If we look at LibreOffice and compare:
LibreOffice, that is *good* (not more) software and
*excellent* public relations.
OpenOffice, that is *excellent* software and *pretty bad*
Secondly, as alluded to above, we should prepare ourselves
for the FUD, the "AOO is dead" victory chants, the numerous
anti-AOO and anti-Apache spewings, etc... There are some
who will use this as a self-serving soapboxing opportunity,
and warp the facts into some Bizarro alternate universe
history. We should be there to set the facts straight but
also resign ourselves to the fact that their voices will
likely be louder than ours.
But the main reason why, imo, was because we were also
end-user. End users needed to make a *choice* between
AOO and SomethingElse.
By no longer being an end-user application, that goes away.
What is that based on?
Please back that up.
In all honesty, after writing my own simple manual editor for PDF, I really don't envy the task of making something compatible with multiple other formats. It would be nice to see the project archived or completely released to the community to continue work on.
That's exactly why i am using Open/Libre office; at some point Microsoft Office got such a complicate UI (ever since they pushed the ribbon bar - that's when they kicked me in the teeth) that i am unable to use it - the alternative uses a much less complicated UI so i am with it.
Does the MS Office UI conform with the Windows UI guidelines ? I am not quite sure..
As for 'unreliable' - i can't share this perspective; LibreOffice works for me; didn't have any problems with OpenOffice either - before i switched to LibreOffice. I switched because LibreOffice is supposed to have better support.
Interesting that MS often gets to a point where the UI is quite adequate, but then they have to come up with something new, so they come out with an update that breaks it all. Happened with Windows, Office, Visual Studio, Visual Basic - you name it; i think it also happened with gmail - so it does not seem to be something exclusive to MS; i wonder if that is a general law of software development.
I almost never use any MS Office product (Latex for serious writing, R for statistics, ...) but when I have to because of a client or whatever, I find the Ribbon to be convenient for a non-power user.
I know where everything is in Libre Office, it's quicker and less stressful to use. A number of people have told me that it's too bad, I'll just have to learn the new system. Honestly? I really don't care what those Microsoft fanboys think. The "new" system is just far too much work for me to be bothered re-learning. Libre Office/Open Office is more than good enough.
I don't frequently need to use office products but when I do I find them absolutely infuriating.
But in general, the problem that you (and the other adjacent comment) is describing is different - you're not talking about discoverability so much so as learned muscle memory. Obviously, changes do break that, but this doesn't necessarily imply that for a new user, discoverability is worse. You'd need to run a study to determine that.
You could simultaneously hate it with a passion, and also be 3 times more efficient at editing a document while using it, and that counts as a success.
Also, how is it a success if I hate my tool with passion, no matter how efficient I am? We must have different value systems... :)
When not, it can be a complete PITA. A few years ago I tried to change the scaling of an axis of a chart in Excel from linear to log, and it was so convoluted that I had to look up in the help each time I did it.
It appears to me that the issue here is that Excel makes scaling the axis of a chart convoluted. Not that the ribbon makes it harder than the regular menu bar.
The initial implementation of the ribbon sucked. It was too static, it didn't hide and took up a whole lot of space, and it didn't give you any pointers on KB shortcuts.
It also took MS some time of gathering data and telemetry to improve the layout. And frankly, it took users some time to adjust to the change.
The ribbon is much better now. But the people who like it, possibly still suffering from having to maybe defend it when it legitimately had flaws, are not as loud about it online.
The default should not be the ribbon, but there are aspects of the Ribbon LO could use.
But it's funny - the Symphony stuff that was given to Apache by IBM, and which Apache integrated and we snagged and further fixed and are enhancing is in so many ways better than the Ribbon! The Sidebar could, IMO, be enhanced and turned into the Ribbon.
Definitely not. The ribbon style and circle menu are a different design universe entirely. I agree that moving things around was annoying.
"As for 'unreliable' - i can't share this perspective; LibreOffice works for me; didn't have any problems with OpenOffice either - before i switched to LibreOffice. I switched because LibreOffice is supposed to have better support."
