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ASF Lays Out Its Plan For OpenOffice.org

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-quite-dead-yet dept.

Open Source 129

Thinkcloud writes "In an open letter, the Apache Software Foundation has made its plans for OpenOffice clear, including an Apache-branded OpenOffice suite targeted at developers coming next year." From The H: "The ASF says it does not want to force any vision on the ODF community noting that 'it is impossible to agree upon a single vision for all participants, Apache OpenOffice does not seek to define a single vision, nor does it seek to be the only player' in the large ODF ecosystem. Instead, it wishes to offer a neutral 'collaboration opportunity' and notes that its permissive licensing and development model are 'widely recognised as one of the best ways to ensure open standards, such as ODF, gain traction and adoption.'"

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So how does this effect LibreOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450050)

Given the mass move to Libre-Office - what's the politics going on here?

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (5, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450252)

The politics is to provide OpenOffice under more permissive license, as for some businesses this might be a deal-breaker, thus getting more traction for the ODF format. So people will have choice between Apache licensed OpenOffice, or GPLv3 licensed LibreOffice, whichever they go with — it's still compatible.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451680)

This GPL FUD of late is getting a bit annoying: why should an office suite released under the GPL be a deal-breaker for some businesses*? I recently bought some games from GOG and DotEmu and wonder what? During the installation there was an EULA for the closed source software and then the full text of the GPL: those games were in facts a bundle of a closed source installation/launcher program made by GOG/DotEmu, an open source GPL'ed application (DosBox or SCUMMvm) and the original closed source game. It seems that someone is not scared by the boogeyman Stallman. *if they want to just use the application or create some new templates (99.99% of them) they can do it without releasing anything; if they want to modify the program for internal use only, they can do it without releasing anything.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453676)

Its not FUD when RMS himself says the goal of GPL is to destroy non free software [kde.org] and RMS makes it clear he WANTS GPL to be "viral" and cause businesses to be forced to open up their code, as his whole goal is to destroy non free software.

So yes having a more permissive license is of the good, it means that companies that might need a document engine or spreadsheet engine can easily use OO.o as a base without worrying of running afoul of the GPL. Remember that like it or not RMS IS a militant, always has been, and with each version of GPL he tries his damnedest to close any and all possible loopholes that would allow a non free company to use it.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (2)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454758)

RMS himself says the goal of GPL is to destroy non free software [kde.org] and RMS makes it clear he WANTS GPL to be "viral" and cause businesses to be forced to open up their code, as his whole goal is to destroy non free software.

Maybe... however the post by RMS you linked says otherwise: "writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that's good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better", which means that RMS thinks that non-free software is bound to fail and that's a good thing in his opinion. GPL or not.

So yes having a more permissive license is of the good, it means that companies that might need a document engine or spreadsheet engine can easily use OO.o as a base without worrying of running afoul of the GPL. Remember that like it or not RMS IS a militant, always has been, and with each version of GPL he tries his damnedest to close any and all possible loopholes that would allow a non free company to use it.

This is exactly the FUD I was talking about. If a company wants to use parts of a GPL program as a base for its own program without distributing the source code, it can. The GPL (version 1,2,3...) says that the aforementioned company has to distribute the source code alongside the compiled binaries, however if it does not distribute them to third parties, it is not bound to release the source code. Obviously if it intends to sell the program (in a way or the other), there's a price, like for everything I could add, and that price is the release of the source code.

As for RMS willing to destroy non-free companies, I've got the impression that the feeling is reciprocal and that's not just because RMS is used to talking over the top, but because GNU and Linux (and not BSD) are a threat to the revenues of some companies. Even the mighty Apache web server owes a big part of its success to all those Linux servers.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450366)

My guess it that Apache just got this from Oracle and they wouldn't want to piss them off by just handing it on to LibreOffice, since clearly Oracle didn't get along with those guys. So they'll make their Apache version, keep the lights on and the project running and then one of them is going to fade away and eventually all that's useful will be merged into the other. I expect more of a xfree86 vs xorg situation here, once the split has already happened there's really not going to be much of a conflict, the developers will pretty soon gravitate towards the one that is best.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450460)

Given the mass move to Libre-Office - what's the politics going on here?

Oracle have donated the OpenOffice.org trademark to Apache foundation in the hopes of stimulating a little friendly all-out-warfare between GPL fans and Apache license fans. It should prove entertaining.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451188)

It'll probably be something like the all-out war between the Conch Republic and the USA a few decades ago.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452080)

As I recall, the Conch Republic actually got what they wanted at the conclusion of that war.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452402)

Which was to remain a part of the USA and get rid of the stupid customs checkpoints that were annoying tourists. Maybe a "war" between OOo and LO will just end up with OOo merged back into LO without a shot fired, although Oracle may have had other plans.

Re:So how does this effect LibreOffice? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451080)

Posting to remove accidental moderation

they lie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450060)

about their lies! LibreOffice!

Re:they lie... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451076)

they lie...

about their lies! LibreOffice!

