OpenOffice.org goes live with 2.0

Published in Tectonic

Today, a week after the OpenOffice.org project turned five years old, the team has released the long-awaited open source OpenOffice.org 2.0 suite.

More than two years in development OpenOffice.org 2.0 includes a number of key new features including the new Base database module and support for the internationally recognised OpenDocument format.

OpenOffice.org 2.0 is available in 36 languages and runs on Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X (X11) and several other platforms and can be downloaded from the OpenOffice.org website.

For South African users this release is immediately available in seven of the eleven official South African languages. Through the work of Translate.org.za the office suite has been translated into Afrikaans, Zulu, North Sotho, Xhosa, Sotho and Ndebele. The other four SA languages will be completed in November, according to Translate.org.za director Dwayne Bailey.

Built by a community including Sun Microsystems, its primary sponsor and contributor, Novell, Red Hat, Debian, Propylon, Intel, as well as independent programmers, translators, writers, and marketers, OpenOffice.org 2.0 is one of the open source community’s flagship projects and illustrates how successful the collaborative software development model can be.

”OpenOffice.org is on a path towards being the most popular office suite the world has ever seen,” says SUN President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

On 13 October 2000 Sun Microsystems first made the source code for StarOffice available through the newly-formed OpenOffice.org community. Today’s OpenOffice.org developer community numbers in the thousands and is spread around the globe.

What’s new?
In addition to the OpenDocument format, the redesigned user interface and a new database module, OpenOffice.org 2.0 also adds improved PDF support, a greatly improved spreadsheet module, enhanced desktop integration and several other features that take advantage of its advanced XML capabilities, such as the ability to easily create, edit and use XForms.

The interface for OpenOffice.org 2.0 has been significantly redesigned to make new features available to users as well as make it easier for end users to switch from other proprietary systems to OpenOffice.org.

This version of the office suite includes multi-pane views, floating toolbars and native desktop integration in all modules providing a familiar interface for users on most operating systems.

This release sees the debut of OpenOffice.org Base, a database module capable of creating self-contained, portable and cross-platform database applications. The portable database files are made possible by using the Java-based HSQLDB database engine, making Base data available across different operating systems.

The OpenDocument format was approved as an OASIS (Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) standard earlier this year. OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the first open source office suite to offer full support for the OpenDocument format

For those who want to distribute documents in a non-editable format, the very popular PDF export feature, introduced in OpenOffice.org 1.1, has been enhanced in this release. The PDF export now gives greater control over the quality and size of PDFs generated as well as providing support for links, indexes, forms, thumbnails and presentation transition effects.

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