LibreOffice is good news for users

LibreOffice is good news for users

The free OpenOffice productivity suite is now independent and safe in good hands under the new name LibreOffice.

Article comments

Given Oracle's recent decision to pull the plug on OpenSolaris, there has been considerable concern over the past few months about the future of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite. Both projects were inherited by Oracle when it acquired Sun early this year.

Tuesday brought good news for the legions of worried OpenOffice.org users, however, when the community of developers working on the project announced that they have formed an independent foundation, and will be using the name LibreOffice for their fork of the software, unless Oracle agrees to donate the OpenOffice.org brand.


Now known as The Document Foundation, the newly independent OpenOffice.org community aims to fulfill the promise of independence written in the original charter for the project. It has invited Oracle to become a member and to donate the OO.o brand, but I haven't heard back from the company yet with any indication of its intentions.

'Shaping the future'

OpenOffice.org has long been the leading free and open source alternative to Microsoft's widely used Office package. The software has set download records on new releases, and estimates suggest it now accounts for about 10 percent of the overall office suite market. It is also included in several leading Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

Now, under the name LibreOffice pending Oracle's decision, the software is available in a beta version at a placeholder LibreOffice website. An impressive list of supporters is already on board with the project, including Google, Novell, Red Hat, Canonical, the Open Source Initiative, the GNOME Foundation and NeoOffice.

Developers, meanwhile, are invited to join the project and contribute to the code "in the new friendly and open environment, to shape the future of office productivity suites," the project's creators said.

'It liberates development'

The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the former OpenOffice.org community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council. It will be led initially by a steering committee of developers and national language project managers.

"We believe that the foundation is a key step for the evolution of the free office suite, as it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project from the constraints represented by the commercial interests of a single company," explained Sophie Gautier, a veteran community member and the former maintainer of the French language project.

"Free software advocates around the world have the extraordinary opportunity of joining the group of founding members today, to write a completely new chapter in the history of FLOSS," Gautier added.

The beauty of open source

It will certainly be very interesting to see how Oracle responds. Thanks to the beauty of open source, however, it doesn't really matter in the long run. Sure, it would be nice to have the company on board, and to be able to keep the OpenOffice.org name. If not, though, life will go on, and so will the project.

This is how things work in the world of open source, and it's why both business and individual users of the software can rest assured. No matter what any one company might decide to do, OpenOffice.org, or LibreOffice, is now in good and independent hands.

Share:

Comments

  • Joseph This sounds like an unnecessary and bad idea designed to provoke Oracle Without the paid Oracle developers and leadership youre not going to see the kind of development on OpenOffice there was before There was no need to do this at this point in time and now OpenOffice has lost financial backing all for some ideological cause Ask OpenSolaris users if they wish Oracle was still involved with their project Their woes are going to befall those who use OpenOffice now
Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.


We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

ComputerworldUK Knowledge Vault

ComputerworldUK
Share
x
Open
* *