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.

OpenOffice Developers Are Leaving

Maybe OpenOffice is on it’s last legs. It’s down to just 16 developers. Compared to LibreOffice’s 268 developers, it pales in comparison. Armed with just a few a developers, OpenOffice releases will be slow and infrequent. I think it’s becoming more obvious to switch over to LibreOffice if you haven’t yet done so. Maybe, the two projects can lay their pride aside and combine their efforts and make an even more solid product.

Remove OpenOffice, Install LibreOffice

If you’re running the latest release of your favorite Linux distro, chances are, you are already using LibreOffice. In my case, my desktop is still powered by Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. It means I still have OpenOffice as the default office suite. I say it’s time to switch to LibreOffice. Here’s a simple set of instructions to remove OpenOffice and Install LibreOffice via Terminal.

Remove OpenOffice

sudo apt-get remove openoffice*.*

Install LibreOffice

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice

Is Microsoft Feeling The Heat From OpenOffice?

Is Microsoft feeling the heat from OpenOffice? Microsoft just launched a video attacking OpenOffice. See video below. A very interesting tactic from Microsoft. The attacks revolved around higher support costs, interoperability issues, decreased performance and efficiency, and increased frustration. For a minute there, I thought they were talking about MS Office. Ha!

Here’s the video.

And why would Microsoft attack OpenOffice? I don’t think OpenOffice is a threat to Microsoft’s dominance. Not yet, anyways. Are they really worried about OpenOffice eating away their market share? And why would they acknowledge the competition and giving them credibility. Interesting tack.

Document Foundation LibreOffice

Key developers of the OpenOffice suite are bracing for change. Based on what happened to OpenSolaris, the likelihood of OpenOffice having the same fate as OpenSolaris is quite real. As you recall, OpenSolaris was recently abandoned by Oracle.

This week, a community of developers created the Document Foundation LibreOffice in an effort to create independence from Oracle. Although LibreOffice is not a fork, it may happen if Oracle doesn’t change its tune.

As you already know, I have been a proponent of open-source and particularly OpenOffice for years. I’ve used OpenOffice not only in Linux, but on Windows as well. To me, OpenOffice is a great and the only alternative to MS Office.

Based on Oracle’s track record with open-source, I don’t see Oracle jumping in the fray. I don’t see Oracle making contributions to the Document Foundation. The likelihood of LibreOffice forking is probably more real than we think.

What about MySQL?

MS Office vs OpenOffice

If you are curious about MS Office and OpenOffice, and how they stack up against each other, here’s a good article  comparing the two Office suites. We already know OpenOffice is free. Microsoft could not get any better than offering MS Office for less than $50, which we know will never happen.

Most users will gravitate to MS Office, a suite they already are familiar with. OpenOffice offers an intriguing prospect because it’s free and almost compatible. I say almost because most of the functions work, but not all. There are other criteria worth checking out. Here’s the article.

OpenOffice Isn’t Dead

A recent article by ZDNet article said that OpenOffice is dead. Is it really? There are thousands who use OpenOffice on a daily basis. How could it be dead? Google Docs may be a better alternative to MSOffice, but it won’t work offline. To most people, OpenOffice is still the right choice over MSOffice because of cost. Granted not too many people use it, but to say it’s dead is like saying Safari and Opera browsers are dead because they don’t have too many users. They may not have the numbers, but each have their own loyal following. By no means it’s dead.

Sourceforge.net 2008 Community Choice Awards

The open-source community have spoken. The winners of the Sourceforge.net 2008 Community Awards were announced and OpenOffice.org and phpMyAdmin grabbed more than one category. This year’s nomination were left open to any project or repository. 17 of the finalists were hosted outside of Sourceforge.net. The winners are:

2008 Community Choice Awards Winners

  • Best Project – OpenOffice.org
  • Best Project for the Enterprise – OpenOffice.org
  • Best Project for Educators OpenOffice.org
  • Most Likely to Be the Next $1B Acquisition – phpMyAdmin
  • Best Project for Multimedia VLC
  • Best Project for GamersXBMC
  • Most Likely to Change the World – Linux
  • Best New ProjectMagento
  • Most Likely to Be Ambiguously and Baselessly Accused of Patent Violation – Wine Is Not an Emulator
  • Most Likely to Get Users Sued by Anachronistic Industry Associations Defending Dead Business ModelseMule
  • Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins – phpMyAdmin
  • Best Tool or Utility for DevelopersNotepad++

Driving My Ubuntu Desktop

Pictured above is how I drive my Ubuntu Desktop. It’s clean, fast and it’s brown all over. That’s Ubuntu for sure. Some people don’t really care for the earthy tones, but I don’t mind. My screen resolution is set to 1280 x 1024 pixels. I’ve decided to use this background for a bit of a change. By the way, the Compiz Fusion Desktop Effects are super. I love the applications: OpenOffice, Gimp, MoviePlayer, Rythymbox Music Player and the Bluefish Editor are just a few. The only thing I miss in Windows are the games. It may be time for some virtualization using VMWare. That’s my next project.