LibreOffice is Vibrant

Remember how long the port of took to AMD64 (3 years) or the addition of SVG image handling (most requested feature took 6 years)? That was because there were only a few developers working on such a huge amount of source code.
“There are around 120 developers hacking LibreOffice code on a regular basis; these can be divided in three groups based on their experience: 20 core developers working on features, fixes, and packaging the software; 40 more regular devs working on features, fixes and easy hacks; and 60 less-regular devs working on easy hacks and code cleaning. In addition, there are around 80 developers who are contributing occasionally, or have just started to dig into the code. TDF is also grateful for the influx of students who will be paid to work full-time over the summer by the Google Summer of Code program.”

That seems like a healthier mix for LibreOffice. What a difference a change of management makes… Things are looking bright for LibreOffice.

see The Document Foundation Announces The Members Of The Engineering Steering Committee

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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15 Responses to LibreOffice is Vibrant

  1. Yonah says:

    “OOXML is a loser that should be ignored.”

    I wholeheartedly agree! Your classic solution in search of a problem. I use Microsoft DOC format and plain text.

    “Open Office is a tool that should be used now to help people shed non free software rather than refit to Microsoft’s archaic whims.”

    Shed non-free software? Why would I want to do that? I like non-free software. I don’t like Open Office. It’s slower and looks like something I would have used back in 1998.

    “Microsoft is dying along with Office and Windows.”

    No, it’s not, despite your prophesies. Some more bad news: The world wasn’t meant to end on May 21st. The rapture isn’t coming. Jesus isn’t coming back.

    “Rational people….”

    Ha ha ha, please, go on.

  2. twitter says:

    Persuing OOXML is a strategic mistake and not splitting the code up leaves US users at risk of bogus patent lawsuits. The problem with the Microsoft Community Promise is that it’s not worth much. Novell’s code, besides being intentionally broken, is a Microsoft patent trap. It would be better to split OOXML stuff off to a development team in a country with sane patent laws. It is better still to leave Microsoft in the past.

    OOXML is a loser that should be ignored. Vista killed the upgrade inevitability myth three years ago. Part of the death of that myth was complete mastery of Microsoft Office documents which left everyone free to escape. As Rob Weir pointed out early this year, OOXML use is scraping along at two or three percent, so almost everyone is still free to escape with no further effort. That is the direction we should all point people. Open Office is a tool that should be used now to help people shed non free software rather than refit to Microsoft’s archaic whims.

    Microsoft is dying along with Office and Windows. Open Office use, Google Docs, AbiWord, KOffice and the revolution that electronic documents represent over paper focused editors are killing Microsoft Office. Rational people realize that the paper workflows and formats are a thing of the past because Wikis and other collaborative authorship systems work better for authorship and retrieval. Let OOXML sink along with Microsoft’s monopoly.

  3. The Other Dave says:

    Nope. It may well equal 500 million installs.

    Ha ha ha, not likely. The other thing too is how many installs got uninstalled?

    In the end the portion of the population that downloads, installs, and uses OO or LO is less than any value being relevant to news worthiness or being noted.

  4. oldman says:

    “that trolls like OldMan can sit around and pretend that non free software has anything useful to offer.”

    There is no pretending here mr. twitter, just fact.

    Features that are standard in office excel have saved me hours if not days of writing scripts. which also saved me money.

    its that simple.

  5. Nope. It may well equal 500 million installs. Last year I installed 90 machines from a few downloads of

  6. The Other Dave says:

    100 million downloads does not equal 100 million installs.

  7. had more than 100 million downloads and who knows how many millions of installations through distros. People are using it. I have gone to schools that were running XP but used I have seen people invited to use when they visited and needed to dash off a letter. They did not even realize it wasn’t Office.

  8. The Other Dave says:

    POST DELETED BY POGSON for irrelevant ad hominem comments.

  9. The Other Dave says:

    trolls like OldMan can sit around and pretend that non free software has anything useful to offer

    People vote with their money freetard and apparently open sores turds like Libre Office aren’t even being used. The world uses Microsoft Office the standard and leader in office productivity apps.

    So as usual open sores is nothing more than a basement dwelling hobbiest’s project.

  10. oiaohm says:

    oldman please be-careful who you insult.

    Some of libreoffice core developers are full time IBM staff paid to work on lotus symphony as well. Since they share the same backend code patch to libreoffice back end code is a patch to lotus symphony back end code. Yes future versions will share the same engine.

