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Open Letter to Apache OpenOffice

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Today marks 20 years since the source code to OpenOffice was released. And today we say: LibreOffice is the future of OpenOffice. Let’s all get behind it!

It’s great to have a rich and diverse set of free and open source software projects. Hundreds of millions of people around the world have benefited from the choice and customisation that they bring. But sometimes, users can lose out when they’re not aware of newer alternatives, or when one brand overshadows another.

OpenOffice(.org) – the “father project” of LibreOffice – was a great office suite, and changed the world. It has a fascinating history, but since 2014, Apache OpenOffice (its current home) hasn’t had a single major release. That’s right – no significant new features or major updates have arrived in over six years. Very few minor releases have been made, and there have been issues with timely security updates too.

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LibreOffice Wants Apache to Drop the Ailing OpenOffice

  • LibreOffice Wants Apache to Drop the Ailing OpenOffice and Support LibreOffice Instead

    It is a no-brainer that Apache OpenOffice is still a relevant recommendation when we think about open source alternatives to Microsoft Office for Linux users. However, for the past several years, the development of OpenOffice is pretty much stale.

    Of course, it is not a shocker, considering Abhishek wrote about the possibility of Apache OpenOffice shutting down back in 2016.

    Now, in an open letter from The Document Foundation, they appeal Apache OpenOffice to recommend users to start using better alternatives like LibreOffice. In this article, I shall mention some highlights from the blog post by The Document Foundation and what it means to Apache OpenOffice.

LWN: An open letter to Apache OpenOffice

  • An open letter to Apache OpenOffice [LWN.net]

    On the 20th anniversary of the open-sourcing of the OpenOffice.org suite, the LibreOffice has sent an open letter to the Apache OpenOffice project suggesting that it is time for the latter to recognize that the game is over. "If Apache OpenOffice wants to still maintain its old 4.1 branch from 2014, sure, that’s important for legacy users. But the most responsible thing to do in 2020 is: help new users. Make them aware that there’s a much more modern, up-to-date, professionally supported suite, based on OpenOffice, with many extra features that people need."

LibreOffice Sends Open Letter Appealing To Apache OpenOffice

Apache Software Foundation Celebrates Two Decades Of OpenOffice

  • Apache Software Foundation Celebrates Two Decades Of OpenOffice - Phoronix

    While the LibreOffice fork is much more popular than OpenOffice these days, the Apache Software Foundation does continue maintaining the OpenOffice codebase born out of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice.

    It's been twenty years already since Sun initially open-sourced the office suite as OpenOffice. While the OpenOffice 1.0 release didn't come until two years later (2002) and wasn't until 2011 that Oracle transferred OpenOffice to the Apache Software Foundation, Apache is celebrating twenty years of OpenOffice.

LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade

  • LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to 'do the right thing' and die

    To mark the 20th anniversary of Apache OpenOffice, the project's main rival, LibreOffice, published a letter asking OpenOffice to tell its users to switch.

    Many people, the letter says, are unaware of LibreOffice because the OpenOffice brand is still so strong, despite the lack of significant updates over the past six years. To remedy the situation, LibreOffice is asking its competitor for an endorsement.

    "Make them aware that there’s a much more modern, up-to-date, professionally supported suite, based on OpenOffice, with many extra features that people need," says the letter, penned by the board of The Document Foundation (TDF), steward of LibreOffice. "We appeal to Apache OpenOffice to do the right thing."

    The rationale for asking OpenOffice to give up and go home arises from the Apache project's leisurely release schedule. Or as TDF's board put it, "[S]ince 2014, Apache OpenOffice (its current home) hasn’t had a single major release."

The Document Foundation Calls On Apache OpenOffice To Work...

  • The Document Foundation Calls On Apache OpenOffice To Work Together

    Twenty years ago, in 2000, the OpenOffice (OO.org) source code was open sourced by Sun Microsystems. I remember it well. Back then, in my naivete as a Windows user, I was excited about the announcement. It wasn't as a contributor or programmer, but I was excited about the growth potential for an office suite other than Microsoft Office, which has/had always been consistently priced out of my reach or budget.

    In those days, OpenOffice was managed and developed by Sun Microsystems. This was after Sun purchased StarOffice from its German owners in 1999. Prior to that, StarOffice originated as StarWriter in 1985.

    THEN came along Microsoft's introduction of the OOXML (Office Open XML) document format, which especially created havoc for users of anything other than Microsoft Office. We see them today, represented with the familiar *.docx, *.xlsx and *.pptx file extensions. For quite a while, OO.org users were stymied in their attempts to open, read, or edit OOXML documents. Kludgy extensions and workarounds were presented (from what I remember), but none of them "cured" the problem. Plus, Oracle was incredibly slow to address the issues and concerns over the lack of OO.org users to be able to read these new office document file formats.

    I remember having to ask users of MS Office (at that time) to PLEASE send me any Office files in the older *.doc/*.xls/*.ppt formats, just to ensure that I would be able to open, read, and possibly edit those files. For a file format that was presented as a unifying force for office documents, it sure seemed to create a LOT of havoc for users of anything that was not Microsoft created or blessed.

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