LibreOffice Gets Fresh and Stable

I've noticed a certain confusion in some quarters that borders on FUD about the quality of LibreOffice releases. But the developers have now embarked on a new naming policy that I think will go a long way to clearing that up, which appears in...

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I've noticed a certain confusion in some quarters that borders on FUD about the quality of LibreOffice releases. But the developers have now embarked on a new naming policy that I think will go a long way to clearing that up, which appears in their release announcement today for the first time.

The Document Foundation has a fixed release schedule which helps enormously ("when it's ready" approaches are prone to the politics of control), as well as running two release series. One of the release series is a stable, feature-frozen release that just gets bug fixes (and the occasional back-ported feature where that's essential). The stable series is often the base for commercial support companies' products for large customers, like Collabora. But it's a great strength to allow individuals to choose to use and contribute feedback to the latest features as well. The other release series is the one new features are being added to. TDF recommends it for people happy with using new features and potentially reporting bugs. 

Because of the regular release cycle and the frequent appearance of new features (support for additional file formats in particular, but plenty of others), some people forget the stable release series exists and accuse TDF of low quality standards. So in future they will be tagging releases with nicknames that indicate which series they belong to.

Today's announcement of LibreOffice 4.2.2 "Fresh" kicks off the new policy -- you'll see the release also nicknames the 4.1.5 release as "Stable". Personally I will be running LibreOffice Fresh, but there are plenty of people for whom LibreOffice Stable is more suitable, and now there's a nice clear way to differentiate!

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