Bjoern Michaelsen from Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, who works on LibreOffice has announced the alpha1 of LibreOffice 4.0. Michaelsen writes on his blog, "Its a pre-release, an alpha — essentially just a named daily build — and will kill your dog and eat your children."
I grabbed it from the PPA and installed it on my system, till now both my cats are still alive and no one else have touched the turkey in our fridge so I think its safe to try (instructions below).
Why would you want to try it? If you use GNU/Linux or any other community driver open source projects that's the way you pay back - by testing the applications and helping developers in finding and fixing the bugs.
As Michaelsen writes:
... it has lots of nasty new features and tasty new bugs. So if you are a bug hunter and want to help to make the version of LibreOffice in Ubuntu Raring the best ever, this is your chance to test and tease this version and get it the most polished one ever in a Ubuntu release.
It is expected that these packages will be available for other distros as well so those users can also test it and help in bug fixing. SUSE continues to be the leading company offering paid developers to LibreOffice, followed by Red Hat.
How To Install?
Caveat: You will have to install the current stable release of LibreOffice from your system so try if only if you can afford it.
Run these commands to remove the currently installed LibreOffice, add the pre release PPA and install LO 4.0:
sudo apt-get purge libreoffice-core
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/libreoffice-prereleases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libreoffice
The Document Foundation Breathed New Life In OpenOffice
The next major release of LibreOffice is being developed aggressively. The Document Foundation has breathed a new life in this great open source office suite which had stagnated and started to rot under Sun and the Oracle. Sadly, instead of donating the code to the Document Foundation, Oracle and IBM decided to increased some overload on the Apache Foundation and donated the code to them.
Now instead of working on one great office suite they are struggling to divide the community between the ones who work on LibreOffice and the ones who might work on OpenOffice. Fortunately enough, LibreOffice is untouched by these political moves and is attracting development and deployment. It has become the default office suite on almost all GNU/Linux based operating systems throwing OpenOffice to oblivion.
One commendable thing that the foundation is doing is cleaning up the dirty and dead code that they inherited from OpenOffice and working towards a major released next year. A tablet version of the suite is also in development and we may see it the next year.