Does Apache OpenOffice Future?

A few days ago the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced that Apache openOffice would be from now on a Top-level Project (TLP). Andrea Pescetti, Vice-President of Apache openoffice said :

«This act is an official recognition that the project is capable of self-management not only in technical matters, but also in community affairs.«.

The "Apache way" and its methods, public decision-making and in full transparency, has allowed the project to successfully attract and hire new volunteers and elect a project management committee that will be able to guarantee a stable future. for Apache OpenOffice in theory.

OpenOffice was an important open-source project… .. and the but is in «was«. When it was created as Star Office by Star Division in the 90s, it was vitally important as an open-source office suite. After Star Division was acquired by Sun in 1999, and its subsequent transformation into OpenOffice, it was positioned as the most important open-source office suite.

Sun dropped out of the project, however, and after Oracle acquired Sun in 2009, the main openOffice developers, who hadn't been very happy anyway, started developing a fork called LibreoOfice. They would have been happy to work with Oracle, but Oracle wanted nothing to do with it, and finally in 2011, they left OpenOffice.

Meanwhile LibreOffice he has been doing things exceptionally well. The main distributions LinuxAs Ubuntu, have made of LibreOffice your main office suite. Other entities, such as Intel and Free Software Foundation have given their support to LibreOffice. It has shown slight improvements in performance compared to its counterpart, and has had strong development cycles and fast-paced improvements.

IBM dropped its fork of OpenOffice, Lotus Symphony, to work in OpenoOffice. The software architect, Rob weir, stated that:

«the resources that were put in symphony would now be put in OpenOffice »the team of OpenOffice developers in Hamburg was also hired, with a lot of experience in the code base. They have been working on the Apache project since last October, and are following the development with the team coming from Symphony. We have a large investment in this project, including programmers, QA and UI designers, they are openly working on the Apache mailing lists«

It is true that Apache OpenOffice continues to improve, but most of the improvements seem to come from the LibreOffice codebase, so what is the point of continuing OpenOfice?

Taking a look at the plans for the next versions of both projects we can see similarities: better compatibility with the format OpenXML office 2007 - 2013, versions for tablets and presence in the cloud.

After years of resistance, Microsoft finally supports Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2 with support for reading, editing and saving in Office 2013. This means that there will finally be a format that Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and LibreOffice fully support, this could do more The idea of ​​using open-source suites appeals to users.

As elav commented on Apache OpenOffice 3.4 output, is it worth leaving a project as well developed as LibreOffice? It is sad to ask if AOO can stand up to LO, being the two powerful Open-Source projects and this suggests that, instead of wasting time and duplicating work, why not join forces and work on a single open-source office suite?

Source: ZDnet


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  1.   raerpo said

    I don't think OpenOffice will ever have the importance it once did for the free software community. What I like the most is the news of the support by Office 2013 for the ODF format, that will help people to migrate more easily to libreoffice. Very good your post. Congratulations.

  2.   John said

    Only missing the original source (as far as I know) of this article (in English), whose author is Steven Vaughan-Nichols, on ZDNet: http://www.zdnet.com/does-openoffice-have-a-future-7000006480/ for all those who are interested.

    The translation and adaptation is valuable, since not all of us speak English (yet), but it is essential to announce the source ... I mean, plagiarism is such regardless of the source language ... or if it is just an Internet article.

    Greetings.

    1.    helena_ryuu said

      and if I tell you that I just forgot, hehehe beginner's mistake, last night I translated it and if you ask the editor, I missed some little things, one of them was to put the link to the original at the end of the post: P, It was not my intention to award myself the work of another, it is more than obvious that it is an almost literal translation of the original article, and I thank you for making me notice, this error (not putting the original source) will not happen again.

      1.    dwarf said

        Ready and I took care of the sources, Helena, dear, they are things that you cannot forget; I cannot be aware of the sources of each article because I do not know exactly where they come from or if they are of his own creation.

        1.    helena_ryuu said

          hehe if I know, it was my mistake, and I'm not blaming you ¬ ¬, I admit it was my fault !! is that I translated it into a text file, then I copied it to the entry, and in an effort to check the spelling, I missed the source link, rather thank you very much for highlighting the comments and other things. I promise you that it will not happen again TT ^ TT

          1.    dwarf said

            don't worry, I was worse than you xD

      2.    Carlos-Xfce said

        "[…] I translated it last night." You mean, "I translated it."

        1.    helena_ryuu said

          You, my lord, are absolutely right, I should have used the simple past perfect, that is, "I translated", what I said must have been some form of wrong conjugation, note that I conjugated the verb properly in my second comment. xDDDD

  3.   Juan Carlos said

    After having tried the two to see the differences, both in Linux and Win7, I am convinced that OpenOffice is being worked to fight in the latter. For me it doesn't work well on Linux, but on Win7 it works like a shot; contrary to what happened to me with LibreOffice, which runs much better on Linux.

    regards

  4.   hexborg said

    I think that it does make sense to dedicate efforts to a project like OpenOffice. Although LibreOffice is there, it is good that there are alternatives. Duplicating efforts would seem counterproductive to me if there were many equal projects, but with only a few I do not see it wrong.

    It is the opposite case of the linux distributions. In distrowatch there are only 100 in the ranking and yet no one complains that there are many. I think that there it would be good to join forces, but having several office suites seems good to me.

    For my part, I welcome Apache OpenOffice.

