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Apache OpenOffice Downloaded 50 Million Times In a Year

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the name-recognition dept.

Open Source 155

An anonymous reader writes with this quick bite from the H: "Just a few days after the one year anniversary of the release of the first version of OpenOffice from the Apache Foundation (Apache OpenOffice 3.4) on 8 May 2012, the project can now boast 50 million downloads of the Open Source office suite. 10 million of those downloads happened since the beginning of March. In contrast, LibreOffice claimed it had 15 million unique downloads of its office suite in all of 2012."

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155 comments

It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice name.. (5, Insightful)

duckgod (2664193) | about a year ago | (#43742723)

and LibreOffice gets everything else. LibreOffice is such a better piece of software after all the hard work done since the fork. But sometimes even when talking to my techy friends I have to elaborate when I say I created the doc in "LibreOffice".

Marketing (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43742809)

LibreOffice is such a better piece of software after all the hard work done since the fork. But sometimes even when talking to my techy friends I have to elaborate when I say I created the doc in "LibreOffice".

^ So, so much this. Seems like only the geeks have figured out that LibreOffice exists, and these numbers only confirm my suspicions.

LibreOffice needs some kind of marketing push to get people to switch.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742995)

What's weird is that I thought OpenOffice died a long time ago, and that only LibreOffice existed.

Re:Marketing (1)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about a year ago | (#43743137)

it felt like that and that's how i ended up on LO. I remembered there being a major fork a while back and had to look it up

Re:Marketing (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43743959)

Well, LO has better marketing. But OO exists and is going on strong.

Re:Marketing (2)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | about a year ago | (#43744621)

Depends on how you download. In Fedora, I typed this, and got LibreOffice:

>sudo yum install openoffice

But, if you go to the openoffice website looking for a download, there's no mention of LibreOffice there at all.

Re:Marketing (4, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | about a year ago | (#43742997)

Better yet, merge projects. Use LibreOffice as the new base and port whatever optimizations and enhancements OOo has over. Now that Oracle has washed their hands of OOo there is no "philosophical" reason not to do it.

I prefer LibreOffice over OOo myself, but I prefer either one over the user-hostile ribbon interface of Microsoft Office where it has been turned into a game of hide-and-seek.

Re:Marketing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743569)

LibreOffice recently rebased onto Apache OO ( https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/Re-Basing ), no idea whether or not new updates are being ported from Apache to LibreOffice though, but it seems that the intention is to port anything of use to LibreOffice.

Re:Marketing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743679)

It is up to the individual projects as they are separate. In the end it comes down to licensing constraints.

My understanding is that the Apache OpenOffice has more stringent licensing constraints so that whatever is committed to OO could be ported to LibreOffice, but the reverse isn't necessarily true.

Re:Marketing (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43744133)

"I prefer LibreOffice over OOo myself, but I prefer either one over the user-hostile ribbon interface of Microsoft Office where it has been turned into a game of hide-and-seek."

It's kind of ironic. Microsoft took much of Xerox PARC's human-computer interface research, and continued it for decades. Resulting in some VERY effective UI.

Then, inexplicably, they turned around and just threw most of it away, with the ribbon interface and then Windows 8.

To be fair, Microsoft has not been the only one lately to do "new" things that are actually quite old (tried many years ago and discarded for good reasons). Apple's recent "dumbing down" of their desktop UI to make it more like iOS is another, though less drastic, example.

You know the saying: those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it. I only wish THEY would also the only ones who suffer because of it.

Re:Marketing (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43744705)

Better yet, merge projects. ... Now that Oracle has washed their hands of OOo there is no "philosophical" reason not to do it.

Sure there is. It's called the not-in-my-house philosophy.

Re:Marketing (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43744137)

Uhhh...why? What difference at the end of the day does it make if they use OO or LO, they are both FOSS correct? Frankly you shouldn't care one way or the other whether you get 65 million OO or LO or a combination of the two.

Honestly I'd say in the grand scheme of things both OO and LO are irrelevant, as the ones that can most use it, home users, are increasingly not opting for any office software at all. Hell i stopped including an office suite in my default install ages ago unless they specifically ask for it because I found they just weren't being used, most users are too busy with FB and twitter and a thousand other sites to really care about office software one way or another. And some might bitch at me saying so but businesses can't really use either because Writer is pretty piss poor when it comes to handling complex office docs and don't even get me started on Calc which doesn't deserve to be in the same sentence as Excel.

At the end of the day I'm finding fewer and fewer home users use this stuff anymore, its like stand alone email clients in that way, its just no longer relevant to the majority. But I don't see how its "bad" that OO gets downloaded more than LO, that seems like its just splitting hairs as its not like its gonna "hurt" LO one way or another, anymore than people say using Gnome over KDE is really gonna hurt anything, its a personal preference thing really.

Re:Marketing (1)

uncqual (836337) | about a year ago | (#43744635)

Sadly, it needs more than marketing - it needs quality 'help' as well. Unfortunately, the population of those who enjoy writing tech docs and will do it in a FOSS project seems to be much smaller than coders who enjoy writing software in FOSS projects.

LO's online docs/help are a mere shadow of those in MS Office - even when comparing them to MS Office versions from over a decade ago. This makes LO less friendly to new users.

Re:Marketing (3, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#43744659)

LibreOffice is absolutely excellent. Except I think of the "Nacho Libre" movie and I can't see myself saying "Libre" in casual conversation and it sounds exceptionally geeky and not mainstream. Not as bad as "The Gimp" in the name department, but yes the name absolutely falls in the "not helpful department". Versus, say, Firefox which always had a good name or MYSQL was always a good name.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742927)

They should have called it OfficeLibre and used a syilized picture of Che for their logo.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43743195)

Personally, I say "OpenOffice" anyway when I mean LibreOffice. It has more currency with less technical people and those who never update, and only occasionally does it prompt a concerned stare when someone actually knows the distinction. Maybe we could just go back to calling it StarOffice?

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (5, Interesting)

Qubit (100461) | about a year ago | (#43743725)

Personally, I say "OpenOffice" anyway when I mean LibreOffice.

*concerned stare* ...that's very interesting.

It has more currency with less technical people and those who never update, and only occasionally does it prompt a concerned stare when someone actually knows the distinction.

Speaking as a LibreOffice user and contributor, I am impressed that the OpenOffice name is so well known these days. I remember a number of years ago when *nobody* knew the name "OpenOffice" ("Is that some kind of template pack plugin thing for Word?"). It's very interesting to hear that now the name is well known enough that technically-minded users use the OpenOffice name to refer to both LO and AOO. Brand recognition is really quite strong!

Questions for you:

  • What do you think LibreOffice should do to make its brand more recognizable?
  • How 'known' would the project need to be for you to start calling it "LibreOffice" ?

Maybe we could just go back to calling it StarOffice?

Well the binary is still called "soffice" :-)

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743935)

Well, *office would match both :)

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

alvarogmj (1679584) | about a year ago | (#43744055)

You mean like "StarOffice"?

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

alvarogmj (1679584) | about a year ago | (#43744149)

Note to self: read the comments entirely before attempting to do a lame joke

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43743941)

And if it weren't for that binary name, I never would've known at all. :)

I'll switch to calling it LibreOffice exclusively just for you if it makes you feel better. I do have a few... vague suggestions for things that could be done to promote LO's image, but most of them depend on understanding why Apache has bothered holding onto its fork instead of giving it back to the LO community, which is something I'm not privy to. I'm pretty sure that most people (who are aware of the distinction) see the existence of AOO as senseless and confusing.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744697)

I would say the fact that e.g. IBM is making use of the code (and possibly/probably willing to contribute) and they probably don't like LibreOffice's license might be one of the main reasons for OO to still exist.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744005)

One of the things I noticed about LibreOffice was that there was open need for better distribution/update methods. I remember at the time thinking that this would hold them back, I think that as this progresses so will the name. Focusing more on enterprise friendly methods may help as well.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744707)

I also refer to LO as Open Office when speaking with other people as in "can I send you an Open Office document?". Actually most of the time I send and receive PDFs instead of .doc and .odt files. Exchanging live documents is pretty much dead because of wikis, Google Drive and infinite other specialized tools. I'm using a generalistic word processor only as a way of producing PDF offers to my customers and invoices when the job's done. I'm using calc a little more because there are little substitutes for a spreadsheet (Google's one is not good enough) but I hardly mail any of my .ods files to anybody.

