LibreOffice – One Year On

Richard Hillesley has written a great review of LibreOffice as a project. Key points:

  • More contributions by more people have been made in one year than in one decade of OpenOffice.org. That’s a testament to the stifling of FLOSS by SUN and now Oracle and the power of FLOSS to grow by sharing. A bird has to be free to fly. Hold it too tightly and it dies. OpenOffice.org did not die but it progressed much too slowly. For example, I had to wait years for 64bitness and SVG support.
  • The codebase is diverging rapidly from OpenOffice.org. LibreOffice is two releases and 7million lines of code ahead and lots of cruft has been stripped away.
  • Thanks to the ASF licensing of OpenOffice.org, this wealth of code cannot be merged into OpenOffice.org while anything good put into OpenOffice.org could be ported to LibreOffice, although as the codes diverge that will become more difficult.
  • Presumably IBM supported the move to Apache so that code could be moved to Symphony.
  • LibreOffice has probably acquired 25million users in one year thanks to distros and a few large migrations but it will be uphill to attract users of OpenOffice.org because most users are not attuned to development.

see LibreOffice – a dive into the unknown

LibreOffice has succeeded and has a bright future. It has a large and growing base of users and enthusiastic contributors including individuals and large and small organizations. The openness of the new structure seems to be what was lacking in OpenOffice.org and the next decade should be one of continued growth. All that is lacking are salesmen, I figure…

see LibreOffice.org and download a copy. It’s $0 and Free Software. You get to run that copy on as many machines as you want, to examine the code, to change the code and to give/sell copies to whomever you want.

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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