    The 20 core developers are full time and highly experienced from different major companies including IBM. This is different to OpenOffice. This core team of full time is larger than what OpenOffice. Also are on better terms with each other. Not having the case of having a patch and not being able to submit it as what was happening very regularly from the IBM developers. IBM developers are not allowed to sign copyright assignments but can release under open source licenses.

    So the 20 core are not “A bunch of amateurs”.

    Most of the core could not submit to openoffice due to their place of work not allowing them to sign copyright assignments as what was require to submit code to openoffice under sun and orcale.

    Even the 40 regular developers most of them are commercial coders paid todo it.

    You can put the percentage of people paid to work on libreoffice somewhere between 50 to 80 percent of the 120 at least. Most likely higher.

    Even the 80 non regulars high percentage are developers paid to be working on particular things.

    Yes regression testing proper build servers proper charting of locking systems inside the software. Have all been underway since libreoffice started.

    For one Calc processing performance under libreoffice leaves openoffice for dead.

    twitter to be correct libreoffice has something they call laugh ooxml. What is basically the .doc .xls stuff under MS community promise merged with ooxml spec sheets. It kinda works.

    Remember how short of time it taken libreoffice to get to 20 core developers. Next question is when will they get to 30 and 40.

  11. ray says:


    Simple. They also compete with other office suite, like Google Apps, and iWork. It’s not really anti-Microsoft, when it competes with other office suite.

    And no, they won’t hack out OOXML. But they would allow you to easily disable it.

  12. twitter says:

    Simon Phipps had a few interesting things to say about Open Office last Friday. The wonderful Open Office we have today was limited by Sun’s decision to have a non free branch and Comunity License Agreement that devided the community with overreaching demands. He goes on to point out the roll students had in localizations, which we all know easily beat out anything Microsoft has. He also goes on to point out that Oracle’s decision to dump 100 Open Office developers is only natural to a non free software company.

    The destruction of the Open Office team is one of the reasons people with their head straight did not want to see Oracle acquire Sun. There were many other good reasons, like MySQL, Open Solaris, Java and Sun’s huge patent portfolio.

    It’s funny now, while we all lick the wounds inflicted by wrong headed decisions by non free software companies that trolls like OldMan can sit around and pretend that non free software has anything useful to offer. Perhaps he’s thinking of the ribbon interface everyone hates or digital restrictions management.

  13. Many developers working on FLOSS projects are first-rate programmers. The developers have diverse interests and talents. Many are involved in quality control which should involve regression testing. There is a temptation to skip that discipline and rely on users to debug things but bugs have been known to miss millions of users testing. M$ has shipped releases with 50K bugs even after beta testing.

  14. twitter says:

    That is very nice sounding. Let’s hope they hack out Novell’s patent booby trap and intentionally incomplete OOXML code quickly. PJ summarized the situation her news feed as:

    PJ: The link takes you to an interesting discussion among LibreOffice people as to whether or not to support OOXML, meaning not the standard which no one uses but whether to support what Microsoft does in Office 2007. A reasonable presentation of the choices faced is found here. Then Italo Vignoli of the Document Foundation joins in here, saying that the Document Foundation is for interoperability and it’s not against Microsoft. If you are against Microsoft, he says, “then we are happy if you choose the OOo community.” If he speaks for the Foundation in saying that, I surely accept his invitation and will not use LibreOffice for sure. I’ve written to them, and I’ll let you know what they say, but this is a warning flag, for sure. If one is for interoperability, how can you be for OOXML, which is proprietary and not fully interoperable? In any case, whatever your views, you’ll find the discussion informative.

    I’m not sure how the LibreOffice community can not really be against Microsoft. Writing a free replacement for Microsoft’s cash cow is inherently an action against Microsoft. An honest person has to admit that Microsoft will always move the goal posts as they would like to with OOXML and that move is always the most harmful thing done to free software. Anyone in the free software world who is not “against Microsoft” is someone who’s not been paying attention to what the company says and does and those are few and far between.

  15. oldman says:

    A bunch of amateurs hacking code in their spare time Along with some students is hardly awe inspiring Pog. Though I have to admit, in comparison with the non development Sun did all those years, it may still be an improvement.

    Lets hope the steering committee can introduce this team to concepts like regression testing.

    We shall see.

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