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Open Source Software Technology

LibreOffice Developer Community Increasingly Robust 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-could-almost-call-it-jolly dept.
New submitter someWebGeek writes "LibreOffice, the community-driven fork of OpenOffice, appears to have a very healthy and growing group of code contributors. The Document Foundation has published new stats that portray the climbing rates of developer involvement both in terms of numbers of people and numbers of code commits. One of the most encouraging aspects, as noted by Ryan Paul in an article at Ars, is that non-corporate code contributions by independent volunteers constitute the largest slice of the latest commit-pie."
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LibreOffice Developer Community Increasingly Robust

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  • Large Deployments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ninetyninebottles (2174630) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:18PM (#38930023)

    I really think Libre Office could take off and become a huge OSS success story on the order of Webkit or Apache. It just needs a few extremely large installations by companies or organizations with the funding and will to constantly improve it. Just a few major corporations that currently license MS office, dumping Word and moving to Libre Office while still investing say half or a third of the same budget into targeted improvements for their needs would tip the scales.

    I find it about on par with MS Office now, which is to say buggy, erratic, unable to consistently read MS Office formats, and with some really poor UI choices. When used only with the native format, however, it pulls ahead and such a course of action is fairly doable at least within a company, whereas it never seems to be with MS Office (someone is always stuck using a different version, even if it is just a Mac version, and then the documents get messy and weird). Also, I really like the PDF editing. I'm surprised no one else has jumped on that particular gem of functionality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:28PM (#38930075)

    I believe that LibreOffice will never make it in the corporate world for one single reason: It doesn't include a program that can use MAPI to connect to Exchange. Outlook is very, very ingrained in the corporate world and that alone will prevent any organization using Exchange from switching.

  • by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:31PM (#38930093)
    The problem is that those corporations who have money (I work in such a company) could not be bothered to use resources on development and doing extensive work on specifying improvements or changes. Those corporations who have money want something that works NOW, not something that (maybe) works in 2 - 3 - 4 years.
    And for those companies, the Office license is not a major expense that management will divert attention and resources to save.

    Then add that those companies with money also will have the full Microsoft suite like Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync. Not having Office with those would be pretty stupid, as they work best together (yes, you may call it lockin, but I just tell it like it is).

    The companies of any size who would want to save money, would do that by using LibreOffice or one of its cousins without paying.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:43PM (#38930165)

    I was never a big fan of activity-based metrics. Do they really tell you anything? Do you really care how many people it took to build your car? Or do you care how well it works? Would making a car with twice as many people make it better? Or worse?

    Ditto with software. Don't tell me how much you spent, in subsidized and volunteer programmers. Tell me what you accomplished. Large numbers don't guarantee anything. And small numbers don't necessarily hurt you. Look back at earlier generations of office applications, where Quattro Pro was originally written by four programmers, and Emacs by one.

    Telling us how many people it took to make a particular version of LibreOffice actually tells us nothing.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:08PM (#38930307)

    In my case, I also wish I could use it. But the problem is its lack of a [credible] MS-Access like database. The one found bundled with it sucks big time! It's a non-starter for me.

    I could pitch this suite to those who could find its other attributes compelling, but the fact that it's just too ugly (by default), kills the 'appetite' for those who would probably give it a chance.

  • by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:49PM (#38930537)

    I for one, am excited to see what changes are coming in the future. TDF has been in existence for only about a year and a half now. Here's a list of things it's not gonna achive in that short of a time:

    1. It will not magically implement all the functionality that's been in MSOffice for over a decade.
    2. It will not integrate with LO $REQUISITE_MS_PROTOCOL (and it's not like it's even possible because they're all proprietary anyways)
    3. It will not instantly purge LO of all Java dependencies for which replacements are in development
    4. It will not be able to make it run in under 10MB
    5. It will not have a brand new shiny interface which can resurrect a living unicorn.

    So seriously, quit bitching. Having a large, active community is a good thing and should hopefully signal that there's a lot of good stuff to look forward in the future. No, it's not gonna be here today or tomorrow. Like I tell my kids: learn to be patient. Please.

  • by styrotech (136124) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @09:10PM (#38931073)

    Telling us how many people it took to make a particular version of LibreOffice actually tells us nothing.

    Sure it does. It tells us that more developers are now able or willing to work on LibreOffice and that the fork is working.

    It tells us that the development community is growing and and momentum is building after stagnating under the watch of Sun and Oracle.

    Surely a growing active community is better than a shrinking and stagnating one?

  • by SpzToid (869795) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:50AM (#38932231)

    Microsoft Outlook is a massive organisational security risk that is also used as an email client.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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