Does that mean they tell the truth

Why don't they just kill it? (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450078)

At this point is there really any reason why we need OpenOffice? Libreoffice, stupid name aside, seems to do everything that people want and more or less all the developers jumped ship for it a long time ago.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

almostinsane (770051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450246)

They should shut it down and return the money to shareholders.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450302)

There's nothing wrong with the name Libreoffice. OpenOffice dot org; now there's a ridiculous name.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1, Flamebait)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450990)

They are both stupid names!

In addition to just sounding wrong, the word "Libre" is synonymous with the growingly more annoying RMS high horse crowd.. which has become more and more of a turnoff to many (there was an article the other day about how people are migrating away from GPL in general).

OpenOffice was fine if you dropped the "dot org" part, which most people did.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451258)

The article about people migrating away from the GPL was false, because it was based on bad statistics (there's lies, damned lies, and statistics...). In fact, the movement of OOo to the Apache Foundation was one of the main reasons for the article: their bad statistics were based on how much "new" code was being "created" in GPL vs. permissive licenses. Well, their idea of "new" is Oracle gifting OOo to Apache.

GPL fans can easily do the same: all they have to do is fork a bunch of giant GPL projects like the Linux kernel, then do absolutely nothing with those forks and abandon them. If they create 100 new forks of the kernel every month, that'll count (by the idiot article author's methodology) as a ridiculous amount of "new" GPL code, and then he'll have to write a new article about how people are migrating to the GPL in droves.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (2, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451446)

I actually didn't read the article, but when I saw the title, my gut said "yup".

Maybe it's just the circle I hang with, but I've personally felt a shift away from the GPL over the last several years, with v3 being for many the stray that broke the back.

I've largely attributed it to people my age who are now out in the work force and are running up against the restrictive elements of GPL when trying to bring open source into the work place. The realistic choice isn't creating a cool derived work and not releasing the code vs creating a cool derived work and releasing the code.. it's creating a cool derived work and releasing it under your own terms (which most non-fanatics would probbaly be happy with) vs not bothering at all. In my view GPL doesn't foster open source, it prevents it. And that's the vibe I get from those around me as well.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451816)

Your "vibe" means nothing. There's tons of highly-active open-source projects under the GPL that are doing just fine: Linux kernel, KDE, Gnome (crappy new dumbed-down UI notwithstanding), busybox, and countless smaller projects. If GPL "prevents" open source, then why is the Linux kernel the most successful open-source project in history, while the *BSD projects languish in obscurity?

As for GPLv3, there's no requirement for anyone to use it, it's just an option. Lots of projects are sticking with v2, including the Linux kernel. In fact, I can't think of any big GPLv3 projects offhand. It's really quite irrelevant.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38452784)

Samba, and it's quite relevant, but you can make the point that it was GPLv2 up until a few years ago.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450314)

Libre means "free". Not everyone is a xenophobe like you.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (2)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451848)

As in 'free speech' or freedom. While the software is also free 'as in beer', they apparently chose not to call it Gratis Office.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (4, Insightful)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450368)

The name's not unimportant. My mom—and grandma—have heard of "that OpenOffice thing." They wouldn't know how to pronounce LibreOffice, much less know what it is. It might be worthwhile for the Apache Foundation to allow the Libre folks to use the OO name; but the Foundation apparently doesn't think so.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450502)

Your mother and grand mother cannot pronounce Leebraoffice? I think you either underestimate them, or there are not smart enough to read, which makes them non-users anyway. I suspect the former.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450582)

I'm sure they can pronounce it, but because they opted not to use the much more clearly spelled Latin root one has to know how to pronounce it in order to pronounce it. Which creates all sorts of headaches when trying to get people clued in.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451204)

The funny thing is, I've seen at least three pronunciations, all of which were claimed, much like yours, to be "completely obvious and only an uncultured idiot wouldn't know right away"

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451002)

Not to be too offensive (at least this time), but in most languages people are used to speak the ending of words; English, specially American, emphasizes too much the beginning and thus has problems with many words which have their endings muted.

Suggestion: pronounce Liberoffice like (probably) the English do it... Liberoffice. Or, better yet, change the name of the suite. It's a good compromise, easier on US dudes and follows the latin root "Liber" (which in Spanish and French became "Libre").

Or just say LO... it will be even easier for everyone, not only for your mom.

Or simply lie and say it's Openoffice; if she notices the new name, say it's a version with, uh, better icons.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38453016)

Whatever you stupid twit. Not only are you offensive, you are an idiot. People have been reading horoscopes for hundreds of years. What does that have to do with anything? Your mom knows more about "Libra" on the horoscope and how to pronounce it than you ever will, because you aren't very smart. Yes she can pronounce it. Yes she understands it without knowing every little nuance about it's origins. Yes she understands it's just a horoscope. You really need to quit going to school, you are getting worse every day. I'm not saying quit learning. Quit going to school. Get out in the real world. Get a job. Quit being part of the occupy problem, waiting for a handout, and get on with your life.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454498)

Quit being part of the occupy problem, waiting for a handout, and get on with your life.

