, this open software which can be downloaded for free and comes bundled with many popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.

So what’s up with the new update?

Improved libraries which can aid the export of EPUB 3 files as well as importing the various standard document formats.

These libraries will give LibreOffice 6.0 compatibility with the EPUB3 (export only), AbiWord, Microsoft Publisher, PageMaker, and QuarkXPress documents (import only). However, they can also be used as standalone libraries for any other open source software project that needs them.

Additionally, there’s libabw for importing AbiWord documents, libmspub for importing Microsoft Publisher documents, libpagemaker for importing PageMaker 6 and 7 documents, and libqxp for importing documents and templates created with the QuarkXPress 3.1 or QuarkXPress 4.1 apps in LibreOffice 6.0.

So to conclude, this is a development that is aimed at the improvement of portability between different formats as even with the rise of the FOSS movement, many people still are used to using licensed software like MS Office. As the FOSS movement is about being open towards all, it is important that this ability of files to be transferred between different softwares remain.