Using LO instead of OO was not a choice but only a consequence of Ubuntu switching to the other software suite. I was a little concerned about it but from a user point of view it is the same software with the same interface with just a different name. Maybe if I had OO installed on another computer I could notice some difference now after a few version updates.

Maybe the way to get indipendent brand recognition would be to use a totally different interface and a totally different file format. No, I'm not serious, just joking :-) It's OK as it is and thank you for the time you spent on this project.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743955)

Uhh... Why wouldn't OpenOffice be called "OpenOffice"? It doesn't seem much of presumption to me, since it is actually OpenOffice.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744001)

I couldn't care less how good the software is. The name stinks. There's no way I'd want to look at that name every time I edit a document, I wouldn't want it to pollute my computer with it even if it's just sitting there and I never use it. Seriously, who came up with such a lame name? Is it French or English, if French shouldn't it be OfficeLibre? And what's meant my "libre"? I guess it's free, but is it open? Why the emphasis on free? Later on, are they going to shove ads on me and tell me I should be happy cos it's free?

Linux is free and open yet doesn't use some ugly combination of free/libre/open in its name. Firefox is free and open but it's not called OuvertBrowser. Pick a proper name, even if it's just to give us the illusion that it's maintained by responsible, professional people, not a bunch of basement-dwelling hackers.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744487)

And what's meant my "libre"? I guess it's free, but is it open? Why the emphasis on free? Later on, are they going to shove ads on me and tell me I should be happy cos it's free?

That would be GratisOffice, not LibreOffice. The distinction is why they didn't just call it "FreeOffice".

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#43744535)

You seriously consider the name to be more important than the software itself and its functionality. I think you need to get your priorities straight, because they seem to be fucked.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744821)

I'll keep this simple.

While geeks such as yourself have heard and understand what OO/ LO does, the rest of the regular world doesn't.
You're not the rest of the world.
Nor the majority.

Alternatives to MS Office are marginal in people's minds, and could be mistaken for crapware created by Zynga.
They both may be functionally the same, like Coca-Cola and GO2 Cola. But one brand sticks out, and the other doesn't.

Sorry to disappoint, but marketing matters.

Re:It is a shame that OpenOffice gets the nice nam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744147)

Merge!

With Oracle out of the picture, there is zero need for both.

unique vs total? (5, Informative)

trybywrench (584843) | about a year ago | (#43742759)

If you're going to make the comparison between the two download counts they need to be the same as in unique vs unique or total vs total but not total vs unique.

Re:unique vs total? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43742859)

Yea seriously... TFA doesn't mention anything about OpenOffice being unique dowloads, while TFS mentions LibreOffice was download uniquely 15 million times. At least from what I'm seeing.

Re:unique vs total? (3, Insightful)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | about a year ago | (#43743059)

Not to mention that Ubuntu has LibreOffice pre-installed, so none of those users have a reason to download LibreOffice. That could skew the download counts.

Re:unique vs total? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743375)

Plus, here at the office systems all use a package manager with our own repository (so we can check for bugs or any side effects before rolling updates out and so that we can also distribute in house applications and scripts). Therefore, at most all they would see is 1 download for the repo, at most, but since we get those from a different repository, the libre site doesn't see any at all.

Re:unique vs total? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743425)

I should also mention that our Windows machines have updates pushed out centrally, so updating all the Windows machines is another single download. And that is probably the biggest difference. OpenOffice is probably home users getting it based on the name while Libre office is technical users.

Re:unique vs total? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#43743695)

Not to the tune of 35million

Bet that LibrOffice download count doesn't include (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742777)

downloads of all the distributions that use it.