That's it! now we know the reason for this rotten economy. Its those OWS protestors. If they would only get to work and spend more money to support the big corporations our problems would be solved. Now where did I put my pepper spray.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451280)

So your relatives have no education? Did they drop out of school in 8th grade?

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451368)

All 8th graders I know can pronounce "Libre" perfectly. Also, when I was younger even drunks could pronounce it if ordering a rum coke with lime (Cubu Libre). His relatives must just be dumber than a sack of shit.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451952)

Why can't the drunks pronounce it any more, now that you're older? (My guess is they all got lost trying to vacation in Cubu.)

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451410)

So your relatives have no education? Did they drop out of school in 8th grade?

Where, pray tell, is Spanish, or French mandatory for all students the ninth grade? And, incidentally, is it the Spanish or the French pronunciation (they're different) which is correct?

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451756)

It really doesn't matter whether you use the French or Spanish pronunciation AFAIC; just that you don't look at it funny and throw up your hands because you're a moron who doesn't know Latin roots.

I don't know about your education, but I had plenty of exposure to Latin and Greek roots in (public) high school, in English class. And this was in the somewhat-backwards state of Tennessee.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451812)

"is it the Spanish or the French pronunciation (they're different) which is correct?"

The Spanish one since (AFAIK) RMS took the word from this language (in an intent of making clear the difference between free as in free beer vs free as in free speech).

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451942)

There's this thing called courtesy. Perhaps you've heard of it.

And there's this other thing called hyperbole. Maybe you'll want to look it up.

In any case, allow me to spell things out for you. The mere fact of it is that the correct pronunciation of "LibreOffice" doesn't match many native English speakers' expectations, unless they know in advance how it's supposed to be pronounced; in addition, LibreOffice does not yet have the name recognition amongst the general populace as OpenOffice (much less the millions to whom "Office" means "Microsoft Office). The first is—at least at the moment—a barrier to the second.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452222)

that the correct pronunciation of "LibreOffice" doesn't match many native English speakers' expectations, unless they know in advance how it's supposed to be pronounced;

I would expect it to be pronounced lee-bre. Is that wrong? (I haven't taken Spanish classes for almost 6 years)

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (3, Insightful)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452776)

I would expect it to be pronounced lee-bre. Is that wrong?

Quite possibly. But how do you pronounce "bre"? "Bree"? "Bray"? "Bruh"? "Bra"? "Ber"? In fact, how do you pronounce that "r"? Is it an English "r" or something closer to a rolled "lr"?

All I know is I can't get my tongue in the right place to pronounce the French "bre" as I've heard other people pronounce it. It's no doubt doable with training, but both the vowel and consonant aren't native English and I never studied French in high school. So I end up calling it "Lee-bray Office" which I know is wrong, but seems better than saying "Libber Office".

(I'm also trying to learn Chinese and am painfully aware of how hard it is to try to learn phonemes which are not-quite-like your native phoneme set; one naturally attempts to approximate with the closest native sound, which is probably exactly wrong but is the best a newbie can do.)

"Libre" in a consumer product name also has awkward connotations of a popular female hygiene product called "Libra". Yes, I know that's silly, but it's there.

End result is I avoid saying the product name whenever possible, and would prefer it was called something like "LibOffice" which has an unambiguous English letter-to-sound mapping. It's just a bad choice of words for an English-language product and could easily have been avoided. Not as offensive as "The Gimp", but still worse than "OpenOffice.org", which was also pretty bad.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452808)

Rereading the original poster it now strikes me that for an American speaker, "libre" could be Spanish, not French as I initially assumed. So as a non-American English speaker, now I have two incompatible non-English pronounciations with two incompatible phoneme sets to pick from. Great.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38453174)

A Frenchman will actually pronounce it Libroffice, and bro exists in English (brother)

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453894)

That is what I don't get, is there like a rule that FOSS projects HAVE to have shitty names? We should probably have a little contest called "list every horrible FOSS project name" just to see how long it'll get, probably several pages if you use single spacing.

What would have been wrong with simply calling it "Freedom Office"? Or doing something about its speed issues so you could call it Speedy Office or Zippy Office? Hell there has to be a thousand names they could have used that would have been better than Liber which is how I here it mostly pronounced, just as everyone I talk to seem to call it LIEnux as in Linus.

C'mon FOSS guys, I know you probably think you're being cute with these names but it really just hurts getting people to use your product. Now I just call it "A different version of Open Office" rather than deal with the pronunciation of Libre. Sure with as many FOSS guys that are out there somebody could come up with a better name, maybe a contest?

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454118)

Dude.

There are plenty of FOSS programs with excellent names and plenty of proprietary software with shitty names.

Oh, and "Freedom Office"? "Zippy Office"? Meeeeeeh...

But to be fair, "Speedy Office" appeals to me for some reason.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455302)

For one thing, FOSS projects don't have marketing teams full of overpaid people with marketing degrees to go do studies and focus groups or whatever and find the best names they can.

