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Open Source Oracle Software Apache

Is Apache OpenOffice Finally On the Way Out? (apache.org) 137

Reader JImbob0i0 writes: After almost another year without a release and another major CVE leaving users vulnerable for that year the Chairman of the Project Management Committee has started public discussions on what it will entail to retire the project, following the Apache Board showing concern at the poor showing.
It's been a long battle which would have been avoided if Oracle had not been so petty. Did this behaviour actually help get momentum in the community underway though? What ifs are always hard to properly answer. Hopefully this long drawn out death rattle will finally come to a close and the wounds with LibreOffice can heal with the last few contributors to AOO joining the rest of the community.

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Is Apache OpenOffice Finally On the Way Out?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    just open source licenses functioning as intended.

  • by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @03:57PM (#52817221)

    Oracle's antics caused me to switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, not from any "GPL Purity" reasons (which I care little about) but from a reasonable suspicion that Oracle, being Evil, would soon do something I did not like.

    When it was given to Apache, I'd basically consider it a toss-up between the two, but I was already on LibreOffice, and didn't have any particular reason to go back. Since then, Libre seems to be a more active project than Open, so I prefer it on that basis.

    I suspect that's a lot of the issue -- People left "because Oracle" (makes Signs against Evil) they're very close to the same software, one is getting more work done on it than the other, no particular reason to prefer OpenOffice.

    • Oracle's antics caused me to switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, not from any "GPL Purity" reasons (which I care little about) but from a reasonable suspicion that Oracle, being Evil, would soon do something I did not like.

      Same here. It makes me think that the Java community would be better served if Oracle turned over stewardship of Java to ASF or even a new organization. I use OpenJDK for *nix, but as far as I can tell, support for OpenJDK on Windows is sorely lacking.

      In fact, when I have to work on Windows, Oracle's ridiculousness with forcing the Java control panel to always turn on automatic checks for updates is maddening. I mean, I'm a programmer. I have to maintain control over the configuration of my development

      • Same Java problem here. I actually modified the hosts file on my dev machine to blackhole the java update domains.

    • by jdavidb ( 449077 )
      I took LibreOffice because it's what was on ninite.com. I actually used to love Gnumeric and Abiword, but they aren't having windows releases any more. I have the last Windows releases of them installed, but more and more I use LibreOffice.
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        The only reason that Abiword is not having any windows releases is the lack of windows developers. Learn to code and help out. It is Opensource.

        • by jdavidb ( 449077 )
          Yes, I know. One of these days, in my copious free time, when I'm not developing all the things I'm developing now... :) I'm not complaining, and I understand why they aren't presently releasing for Windows.
          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

            But somebody has to spend the time. That is the thing about FOSS. It is not really free. Developing is hard work and all too many people just do not seem to get that. If you love those programs and can code then for goodness sake contribute. Maybe you could find enough Abiword users to do a gofundme and pay someone to work on the Windows version.
            AbiWord is a good project and I hate to see it starve for developers.
            I am thinking about doing some work on joe myself.

            • by Wolfrider ( 856 )

              > I am thinking about doing some work on joe myself.

              --Any new work on ' jstar ' would be welcome, it's my favorite text editor. ;-) Especially documenting how to turn off Word Wrap and Auto Indent by default in the config file... It's been a while since I tried googling stuff like that, but it seems like there are some broken features in Joe's jstar.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Of course being open source there is nothing stopping developers porting elements from package to package. Forking is the core of FOSS, it allows the public trialling of all sorts of stuff.

          • by jimjag ( 68949 )

            Unfortunately, that's not quite true in this case. Any porting/sharing of code between AOO and LO is one way (from AOO -> LO) and had been one way. AOO cannot consume LO code unless specifically relicensed.

    • MySQLs Next (Score:4, Insightful)

      by snadrus ( 930168 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:52PM (#52817661) Homepage Journal

      Oracle (for whatever reason) has no community trust. MariaDB and other forks are getting common use and will likely see the same shift.