The unreliability for me was a mixture of not such great support and occasional crashing. Libreoffice was much better.
I originally moved from Microsoft office because I got tired of pirating the latest version. It was a hassle because of the time to download (I had a slow connection) and the risk of viruses each stage. The move to Linux was the final nail in the coffin for me.
As time has gone on I have come to appreciate open software, which again makes Windows (or Apple) not an option for me.
It's part of Win32 API now, so it's readily available to any app: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd3...
In what parallel universe do you get that conclusion from that thread?
What is obvious is that the AOO project cannot support, at
the present time, being an end-user focused effort. I would
suggest we focus on not being one, but instead being a
framework or library that can be consumed by actual
In addition to that they also completely overhauled and simplified the build system, removed tons of dead code and translated German comments which where there since StarOffice, replaced Java components with equivalent ones written in C/C++, are in the process of switching from GTK2 to GTK3 (mandatory to get Wayland support in Linux), etc. Doing so they made the LibreOffice source code base sustainable on the long term and lowered the difficulty entry level for new contributors, while apparently OpenOffice buildbots are not even able to rebuild their software since last year...
The only useful asset which remains to OpenOffice is the trademark.
And therein lies the problem... AOO was simply consumed. There was no quid-pro-quo where these were then donated back to AOO. Of course, the ALv2 does not require that, and so LO was perfectly within their right to not donate back. But it also seems somewhat "shady", and not the kind of behavior one would expect of a fellow FOSS project, but more like a corporate FOSS bottom feeder.
So development was basically all single stream... what was useful was used but nothing was given back.
I wish people would recall this when they mention how "arrogant" Apache is, or how Apache acted in bad faith and stuff like that or that Apache wanted to "control everything". Certainly if a single, unified OO eco-system was important to LO/TDF, they had opportunities to help make that happen. Let's at least be honest here.
Of course, because everyone then ran away to LibreOffice, OpenOffice basically died. And, as expected, Oracle hardly cared for it, stopped work on it entirely and handed it off to the Apache Foundation to die.
Really, they should've transferred the trademark and copyright to the Document Foundation instead, or at least coöperated with them. But that wouldn't have been spiteful enough of the community. In fact:
> Oracle was invited to become a member of The Document Foundation. However, Oracle demanded that all members of the OpenOffice.org Community Council involved with The Document Foundation step down from the OOo Community Council, claiming a conflict of interest.
> It was originally hoped that the LibreOffice name would be provisional, as Oracle was invited to become a member of The Document Foundation. However, Oracle rejected requests to donate the OpenOffice.org brand to the project.
What you've written there is a wish for something that works like copyleft.
Without at at least one 'consumer'/UI (which you do not want or cannot provide) there is little point in developing an OO core/library, or is it? Which leads to my snarky comment about end-users and their role...
We have seen, and even the FSF admits it, that open standards do best with permissive licensed implementations. So if you want wide adoption of open standards, a permissive license is likely better.
The world is not just LO or AOO. After all, the enemy, so-to-speak, is this proprietary s/w called MSO...
> I would even suggest us considering going further and redirecting AOO traffic to LO
If you look they call it "Apache OpenOffice". Previously what we term "OpenOffice" was only called "OpenOffice.org (OOo)", why? Well because there was already a product trademarked and marketed as Open Office and IIRC there was a legal challenge. So OOo was the open version of StarOffice.
Perhaps Sun/Oracle or Apache bought that trademark?
A brief search at USPTO's TESS suggests that the word mark "OpenOffice" is registered to Pathway IP SARL of Luxembourg, whilst Apache have "OpenOffice.org".
So the question is LibreOffice or OpenOffice.org.
I like LibreOffice but then I'm in Western Europe. Someone noted it's poor for India and China due to pronounceability.
> 7.3 There is no active attention to preservation of the trademarks related to Apache OpenOffice. (a) Inappropriate use of Apache and its symbols in names of offerings will be defended when brought to the attention of branding@. (b) Uses of OpenOffice, Open Office, openoffice.org and other similarities without attribution to Apache are not addressed.
...then LibreOffice could start using the OpenOffice brand, e.g. "Libre OpenOffice".