Re: Bet that LibrOffice download count doesn't inc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743805)

Why would that be meaningful? With that method, downloads of ruby, python, perl, and ksh would all rival each other.

Re:Bet that LibrOffice download count doesn't incl (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43744747)

Correct. So that means that the OpenOffice numbers include only those who actually *wanted* OpenOffice and intentionally downloaded it. It doesn't include those who mere *got* software as part of a larger bundle without asking for it, or even knowing it is there. For all we know some Linux users consider LO to be so much bloatware that came bundled with their operating system.

I think it is fair to consider the quality of a user claimed as part of a metric. We make that distinction all the time. With Microsoft we count registrations over OEM installs, for example. So the number of users who actually downloaded OpenOffice is higher up the commitment scale and is more meaningful than claiming that all Linux users want and use LibreOffice. For all we know they are using the machine purely as a home media server or something else.

Excellent Programs for free! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742797)

It serves the needs of most people.

CUZ LIBRA-X SOUNDS ITALIAN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742817)

And Italian ... software ?? Who heard of such nonsense !!

Re:CUZ LIBRA-X SOUNDS ITALIAN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744597)

As Italian, "libre" makes me think instantly about Spanish, or French if I think about it a little more. LibreOffice would be OfficeLibero if it were an Italian word.

Meanwhile... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43742825)

Meanwhile, LO comes with every Linux distro, so it's unlikely any of those will have been logged.

I've switched over to LO by default. Does anyone here have any kind of opinion on the matter? It seems that LO has been undergoing a massive codebase cleanup and they're beginning to capitalise on it in that they seem to be adding features at quite a pace now.

Then again I don't use it much.

Meh... (4, Funny)

ndtechnologies (814381) | about a year ago | (#43742833)

Whoopdie doo. I honestly moved to LibreOffice as soon as it forked. True that OO.o has more mindshare, but LibreOffice is better. I simply tell people "they renamed it", lol.

Re:Meh... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43743975)

Why is it better?

Re:Meh... (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#43744749)

They went through and optimized the code, for one thing. I seem to recall they culled about 50% of deprecated code that was just hanging around like junk DNA, doing nothing but bloating up the program. After they cleaned up the code, they tightened up the rest of it. The result was a leaner piece of software in all modules, so it loads faster and runs faster.

Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43742861)

LibreOffice comes pre-packed in most Linux distributions. If you want OpenOffice you have to download it from Apache.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743047)

Linux is what... 3%? 5%? of the desktop market? LibreOffice can have 100% of that market and it means very little.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43743087)

True. However I believe that Linux users make up a large portion of LibreOffice's base.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743191)

Likely true. But suppose they have 100% of desktop Linux already? Where then is their growth going to come from? From the charts it looks like Apache OpenOffice downloads are 85% Windows. That gives them a lot more room for growth, IMHO. 50 million downloads shows they are a good-sized fish in a very large pond.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#43743345)

What's 3 and 5% of 3-4 billion? Hint: it's a lot more than 50 million.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743693)

Linux is what... 3%? 5%? of the desktop market? LibreOffice can have 100% of that market and it means very little.

Your post has even less meaning.
http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/installation/windows/

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (2)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743913)

The fact that LibreOffice has never broken out their Windows download numbers (which would be trivial for them to do) speaks louder than any other argument. If the numbers were favorable we would have already seen their "infographics" on this.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#43744737)

I thought in some of the most hardcore countries that Linux use might be 10% --- I'm talking certain parts of Europe here --- but no in those countries it tops off around 4%. Your estimates of 3% to 5% worldwide are very, very high. If worldwide it is even near 2%, I'd be stunned. I do not know if those stats counted tablets and clearly did not include Linux servers.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#43743049)

LibreOffice comes pre-packed in most Linux distributions. If you want OpenOffice you have to download it from Apache.

You aren't suggesting all those 50 million downloads were to the Windows PC and the Mac?

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743605)

Most of them. Who runs OpenOffice on Linux?