    • I'm curious. Why do the antics of companies that provide free software cause you to switch said free software?
  • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @03:58PM (#52817251)

    OpenOffice died the moment LibreOffice forked it. The ghost of OpenOffice.org just didn't know it was dead. When most of your major developers leave to carry on a competing project, the prior project dies.

    • by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:25PM (#52817457)
      OpenOffice died the moment Oracle took it over, which caused the LibreOffice fork. It's another datapoint in the eventual death of things Oracle touches.
      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        OpenOffice wasn't exactly a hive of activity before that. Sun's bureaucratic development policies resulted in frustration and a backlog of stuff which hadn't or wasn't allowed to go in. This wasn't minor stuff either, Novell maintained a fork called go-oo that had far better MSO support that Sun wouldn't accept. Sun was a rotten steward and the move to Oracle merely added evil to the process. Oracle was the last straw but I think a fork would have happened eventually.
      • Oh, wait. Oracle apparently and unfortunately seems to have a highly viable financial model. The current problem is merely that OpenOffice is NOT a part of those profits.

        So how about considering SOLUTIONS. At least LibreOffice got mentioned in a couple of posts, but the underlying problem remains unaddressed: Is the financial model viable? I don't know enough about LibreOffice to say, but if the economic model is as fundamentally broken, then it doesn't really matter, does it?

        What about a BETTER financial m

    • I think you are correct, but I also wonder how much energy and momentum was lost during this forking process. Perhaps someone with inside experience can say whether work on OO stopped all at once or if there was continued effort put into that product that now looks a bit wasted. Also, the implosion of OO gives free software opponents another talking point.
  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Friday September 02, 2016 @04:15PM (#52817373) Homepage Journal
    I haven't been keeping up with the details of the pie fight. Apart from the licensing issue (which, for your typical end-user, is not an issue at all), what features separate Apache OpenOffice from LibreOffice.org?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02, 2016 @05:04PM (#52817723)

      Well, LibreOffice was able to incorporate BROffice and other forks of OpenOffice.org. Even when Sun was around, OOo did not want to accept certain compatibility patches, so a bunch of forks came about. When Oracle bought Sun and the LibreOffice suite was created, they accepted most of the patches, causing everyone to converge on LibreOffice. A lot of the new features were licensed under GPL, which Sun, and then Oracle, did not want to accept.

      As of right now, LibreOffice is more compatible with MS Office documents than OpenOffice.org and has a lot more features, too.

    • Major distros provide the one and not the other. Then when our friends and family ask for free office software for Windows we slap what we know on there

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      LibreOffice is much further ahead; This is partly because of the fork, but also because the licences are only compatible in one direction; LibreOffice can copy code from OpenOffice but OpenOffice can't copy code from LibreOffice, so LibreOffice effectively became a superset of OpenOffice.


    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Libreoffice has more people working on it.
      So it's just openoffice with a lot of patches and improvements that were implemented from the long list that accumulated in the years when openoffice was mostly idle before the fork.
      In my workplace we jumped from a very old version of openoffice to the current libreoffice of the time because they added back in a feature that had been missing for more than three years (relating to seamless pasting of new images of identical sizes into presentations for reuse).
  • Let Open Office die. LibreOffice is much, much better!
  • Names they are trying:

    Old Yeller

  • I hope that OpenOffice will hand over their trade mark to LibreOffice. Especially many Windows users do not seem to know that LibreOffice exists, and are still using the now outdated OpenOffice. It would be great if the OpenOffice sites would point to LibreOffice, a worthy successor of them.

  • There seems to be hope that OpenOffice will disappear and leave the field to LibreOffice.

    However, LibreOffice has a terrible name and is not alone, you will see occasionally LibreThis and LibreThat.

    The issue is that 'free' in Engish may point to free as in beer and free as in freedom.

    Please, Slashdot, collect suggestions from readers for a new name. Methinks LibreOffice should morph to FreedomOffice.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      should morph to FreedomOffice

      Sounds even worse IMHO.

      Stupid names and software go together - "powerpoint" sounds nothing like a slideshow presentation and there are many with worse names. At a guess what do you think "ProMAX R5000" is about?

  • Lets just hope this happens in such a way that current OpenOffice users find out about LibreOffice.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson