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It's time to make LibreOffice and OpenOffice one again

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Let's talk about OpenOffice. More than likely you've already read, countless times, that Apache OpenOffice is near the end. The last stable iteration was 4.1.2 (released October, 2015) and a recent major security flaw took a month to patch. A lack of coders has brought development to a creeping crawl. And then, the worst possible news hit the ether; the project suggested users switch to MS Office (or LibreOffice).

For whom the bells tolls? The bell tolls for thee, OpenOffice.

I'm going to say something that might ruffle a few feathers. Are you ready for it?

The end of OpenOffice will be a good thing for open source and for users.

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Rumors of OpenOffice Demise Exaggerated

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LibreOffice spun out from OpenOffice in the aftermath of the Oracle/Sun acquisition. It was one of many projects including Hudson/Jenkins and MySQL/MariaDB that got forked. To the best my knowledge while all those forks have strong user bases and have become the default tools in their respective domains - the original projects persist.

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State of OpenOffice

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  • What Would OpenOffice Retirement Involve? (long)

    I have regularly observed that the Apache OpenOffice project has limited capacity for sustaining the project in an energetic manner. It is also my considered opinion that there is no ready supply of developers who have the capacity, capability, and will to supplement the roughly half-dozen volunteers holding the project together. It doesn't matter what the reasons for that might be.

  • OpenOffice In Danger of Shutting Down, Project VP Warns

    The future isn't look bright for OpenOffice, the open-source office suite run by the Apache foundation.

  • Redesigning Tor, Goodbye OpenOffice & More…

    Building Tor to a next new level: Tor is still safe, but there are cracks in it’s armor. You can still safely cruise the net through The Onion Router with your identity kept secret — most of the time but not always. Thankfully, for the time being that “not always” stands at about one in several million, but organizations like the NSA and the Brit’s GCHQ have been working at chipping away at those odds to turn them more in their favor.

ODF and Document Freedom

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  • The Document Foundation and the FSFE strengthen their relationship

    The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE, is joining the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation. At the same time, The Document Foundation is becoming an associated organisation of the FSFE (

    The Free Software Foundation Europe’s aim is to help people control technology instead of the other way around. However, this is a goal which no single organisation can achieve on its own. Associated organizations are entities that share the FSFE’s vision and support the foundation and Free Software in general by encouraging people to use and develop Free Software, by helping organisations understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency and self-determination, and by removing barriers to Free Software adoption.

  • I Spotted ODF in the Wild this Week... Twice!

    This week has been full of surprises. The new semester has started and with that, much of what used to be paperwork is becoming digital files. When I entered the platform to obtain the lists of my students in the courses I'm currently teaching, I realized that it now had two options to download such lists: "as a pdf file" or "as a spreadsheet."

    Since I didn't want to have anything to do with .xslx, I went for the pdf.

    But later, when I told Mechatotoro about it, he entered the platform and gave "spreadsheet" a try.

    "I love these people!," I heard him say.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice

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LibreOffice and OpenOffice Reviews

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  • Review: LibreOffice 5.2 — solid, unpolished alternative

    LibreOffice is an office suite that rivals Microsoft Office yet costs nothing. There are versions for Windows, OS X and Linux along with a portable edition that works from a USB drive.

    If you’re on a tight budget and have a Windows PC, LibreOffice is by far the best alternative to Office. It is more complete than Google Apps and leaves Apache OpenOffice for dead.

    OS X users have a good alternative free option. Apple’s iWorks suite is free with new Macs. Even so, you might prefer LibreOffice because it has better Microsoft Office compatibility.

    LibreOffice looks and feels more like Microsoft Office than iWorks. If you know Microsoft Office, moving to LibreOffice will be less of a wrench. It also includes a database unlike either the OS X version of Microsoft Office or iWorks. If you need a simple database and have no budget, LibreOffice would be ideal.

    Some Linux distributions include LibreOffice either as standard or as an optional download. It’s a more straightforward choice than using a tool like Wine to run Microsoft Office.

  • Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2 Review

    Every computer needs applications to do any work, and that means more money. Except for open-source software, like OpenOffice, which is free. In the case of OpenOffice, the free software looks and acts like Microsoft Office circa 2003, and includes a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation creator. Not only does OpenOffice look and feel like Office, but it also reads and writes Office files so well that most users could exchange files between the two suites and no one would know the difference.

  • Best Microsoft Office Alternatives 2016

Open Standards, Move Over

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Back in 2003, over 800 blog posts ago, I decided to launch something I called the Standards Blog. Not surprisingly, it focused mostly on the development, implementation and importance of open standards. But I also wrote about other areas of open collaboration, such as open data, open research, and of course, open source software. Over time, there were more and more stories about open source worth writing, as well as pieces on the sometimes tricky intersection of open standards and open source.

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Document Freedom Day, World Standards Day 2016

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  • Happy Document Freedom Day

    Today is Document Freedom Day. As in the past 8 years we celebrate DFD on the last Wednesday of March all around the world. While the date is recommended this year DFD is being celebrated from March 16th to April 5th so far (we’ re still getting new registration as of this writing) .

  • Celebrate Document Freedom Day on March 30

    The FSFE has handed over Document Freedom Day to us earlier this year and while it took us a bit of time to get familiar with the way the current DFD website handles the events registration we have been steadily gathering more and more locations all over the world. So Document Freedom Day is happening on the last Wednesday of March, which is March 30th this year and Latin America seems very active in promoting Open Standards. We are very happy to meet new people thanks to the effort and will also celebrate our local DFD in Phnom Penh but slightly later on April 5th. If you are in the area please drop by, and if not please check the Document Freedom Day website for an event in your area. Happy DFD!

  • Paper Competition Announced for U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2016

    World Standards Day is celebrated annually around the world to increase awareness of the role that standards play in the global economy. To help celebrate the importance of standards, SES - The Society for Standards Professionals and the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee co-sponsor an annual paper competition for individuals in the U.S. standards community. The 2016 paper competition winners will be announced and given their awards at the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, which will be held this year on October 27, 2016, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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More in Tux Machines

DevOps Handbook and Course

Leftovers: Gaming

Android Leftovers

  • Off We Go: Oracle Officially Appeals Google's Fair Use Win
    It was only a matter of time until this happened, but Oracle has officially appealed its fair use Java API loss to the Federal Circuit (CAFC). As you recall, after a years-long process, including the (correct) ruling that APIs are not covered by copyright being ridiculously overturned by CAFC, a new trial found that even if APIs are copyright-eligible, Google's use was covered by fair use. Oracle then tried multiple times to get Judge William Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, but failed. In fact, on Oracle's second attempt to get Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, citing "game changing" evidence that Google failed to hand over important information on discovery, it actually turned out that Oracle's lawyers had simply failed to read what Google had, in fact, handed over.
  • On iMessage’s Stickiness
  • Physical RAM attack can root Android and possibly other devices [Ed: Memory flipping is not at all an Android problem]

