June 3, 2011
The new release offers several new features but is focused on contributors
The Internet, June 3rd, 2011 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.4.0, a major release of the free office suite for personal productivity developed by a community of sponsored and volunteer developers, and supported worldwide by local communities of volunteers. LibreOffice 3.4.0 is the second major release of the suite since the announcement of The Document Foundation in September 2010 and incorporates the contributions of over 120 developers (six times as many as the first beta released on the launch date).
The majority of these contributors have started to hack LibreOffice code less than eight months ago, and this is an incredible achievement if one recalls that the OOo project has attracted a lower number of contributors in ten years. “We care for our developers, and it shows”, comments Italo Vignoli, a Steering Committee member and a spokesperson for TDF. “Our core developers have invented the mechanism of the easy hacks, which makes it simple and enjoyable for volunteer contributors to get to know LibreOffice code challenging their development skills with basic or elementary tasks”.
“Once they have completed the first easy hacks, contributors are ready to scale to more difficult tasks”, says Michael Meeks, a senior developer working for SUSE. “We spend quite a lot of time mentoring new contributors, in order to increase the number of people working on bug fixing, patches and features. This is soon going to be reflected in the quality of the software and the number of new features of future releases”.
LibreOffice 3.4.0 offers several new features for Calc, with faster performances and an improved compatibility with Excel spreadsheets, and Pivot Table – the new name of DataPilot – with support for unlimited numbers of fields and named range as data source. The user interface of Writer, Impress and Draw has been improved with many new features, and several cosmetic changes have been applied to the Linux version, with a better text rendering engine and an improved GTK+ theme integration. Code wise, several thousand lines of German comments have been translated into English, and over 5.000 lines of dead code have been removed from Writer, Calc and Impress.
The first release of the 3.4 series, LibreOffice 3.4.0, is targeted to community members and power users, and should not be implemented in a corporate environment. The Document Foundation has explained that following its time based release schedule – the best strategy for a distributed and cooperative development environment – the best releases for such deployments start from x.x.1. Because of this, LibreOffice 3.3.x is going to be maintained for several months to come, until the end of calendar year 2011, for the most conservative users.
LibreOffice 3.4 can be downloaded from http://www.libreoffice.org/download. A complete list of new features and fixes is available online at the following address: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/3-4-new-features-and-fixes/. Screenshots of the new features can be downloaded from this page.