The project has also seemed to generate a lot of interest from developers. Just last week version 3.4.3 debuted with some significant security fixes –- a reminder that the project is still young, but also evidence that it is continuing to evolve.
All this attention on LibreOffice now raises the question of what will become of another popular open source software project.
“Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the OpenOffice.org project in the first decade,” said Norbert Thiebaud, a member of TDF Engineering Steering Committee.
In Sept. 2010, developers who were critical of Oracle Corp.’s perceived lack of commitment to OpenOffice decided to split and create LibreOffice. Oracle handed off the OpenOffice project to the Apache Software Foundation earlier this year, leaving some concerned that it would languish as many developers joined LibreOffice instead.
Now, it looks like much of that concern was justified. Just as LibreOffice is celebrating its first birthday and releasing major upgrades, OpenOffice –- apparently hurting for money after being dumped by Oracle -– is planning a major fundraising campaign for this month.
Obviously, it’s too early to say that OpenOffice is in decline, and the project will almost certainly generate large donations. But, now that it’s clear LibreOffice isn’t going away anytime soon, many users and developers could start turning away from OpenOffice.
What do you think? Will OpenOffice be revived by the Apache Foundation? Is having multiple open source office suite products good for end-users? If you switched from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, why? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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The “donation” of the code to ASF was met coolly by The Document Foundation (TDF), the organization of developers that spun off LibreOffice in September 2010 from OpenOffice in response to Oracle’s handling of the project, including the decision to charge for the previously free Open Document Format plugin that allowed interoperability between OpenOffice and Microsoft Office suite. TDF lists its supporters, which include most of the big names in Linux: Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, Google and more.
TDF issued a statement, explaining that this move was not all they had hoped for:
The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
This move by Oracle doesn’t seem to be as “open” claim in its press materials on the matter, and TDF’s grumblings won’t go unnoticed by the open source community. One of the key hang-ups is the change of software licensing under Apache. Previously, OpenOffice code was licensed under the GPL, LGPLv3 and MPL. Under Apache’s license, modifications to the code do not need to be given back, which contrasts with the previous licensing versions.
Notably, IBM is supporting the move, and Bob Sutor has issued his own analysis and reaction on his blog.
More on OpenOffice and ASF
Oracle watchers speculate on future of OpenOffice
ASF Incubator: What does that mean?]]>
Since when has Microsoft been in favor of choice? Like the choice of eat or be eaten. . . .]]>
Go-oo get OpenOffice
The Go-oo version of OpenOffice.org promises new, in-development features and functionality not incorporated into OpenOffice’s releases. According to SearchEnterpriseLinux.com expert Solveig Haugland’s blog, the split is the result of a long-standing disagreement over licensing of a Calc module.
Latest OpenOffice.org a major release
In a recent tip on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, Haugland has also done a great job reviewing the newest features of OpenOffice.org 2.3. OpenOffice.org 2.3 includes several features and improvements, including security enhancements.
The latest release also includes an expanded extension library. The multiplatform OpenOffice.org is compatible with all major office suites, which means you can work with your existing .doc files easily with the open source Writer application. SearchEnterpriseLinux.com contributor Serdar Yegulalp reminds us that this refers to the Microsoft Word 97 2003 format, “which retains a core set of features which are compatible across the iteration” of the proprietary product.
In addition to Haugland’s tips and advice on SearchEnterpriseLinux and her own blog, the OpenOffice.org Web site keeps a list of helpful OpenOffice.org blogs. If you know of any others, let us know.]]>
/opt/sun-jdk-1.6.0.03/jreafter I had upgraded to 1.6.0.05 which resulted in OpenOffice always telling me that my JRE was broken. Removing
~/.ooo-2.0/user/registry/cache/org.openoffice.Office.Java.datthen resetting the JRE from within OpenOffice fixed the issue. ]]>