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OpenOffice.org (OOo) is a freely available, full-featured office suite. OOo is both a software product and a community of volunteers that produces and supports the software. However, new users may get lost while finding help, support and productivity enhancing extensions. This blog post covers OOo new user orientation to to discover support, tutorials, community insights, templates, clip art, extensions, and blogs for OOo. From the post:

OpenOffice.org is organized differently than its main competitor. Hoping to entice business users to purchase support and services, Sun Microsystems (recently purchased by Oracle) gives away not just the OpenOffice.org free of charge, but also its source code (the blueprints) and a significant degree of control. OpenOffice.org is organized as a community under the leadership of Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager employed by Sun Microsystems. Sun funds the infrastructure and most of the software engineers. The community provides additional software engineers, quality assurance experts, marketers, translators, template developers, trainers, help desk staff, and other important roles. Anyone may participate in the community.

=> OpenOffice.org New User Orientation

How To: Print Labels in Ubuntu Linux

I haven't had to use MS-Office / word in years and I have never had a problem with awesome OpenOffice.org software. I have been using it in Linux for a long time, and recently at work we started using it in windows-xp systems too. I have also got a couple other people in my school, work and small business to use it as well. This tutorial explains the approach you take when you want to print labels under Ubuntu Linux using gLabels. It is a label, business and media cover designer for the GNOME. The intuitive editor allows to create text fields, insert images, simple objects, and create barcodes. It is designed to work with common laser/inkjet printers peel-off label and business card sheets. From the article:

Ubuntu has no shortages of software for printing labels. Many users content themselves with the label and mail merge features in OpenOffice.org Writer or in Abiword or KOffice. All these solutions will do a basic job, especially with text. But what if you want elaborate formatting or graphics with your labels? What if you want a smaller, dedicated program that is quicker to load than a complete word processor? In these cases, you should consider turning to gLabels instead.

=> Printing Labels in Ubuntu

Red Hat released updated openoffice.org packages to correct a security issue are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

OpenOffice.org is an office productivity suite that includes desktop applications such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, formula editor, and drawing program.

Sean Larsson found a heap overflow flaw in the OpenOffice memory allocator. If a carefully crafted file was opened by a victim, an attacker could use the flaw to crash OpenOffice.org or, possibly, execute arbitrary code.

It was discovered that certain libraries in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4 openoffice.org packages had an insecure relative RPATH (runtime library search path) set in the ELF (Executable and Linking Format) header. A local user able to convince another user to run OpenOffice in an attacker-controlled directory, could run arbitrary code with the privileges of the victim.

All users of openoffice.org are advised to upgrade to these updated packages, which contain backported fixes which correct these issues.

How do I patch openoffice.org productivity suite ?

Simply type the following command at a shell prompt:
# yum update

OpenOffice 3.0 beta has been released and available for download. With Version 3.0, OpenOffice.org is now able to run on Mac OS X without the need for X11. Thus, OpenOffice.org behaves like any other Aqua application. OpenOffice.org 3.0 already supports the features of the upcoming version 1.2 of the ISO standard OpenDocument Format (ODF). In addition to read and write support for the Microsoft Office binary file formats (.doc; .xls, .ppt, etc.), OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now capable of opening files created with Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.).

=> You can download latest version here

What’s new in OpenOffice.Org version 3?

OO is a decent free Office Suite for Windows / Linux / Mac and other platforms. This webpage provides OpenOffice.org 3.0's new features, an early look:

OpenOffice.org 3.0 is 167 days away, but who's counting? Maybe the software developers are counting because they have a whopping 2,278 issues targeted for this release. Even though OpenOffice.org 2.4 is not yet out the door, let's see how far they've come with OpenOffice.org 3.0.

New features

  • Personal Information Manager (PIM), probably based on Thunderbird/Lightning
  • PDF import into Draw (to maintain correct layout of the original PDF)
  • Web 2.0 support for weblogs and wikis
  • Office 2007 OOXML document import filter
  • Support for Mac OS X Aqua platform
  • Redesigned, more modern GUI.
  • Extensions, to add third party functionality etc

OpenOffice.org 3.0’s new features
(Fig. 01: OpenOffice.Org v3.x Splash Screen)

=> OpenOffice.org 3.0's new features

This sucks, Open office 2.3 spreadsheet cannot open or import text files that are larger than 65,536 rows. Basically, I need 100k rows. However, it is possible to recompile OO to extend rows limitation. From the OO wiki hack page:

Well, it depends on what your goal is. For personal use you may set MAXROWCOUNT_DEFINE in sc/inc/address.hxx to a different value, multiple of 128, and recompile the application respectively the libsc680*.so and shove it under your existing installation. However, doing so implies that you don't save to any binary file format like Excel or whatsoever, otherwise you risk loss of data. You'll also encounter drawing layer misfits in higher row numbers, may experience performance problems, and there may be other quirks lurking. Note that it generally works for data and formulas, but otherwise is completely untested.

For the number of columns the same applies to the MAXCOLCOUNT_DEFINE in sc/inc/address.hxx, just that the value must be a multiple of 16 instead.

My text file is truncated at 65,536 and I was dumped with the following error message:
Text files that are larger than 65,536 rows cannot be imported

I'm going to recompile my OO. Another good option is using MySQL. However, I'm not in mood to write a php / python scripts to just create graphs and other stuff.

This sounds like a good idea to me. Never thought one can use OpenOffice to import MySQL database and do all sort of crazy things. I can even build PDF file of all top posts and provide it as download option for a small fee. From the article:

If you are running a blog (or any Web publishing system, for that matter) that relies on a database back end, you will sooner or later face the problem of backing up the content stored in the database. One way to go about it is to build a backup tool using OpenOffice.org Base. Since Base can pull data from a MySQL or any ODBC-compliant data source, you can create a simple database that connects to the blog's back end and extracts content from it, which you can then export in different formats.