Those who know me know that I am partial to OpenOffice, an open source project that I contribute to. So I am extremely pleased to see it continue to advance in all fronts. Since coming to Apache, OpenOffice’s name recognition has grown from 24% to 39% and the user share has grown from 11% to 18%, while keeping user satisfaction constant. This is a testament to the hard work of the many talented volunteers at Apache.
In the case of the Document Foundation, the LibreOffice project needed an independent, solid and meritocratic entity dedicated to support it. In other terms, the OpenOffice.org community wanted to be its own boss and stop relying on corporate – or even third party – good will. If you attend the Community Track on the 31st you will be able to learn more about the Document Foundation and the other entities, but my message here is that while there is no silver bullet in these matters, forcing a community be hosted or to bend to a software vendor never works. It bends if it wants to; it goes whereever it wishes to go. In the case of the Document Foundation, independence and community rule prevailed over convenience; today the results do not need to be proven anymore. But it does not mean we hold the truth more than anybody else: we just ensured the community was in charge.
In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April.
The Document Foundation has been able to attract contributions to LibreOffice from AMD and Intel as well as governments, including Saudi Arabia and France. Donations are the primary source of revenue for The Document Foundation and Vignoli said that the donations have been growing steadily over the years. That funding has enabled The Document Foundation to hire three full-time people and two part-time people, as well as supporting continuing developer efforts around LibreOffice.
One of the main areas of growth for LibreOffice is in competitive migrations away from other office suites, including Microsoft's Office. While The Document Foundation would like to see more people use LibreOffice, the plan is not for all users to totally abandon Microsoft Office.
"The objective is not to eradicate Microsoft Office from companies," Vignoli said. "The concept of migration is about giving an alternative to companies." - See more at: http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/libreoffice-at-4-how-the-openoffice-fork-is-forging-ahead.html#sthash.Jp29EQC7.dpuf
As we are approaching the 4th anniversary of the LibreOffice project in just a few days, an old theme has been reappearing on the Internet: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice should reunite. I would like to share my perceptions on this topic although I think it is not a really important one, at least as long as the LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice do not officially call for such a reunion. Before I start, let me remind everyone that what follows is my own opinion and neither the one of the Document Foundation, nor the one of the Democratic Party, the one of my Government, nor, at last, the one of Bob’s Shipping and Handling Company.
The LibreOffice team has analyzed more than 9 million lines of code to find and fix 10,000-plus defects of all types, including some with the potential to impact security and many that affected stability and memory use. The team working through the Coverity results is led by Caolán McNamara of Red Hat and includes Stephan Bergmann, Noel Grandin, Norbert Thiebaud, Julien Nabet, and others.
LibreOffice 4.3.2 hits the marketplace just before the fourth anniversary of the project on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The community has been growing for the past 48 months, attracting at least three new developers per month plus a larger number of volunteers active in localization, QA and other areas such as marketing and development of local communities.