LibreOffice 5.2.4, Mint Upgrading, Weather Forecast

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 23, 2016

The Document Foundation is celebrating today with their release of LibreOffice 5.2.4. The announcement also teased upcoming LibreOffice 5.3 that will feature the new MUFFIN interface. Elsewhere, there seems to be some disagreement as to whether Mint's heart is in their upgrades and Jonathan Corbet published his latest Linux Forecast. A couple of sites have gathered some fun activities for the long boring holiday season and, in case you missed it, Fedora 23 reached its end of life Tuesday.

The Document Foundation today released LibreOffice 5.2.4 with 125 fixes. A lot of them seem to be tweaks to the menus and interface, but there were a few crashes fixed and several import/export issues. Users still relying upon the 5.1 branch are encouraged to upgrade to today's 5.2.4.

TDF's Italo Vignoli also mentioned the LibreOffice 5.3 RC1 as available, but I could only locate the Beta 2. Some of the new goodies coming in 5.3 include a Go to Page dialog, more drawing tools in Writer and Calc, two new Impress templates, new arrows for Draw, and new Safe Mode. Safe Mode "starts LibreOffice temporarily with a fresh user profile and helps to restore a broken configuration." The Help texts will now be rendered in your system's default font if possible and a lot of interface and dialogs were redesigned. The biggest change coming in 5.3 will be the new MUFFIN interface, which others have described as "Microsoft Ribbon"-like and the reason I was hoping to get a hold of the RC1. Maybe tomorrow.

Linux Mint's Clement Lefebvre is always cautious when announcing upgrades (usually preceded by "if it ain't broke, don't fix it") yet Mint's update app has been undergoing redesigns to make updating to crucial kernel fixes easier as a result of past security issues. Previously, it did seem kernel updates were a bit hidden probably to avoid broken systems. So, the Mint guys have been working on making that process fool-proof (or better anyway) as well. In any case, Swapnil Bhartiya recently wrote, "Linux Mint, stop discouraging users from upgrading. Discouraging updating systems puts users at risk. Encourage them to stay updated."

To that Christine Hall today responded saying, "Regardless of what you may have read elsewhere, the Linux Mint team takes security very seriously and wants you to keep your system up-to-date." She said the Mint team takes security very seriously and systems are commonly "fully supported" for years. She explained there's a difference between upgrading a system and updating some packages. Upgrading should be taken on cautiously whereas security updates are dished out quite often and encouraged. "To suggest that the Mint crew is putting its users at risk merely by suggesting they might want to think twice before installing the distro's latest and greatest when the version they're using is fully supported is very unfair — and misinterprets the point being made."

If you find yourself bored over the holiday break, here are a few activities to help keep you occupied and your head down. Alex Campbell listed four easy projects for new and intermediate users from trying a new distro to setting up network storage. Sandra Henry-Stocker shared 17 Unix tricks for 2017 and Carla Schroder had five "holiday amusements" that include Cowsay Christmas and Ascii yule log.

In other news:

* Fedora 23 reaches end of release cycle

* Linux Weather Forecast

* Merry Linux to you!