LibreOffice 4.1.0 Beta 1 arrives with over a thousand changes
The Document Foundation has announced the first beta release of LibreOffice 4.1.0, incorporating over 1000 individual bug fixes and improvements. These include fixes for a number of OOXML handling bugs, including a crashing bug in Writer, and a basic implementation of EMF+ metafiles. 246 of the bug fixes are security-related improvements resulting from Coverity's security scans of the project. A listing of official 4.1 features is available in the in development release notes.
The beta release of LibreOffice 4.1.0 also includes a large number of enhancements and bug fixes related to the new Sidebar user interface feature. The Sidebar feature is based on IBM's Symphony code contribution and design work already implemented in the Impress task pane; the code and design work is being currently being integrated into Apache OpenOffice which plans to ship it as part of its forthcoming 4.0 release. The Sidebar code is being brought into LibreOffice and will be the first large UI change being implemented in the office suite since the project was forked from OpenOffice.org. In the LibreOffice beta, the feature is currently disabled by default as it still causes a significant number of UI problems. It can be enabled by navigating to Tools ➤ Options ➤ Advanced ➤ Optional (unstable) options and checking "Enable experimental sidebar (on restart)".
A detailed list of all bug fixes and improvements in the release can be found in the change log on The Document Foundation's wiki. LibreOffice 4.1.0 Beta 1 installs in parallel to existing LibreOffice installations on Mac OS X and Linux systems, but will replace an exisiting install on WIndows. The pre-release version of LibreOffice is available as a Windows installer, Mac OS X installer and as RPM and .deb packages for Linux to download from the LibreOffice servers. Note that as a pre-release/development version, the beta is not recommended for production or mission critical work.
LibreOffice has also announced that the project has taken on 13 students as part of this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event. The students will be working on a variety of tasks within the project, including various program user interfaces, in implementation of Firebird SQL in Base, the Impress remote control for iOS and VLC integration into the office suite.