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Fedora Goes Spherical as Apache OpenOffice Goes GA

  • May 11, 2012
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

This week's Linux Top 3, once again has a strong desktop component.

1) Apache OpenOffice 3.4

For years, OpenOffice.org was the default standard for office suites on many Linux desktops. Then things got – messy.

Oracle acquired Sun, OOo was forked into LibreOffice and there was no shortage of disharmony. There was also some initial concern that OOo would simply fade away.

As it turns out that didn't happen. Oracle transitioned OpenOffice to the Apache Software Foundation in a bid to make the project a true open source project and to find a way forward. This past week, the fruit of those labors was made apparent to all with the release of Apache OpenOffice 3.4

Among the most obvious changes for users is faster startup time.

"Startup is faster since the program now has enough initial knowledge about its components so that it doesn't have to start each of them," the Apache OpenOffice 3.4 release notes state.

The other big change is the move to the Apache License 2.

"We are pleased and excited to offer OpenOffice fully licensed under the Apache License 2. This offering will form the foundation of OpenOffice innovation moving forward here at Apache," said Juergen Schmidt, Apache OpenOffice Release Manager and veteran core developer in a statement. "With the achievement of this major milestone, we have established a diverse and vibrant community with sufficient depth and skills to ably steward this important product into the future."

2) Fedora Spherical Cow

What follows a 'Beefy Miracle' ? Apparently it's a spherical cow. The Fedora community voted last week to name Fedora 18. The winner was Spherical Cow coming out ahead of: Halva, Chamoy, Pamukkale, Tandoori Chicken, Frankfurter, Pop Soda and Ketchy Ketchup.

The naming for Fedora 18 has also opened up a larger debate within the Fedora community about how the naming process should work. While the general sentiment is that the community wants to keep having a name instead of just a number, there is some dis-satisfaction with the process that has led Fedora 18 to be names Spherical Cow.

3) GIMP 2.8

While OpenOffice once dominated the Linux office suite landscape, so too did (and to some extent still does) dominate desktop graphics tools

The GIMP 2.8 release is one that we've been waiting on for years and it introduced one key feature that you can't miss – single window mode.

"Single-window mode removes the necessity for users of having to deal with multiple windows," the GIMP release notes states.

Sure that's a simple enough thing, but after years of waiting, it's finally here.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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