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43744017)

/me raises hand

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743233)

That is a good point. Another good point would be that since LibreOffice has been out there for a while, and OpenOffice was only recently pried out of Oracle's grasping fingers that the LlibreOffice users got their copies some time ago so they are not downloading it now.

In short, number of downloads doesn't really tell us anything about how many people are using which platform.

Yet more techno-marketing babble. I wish technologist would go back to doing technology and leave the marketing/evangelizing to corporate marketing people.

Re:Of course OO has a higher number of D/Ls... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about a year ago | (#43743301)

"LibreOffice comes pre-packed in most Linux distributions. If you want OpenOffice you have to download it from Apache."

And the rest of the world--read Microsoft users--have to download it. That would explain the numbers right there.

Good Job (4, Insightful)

trifish (826353) | about a year ago | (#43742903)

OpenOffice is now proper open source as it is under Apache Foundation. There is absolutely no reason to maintain two branches of it now. It only dilutes the effort and weakens the well-known OpenOffice brand. You should end the fork before it does even more harm.

Re:Good Job (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742971)

OpenOffice is now proper open source as it is under Apache Foundation. There is absolutely no reason to maintain two branches of it now. It only dilutes the effort and weakens the well-known OpenOffice brand. You should end the fork before it does even more harm.

Fine by me, end the OpenOffice fork and give LibreOffice the name. That is what Oracle should have done when they decided to hand OO over to someone else.

Re:Good Job (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#43743003)

If the efforts actually merge back together, it is more likely that LibreOffice would join Apache/OpenOffice and not the other way around.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743099)

Except they can't, their licenses won't allow LibreOffice code to merge with OpenOffice.

Re:Good Job (2)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743151)

LO was able to get all of their developers to agree to change the license from LGPL to MPL3. If they asked politely maybe they could get a change to Apache?

In other words it is a community/political challenge, not a legal problem.

Re:Good Job (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43743637)

I doubt they will be able to get them to go from the MPL3 to the Apache license. The transition from LGPL -> MPL3 maintained the copyleft nature of the license, going to Apache would eliminate it. I suspect it would be significantly more difficult to get people to agree to that.

Re:Good Job (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43744077)

You might be right. After all, we all know how the use of the Apache License has entirely ruined Android...

Not.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744853)

What does the success of a system developed mostly by paid developers to do with the willingness of volunteers to relicense?
That's like saying making Linus give his copyright to Microsoft should be easy since the use of a commercial license hasn't hindered their succes...

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744343)

Most of the work in LibreOffice is done by Redhat and SuSE employees. Most contributors actually don't care about the license.

OTOH, the projects are starting to diverge significantly and not because of LibreOffice, which seems to be far from innovative, but by the new impulse given by the AOO and the symphony contribution.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743221)

Why, given the relative paces of development, that changes due to licensing reasons only go one way, the the obvious plan would be to drop OO.org in favour of LibreOffice. However, provided people are prepared to develop for both does it really matter?

No it's not. (1)

pavon (30274) | about a year ago | (#43743223)

LibreOffice is licensed under LGPL, like Sun OpenOffice.org was before it. Apache OpenOffice is licensed under the Apache license, which is more permissive than the LGPL. There is no problem using Apache licensed code with LGPL code, however the Apache Foundation refuses to use any license that is less permissive than Apache license in any of it's projects. It is one of the core tenants of the foundation. So OpenOffice can choose to merge into LibreOffice, but the opposite cannot happen short of getting every developer who has worked on LibreOffice/Go-OO over the past decade to agree to re-license their code.

Re:Good Job (1)

BadgerRush (2648589) | about a year ago | (#43743297)

This is not possible, LibreOffice code is licensed LGPL, it can't "join Apache/OpenOffice".

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743019)

fool me once, shame on you

fool me twice...

I know this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743417)

fool me once, shame on you
fool me twice...

