LibreOffice is undeniably one of the most popular open source applications that is available on Mac OS X and Windows, along with Linux. What makes LibreOffice (LO) even more important is that it uses the ISO approved Open Document Format (ODF), which ensures that your precious work is not locked to a vendor specific application. And soon it will be even easier to use LibreOffice and preserve documents in a format that will not become obsolete with time.
The Document Foundation (TDF), the organization behind LibreOffice, has begun to unwrap its plans for Online LibreOffice – a service similar to Google Docs or Office Online where users can work on documents online.
Italo Vignoli, one of the co-founders of TDF said, “LibreOffice, the best free office suite ever, is set to become the cornerstone of the world’s first global personal productivity solution – LibreOffice Online – following an announcement by IceWarp and Collabora of a joint development effort.”
TDF has been working on an online version of the suite since 2011 when their developers created a proof of concept of the client end based on HTML5.
Vignoli said, “That proof of concept will be developed into a state of the art cloud application, which will become the free alternative to proprietary solutions such as Google Docs and Office 365, and the first to natively support the Open Document Format (ODF) standard.”
There is no concrete launch date yet, but it’s certainly not far away.
There is an online version of LibreOffice through RollApps, however it’s more or less an instance of LO running on a server and accessible via a browser and the experience is not on par with what you get with Google Docs, iWorks or Office Online.
I have used RollApp on my Chromebook so I am really excited to see what Collabora and IceWrap are planning to do. I hope it will be something native like Google Docs.
There is a mobile version of LO for Android but once again it’s more like a work in progress than a project that can be used for work.