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Enterprise Open Source Programs Flourish -- In Tech and Elsewhere
    If you cycled the clock back about 15 years and surveyed the prevailing beliefs about open source technology at the time, you would find nowhere near the volume of welcome for it that we see today. As a classic example, The Register reported all the way back in 2001 that former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer made the following famous statement in a Chicago Sun-Times interview: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."
  • 5 More Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    In part one of this series, I covered my top five reasons to love Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration platform created by Google. Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in July of 2015, where it is now under development by dozens of companies including Canonical, CoreOS, Red Hat, and more. My first five reasons were primarily about the project’s heritage, ease of use, and ramp-up. The next five get more technical. As I mentioned in part one, choosing a distributed system to perform tasks in a datacenter is much more complex than looking at a spreadsheet of features or performance. And, you should make your decision based on your own needs and team dynamics. However, this top 10 list will give you my perspective, as someone who has been using, testing, and developing systems for a while now.
  • Bankers plan to give Corda blockchain code to Hyperledger project
  • Are European Banks Falling Behind in Blockchain Development?
  • Hyperledger adds 10 new members to support open source distributed ledger framework
    The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project has announced that 10 new members have joined the project in order to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications.
  • The Blockchain Created By Ethereum's Fork is Forking Now
    A blockchain that was born out of the rejection of a contentious technical change is on the cusp of making a decision some argue contradicts its core values. That's the situation the developers behind ethereum classic face ahead of a hard fork expected to be enacted on its blockchain on 25th October (should network participants approve the upgrade). Originally formed in reaction to a decision by the ethereum community to edit its "immutable" ledger, the fork caused an ideological schism among its enthusiasts. Alarmed by the action (or seeing a chance to profit by continuing the original network), miners and speculators began running its blockchain, which developers named "ethereum classic". Other investors then bought into the vision, and today, there are currently 85m classic ethers (ETC) worth $87m.
  • Red Hat: OpenStack moving beyond the proof-of-concept phase
    Red Hat’s annual poll found that 43 percent of respondents have deployed the cloud platform in production, compared to just 16 percent one year ago. The company reckons the increase reflects efforts by the community to address complexity and deployment issues that were previously known to have been a major roadblock to adoption. The study also noted that the steep learning curve for deploying OpenStack is being addressed as a growing number of engineers become certified to operate the platform. In addition, Red Hat cited cloud native application development as another driving force in enterprise adoption of OpenStack.
  • OpenStack Summit Emphasizes Security, Interoperability
    From security to interoperabilty to use cases and everything in-between, this week's OpenStack Summit from Oct. 25 to 28 in Barcelona, is set to illuminate the cloud. This year's event, which brings together vendors, operators and developers of the open-source cloud platform, will offer more sessions than ever before on securing OpenStack clouds. The Barcelona Summit follows the release of the OpenStack Newton milestone, which debuted on Oct. 6. While discussions about the most recent release are always part of every OpenStack Summit, so too are case-studies from operators of OpenStack clouds.
  • A complete view into application security must include open source [Ed: Black Duck spam (self-promotional marketing) takes form of FOSS FUD, as usual]
  • While Other Cities Go Linux, Toronto Bets Big on Microsoft Software [Ed: Toronto joins the Dark Forces]
    "" The partnership between Microsoft and the city of Toronto certainly comes at the right time, as other authorities across the world already announced decisions to give up on Windows and Office and replace them with open-source alternatives. Munich is the city that started the entire trend, but it wasn’t at all a smooth transition. Some of the local officials proposed a return to Microsoft software, claiming that training and assistance actually impacted productivity and explaining that in the end it all pays off to use Microsoft software because of the familiarity that users experience, which translates to a substantial productivity boost. And yet, the transition off Microsoft products is happening and more authorities are willing to do it, not necessarily because of the costs, but also due to security concerns, as is the case of Russia.
  • Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture
    Despite the vast amount of customization options technology has allotted us, it can still be difficult to create projects that are community-centric. For example, though 3D printing can help us personalize our own jewelry, it has limited use for outfitting parks with trash cans or equipping bus stops with comfortable seating. Still, hyper-customizable tech has taught us the convenience of managing our own products, eliminating the bureaucratic complications of mass produced, production-line assembly. Leveraging this ideology to better the community, the Better Block Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to building local communities, has developed an open-source toolkit for creating a variety of fixtures for communities. The platform, called Wikiblock, allows designs ranging from benches to beer garden fences to be downloaded and taken to a maker space where a computer-aided machine can print the design from plywood. Similar to Ikea’s simplistic, DIY approach, the printed wood can be assembled by hand, without glue or nails.
  • How to make a lighted, porch bag for Halloween
    While I typically go all out for Halloween decorations every year, I'll admit I'm feeling tired this year. I still wanted to delight the neighborhood kids with simple details, so I decided to make lighted bags for my front porch railing this year. If you are someone who has a paper cutting machine like the Silhouette, this project will likely be a lot easier. Simply import the SVG file, resize for whatever size box you want, cut out, and assemble. However, for those of you who don't have one, I've included instructions on how to make this project without any machine at all. The box was created with the help of artists who share their art at OpenClipArt. I also used Inkscape to create the SVG file. If you don't like bats, you could modify the SVG file to include other types of clipart in the center of the bag.