I think Apache giving up the brand like that would create a bad precedent, though. Another of Apache's projects might get forked and renamed by the subset of its PMC that do the programming, who then later claim their brand back using this as a precedent. E.g. Apache Groovy might be cloned by the Grails crowd and renamed the Grails Language, and with the programmer in Groovy's PMC who adequately knows his way around Groovy's codebase joining them. When Apache Groovy has further atrophied, the Grails people could then claim the "Groovy" brand using the "OpenOffice Precedent".
Which is why "Office for Free" (OfficeFree, oFree, O4F) would be a better non-Linux name. Average user doesn't care if something is "open" they care if it's free.
> OpenOffice.org originated as StarOffice, a proprietary office suite developed by German company StarDivision from 1985 on.
> MS office 1.0 released : November 19, 1990 Office 1.0
* The Open and Libre Office Suite
Everyone could write it as *Office to save typing. Then users would simply say the full name. "AsteriskOffice"
It's a dead brand.
"One of the things that always bugged me about OSS projects and vegan dishes is the evangelizing of their proponents.
"One of the best things about OSS projects and vegan dishes is their excellent documentation."
Also, it's a terrible name that doesn't say anything, except that it's sold for use in an office.
Apple as usual bucks the trend with iWork, and Google with Docs. There's an active KDE project called Calligra, too, and half of the academic world just uses a piecemeal built around LaTeX. Those names are different, but they don't necessarily say anything, either.
Part of the problem is that there's not a nice simple word to say "simple data-set crunching plus pretty authorship tools for both presentations and long-form documents." These are kind of three very different domains which happen to combine together into reporting information. Perhaps a nice open-source project could be named Rapport due to its community vibe and its linguistic tie to "report", but then again, that sounds like an open-source composition/looping software for anyone looking to spin a sick beat.
OT: A friend of mine recently called me a "software vegan" because of how much I've started to get passionate about free software. I'm not really sure how to feel about that description yet. :P
The naming "Libre" is important (though maybe we shouldn't be using French as the language to describe the concept of freedom with a single word). It gives the opportunity to explain that not only will Libreoffice not cost you any money, you have freedom while using it. Calling it "Office for Free" is a _very_ bad idea as it will muddy the waters of the meaning of "free software" in the lexicon of people who aren't into technology.
I have not had any round-trip editing problems flitting between the two under Linuxen of various kinds.
I think that's when a lot of users moves to LibreOffice.
Pleased to meet you. Now you know at least one.
If that's all you need to do, OpenOffice will likely work just fine for you.
And LibreOffice could remain for the rest of us who don't mind getting new features every month or so.
They also actively pushed out their code in usable format I to the main codebase. And they did it frequently. They also got access to documents for testing and performance testing others didn't have access to, so the stuff they pushed out actively helped the project, but because they had support contracts they were able to backport to versions the main developers wouldn't consider.
I haven't followed this in a long time but I thought Sun/Oracle management of OpenOffice was crux of the problem? I've probably been out of the loop for too long.
Libreoffice is terrible to pronounce in asia ... and especially in India. I dont know if it is better in other countries (like the multilingual United States).
Till today, Libreoffice is the only software that I have said aloud (and on the phone) and people could not remember. I have had people search for "libby office", "libra office", "lee office", etc
Call it anything but Libreoffice.
What's that open Nvidia driver called? Novou? Neauveau? Nouveau? Neauvou? Fuck it.
It's like or at least similar to Node.js vs. IO.js. Finally they agreed to use IO.js branch but go with the Node.js name.
So it would be great of LibreOffice would be rebranded to OpenOffice. And it needs an web initiative to compete with GoogleDocs and Office365 - I know there is already some kind of prototype, but make it a high priority project.
Oh, the Document Foundation (which makes LibreOffice) wanted to do that. But Oracle decided to hand OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation instead, presumably out of spite.
It's not clear that they could have known this would not be sustainable at the time, and I don't see how the hot potato staying with Oracle would have been a better option.
