LibreOffice might not be the "Snazziest" or whatever, but it's perfect for folks like me who need to use MS office but don't use Windows and can't stand Google's web UI.
What happened that Microsoft has the most modern-looking office software?
Microsoft makes a lot of money from Office so it better be modern like looking. Proprietary software in general does a better job with UI design then FOSS software. The Windows 8 Modern UI on desktops or laptops is a big exception to that...
Why would LibreOffice copy Microsoft when its main compelling advantage over Microsoft is to avoid this mess ?
Modern design does not require following any one company's lead, but it DOES require innovation. LibreOffice's UI does not innovate.
Also the interface takes up screen space on the horizontal when we have wide screens. A sidebar would be a better use of screen space.
UX is the most under appreciated area of open source software. It requires change, following/setting design trends and not listening to the majority.
I'm genuinely interested in what kind of spreadsheets have a noticeably faster response when getting processed on a GPU instead of CPU. ... actually it's the same kind of interest as "what does a train wreck in slow motion look like".
With more and more popular applications using GPGPU techniques it's possible that normal users will start noticing the difference soon.
The Office Open XML spec refers to the behaviour of old versions of MS office as the correct way to render certain options. Without access to the source code of say, MS Office 97, alternate renderers need to reverse engineer the correct behaviour.
That's not correct. What it actually does is reserve some markup for use by third parties that have reverse engineered various old programs (including programs that competed with Microsoft programs), so that if those people have workflows that depend on features of those old programs that cannot be represented in OOXML, they can still use OOXML as a storage format but add in the extra information they need.
Here's the use case this is aimed at. Suppose I run, say, a law office, and we've got an internal document management system that does things like index and cross reference documents, manage citation lists, and stuff like that. The workflow is based on WordPerfect format (WordPerfect was for a long time the de facto standard for lawyers).
Now suppose I want to start moving to a newer format for storage. Say I pick ODF, and start using that for new documents, and make my tools understand it. I'd like to convert my existing WordPerfect documents to ODF. However, there are things in WordPerfect that cannot be reproduced exactly in ODF, and this is a problem. If my tools need to figure out what page something is on, in order to generate a proper citation to that thing, and I've lost some formatting information converting to ODF, I may not get the right cite.
So what am I going to do? I'm going to add some extra, proprietary markup of my own to ODF that lets me include my reverse engineered WordPerfect knowledge when I convert my old documents to ODF, and my new tools will be modified to understand this. Now my ODF workflow can generate correct cites for old documents. Note that LibreOffice won't understand my additional markup, and will presumably lose it if I edit a document, but that's OK. The old documents I converted should be read-only.
Of course, I'm not the only person doing this. Suppose you also run a law office, with a WordPerfect work flow, and are converting to an ODF work flow. You are likely going to add some proprietary markup, just like I did. We'll both end up embedding the same WordPerfect information in our converted legacy documents, but we'll probably pick different markup for it. It would be nice if we could get together, make a list of things we've reverse engineered, and agree to use the same markup when embedding that stuff in ODF.
And that's essentially what they did in OOXML. They realized there would be people like us with our law offices, who have reverse engineered legacy data, that will be extending the markup. So they made a list of a bunch of things from assorted past proprietary programs that were likely to have been reverse engineered by various third parties, and reserved some markup for each.
I will probably send MS a gift once they finally release Office for *nix.