Yesterday there was a great Ubuntu release party in Apeldoorn where at least four members of the Dutch language LibreOffice community joined. And since our friend Luc had to leave early, I was asked to present about LibreOffice.
My audience appreciates a little explanation about the history of LibreOffice. So via an explanation on making LibreOffice an attractive and active open source project, easy to build, fast delivering contributions and with a great amount of developers and hackers - which all is achieved - and modernising and improving the huge code base - which is well on it's way - I ask if people know the release schedule with two main releases every year. Many do not. So I explain that, the relation with the schedule of other main free software projects, and end up counting releases for our 4.2 series, of which only last week the 188.8.131.52 was released. And from the very first alpha of this series, around 16 versions have been released in six months time. Indeed an impressing machinery of builds, commits, checks, automated tests etc.
All to deliver more functions on an ever improving code base. And a machinery that is there for and because of all people helping out with code, translations, testing, user support and so forth!
Then when people ask what has been improved in LibreOffice compared to OpenOffice, I find it a bit difficult mostly due to the huge amount off different things, to give a brief, simple answer.
Of course there is this page (two releases behind in the mean time... and that soon should be found at the wiki here ..) summarising only (what some people consider) the most important LibreOffice improvement over OpenOffice.
But when people ask.. Of course, better interoperability, more, important, file types that can be opened, nicer clearer interface. But a simple answer..
Well really funny this turns, when I start answering questions about functions, and when during that a stream of changed and improved functions show on the screen: color of non-printing characters, preview of formatting in list Select Style, Template manager, Format > Title page, more Excell like functions, integration of CMIS and other 'server'-protocols, easier handling of headers and footers, and so forth :)
All in all an interesting afternoon in Apeldoorn and I'm really glad that we were invited to share our enthusiasm and inspiration for this great free software project with the visitors of the event. Thanks :)