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I thought someone was going to summarize the articles on 3.3 in the current issues of Linux Format (March 2011).
There are two articles: a review (page 27) and one about things to improve.

The review mentions significant improvements in Calc (one million rows of cells instead of 65536, better CVS import, ...) and points out that: "Importing DOCX continues to be problematic and there's no option to export the format, which is surprising after four years of mainstream usage." The reviewer also regrets that the developers "don't take time to integrate a decent set of document templates into the software."

The other article is: "20 things we'd change about" (pages 50-51):
1. Improve the loading speed.
2. Learn/dare to be different instead of imitating the look and feel of MS Office.
3. Implement grammar checking.
4. OOo tries to load too much when starting; more modular loading could improve this.
5. Find a better name.
6. OOo needs stronger competition to help developers focus on improving the product. (*) 7. Current PDF import isn't useful; even simple editing and re-exporting as PDF would be a step forward. 8. OOo should be perceived as a powerful office suite in its own right, not as a cheap alternative for people who can't afford a "proper" office suite from Microsoft. 9. Loading time should be faster. A built-from-source installation on Gentoo loads faster, so it should be possible.
10. OOo should look like a native application on the main desktops.
11. We should be able to compile it from source; the build process is too fragile. 12. Improve cross-application cut and paste, e.g. copying table cells from Calc to Writer. 13. If there are two ways of doing something, OOos seems to go for the most complex one. This is often the most flexible method, but not the most productive one. People should at least have a choice. 14. A greater set of useful extensions. OOo comes with only 3 extensions, the project site has less than 150 extensions.
15. Macro recording should be easier and less error prone.
16. Fix some of the 14.500 bugs/"issues" and implement some of the 9.500 feature and enhancement requests. 17. Pop-up help. True productivity is not possible without an irritating animated character like Clippy. (What were the editors drinking when they wrote this?) 18. The extension manager should not simply be a dialogue that asks for an extension file; users should be able to browse and search extensions.
19. OOo is basically good and this amplifies the annoyances.
20. Once more: faster loading.

(*) None of these articles mention LibrOffice, although the review says: "developers are falling away like pine needles from a Christmas tree and competitors are making inroads to its market."

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
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