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?