LibreOffice/Document Foundation Bonanza

The Document Foundation’s annual report for 2014 (40 interesting pages) is out.
It’s a gold mine:
“In mid October, The Document Foundation has received the 100,000th donation in 500 days, with an average of 200 donations per day. Donations are the main source of income for the project, and are key for the independence.

At the end of 2014, the estimated user base of LibreOffice is exceeding 80 million users worldwide, according to the number of Windows and OS X users pinging for updates, plus Linux users updating their software from repositories.

Throughout 2014 we diligently triaged hundreds of bug reports, with a goal of breaking the 500 bug barrier by Christmas. We broke the 500- and 400-bug mark, reaching 387 UNCONFIRMED bugs by the end of December. We’re now at historic lows, currently at 282, as we seek to continue the downward trend.

Since the start of the LibreOffice project, it’s been a challenge to stay on top of the incoming bug reports. Zooming far above 2,500 in 2012, we entered 2014 with a debt of over 1,100 UNCONFIRMED bugs. Throughout 2014 we diligently triaged hundreds of bug reports, with a goal of breaking the 500 bug barrier by Christmas. We broke the 500- and 400-bug mark, reaching 387 UNCONFIRMED bugs by the end of December. We’re now at historic lows,currently at 282, as we seek to continue the downward trend.

We run a total of 167 mailing lists in 38 languages, with about 20,000 subscribers from all over the world. The foundation’s website, as well as the LibreOffice site, both rely on SilverStripe as content management system, and serve their content in 50 languages to over 40 million unique visitors per year. The downloads of LibreOffice itself are distributed amongst 113 mirror servers all over
the world. On our server infrastructure, over 5 TB of data are stored redundantly and are regularly backed up.

Depending on the method applied, and what kind of files you count, the number of lines of code can vary, but according to open HUB, LibreOffice consists of 7.2 M lines of actual code, of which 82% are C++, and nearly 10M lines are commented-out code or empty lines. In 2014, the developer community managed to get the defect density as determined by Coverity to a rounded
value of 0.00 (0.003515303 defects per 1000 lines of code as of November 2014).”
Next to Linux or Android, LibreOffice is one of the most active FLOSS projects in the world. Arguably, it is one of the keys to liberating the desktop from Wintel as the office suite is one of Wintel’s key lock-ins for business. With moves to create a web-based version and one for Android/Linux, the future is bright however IT diversifies. Anyone considering the cost of IT should look at the office suite. Almost everyone uses one. I’ve used StarOffice, OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice and M$’s offerings and LibreOffice is definitely adequate for a huge slice of office/education/personal tasks. The viewer works even when one is mobile on Android/Linux. Thus, I don’t need to drag along a notebook when hunting or target-shooting, just a smartphone/GPS/camera/emergency-phone in my pocket. Life is sweet with LibreOffice.

In 2015, with huge growth seen in GNU/Linux usage on the web, it’s a sure thing that LibreOffice will continue to grow in popularity as many distros include it. There is only one feature I find lacking in LibreOffice, proper chart-styles. Despite using XML, which should separate style from content, LibreOffice still embeds the style in the content making life difficult. One has to use a template and copy/paste data rather than selecting a style and going at it. The present methods of modifying a chart involve a lot of useless clicking. GNUmeric is much better for me for now for stuff on this blog. Now that a lot of code has been fixed and QA is in place, it’s time this deficiency was fixed too.

Still, LibreOffice is one of the great bargains of our time, the whole world making and using and sharing its own office suite.

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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4 Responses to LibreOffice/Document Foundation Bonanza

  1. ram says:

    LibreOffice also “plays nice” with TeX. That is pretty much essential for technical and scientific documents.

  2. Agent_Smith says:

    Our one and only enemy is OOXML. That crap must die, in a painful way. When that’s done, ODF will rule, and MS will not be able to rule the formats.

  3. dougman wrote, “Why pay $100/year to create documents?”

    That’s just the tip of an ugly iceberg: TOOS licence, a CAL or two or three, the office suite, re-re-reboots, malware, … Some folks pay over $1K per annum per seat to do things M$’s way.

  4. dougman says:

    It is amazing how quickly LO has become the king of office software. Why pay $100/year to create documents?

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