Openoffice 2.0 beta was recently released. Openoffice 2.0 comprises a huge leap from openoffice 1.4. See http://www.openoffice.org for what is new in version 2.0
However, for some stupid reason, openoffice releases binaries only for Redhat. Other distributions, including debian, are expected to include the latest version of openoffice in their distributions. Depending on their policies and availability of human resources, this takes some time. Debian does some modifications in openoffice before including it in the Debian distribution. These are mainly to make Openoffice conform to opensource standards of debian.
In the meanwhile, users like me would like to install the new version and see how it works.
In general, installation of packages that are available as rpm on debian system requires the use of a program called “alien”. “alien” can make deb packages out of rpm packages, which could then be installed using dpkg. This integrates the packages thus installed with the overall package management under apt.
In case of openoffice 2.0, one gets some error messages when trying to install deb files created by alien. The remedy to this is available here http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=18269&highlight=debian
Try it and have fun,