This email contains only my own personal opinions. I'm not even a member of TDF let alone any
kind of representative.
Java releases new version frequently, and each release seems to primarily be to fix security
problems with the previous release. Allegedly Java 7 has been compromised and allegedly there is
already malware out in the wild that can exploit it! Java 7 has not even been released yet!
LibreOffice is writing out any dependance on java as quickly as reasonably possible but it is
also doing a number of other things at the same time. It has consolidated long-running forks of
OOo such as Go-oo, hugely increased functionality and tidied the code to the point of making it
The new 3.5.0 release is the first release in a new branch. General wisdom is to wait until the
first service pack, in this case the 3.5.1. The latest stable version is the 3.4.5. With
OpenSource software there are often 2 branches, a "stable" branch and a "new features" or
"development" branch. That often confuses people that are new to OpenSource. Ubuntu has a lot
of trouble explaining it's LTS releases. A lot of people that are new to OpenSource have been
using LibreOffice. Unfortunately the Web-design Team chose this moment to only show the 1 branch
on the main downloads page and chose the more exciting release rather than the 'old' stable one.
It's sad that the author happened to choose this particular time to do the review and didn't try
out any of the other releases of LibreOffice but that is just the way life works.
--- On Sat, 10/3/12, Stephen Leibowitz<email@example.com> wrote:
From: Stephen Leibowitz<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [libreoffice-users] LibO/Java Issue from InfoWorld Article
Date: Saturday, 10 March, 2012, 4:10
An article recently appeared in the online publication InfoWorld
titled, “LibreOffice 3.5: The best Office killer yet.” The article is
The author discussed getting LibO to work with Java:
“Worse, LibreOffice's Java interface is finicky. I tried installing
the latest Java 7, but LibreOffice said my JRE was "defective." When I
tried again with Java 6, the same applications crashed without
explanation. I eventually got it working, but installing and
reinstalling the various components wasted a lot of time, which
doesn't bode well for unattended installations.”
I had an email exchange with the author. I wrote to him these two paragraphs:
Oracle’s Java website has a page that starts, “Why is Java SE 7 not
yet available on java.com?” Version 7 is currently only recommended
for developer testing. (http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/java7.xml)
I installed LibO 3.5.0 on a Windows system with Java 6. That
installation and the use of the Java-dependent Base application in
LibO were normal.
The author wrote back a detailed description of his attempt. It ends
with a suggestion that it should be forwarded to the “LibreOffice
folks”, so I have attached it below. Does anyone have any ideas?
What I did was this:
1. Installed LibreOffice 3.5.0 without having a JRE installed
(because that's one use case for the suite). I used a clean VM of
Windows 7 with the latest updates implied, but no other extraneous
software that could interfere with my tests.
2. Launched the LibreOffice Start icon. It seemed to go through
some sort of "first run" procedure, which produced a series of errors
about a missing JVM. I remember having to dismiss about 4-5 Java error
boxes. Then nothing seemed to happen.
3. Launched the LibreOffice Start icon a second time. This time it
worked and I saw the Start Center, and I was able to launch all the
applications, as expected.
4. Base, of course, didn't work. When I tried to create a database
I saw the Java error message again, which I expected.
5. Downloaded and installed Java. I used Java SE 7 because A.) it's
the latest one, and it's the one Oracle is encouraging everyone to
get, so you can't expect casual office-suite users not to use it; and
B.) the LibreOffice folks do explicitly say that while there were
problems with Java 7 for a while, it is now supported.
6. Launched Base. At the point that it would have given me the
"missing JVM" error message, now I just got a spinning hourglass icon.
After a while, Windows gave me a message saying "the program has
stopped responding." When I dismissed the error, LibreOffice would
exit. I tried launching various LibreOffice components at various
ways, but every time it tried to invoke Java, I got the same result.
Waiting several minutes at the "stopped responding" dialog did not
7. Downloaded Java SE 6, installed that. Now everything was the
same as in Step 6, only instead of "stopped responding," now I got an
immediate crash and the programs would exit.
8. Uninstalled Java SE 7. No change.
9. Uninstalled Java SE 6, then downloaded and installed the entire
JDK 6 (including the compilers, libraries, tools, etc.). No change.
10. At this point, I thought, "Maybe something is wrong with this
Windows install. Maybe Java doesn't work on it at all." So I launched
one of the sample apps that came with the JDK. That worked, confirming
that Java worked.
11. So I launched Base again and ... this time it worked. I didn't
get any error message. I could create databases with Base, and
everything seemed to work fine.
12. Just to see, I downloaded and installed Java SE 7. This time,
everything still worked.
13. I uninstalled JDK 6, so now I only had Java SE 7. Everything still worked.
So as far as I can tell, the JRE needed some kind of first-run
initialization (maybe it needs to setup some Registry keys or
something) and whichever way the LibreOffice applications were trying
to invoke the JRE was launching it in an unstable state. Once I ran
the other Java app, it stabilized, and after that LibreOffice worked.
So that's weird, but it's not the kind of thing I think should be
detailed in a review. Who knows what was really happening? But it
happened, and on a very, very clean Windows machine (cleaner than any
machine that has been in use). And I didn't do anything "weird." All I
did was click the installer icons in the most obvious way. So I still
thought the Java issue was worth mentioning, but only as a gotcha --
and to say that I don't think it makes sense to have a hybrid suite
like this, and that the Document Foundation should try to remove the
P.S. I know, I should probably forward this information to the
LibreOffice folks somehow.
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