    1.    dwarf said

      I don't think the same, but it bothers me to argue xD. Simply distros and suites are two different things that may or may not be done by X amount of people.

      1.    hexborg said

        LOL!! Then I'm not going to contradict you. XD

        All opinions are respectable, of course. 🙂

        1.    Nano said

          Well now if I can give my point of view, before I was involved in other things.

          Well let's see, the question with all this is that office suites are always going to require a tremendous group of experts working on them due to their nature as a productivity tool. In the case of AOO and LO it is that both are very similar and the truth is that it is not necessary nor does it make sense that there are two, much more knowing that one takes parts of the other to improve itself. You also have to bear in mind that, hell, LO already has an advantage over AOO and well, it makes no sense to work in another suite in my opinion when you can really join work teams and do something much bigger.

          The distros, on the other hand, are a project that can be run by a single person, it all depends on their level, and taking this into account, the distro watch distros, the really big ones, all have complete teams, although we have SolusOS as an example, it is carried almost entirely by Ikey.

          The point is that, no matter how many distros that come out, the true critical mass is concentrated in a few (ubuntu, arch, debian, fedora, suse, chakra, etc.) who are the ones who really make notable advances in Linux and the others (without eagerness to belittle them) they are simply distros that are based on others or that are simply experiments or personal projects; nothing to do with the development and advancement of an office suite, which cannot be carried out by one or two people, not unless it is something small and very basic at first.

          It's a little badly argued, but hey, it's not like I'm going with all the desire in the world xD

          1.    hexborg said

            The argument is good. It is understood and makes sense. 🙂

            You're right, but I think the important point is not the number of people working on the project, although I focused on that in my previous comment. The point is that there have to be alternatives for people to choose from in case the program does not meet their needs or does not agree with their tastes or the way they work.

            I refer, without going any further, to the comments posted here by Pablo or Gadi, who complain about the speed of LibreOffice and the problems it gives them with the headings. They sure appreciate the alternative.

            What would happen if those responsible decided to take the project down a path that is not the one that the users want, as has happened many times with others? Surely many people will appreciate being able to opt for another suite.

            Perhaps instead of the distros example it would be more appropriate to put the desktop environment. I personally have never liked the gnome or KDE. I am infinitely grateful that there are environments like XFCE or LXDE and even lightweight window managers. If it weren't for that, you might still be using Windows. 🙂

  5.   oscar said

    I have been an openOffice user since 1.1 and I still remember that it was the most important step I took after Gimp to move to free applications. The reason for choosing OO was the compatibility with Ms Office documents. Over time I switched to Libreoffice and the truth is that I have never had any problems. All have worked very well.

    greetings and thanks for this great blog!

  6.   Paul said

    I have tried libreoffice 3.6.2 and it is still slow to start and also still has some flaws in the treatment of docx and doc files, so…. I went back to openoffice 3.4.1 which, to my surprise, starts faster and has no problems starting archiovs docx, of course it starts them but it doesn't allow me to save them with that extension, and with the normal docs or half drama. I think it doesn't have much future AOO but at the moment it is better than LIBREoffice, I want to use LIBREOFFICE but it still has little things that do not suit me 🙂

    1.    hexborg said

      So there is already one thing that OpenOffice excels at over LibreOffice. So it already makes sense that both exist. 🙂

    2.    Anonymous said

      At least for me, LibreOffice takes me four seconds from the first time I click the icon until I can write a new document, the following times it takes me between one to two seconds. The doc and ppt formats (word and powerpoint) are opened identical to MS Office most of the time, although it is true that docx and pptx still need to work ... it is because it must be a mess to make good compatibility with such closed formats.

  7.   Charlie-Brown said

    Beyond the compatibility problems of Open / LibreOffice (which are mostly MS Office's responsibility for not conforming to the established standards), I think that what is needed is that these office suites are really polished so that they can work as as does Microsoft's. I am not an advocate in any way for Microsoft's products, but in this case, none of the existing open source options still outperform them in quality.

    Executing simple tasks, such as copying and pasting from a web page to a text document, become quite an ordeal when trying to perform them in Libre / OpenOffice, the library of spreadsheet functions, is not all yet how complete is needed, etc. If the appearance of a new free code fork is able to solve these problems, then welcome. I am one of those who firmly believe that variety, far from conspiring against the common goal, stimulates its improvement.

    1.    Rots87 said

      Odyssey in what sense? I have worked like this in free office and I have not had major problems ... the only problem I have is the compatibility of the .docx files, etc ...

      I'm glad MS OFFICE already supports ODF format, so less headaches

  8.   Gadi said

    I'm going to make a comment a bit off-topic, but hey. I have been using LibreOffice up to version 3.6, at which point it occurred to some luminaries in Writer that the Heading and Heading paragraph styles were the same and they have annoyed me a lot (many) documents that I had saved. Since then I have been using OpenOffice 3.4, which respects what I already had saved.

    By this I mean that I don't care if LibreOffice has more support or that OpenOffice is never the same again: I'll use what best suits my needs, and right now it's OpenOffice. I hope that one day Calligra catches up with these two titans, while I continue with OO.

    1.    shattered said

      Maybe it is that we should not use the LibreOffice versions as they come out if what we want is stability, the logical thing would be to jump from stable version to stable version, to save ourselves surprises of, for example, the headers disappear.

      Greetings, comrades.

    2.    anti said

      One thing. Open the interrogations. We have and? precisely to avoid confusion.