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Open Source Oracle News Apache IT

The Future of OpenOffice.org 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the reply-hazy-ask-again dept.
snydeq writes "Oracle's decision to spin OpenOffice.org into an Apache incubation podling raises several questions regarding the future of the code, not the least of which is how it will co-exist with LibreOffice. Also of note are the business implications of Oracle's decision, which some see opening up commercial opportunities for OpenOffice.org support, as well as a likely push from Google and IBM to woo current OpenOffice.org customers to Google Docs and Lotus Symphony."
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The Future of OpenOffice.org

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  • Really? I didn't even realize that product still existed.

    • Re:Lotus Symphony (Score:5, Informative)

      by damnbunni (1215350) on Friday June 03, 2011 @05:29PM (#36334124) Journal

      The current version of Lotus Symphony is a fork of OpenOffice that IBM did quite a bit of work on. It's actually pretty nice.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The IBM products for the workstation I have experience with are bloated at best and mostly slow, resource intensive, and don't play well with others.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Have you tried Lotus Symphony?

      • by fatp (1171151)
        Besides plugging OpenOffice into Eclipse, I don't know what work has IBM did. And obviously this is definitely not nice.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        As someone who has to spend day after goddam day administering, IBM products: Lotus Notes and Domino (version 7) I have built up a long standing hatred of anything with the words IBM on them. To me IBM was (and mostly still is) big, bitty, incomprehensible, overly complicated, overly difficult, overly laborious, tedious, and frustrating. Lotus notes/Domino is perhaps the worst pile of garbage software I've ever used in my entire life.

        Now, that off my chest: I gave Symphony a spin about a year ago, initial

  • What exactly is an "Apache incubation podling"?

    • by xemc (530300)

      FTFA:

      OpenOffice.org will start off in the ASF's incubation program as a "podling" -- the first stage in a multistep process toward becoming a top-level project within the organization.

      • by syousef (465911)

        FTFA:

        OpenOffice.org will start off in the ASF's incubation program as a "podling" -- the first stage in a multistep process toward becoming a top-level project within the organization.

        Larry spread the wrong fertilizer and poisoned the little podling before it made it to sapling. Oh well no use in crying, it's dead now.

    • I think it produces alien clones of Native Americans...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I do not think that making OOo into a podling has anything to do with little endians.

      • So that would make them illegal aliens...

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday June 03, 2011 @05:28PM (#36334110)

    If I were Apache, I'd be talking really nicely to the LibreOffice devs. They've obviously got their stuff together and they're making the improvements people want.

    At this point, I feel that Apache has inherited a name and nothing more. Anyone that wanted to fork an office suite would pick Libre over OO.o right now. And that's not likely to change any time soon. Why throw time and effort into an inferior product when it could just as easily go to the superior one?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They've obviously got their stuff together and they're making the improvements people want.

      This was not my experience with the latest beta cycle of LO. I use Calc extensively and have since Open Office 2.0. LO 3.4 Beta 1 crashed on launch on the two Windows 7 (64 bit) systems I tried it on. I skipped Beta 2. Beta 3 and Beta 4 had numerous crashes and no apparent crash reporting tool. The new improved search UI doesn't allow me to check search all sheets or search values. I have to open find and replace to enable these and they are not sticky as in earlier releases. I have to enabl

      • by high (315481)

        If you don't like bugs in your software then I recommend you run the final releases instead of the betas.
        Your experience that the beta version of OpenOffice is more stable then the beta version of LibreOffice could be explained with that there is less development going on in OpenOffice.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I was comparing my experience with LO Beta releases with earlier OOo Beta builds and various Firefox development builds since Phoenix 0.6. In my experience the LO Beta 3.4 stability was comparable to the stability of nightly builds during development of Firefox 3.0. I expect to return to LO at some point unless Apache brings some significant improvements. My biggest hope is that one of these branches will fix the quirky font rendering that presents random chunks of the text you're editing in a fuzzy

          • by Anonymous Coward

            3.4 draw fonts now with Cairo at least on Linux, so it will look the same to other applications, there is a screenshot at LO site showing the change

      • Are you actually comparing beta releases? And wouldn't it be more productive to report this at the libreoffice.org bug tracker?
    • No, your second paragraph is a misunderstanding of the situation...while one might argue, and with good reason, that LO is the better product the licensing is different so if the fork (as in Lotus Symphony...IBM) were wishing to be closed source it would have to be a fork of OO.o not LO as the LGPL licensing of LO would prevent the fork from remaining closed source. This seems to be the reason for IBM backing the Oracle choice of Apache, and its licensing model, as the recipients of the OO.o code.
  • Oracle got caught off-guard at how quickly LibreOffice was forked, how much traction it gained with contributors, and how many distros either already switched to it (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, etc) or have it in TESTING (debian).

    Because of the differences in licenses, future improvements are a one-way migration from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, and not the other way around. With this move Oracle has pretty much killed off OpenOffice, leaving the field open for LibreOffice to be the de facto default for those distros that haven't switched.

    Once again, Larry meets the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  • by rossdee (243626) on Friday June 03, 2011 @05:44PM (#36334212)

    To install the latest version of LibreOffice (3.40 final)

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I didn't realize that it was out. I tried the beta for a brief bit and found it to be quite nice, a decided speed up over the previous version and no bugs in the parts I used.

    • by 666999 (999666)

      How do I install it without the subsequent "java not found" error messages appearing every time it is launched? (Without installing java on the computer?)

    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      install the latest version of LibreOffice (3.40 final)

      Eh? Oh, yesterday's news.

      Well, I went to the pub yesterday, so I'd better get torrenting.

  • long live LibreOffice :D
  • An interesting comment on this comes from Jeremy Allison on the blog of an Openoffice.org developer [robweir.com] (found via Dave Neary's blog [gnome.org]):

    This is about copyleft vs. non-copyleft licensing

    Finally the argument about which style of licence is best will be settled once and for all! :)

    At the minute, BSD style licences are more trendy from a business perspective and big organisations like Apple, Google [youtube.com] and so forth see it as the best collaborative way forward. However there are GPL-esque projects have proven popular with companies (e.g. KHTML/Webikit) so it is far fro

    • At the minute, BSD style licences are more trendy from a business perspective and big organisations like Apple, Google [youtube.com] and so forth see it as the best collaborative way forward.

      I think you're being overly simplistic. It's like stating white cases on electronics are more trendy than black and big organizations see them as they way forward. Rather, different licenses are more suited to different purposes. BSD style licenses are well suited to core technologies and reference implementations of new standards, where wide adoption is more important than getting continued code from all parties. Think zeroconf. It was a new technology and even though several major companies wrote implemen

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