OpenOffice and LibreOffice

Some are calling for OpenOffice and LibreOffice to join forces. Others just want OpenOffice to go away, so that LibreOffice can become the dominant open-source office suite that it deserves. To give you some history why there are two parallel projects, here’s howtogeek.com’s explanation of open-source suites:

Sun Microsystems acquired the StarOffice office suite in 1999. In 2000, Sun open-sourced the StarOffice software — this free, open-source office suite was known as OpenOffice.org. The project continued with help from Sun employees and volunteers, offering the free OpenOffice.org office suite to everyone — including Linux users.

In 2011, Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle. They renamed the proprietary StarOffice office suite to “Oracle Open Office,” as if they wanted to cause confusion, and then discontinued it. Most outside volunteers — including the contributors to Go-oo, who contributed a set of enhancements used by many Linux distributions — left the project and formed LibreOffice. LibreOffice was a fork of OpenOffice.org and is built on the original OpenOffice.org code base. Most Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, switched their bundled office suite from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice.

The original OpenOffice.org seemed down and out. In 2011, Oracle gave the OpenOffice.org trademarks and code to the Apache Software Foundation. The project known as OpenOffice today is actually Apache OpenOffice and is being developed under Apache’s umbrella under the Apache license.

LibreOffice has been developing more quickly and releasing new versions more frequently, but the Apache OpenOffice project isn’t dead. Apache released the beta version of OpenOffice 4.1 in March, 2014.

Since OpenOffice is nearing it’s end, others are wishing the two projects to merge.

Or just make way for LibreOffice to be the open-source standard.