Even if AOO had never done a single release, LO still benefited enormously from OO going to Apache, since once at Apache, there was known and public IP provenance, AND the code was relicensed to ALv2. This allowed LO to inherit that provenance, relicense their stuff on AOO as needed, and close what had been a possible nasty IP hole.
But they did not do so. The Apache Foundation does not have experience with software that end-users use. They have experience with server software. That was their undoing.
While this was all happening LibreOffice formed from... what was it... Goo go or something like that, the folks that were behind the build system and distro patches that most people outside of Solaris were actually running. I have a suspicion that there were terms agreed to between IBM, Oracle, and ASF that prevented ASF from donating anything to anyone.
Now IBM has scaled back support and at this point it's an LGPL v APL religious war.
There were no secret deals. The Apache Incubator PMC voted on a public proposal (<http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/OpenOfficeProposal>) which included both a community and the promise of assets. Those assets were later delivered as promised. The incubation process then proceeded as it has for scores of other projects. It would have been completely inappropriate, unthinkable, for the Incubator (which oversees incubating projects) or the ASF Board (which oversees all projects) to take the assets away from that nascent community.
In accepting the proposal for a new Apache OpenOffice project, the ASF accepted not only the assets from Oracle but also a community, distinct from the LibreOffice community, that wanted to work with those assets. That community had to be given a chance. Without all those things, the deal could not have been completed.
The Go-OO devs forked it into LibreOffice and then Oracle shuttered their own work and reassigned their devs to other projects. Only a tiny handful of devs not part of Go-OO remained, and they had not been instrumental in actually maintaining the codebase as these other two groups had.
There was no community around Apache OpenOffice.
Subsequently, there were enough people to vet and prepare multiple releases over the next couple years after that.
I don't recall thinking at the time this landed that it was so cut-and-dry who would end up the superior solution.
In the worst case, though, would it be better for Apache to have refused holding the OOo branding, given that there was no chance it would have otherwise made it out into someone like TDF or otherwise's hands?
It was clear developers were going to flee whether Oracle kept it, or whether Oracle gave it away. It was toxic coming from Oracle, just as if it had been a 'gift' from Microsoft.
(PowerShell on Linux. Need .NET on Linux. Clippy on Linux: it looks like you're trying to get useful work done. Would you like me to help you install Windows 10 on your Linux PC? If you would like Windows 10 installed, then click Yes, or click No, or click Cancel, or click the X in the title bar, or pull the power cord out of the electrical socket to have Windows 10 conveniently installed for you on the next reboot.)
I think you're wrong there.
IMO MS realized that Windows Mobile is doomed, people (especially under 20) use tablets and phones more and more instead of their desktops (the exception is work, obviously), and in the server market, they have very harsh competition from Linux. They will be in trouble in the medium term.
So the sensible thing to do is to broaden their appeal to different platforms.
A smart and sensible move. To be commended.
It turns out single-vendor projects at Apache work out this way, particularly when the single vendor is IBM. In fact, this had all just occurred with Apache Harmony (their Java clone, which Android's Dalvik was based on), which was going great guns until IBM pulled out, leaving a ghost town.
This was all foretold by people who'd seen what had literally just happened.
Chef Meeks runs a hatted restaurant. One so great the kitchen hands work for free and the sous-chefs are many, and work well together. And unlike a kitchen, there is really minimal amounts of swearing, and their customers love them and even try to help the kitchen by nicely reporting cooking errors and help in fixing their own meals.
Probably the lesson to learn here is that an open source project should do as much as possible to keep its branding separate from its parent companies.
Because non-tech people do not know about LibreOffice. They've heard of OpenOffice, and that's it.
In addition, LibreOffice has been the default office suite in key GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu for many years.
As a result, the LibreOffice fork has been more widely adopted than OpenOffice, leading to the present situation.
One possible path for the OpenOffice folks would be to copy the Linux kernel and become an "upstream project" that others use to create a range of office-suite distributions like LibreOffice. In other words, stop packaging and marketing OpenOffice to end-users. Stop competing for end-users with downstream projects.
... which were exactly the thoughts and reasons behind Apache accepting OO in the 1st place. For various reasons this obviously never happened. But it WAS the idea from the start.