...and you can't get fooled again.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743097)

Why? You do not have the right to tell developers how they want to share their code or say that the nature of the symbiosis between the coders and community is not a reason to stick to a healthy community vs an unhealthy one. Just because the smaller branch of the fork, in terms of progress and developers, got the name does not mean we have to stop working on the better one. Why should they put all their work in the Apache licence for other people to steal and fall in line behind IBM? If the LibreOfice developers wanted to give away their code without return that would be another thing, but they don't and have made that clear. The same is true in the difference of style between the Apache Foundation and the Document Foundation, they are very different - saying that preferring one of such fundamentally different organisations is not a reason to stick to it is just as silly.

Re:Good Job (3, Interesting)

wisesifu (1358043) | about a year ago | (#43743105)

I disagree,

OpenOffice brand was already damaged by Oracle and I believe by giving it to Apache they wanted to continue the damaging effect of the way they handled to community.

Why not give it to LibreOffice? When they realized they where wrong and it was time to dump the code, why give it to Apache? Why not give it to the people already doing development, previous community members?

I think OpenOffice while it may have been downloaded more times its LibreOffice with the uptrend, with the following.

Re:Good Job (1)

Palestrina (715471) | about a year ago | (#43743251)

What is the basis for your claim that "the brand was already damaged"? Do you have any evidence for that? And if you did, how could you distinguish damage caused by Oracle from damage caused by the LibreOffice fork?

I read this claim, and I'm sincerely interested in knowing whether this is just FUD, or whether there are any facts behind it.

Re:Good Job (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43743483)

how could you distinguish damage caused by Oracle from damage caused by the LibreOffice fork?

You can't. But it was Oracle's project to act on and they decided to be as uncooperative as possible, even more so than Sun. So LibreOffice was born and much progress was made in spite of Oracle. Then Oracle decided to dispense with it and carelessly tossed it aside to Apache.

Re:Good Job (1)

unrtst (777550) | about a year ago | (#43743863)

While I think that the LibreOffice folks had some valid complaints, there has been an awful lot more stink made about it than was necessary. They could have stated their needs/complaints, proposed their forking plans should certain criteria not be met, and just went on their way when that didn't happen. Many of the members did just that, and didn't raise a big stink.

However, it's not helping anything to say that "Oracle ... decided to be as uncooperative as possible". They just took over a very large and wide array of software and hardware. OOo didn't get the attention that some people wanted - fine. I'm not claiming Oracle did the best they could, but they weren't absolutely evil with it either.

"Oracle decided to dispense with it and carelessly tossed it aside to Apache"... don't be such a drama queen. IMO, the Apache Foundation is an amazing place, and is just about the ideal place for OOo to end up (assuming Oracle didn't want to manage it anymore). The could have carelessly tossed it aside to Microsoft or to Novel or Miguel de Icaza etc. The Apache Foundation seems like a pretty well thought out solution. The LibreOffice guys are the ones that forked... if they want to join back in, then can work out their licensing issues and do so (or just rewrite what's needed).

The good news for LibreOffice is that they can still pull in stuff from OOo (I think), so not all is lost.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743231)

The age-old "consolidate your efforts" argument rears its pointless head once again. Why is it pointless? Because the developers don't develop for you. They develop for themselves. It may be for money, or for experience, or to expand their resume, or just plain old-fashioned enjoyment. But one thing is clear: they do NOT do it for you.

With that understood, there is only one remaining question. If you were able to pull the carpet out from underneath these developers, forcing them to abandon their project, what in the world makes you think they would move over to your favorite project? After all, as we just learned, each one of them is contributing for their own personal reasons -- NOT yours.

The bottom line is that if the developers wanted to consolidate their efforts, then they certainly would. Nothing is stopping them. And if they don't consolidate, then what else can we possibly conclude but they don't want to. I guarantee you they have already considered your proposal, and apparently, rejected it.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743585)

Besides. Being underdogs and rallying around the libreoffice fork is where the development fire came from. Whatever they are doing now is working, don't mess it up.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743303)

And LibreOffice was a proper open source long before OpenOffice got back to it. OpenOffice should shutdown before it does more damage...

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743485)

It's tainted.
People should move to Libre Office even if it's just for the principle of the thing. Because it needs to be made clear to corporations that Open Source is not company property.