For another thing, lots of proprietary software (that do have access to said marketing teams) also have shitty product names. Just look at most of the names for Microsoft products; they're terrible. They have a few winners like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Exchange, but IIRC 2 of those were acquisitions from other companies, so they can't take credit for the names, and "Word" was really rather obvious. But most of their in-house-named products have had absolutely horrible names; with absolutely no imagination or flair to them whatsoever, or if they do, they just come off as lame. SQL Server? (no imagination) Microsoft Windows Vista Home Ultimate Edition? (no imagination and way too many add-on terms) BizTalk Server? (very lame) Zune? (weird and lame)

Or how about Apple and all their iCrap? People make fun of the KDE project and all its K-names, but somehow Apple gets a pass on this. It was OK for a while, with iMac, iPod, etc., but it's just gotten ridiculous and tired lately with an 'i' in front of everything.

Thirdly, FOSS software has a big disadvantage in that it's almost always playing catch-up to some proprietary product that got there first, and took the best name. Just look at Word; I'm not sure why other word processors like WordStar and WordPerfect didn't use that name first (probably because it was a little too obvious and short and not catchy), but when MS got it, FOSS projects had to go find other names that weren't too close for fear of being sued, so we have StarWriter, oo-writer, lo-writer, etc. When someone invented PowerPoint (and then MS bought it, keeping the clever name), anyone copying that product had to come up with something different. SO/OO/LO actually did OK here, calling their version "Impress". Anyone making a photo editing program can't pick a name too close to "Photoshop", or they'll be sued too (though admittedly, "The GIMP" is pretty bad).

Don't forget, there's plenty of FOSS programs that actually do have pretty good names. "Impress" as I mentioned earlier, "Amarok" music player, "Okular" PDF viewer, "Firefox" web browser, "subversion" revision control system, (looking through my application menu...) "Marble" globe program, "Celestia" space simulator, "Inkscape" vector graphics editor, "Pidgin" instant messenger, "Akregator" RSS feed reader, "Wireshark" network analyzer (formerly "Ethereal", also a good name), "Audacity" sound editor, "Kontact" personal information manager. Of course, I could also name off a bunch of FOSS programs with lame or shitty names, but as I pointed out before, the commercial world is really no different here; for every good name, there's a shitty one.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451666)

What, you can't pick up the phone? Are your arms broken? Mom and grandma would love to hear from you, even if you're just calling to say LibreOffice a few times.

But more seriously, so what if people aren't sure how to pronounce the name without hearing it a few times? Will that stop them from using it? From typing its name in an email or search engine? How often did anyone really say OpenOffice besides those of us pushing its use? In my experience, when friends/family/coworkers needed help with OpenOffice the always asked about 'Office'/spreadsheets/'Excel'/documents/or however else they thought of it to themselves. I don't expect it to be any different with LibreOffice.

Yes they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451734)

They pronounce it "libber office", same as every average American.

(Yes I do consider it a poor choice for a project name, and I'm a programmer, not a marketing stiff.)

Re:Yes they do (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451906)

My Spanglish skills are quite rusty, I had to look it up. For the life of me I could not understand why they called the fork 'Book Office'.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452110)

The name's not unimportant. My mom—and grandma—have heard of "that OpenOffice thing." They wouldn't know how to pronounce LibreOffice, much less know what it is. It might be worthwhile for the Apache Foundation to allow the Libre folks to use the OO name; but the Foundation apparently doesn't think so.

LibreOffice should only be allowed to use it if they are part of OpenOffice itself or only distribute a non-modified version that uses that name. However, the LibreOffice folks tend to think of themselves as a gift from God bestowed upon the world from which all things OpenOffice shall continue with, and have no interest in really mending the issues caused by Oracle's lack of communication with the OOo community. (Seriously, read their mailing lists!)

And FYI - Apache has reached out to them at numerous points to try to get them to join in; only to receive a bitchfest about Oracle or IBM in return.

So yeah, I would agree with Apache that they shouldn't be allowed to use the various OOo trademarks.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452372)

I sometimes think it would do better if it had been named FreeOffice. OpenOffice was my induction into the world of FOSS when I didn't want to shell out for a copy of MS Office (I went on to discover Thunderbird and Firefox, before moving from Windows to Ubuntu), and for all we like to talk about the importance of free-as-in-free-speech, the free-as-in-free-beer angle is what gets a hell of a lot of people using FOSS in the first place, and the name FreeOffice would emphasise this.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450544)

That's *Freedom* Office to you, soldier.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (1, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451218)

There's nothing wrong with the name "LibreOffice". Anyone who has an education knows that "Libre" comes from the Latin root for "free" (as in liberty), is a word meaning exactly that in several Romance languages, and so its meaning is pretty obvious: a free (as in liberty) office suite.

It only sounds "stupid" to uneducated hicks.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451872)

LibreOffice dropped the ball on revamping the GUI and so they dropped the ball on the most critical area of development. Apache's proposal is relevant because perhaps they will unfuckup the mentioned office suite and make it usable again!

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452144)

Libreoffice, stupid name aside, seems to do everything that people want and more or less all the developers jumped ship for it a long time ago.

