TDF rolls out LibreOffice 5.0

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The Document Foundation (TDF) today unveiled LibreOffice 5.0, the free open source office suite's 10th major release and the first of its third development cycle.

LibreOffice, which forked from in 2010, is deployed by over 80 million users, according to a TDF estimate based on users pinging for updates to LibreOffice's 4.x family.

The update offers a significantly improved user interface, better interoperability with other popular office suites, such as Microsoft Office, and improved document import and export filters.

In addition, the office suite sports cleaner code, with a Coverity Scan of below 0.001 defects per 1 000 lines of code. "We have bugs, like any other software," acknowledges Italo Vignoli, founder and marketing director at TDF. But there are just two outstanding issues in around seven million lines of code, he boasted.

"In 2010, we inherited a rather old source code, which had to be made cleaner, leaner and smarter before we could reasonably develop the office suite we were envisioning for the long term, says Michael Meeks, a director and LibreOffice developer at TDF. "Since 2010, we have gone through three different development cycles: the 3.x family to clean the code from the legacy stuff; the 4.x family to make the suite more responsive; and the 5.x family, to make it smarter in terms of user interface."

LibreOffice 5.0 runs on 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows, including Windows 10, and on OSX and Linux. It also offers basic editing capabilities when running on Android, which are earmarked for expansion. LibreOffice 5.0 does not run on iOS at present, although this is a goal for the future, says Vignoli.

Two major versions of LibreOffice are available at any time: the "Fresh" version, which represents the "bleeding edge" of LibreOffice in terms of new enhancements, but is still relatively heavy on hiccups, and the "Still" version, the more mature previous release.

LibreOffice 5.0 is a "Fresh" version, and hence is aimed at tech enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, says Vignoli.

Enterprise-class deployments are strongly advised to opt for the more stabilised LibreOffice 4.4.5, he adds.

LibreOffice 5.0 is immediately available for download. TDF encourages LibreOffice users, community members and free software advocates to support the organisation with donations, which can be made online.

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