What actually happened? For some reason, development on AOO stalled. What little work still happens on it, is almost always replicating work LO already did two, three, sometimes five years ago. See it for yourself at https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/log/?h=aoo/tru... : pick a commit, and look for the "Notes" field. For instance, picking "Port main/fileaccess to gbuild" I see the note "prefer: 1f9bc2b2aa8168f9c164044058b117d2a17d83ad"; that git hash is for a LO commit from 2011 (https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?h=aoo/...).
In the meantime, LO did a lot of cleanup work. Finishing the build system move to gbuild, cleaning warnings across all the code base, removing plenty of obsolete or unused code, running several static checkers, and more. As I noted at https://lwn.net/Articles/699108/, the recent AOO CVE was probably found and fixed on LO two years ago, as a result of running a fuzzer together with valgrind. If you wanted to pick an "upstream project" to base an office suite on today, it makes more sense to pick LO instead of AOO.
So you did get your wish, but it's not the LO people at fault.
Just did a Google Trends on the topic  and it shows the two surprisingly close, confirming what you say, the openOffice brand still has momentum.
I hate that name. As a German I have no idea how to pronounce it and it's even harder for my non-techy friends. The name "Open office" has a very nice flow and everybody knows how to pronounce it, but "libre office"?
They should have selected an easier name for that project.
Really problematic was that after Oracle did not wanted to continue the OpenOffice(.org) project, Apache accepted to take it over. That kept the website people knew up and help spread the false image that OpenOffice is an active project with serious people and development effort behind it.
A few years ago I said fuck it and bought MS Office. I may only need it once a year when markdown or gDocs doesn't suffice, but the price is worth avoiding the OpenOffice vs LibreOffice fuckery. It also works better.
> In September 2010, the majority of outside OpenOffice.org developers left the project, due to concerns over Sun and then Oracle's management of the project
> In April 2011, Oracle stopped development of OpenOffice.org
But the OpenOffice brand was already built, so obviously a lot of people still think it is the most active project.
Presumably, Oracle did not know what to do with this asset they bought, but they thought they might be able to squeeze value out of it. They believed the only way to do so was to have total control over it, which removed all value from it (except for the brand). Then they put it in an Apache-shaped trash, along with the brand.
The only negative connotation I know of is the association with some overzealous nerdy kids who find out the difference between libre and gratis and loudly bring it up all the time.
When I first saw LibreOffice I first thought it was a take on the comedy movie Nacho Libre. And I studied French, so you'd think that would help but not really.
Though the French pronunciation differs as the IPA shows /libʀ/ which is rather different than spanish /ˈliβɾe/. So its one of those "final e is silent, with a french twist" words that were maddening to learn after German where that almost never happens.
Oh wait, I just had a thought: Luche Libre Office. That's is an awesome idea.
That is to say, latin american freedom.
(edited to clarify)
Fun sidenote: Since "Lieber" is German for "Dear" (as in "Dear Office, I am writing this letter to you ...") it would be quite confusing. (Also it would sound grammatically wrong, since "Lieber" is masculine, but Office is not.)
Alternatively "lieber" also means "preferably", so with that interpretation you would sound like saying "preferably Office". Oops.
Edit to reflect parent: I do think that's probably easier to pronounce for English-speaking people than both French and Spanish
Who cares if somebody says laibr, laiber, leeber, ...
Get over it and write a song like the one with the tomatoes...
Or are you one of the braves that are pushing Nike to change their name, because nobody can figure out that it should pronounced [nǐːkɛː]?
tl;dr trademarks in lots of countries, URL availability in lots of countries. This stuff is hard.
Like Robert E. Lee and a donkey.
Edit: Looks like there are a lot more OpenOffice users out there than I thought, sorry. I really thought the world would have moved on, at least since 2013/14, see
While I agree that Apache OOo is effectively dead in the water as an on-going project, its continued existence has caused huge confusion among millions of users and there's now an equally huge public education campaign required to get them moved onto a modern, secure, maintained codebase.
The optimum strategy would be to turn openoffice.org into a redirect to LibreOffice, or to reassign the OpenOffice name rights to the LibreOffice project ... but egos are gonna ego.