Re:Good Job (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43743549)

You have a history of telling people what to do. How about you take the initiative and resolve the licensing conflicts between the two projects?

You should end the fork before it does even more harm.

Blame Oracle, they catalyzed the split.

Re:Good Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743981)

Just don't call the program OpenOffice.org. Tell me that newbies aren't confused by a program named after a web site.

Re:Good Job (1)

berarma (1472191) | about a year ago | (#43744013)

Now proper open source because it can be shipped to users as closed-source? That must be great, in your mind. A lot of developers might not want their code to end being a closed source product for the users by looking at the number of LibreOffice developers. And me, as a user, I don't want that a closed-source OpenOffice fork with propietary extensions ends killing the original open source effort by becoming the new standard suite ala MS Office. That reason alone is enough for giving all our support to LibreOffice.

Re:Good Job (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#43744035)

Having two branches does not necessarily have to slow things down, it may actually speed things up by allowing an alternative possibility where new features can be tried if they are not accepted to the other project. As long as the two projects coordinate to make sure improvements can easily moved between the two projects, it can be a win.

Needs a /. poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742957)

I get my odt-enabled office suite from:

  1. Apache OpenOffice download site
  2. The Document Foundation LibreOffice download site
  3. My distro's repository - OpenOffice
  4. My distro's repository - LibreOffice
  5. Microsoft (a.k.a. ye olde CowboyNeal)

Then we'll all get the facts (tm) or something like that.

Windows 8 Sold 100 Million Copies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743385)

Windows 8 has sold over 100 million copies in the last 6 months, but is regarded as a failure.

Just thought I'd throw cold a little splash of perspective on the back slappers.

Distribution effect (1)

Ajay Anand (2838487) | about a year ago | (#43743573)

As LibreOffice comes preinstalled with major Linux distributions, there's no need to download it. Number of active users is worth comparing.

Rob Weir, is that you? (4, Interesting)

jensend (71114) | about a year ago | (#43743751)

Rather convenient Slashvertising, comparing total downloads for AOO with unique downloads for LO.

AOO has been too busy removing functionality (my personal favorite: the wpd filter), having a license inquisition, and taking potshots at LO to get much done.

Here it's now almost 2.5 years since OO 3.3, the last Oracle version, and the latest AOO version has no significant advances over OO 3.3-- instead it's got reduced functionality. In the meantime LibreOffice 4 has come a long way.

Don't know why anybody bothers giving press to OO anymore.

Re:Rob Weir, is that you? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43744069)

The primary difference is that LO is locked into LGPL, while AOO is free software under the Apache license.

Nacho Libre Office? (0)

sproketboy (608031) | about a year ago | (#43743841)

How many, 10? FAIL.

Re:Nacho Libre Office? (1)

iceaxe (18903) | about a year ago | (#43744115)

But they wear their stretchy pants!

amid the bitching... (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year ago | (#43744155)

... of the arguments over which FOSS office suite had got most users, people should recognise that there have been at least 65 million users of them not using Microsoft Office.

This is a good thing.

mind you, Microsoft says there are 750 million [winrumors.com] Office users worldwide, so we have a little way to go yet.

Re:amid the bitching... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#43744497)

Still, that's nearly a 10% hit to MicroSoft's wallet.

Not a bad impact, all things considered.

Re:amid the bitching... (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#43744769)

I don't hate Office 2013 as much as some folks do. (I also got it for free from my school. Lucky me.) So I've got both 2013 for the people that insist I work in the Microsoft formats, and LibreOffice for everything else.

I tried LibreOffice last week (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744211)

After not using OpenOffice for a year or so I tried the latest LibreOffice. Damn. That shit loads fast now.

Meanwhile... (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#43744293)

Microsoft complains about Office being illegally downloaded a few hundred million times a year.