Calc needs some work. I was trying to think of an easy way to get all my music into a single playlist and came up with (on the Windows machine) dir /s > everything.m3u, then edit in a text editor. But there was way too much stuff in the file that needed to be deleted, so I thought "hmmm, I'll import it into a spreadsheet and I can simply delete columns.

Calc won't import a text file. If you try to, it opens in the word processor. This is a HUGE drawback, and I really wish they'd fix it.

I did get my m3u file -- just drop the music's root directory into the MP3 player. Lots easier than the spreadsheet method. But still, there's no reason why calc can't open a text file and have user-selectable cell/field delimiters. I do this at work all the time to get text data into an Access database, import to Excel, do a few operations that Access can't (although it should be able to) and paste into the Access table.

I'm now going to have to stop evangelizing Open/Libre office, I guess, until they finish building the sucker. I wonder how Oo's database program is? I'll have to screw around with it a little.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (3, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452392)

I don't know how you did it, but I've been opening csv text files in Calc for many years. It works fine. You can select how to format the columns (numeric/text) and how are they separated (what character or where are the breaks in case of fixed format). It does exactly what you'd want it to do. How did you try to open that text file? Start up calc with a new spreadsheet, do Open, limit file types to Spreadsheet, click on your text file, and it'll pop up a text import dialog.

Re:Why don't they just kill it? (3, Informative)

gral (697468) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452812)

If you go into Calc, and File->Open->Text CSV, it should import all in one column. Then you can export without the " character seperator, and it should give what you are looking for.

LibreOffice? (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450094)

Does anyone still use OpenOffice.org? I was sure it imploded when LibreOffice was formed to get out from under Oracle's thumb? Plus, it doesn't have to have the stupid .org tacked onto it's name to avoid trademark issues.

If Apache is doing this right, they had better court the LibreOffice devs back into the fold.

Re:LibreOffice? (2)

PybusJ (30549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452534)

The tragedy is not that no-one is using OpenOffice, it's that millions of Windows and Mac users who downloaded it directly from the OOo website still are.

The Linux users are fine, their distros will either transition them to LibreOffice or provide security patches to OpenOffice, but the vast majority of OOo users were not slashdot readers who follow the twists and turns of OpenSource politics, they're people who don't know that Oracle bought Sun (nor care about such details); they just downloaded a free office suite. They are not getting any security updates, even as vulnerabilities are fixed in LibreOffice. They are not even getting any good information that they're being given a vulnerable, unsupported product. The OpenOffice website still has all the same download links, and the same security information, including a Security Bulletin [openoffice.org] with no mention of vulnerabilities beyond 2010.

I really think Apache and any ASF members should be ashamed. Whatever you think of having separate code-bases and a whole new incubator project, treating OOo users like this (especially when a maintained fork exists) is awful and detrimental to the standing of OSS in general.

One Office to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450112)

I really hope that ASF/OpenOffice and LibreOffice will join forces now. Now that Oracle is out of the picture, I would think and hope that the initial reason for creating LibreOffice is no longer valid.

dumb question... (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450140)

I feel like I should know the answer to this, but what does Apache have to do with OOo? I thought Oracle owned OOo and ruled it with an iron fist.

Re:dumb question... (5, Informative)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450328)

You missed a memo. Oracle donated the code, copyright, and trademarks to the Apache Foundation.

Re:dumb question... (3, Interesting)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450330)

And what would Open Office that is "target at developers" look like, in contrast to plain ol' vanilla Open Office?

Re:dumb question... (3, Funny)

narooze (845310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450926)

And what would Open Office that is "target at developers" look like, in contrast to plain ol' vanilla Open Office?

\LaTeX, of course.

Re:dumb question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455778)

Your C++ code has newer looked so good printed. Also, your C code reaches new artistic high, with the tools available.

Re:dumb question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450342)

they transferred all the rights to Apache sometime this year to get rid of the responsibility

Re:dumb question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450356)

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/oracle-gives-openoffice-to-apache/9035

Re:dumb question... (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450392)

By no means should you read the first sentence of the second linked article in TFA.

All the way back in June, we covered Oracle's announcement that it would move OpenOffice.org to a community-based project overseen by the Apache Software Foundation.

I didn't know that either - or, at least I didn't remember that happening. Once I switched to LibreOffice, all of the OOo news just became irrelevant.

Re:dumb question... (4, Insightful)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450418)

Oracle realised that they had no hope of the control they wanted (as all the devs left for LibreOffice) so they just gave in.

Instead of just letting it stagnate and die, they handed it over to the Apache foundation so it could stagnate and die there without any need for Oracle to go to the hassle of ignoring support tickets.

Re:dumb question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454088)

Oracle realized that spending money in many open-source projects basically made SUN go broke and decided not share the same fate.

Common public doesn't get a grasp of how extensive the costs of maintaining a project like OpenOffice.org really was. LibreOffice doesn't currently match the size of the pre-forked Oracle Open Office.