This is so simple. It would solve everyone's problems.
So of course that's never going to happen. Welcome to the real world :(
You would be amazed. Ordinary people know MSO sucks and want a free alternative. "OpenOffice" is the name they've heard as their exit.
The project is entirely trading on the goodwill that FLOSS activists built up for the name "OpenOffice" from 2002-2010. That brand is still powerful!
So whatever you do, make sure everyone you know uses LO instead of AOO.
e.g. I wrote this last year for Tumblr. Target audience was writers and creative people who aren't geeks but just want to do their stuff. Written after I encountered yet another innocent user who'd just got AOO. Please excuse the apocalyptic tone, (1) that's how you write to catch attention on Tumblr, (2) this was during the six months they had a massive hole in the default install and were spending their time defending the product on blogs rather than fixing it:
I was aware of the OpenOffice/LibreOffice split of course. I knew this would mean some confusion until the dust settles. My vague impression was that LibreOffice might be a better choice for supporting openness versus corporate ownership (and so I'd plumbed for that myself) but at the same time I worried that OpenOffice might end up being better managed and maintained than LibreOffice. I was not aware until I read this, that the dust was settling so comprehensively on the side of LibreOffice. More than just OS idealists buying into it, it's actually being maintained a lot better.
This is good news. The situation seems a lot clearer than previously, but yes the message needs to get out. Hopefully apache will shut down, redirect and facilitate re-merging the brand names.
It's all true - from a certain point of view, and it transfers the trust on the software from the old brand to the new, without having to delve too much in the conflict that motivated the fork.
Plus, MSO is multiplatoform on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. I'm unaware of mobile versions of OO or LO.
Everyone I know, including myself, that uses OO or LO is because it's free (as in freedom for some, as in beer for others) and can read/write MSO files to an extent.
AFAIK, it also has an experimental editing mode. Yes, from what I've seen, development on it is slow.
When he had to switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice he was pretty close to packing it all in and using something else; his argument was: why should he trust a package produced by an organisation that can't keep their own house in order?
That is, from the outside the schism between OpenOffice and LibreOffice is basically invisible; they're both considered to be the same thing, because they produce the same software. It's seen as an internal conflict, and it's a big reputational problem.
Why doesn't he use Mate? Ubuntu Mate is readily available on the Ubuntu website. Is he aware that it's a continuation of the old Gnome (Gnome 2)? And well-maintained to boot.
Entertainingly, when I let him play with a bunch of different Linux desktop environments, the one he liked best was actually Haiku, which I threw in as a joke.
Really? I've installed Mate on ~10 computers, and have never run into UI bugs. I run Mate, my two kids run it on their computer, and I'm sometimes on that one helping them with school related stuff. Never run into UI bugs. I don't doubt that there are such bugs, but in my experience they're pretty rare (unless the project has taken a recent nosedive, always possible in open source).
I've run into some UI bugs using Mint Cinnamon, are you sure you were using Mate and not Cinnamon?
Do you remember what the bugs were? If it's something you can remember, I'll see if I can fix them so that future users don't run into them.
I'll certainly give Mate another try the next time I upgrade him.
Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if Mate is slower than Xfce, since it's traditionally considered more featureful. Besides, even using a cheap $200 netbook, desktop environment speed is just not an issue for me as long as I use linux + any reasonably fast DE.
It closes the door on some zombie resurrection of openoffice and essentially cedes the identifier to libreoffice.
You make one mistake, and it's with you for the rest of eternity.
I was sure it was the other way around 301->temporary, 302->permanent.
Anyway, none of this means the project is actually going to be retired. It's just a discussion around something that might happen.
In my case, the reason is splash-damage from the inverse-goodwill I have for Oracle and how their stewardship of OO (or lack thereof). To start off Sun handled the OOO-patchset (proto-LibreOffice) poorly, they should have merged it to mainline. Then Oracle came along and shat on the community leading to an outright fork. This I guess is par for the course for Oracle (see Hudson/Jenkins for another Oracle-instigated implosion).
