Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

OpenOffice at the crossroads

Filed under
OOo

OpenOffice.org is a flagship for free and open source software, released under free software licenses and achieving downloads in the hundreds of millions. OO.o is a success by most measurements, but there have long been murmurings of discontent among developers resulting in complaints of "non-responsiveness and lack of leadership" on the project. The argument is not that the project is a failure, but that OpenOffice.org could be so much more, given a less top down approach to project management and a looser rein on developers' ability to get involved.

The code of OpenOffice.org is released under free software licenses but the copyright for all internal and third party contributions are assigned to Oracle/Sun, and the OpenOffice development team within Oracle/Sun dictates the rate of progress.

The most vocal critic of the process has been Novell employee and long time GNOME and OO.o developer, Michael Meeks. Meeks argues that copyright assignment discourages external contributions, and that over zealous control of the project inhibits developer initiative.

Meeks has long contended that OpenOffice.org has failed to attract and keep individual and corporate developers due to "a half-hearted open-source strategy that is not truly 'Open'" and lacks transparency. This has inhibited the potential of OO.o to be "even greater" than it already is.

The question why




More in Tux Machines

Linux Remote Desktop Roundup

Over the years I've found that a significant hurdle to getting family and friends to switch to Linux comes from its lack of familiarity. This is especially true when it comes to troubleshooting any issues. Obviously, when a malfunction occurs it's not always possible to be there in person. However thanks to the wonders of broadband Internet and advanced software, we're now able to do the next best thing. In this article, I'll share some recommended remote desktop software for Linux. I’ll explore both open source and closed source solutions. Read more

Android ski goggles offer augmented reality display

It runs Android on a 1.2GHz ARM CPU, and offers hands-free control. Read more

Photoshop competitor Krita is a true creative tool -- and it's free and open source

Open source has some of the greatest tools, which continues to prove that you don't have to lock-down the code behind guarded walls to make a better product. Some popular open source products that don't have any match in the closed source world include Firefox, Chromium, VLC, Blender, Android, one gem that is, surprisingly, less known but extremely powerful when it comes to creating a work of art. Read more

First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Ubuntu 15.04 is here – almost. The first beta of Vivid Vervet has been delivered, and with it have come images of the penguin flock that nestles on this OS. I looked at Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu MATE but there’s also Lubuntu and the China-centric Ubuntu Kylin, which I didn’t test. These are beta releases and should be considered for testing purposes only, but the advantage of these early versions is that features have been frozen and you can get an early glimpse of what's coming for each of the popular flavours in the 15.04 foundation. From this point on, the only changes will be bug fixes. Read more