No dumb questions, just dumb.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450596)

No, Oracle ended up donating the OpenOffice.org trademarks and rights to the source code fully to the Apache foundation after all the hullabaloo over the OpenOffice/LibreOffice split.

grep Libre... (1)

Hogmoru (639374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450218)

... yields no result in the open letter (TFA does mention it but only about old news).
Even if they don't merge back, I feel they should still work together (or did I miss something ?)

One (Open)Office to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450298)

I really wish that ASF/OpenOffice and LibreOffice would join forces now. Now that Oracle is out of the picture, I would think and hope that the initial reason for creating LibreOffice is no longer valid.

Re:One (Open)Office to rule them all (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450472)

I don't think this can happen because of incompatible licenses.

Re:One (Open)Office to rule them all (5, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451122)

Apache Software License 2.0 is GPL3 compatible. Which doesn't actually matter ; LibreOffice and OOo are actually released under the same license - LGPL3

The main license issue was that Sun / Oracle wouldn't accept patches without copyright attribution. This kept their options open - because they owned the copyrights of all the source, they could re-license it as they saw fit, including as a commercial product (StarOffice).

Since then I am not aware of The Document Foundation demanding copyright attribution. There was basically no point doing so - the copyrights were still owned by Oracle, so it's not as if they could ever re-license the code as anything other than the license they acquired it under. The positive effect this has is that patches are easier to get into the code because contributors don't have to enter into a legal agreement with the foundation (which they may or may not be permitted to do, depending on their employment conditions, age, etc).

Because the licenses continue to be LGPL3, LibreOffice can continue to merge patches from OOo at their leisure. Apache may only merge patches from LibreOffice if they have abandoned the practice of demanding copyright attribution (as of right now, the relevant page [openoffice.org] still demands that you sign the Oracle Contributor Agreement).

So until Apache makes it very clear what their position on copyright attribution is, they remain the less Free of the two projects, and LibreOffice definitely has a purpose, and continues to have a technical advantage, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the brand capital that the OpenOffice.org name has accrued.

Re:One (Open)Office to rule them all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454246)

The Apache Foundation doesn't require "copyright attribution". And the Apache License is way more "Free" that the LGPL, as it has less restrictions, otherwise it wouldn't be GPL3 "compatible":
        http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html

Re:One (Open)Office to rule them all (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450652)

LibreOffice is looking really good. They seem to have their shit together. Why break the momentum?

It's now for derivating software (3, Interesting)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450320)

They could quite well turn it into a library, and let people write their software with it. They are publishing it with the APL, if you redistribute it you must fork (because of trademark issues), and most people did already migrate to forks.

It is a nice way to make everybody colaborate on making ODF better, put everybody in sync, and make more ODF editors available. You can't do that with GPLed software. For once Oracle created something good. Too bad they had to try to screw everybody before they give up and do the right thing.

Re:It's now for derivating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450444)

Oracle did not screw things up and try to tighten clutches on Open Office, a mentally retarded Executive in a corner office did.

Blame the cancer not the patient.

Use Calligra instead (3, Interesting)

ingwa (958475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38450556)

If you want to embed or reuse a library then I would suggest that you would be better off by using the Office Engine from the Calligra Suite (http//www.calligra.org/). It is already used in many mobile and embedded places, e.g. the office viewer in the Nokia N9 smartphone. The engine -- and the apps themselves -- are all under LGPL which makes it usable even with non-free apps.

Re:Use Calligra instead - KOffice take two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38452062)

This is KOffice, right? I have always been impressed with the architecture of KOffice but haven't ever been able to get over the UI. It made OpenOffice look minimal and organized! I truly hope that with Calligra 2.4 they release something that is also stable and nice to use. There needs to be a second reasonable Office Suite option for Linux.

Re:It's now for derivating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450952)

They didn't "do the right thing." They waited until the project was about completely dead and a better alternative (LibreOffice, and fuck all of you ignorant asswipes who think the name of a program has any significance beyond your own preferences, by the way). Then they gave it to Apache, otherwise known as "where web projects go to die." Those people took how long to finally offer a solution to the relatively simple Slowloris attack? Long enough for their competitors like nginx and cherokee to go through several revisions.

Apache is in essentially the same boat as XFree86 at this point. Some businesses depend on them and that's what keeps them afloat, but that's only because they haven't moved on to bigger and better things yet. They will eventually, and OpenOffice will be forgotten about.

Re:It's now for derivating software (2)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452278)

They didn't "do the right thing." They waited until the project was about completely dead and a better alternative (LibreOffice, and fuck all of you ignorant asswipes who think the name of a program has any significance beyond your own preferences, by the way). Then they gave it to Apache, otherwise known as "where web projects go to die." Those people took how long to finally offer a solution to the relatively simple Slowloris attack? Long enough for their competitors like nginx and cherokee to go through several revisions.

Please get your facts correct:

  • Oracle did not decide to wait for OOo to die. They simply stopped communicating as they don't understand the Open Source communities.
  • Oracle waited too long to communicate before doing anything. Probably as they were trying to understand what they had just bought; and figuring out how it fit into the organization.
  • a small group (3 people) decided they didn't want to wait for Oracle any more, forked the project, and have since sown a lot of discontinuity between the communities, having only had a small portion of the community join them, but acting like the entire community followed - which is not the case.
  • In light of the fork, and the discontinuity sown, Oracle decided to divest themselves of it, and returned it over to Apache as there was nothing they could do to "fix" the issue. So they simply followed plans already in the works to move OOo to an independent organization.