I think the Apache Software Foundation allowed themselves to be 'used' by allowing Oracle to dump a dying AOO into their hands. At the time, it was clear that LibreOffice had won the the war that started in the OOO-patchset days, I don't know what the ASF thought would happen, but I hope they learn something from it.
Even if the nascent project had only managed to receive the code and make one release before folding, that was worthwhile enough to justify accepting the donation. The project managed to flourish for some time after that, so in that regard it was well above baseline.
"Used" how? Apache taking on AOO has been a win for Open Source in the general sense regardless of what happens to the project going forward. A large base of code which was previously locked up under Oracle's copyright is now licensed under the ALv2 for perpetuity.
At the time, it was clear that LibreOffice had won the the war that started in the OOO-patchset days,
There's no "war". Maybe the LO people see it that way, but we don't. AOO is for people who want AOO. The people who prefer LO (or something else) are not our enemies. They're just people with different preferences.
I don't know what the ASF thought would happen, but I hope they learn something from it.
What did happen? IBM donated a bunch of code, volunteers have contributed more, and AOO is a better product today than what it was when Oracle handed over the code. That's a Good Thing. None of which is to try and compare AOO to LO, and none of which is to say that AOO doesn't have flaws. But it's a product that has been used by a ton of people for productive ends over the past few years.
> "Used" how? Apache taking on AOO has been a win for Open Source in the general sense regardless of what happens to the project going forward.
A better win for Open Source in general (IMO) would have been Oracle handing over the IP to the Document Foundation- that's were the OO developers and community were. I have nothing againts the ASF, and nothing but contempt for Oracle's behavior.
From where I stand, Oracle 'used' the ASF donation to spite the DF - you may agree or disagree on that point.
> There's no "war
It was a figure of speech.
> What did happen?
Let's recap: the ASF accepted the donation of a project that had lost developers to a competing fork, and was showing glaring signs of having lost steam. More importantly, the volunteers/'community' had moved on to LO. Now the ASF is finally contemplating the idea of putting down the project. I would be sad if the ASF concludes that there is nothing to be learnt from this episode.
1. A single datapoint: Virtually all Linux distros shipped LO
Having two forks competing just seems confusing and a waste of effort on maintaining two forks. Initially it made sense to have a fully open fork when OpenOffice was under Oracle's control, but I don't understand what the purpose the two forks serve now that OO is under Apache's control.
Feature wise, there may not be a lot of reasons to prefer AOO right now. I don't know, as I spend very little time looking at / using, LibreOffice. AOO does everything I need, so what differences exist aren't ones that concern me a lot. YMMV.
I didn't realise it came down to licensing. Thanks for clearing that up. Perhaps both are important.
Instead, it shows that should copyleft people desire, they can severely damage permissive projects by simply not doing what their own license requires. They kind of prove the point that you have to force people to give back, because given their own tendencies, they won't. LO could have easily been a bilateral partner, instead of a simple consumer.
Even so, LO benefited greatly by having AOO to consume, as I have mentioned elsewhere. You simply can't ignore that nor hand-wave away it's significance.
And, aside from abstract good feelings, what benefit would having two forks of the same product, with no clear difference in philosophy (like you have with the BSDs, for example), serve? Sure, the licenses are different. But if LO guys cared about more permissive licenses, they would have just dual-licensed their own codebase.
OpenOffice has had unpatched security vulnerabilities with exploits in the wild for 6+ months at a time.
Users today are downloading OpenOffice thinking it is the best free office suite out there when it's had no feature upgrades since May 2014. They'd often find out that it didn't properly support something they wanted to do (like handling MS Office formats) and think they had to go buy MS Office. Meanwhile LibreOffice is sitting there ready to be downloaded for free and handles MS Office formats much better than OO does.
Sure, there are some people who are finding schadenfreude in it, but many of us want to see the confusion, security issues, etc go away so things can move forward.
LibreOffice should have been the successor to OOo, and it offends me that my non-technical friends still install AOO when LibreOffice would improve their lives so much more.
When AOO began and actually had a release, I was surprised. I expected it to fail sooner. It was a mistake from the beginning.