Only AOO item of interest IBM Symphony donation (1)

xenoc_1 (140817) | about a year ago | (#43744429)

The only reason I'd want Apache Open Office to merge into / with / from LibreOffice is this: To get the overall better suite, LO, using some of the uniquely cool features in IBM's very different fork of OO.o into IBM Lotus Symphony. Which, for those who remember the end-of-CP/M-start-of-PC era, has nada to do with Lotus Symphony, Lotus Development's follow-on to Lotus 1-2-3, which never met with its predecessor's success. But, it was a very early attempt at an "office suite" (spreadsheet-centric, MS/PC-DOS-based). So IBM got the name/trademark when they bought Lotus.

Around 2010-ish, they released IBM Lotus Symphony, a Win32, Linux, and I think MacOS, office suite based on OO.o core code - but with a lot of differences. Differences in 3 big areas:
  1) Only the 3 major apps - Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Presentations. Nothing based on Draw, Math, Base.
  2) Very different and non-standard menu structure, that hearkens back to Lotus Windows products. For example, no Windows (and IBM SAA, and just normal)-standard "Insert" menu - most of what you expect there is in its "Create" menu.
  3) Everything is in a single window, tabbed interface, with multiple slide-out right sidebars: A wide, well-organized Properties panel, and some widget panels for add-ons. Based on the Lotus Expeditor framework for the devilspawn Lotus Notes. Yet sometimes the son of the devil can be a good guy (e.g. Hellboy).

Number 3 has made it my absolute favorite office suite. For the same reasons we all love tabbed browsers and trashed browsers back in the day that didn't have it. Everything is right there, in context, without too much window-hopping. The Properties panel exposes all the major properties without having to dig through menus and open different dialog boxes depending on if you're formatting colors, number types, custom cell formatting, etc., and without having to crap up a giant multiline toolbar or frakking ribbon to make functions discoverable.

I go back far enough to have been used to different word processors and different spreadsheet programs to have different interfaces and menu structures, even different keyboard shortcuts. Heck, I even remember some of the differences in that between WordStar (real WordStar, up through 3.3), its competitor NewWord that cloned it and then got HandSpringed into WordStar 4.0 (Yes, I still have WordStar 7.0 on my Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs). Then some time with Ami Pro, on both OS/2 and Windows 3.x, that later became Lotus WordPro (that one I didn't use), with a short sidetrip into WordPerfect for Windows, before being funneled into the Corporate Tool MS-Word world, and then slightly out to OO.o/LO. So I can make the mental shift between different menu structures pretty easily.

I love the property panel as well as the tabbed interface. Unfortunately, though IBM donated the entire codebase to Apache, they are not using the tabbed interface in AOO. They are starting to use, and announced they will fully implement, the Symphony-based property panels. That alone would make me likely go back to OpenOffice from LibreOffice, except that LibreOffice is so far ahead of AOO in functionality, stability, and killing off of Java.

For now, I still use Symphony, on both Windows and Linux. It continues to get the occasional FixPack (IBMese for service pack) and continues to Just Work. Especially on creative writing where I may have reference docs, character backgrounds, outlines all open, or similarly for technical writing, the tabbed interface really helps to keep everything accessible and surfaced. Also for projects involving a combo of word processing documents and spreadsheets, and [$DEITY] help me sometimes even presentations - it's a lot easier to work everything up if I have that clear context, rather than a cluster of windows.

I do keep LO installed, for when I want the other modules, and for dealing with editing documents in MS .docx, .xlsx, .pptx format. Symphony can open them, and in fact has IBM-coded improved filters compared to what was in OO.o that went into the Apache donation from Oracle of OO.o to become AOO. But it can't write to those formats. LO still handles that fine.

The only other significant issue, which may not matter to you one whit, is that Symphony's default word processing document style template uses sans-serif fonts, while OO.o, AOO, LO follow the MS-Word convention of serif. Obviously you can change that. But if you're a Corporate Tool that may be important. I'm now a Former Corporate Tool, so I don't care!

IBM Lotus Symphony is still available free from IBM for download [ibm.com] if you want to try it - free as in beer, not 100% of it free as in freedom.

And Microsoft Office downloaded.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43745143)

...100 million times via bittorrent.
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