Apache is in essentially the same boat as XFree86 at this point. Some businesses depend on them and that's what keeps them afloat, but that's only because they haven't moved on to bigger and better things yet. They will eventually, and OpenOffice will be forgotten about.

And yet, Apache is one of the largest FOSS contributers, managing some of the largest projects out there, now inheriting another large project. The only other entity out there by comparison that has as many projects under one roof is the FSF. Yes, some projects at Apache end up petering out; but they are not kept afloat because people refuse to move on.

Re:It's now for derivating software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451178)

Can't do what with GPLed soft? Fork? Re-use? Use? I call BS on you.

Re:It's now for derivating software (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453104)

Bring together lots of different parties, that release code on different licenses (some even proprietary), so they share a toolbox? No can't be done with the GPL.

I tought people here at /. would be informed enough to know the OO ecosystem; or at least smart enough to saerch it.

I'm good with this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450362)

The Apache license isn't the perfect "open" license, (I preferred GPL2), but I'm still good with the Apache License. Since Apache is a neutral player, they won't be imposing 'will' or 'vision'. Still, its connections with Oracle presses me to use LibreOffice instead, at least for the immediate future. The hazards of forking any project is that a once viable branch inevitably falls behind. However, whenever I look at the demise of a branch, I look at the reasons surrounding the fork (usually greed, or some kind of restriction where the license or code base is used to beat contributors over the head), at which point, the fork occurs. Usually there is remorse afterward, but once a project forks, it never goes back. Its happened a lot. The 'open' version of Java is now the default version of Java. XFree86 is now X.org. Before GTK, the license restrictions around mosaic were incredible. The people who started Mambo tried to turn 'Free' into 'Mine'. The fork became Joomla. Backpeddling ensued, but stick a fork in it, it was done. Hello LibreOffice.

Re:I'm good with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38450992)

"The 'open' version of Java is now the default version of Java

I wish that were true, but at my work station at work the default is definitely not the open source version. I am no looking forward to the day when the oracle version hoisted on my dt causes my OSS software to no longer run.

Re:I'm good with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451468)

but once a project forks, it never goes back. Its happened a lot.

GCC forked and then re-merged. But yeah, that's the exception.

Re:I'm good with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38451604)

I'm not sure it merged as such, rather the fork was "blessed" as the new version. The projects merged I suppose.

Compiz and Beryl re-merged similarly too.

Re:I'm good with this (2)

chooks (71012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452204)

...once a project forks, it never goes back...

This happened to Christianity in 1054, with another major fork happening in the 16th century. I guess it had a lot to do with questions regarding the disagreements with management of the code base and who is best able to do that (or something like that).

Now it seems like there is a fork every week or so. Who can keep up with the versions? No wonder we had to develop distributed version control, since everyone seems to want their own local branch to work with. Merging it all back to the tip (or trunk) it pretty much impossible -- the devil is in the details!

Re:I'm good with this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38452854)

Don't forget that Christianity is just a fork from Judaism. And Islam is a fork also.

Re:I'm good with this (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453734)

Before GTK, the license restrictions around mosaic were incredible.

Did you mean Motif, rather than Mosaic?

OT, but comparison of LibreOffice to OpenOffice? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 2 years ago | (#38451844)

It's actually been awhile since I've installed or used OpenOffice...I've been using Google Docs myself mostly and for family they've all been running old copies of OpenOffice forever. I'd originally dismissed LibreOffice as a cumbersome-named knockoff and OO was working for me so I just ignored it. My wife does have some complaints she's run into with OO; is LO more actively maintained, faster/more efficient, or have imrpoved features over OO now? Is it worth changing over or upgrading?

Ya know what I'd really like - instead of either of these packages chasing MS Office 2003, I'd like to see something like what Firefox (and now Chrome) did to the browser product space, but for office productivity suites. Where's my small, lightweight, and fast word processor, spreadsheet app, or presentation software that is straightforward to get into but also has the pro features I might need, too. But not buried under tons of menus, nor ribbonized. Where's the innovation that we didn't know we even needed? Maybe Apple's office software does some of that, but I've never used it. But I always remembered OpenOffice feeling very bulky and dated. It worked, was better than shelling out $200 for MS Office, but didn't really improve on what it was replacing.

Re:OT, but comparison of LibreOffice to OpenOffice (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452174)

From what I have seen: OpenOffice is faster, but LibreOffice has more features.

Re:OT, but comparison of LibreOffice to OpenOffice (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38452456)

on my laptop, google docs on chromium or even microsoft live documents on chromium perform better than libreoffice native program. faster operations, auto-saving, much better ui (both google and ms), and documents are saved in standard formats that can be used everywhere else without headaches.

Re:OT, but comparison of LibreOffice to OpenOffice (4, Informative)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453570)

is LO more actively maintained, faster/more efficient, or have imrpoved features over OO now? Is it worth changing over or upgrading?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and again yes to all of your questions!

LibreOffice has not only merged countless improvements that OO.o cannot merge (because of license issues), but has cleaned up a lot of code, removed dead code, fixed known problems, improved work flow, removed limitations, improved compatibility with other software, upgraded to ODF 1.2, and made the program better in countless respects. They're also providing explicit release schedules for major and minor versions (e.g. 3.5.0 is due Feb 8, and 3.5.1 is due in the first week of March, then 3.5.2 is due in the first week of April, etc.), and are properly open about the coming features, the road map, funding, etc.

Sure, you can certainly get plenty of mileage out of existing installations of OO.o today, but if you have no compelling reason to stay with OO.o you should definitely consider upgrading to LibreOffice. I'd wager that you'll be very glad to have done it.

Bottom line, OO.o is dead and gone in all but name. I really don't see much point in continuing to spend energy on OO.o these days.

instead of either of these packages chasing MS Office 2003, I'd like to see something like what Firefox (and now Chrome) did to the browser product space, but for office productivity suites

The core difference between browsing the web and working with documents is the persistence of data and how predictable (consistent) your data is presented. Nobody in their right mind expects web pages to look the same, regardless whether you use Opera, Firefox, Chrome, MSIE, or Lynx. But when it comes to documents, people get upset if a word wraps earlier in one product than another, their carefully crafted one page document suddenly overflows by two words onto a second line, their embedded images aren't properly aligned, etc. Sometimes these are legitimate concerns, sometimes it's just a matter of mismatched expectations, but overall it's a different ball game.

So if you want to play in the office/document playground, you can't afford to alienate too many people before you start stepping out of line, and improving on the old and trusted formula that so many people take for granted.

Re:OT, but comparison of LibreOffice to OpenOffice (1)

jensend (71114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454470)

An office suite can't be "small" and "lightweight" and have all "the pro features I might need, too." You sound just like Agnes in Simpson Safari [snpp.com] : you want all your groceries in one bag, but you don't want the bag to be heavy.

You can get lightweight, fast office software; for example, you can use AbiWord [abisource.com] for your word processing needs. But it doesn't have every feature under the sun, and if it did have every pro feature anybody "might need" it wouldn't be lightweight.

Possible to release LibreOffice as Apache License? (1)

gral (697468) | more than 2 years ago | (#38453762)

Changing a license means that you have to work with the Source owner. Now that Apache Foundation owns the OpenOffice.org codebase, does that mean that LibreOffice could change the license to ASF? Assuming the developers on LIbreOffice are ok with the move...

Re:Possible to release LibreOffice as Apache Licen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38454348)

I don't think so - mostly because the GNU/Nazis would flip their lid. Why make your code open and free to maximize adoption when you can push a sketchy agenda?

The ghost of Christmas Future points out: (2)

jensend (71114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38454372)

Unless a lot of things about this project change it is pretty much doomed. (Well, doomed to be ignored by everybody outside of IBM; they can finance their own Symphony devs, but nothing else will come of this unless things change.)

If you glance at the Apache openoffice mailing lists, a few things become clear:

  • Rob Weir, who is basically running the show and who seems like a perfectly reasonable person from his blog [robweir.com] , acts like a caustic, sarcastic, and poorly socialized adolescent in communicating with other developers. He's alienating people right and left. People have tried to get him to stop, but he either ignores it or just acts like it's those he's offended who are to blame for any unpleasantness.
  • Due to Rob's attitude and other unfortunate factors, any chance of gaining cooperation from anyone who's been involved in LibreOffice has pretty much evaporated. If there'd been a little bit of diplomacy, I bet a lot of people would have been OK with dual-licensing their patches for Apache OO to use as well, and the two projects could have gotten a lot of mutually beneficial effort in support, security, localization, language tools, and extensions; AOO folks have instead opted to prioritize insulting LibreOffice folks over getting anything done.
  • They tore a lot of functionality [apache.org] out of OpenOffice for their license compliance crusade [apache.org] . I can understand that they can't ship copylefted code, but tearing out the use of LGPL'ed libraries seems kind of ridiculous. (For me personally, the loss of WordPerfect import is going to force me to LibreOffice.)
  • Apache OpenOffice 3.4 won't be released until the middle of next year-- the first OO release since this January, with relatively little improvement over OO 3.3 and a fair bit of missing functionality-- LibreOffice will have gone through three "major" releases and another dozen point releases, fixing a lot of bugs, refactoring a lot of code, and introducing a few new features. AOO will have taken roughly a full year (June 2011-2012) to make their first code shipment and people will have long since moved on.

I really wanted to see Apache OpenOffice succeed and become the main branch; I think that for a project like OO, having either a permissive license or copyright assignment to a well-governed nonprofit (as with GNU software) is a really wise idea. But I can't see them making much progress as things stand.

So... (1)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455504)

So pretty much ASF is killing OpenOffice....
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