OpenOffice Or LibreOffice? A Star Is Torn

When it comes to open source office suites, most people choose OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and they both look suspiciously similar. That isn’t surprising since they both started with exactly the same code base. However, the LibreOffice team recently penned an open letter to the Apache project — the current keepers of OpenOffice — asking them to redirect new users to the LibreOffice project. Their logic is that OpenOffice has huge name recognition, but hasn’t had a new major release in several years. LibreOffice, on the other hand, is a very active project. We could argue that case either way, but we won’t. But it did get us thinking about how things got here.

It all started when German Marco Börries wrote StarWriter in 1985 for the Zilog Z80. By 1986, he created a company, Star Division, porting the word processor to platforms like CP/M and MSDOS. Eventually, the company added other office suite programs and with support for DOS, OS/2, and Windows, the suite became known as StarOffice.

The program was far less expensive than most competitors, costing about $70, yet in 1999 that price point prompted Sun Microsystems to buy StarOffice. We don’t mean they bought a copy or a license, they bought the entire thing for just under $74 million. The story was that it was still cheaper than buying a license for each Sun employee, particularly since most had both a Windows machine and a Unix machine which still required some capability.

Sun in Charge

Sun provided StarOffice 5.2 in 2000 as a free download for personal use, which gave the software a lot of attention. It eventually released much of the code under an open source license producing OpenOffice. Sun contributed to the project and would periodically snapshot the code to market future versions of StarOffice.

This was the state of affairs for a while. StarOffice 6.0 corresponded to OpenOffice 1.0. In 2003, release 1.1 turned into StarOffice 7. A couple of years later, StarOffice 8/OpenOffice 2.0 appeared and by 2008, we had StarOffice 9 with OpenOffice 3.0 just before Oracle entered the picture.

Then Came Oracle

In 2010, Oracle bought Sun. All of it. They didn’t seem to have much of a plan for some of the things they bought and StarOffice was one of them. They renamed the program Oracle Open Office. They also did strange things with licensing. For example, StarOffice 9 was no longer free for educational customers, but they could use StarOffice 8 or, of course, just stick with OpenOffice and forego support.

In 2011, Oracle decided to kill the commercial offering, leaving OpenOffice, the official community-based keeper for the StarOffice flame. They gave responsibility over to the Apache Software Foundation.

Apparently, though, StarOffice 5.1 will still run on Windows 10 as [RickMakes] demonstrates in the following video:

Open Source and the Rise of LibreOffice

Of course, once the code went open source around 2000, people were free to create derivative projects and they did. While there have been several notable forks including NeoOffice and Go-oo, only LibreOffice has really been robust, even though NeoOffice and the original OpenOffice are still active. However, NeoOffice only targets the Mac. The timeline is a bit of a head scratcher but Wikipedia has this great graphic that lays it out:

When Oracle came on the scene, most of the OpenOffice developers formed LibreOffice. LibreOffice has been under very active development since then, and most Linux distributions now use it as their default office suite. According to the LibreOffice letter, they’ve had 15,000 code commits in 2019 compared to 595 in OpenOffice over the same period. They have had 13 major releases, while OpenOffice hasn’t had a major release in six years.

License Peculiarity

We aren’t open source lawyers — or any kind of lawyers, for that matter — but one of the problems stems from how the two projects have their licenses. OpenOffice uses the Apache License, whereas LibreOffice uses a dual LGPLv3/Mozilla Public license.

For some legal reasons, then, anything OpenOffice does can be incorporated into LibreOffice, the terms of the license permit that. But if LibreOffice adds something, take font embedding, for example, OpenOffice can’t legally incorporate that code. If you want the details, you can read this contemporary post from the Free Software Foundation. This is further complicated by issues with IBM providing some code from Lotus Symphony that may not have been properly placed into the open source domain.

Back to the Letter

That was a journey, but what about that open letter LibreOffice sent to the Apache project earlier this month? We could argue on either side of the letter. On the one hand, part of living in the open source world is understanding that other people can and will develop parallel projects. However, we can understand the frustration that some people go to OpenOffice and think there’s nothing new there. Of course, there are other open source suites, too, but given the two projects’ sibling status, we can see their point. But users might be just as happy going to Calligra (used to be KOffice) or OnlyOffice, both of which are open source, too.

What do you think? Should OpenOffice throw in the towel? Commence commenting.

105 thoughts on “OpenOffice Or LibreOffice? A Star Is Torn

  1. I started with StarOffice on OS/2 many years ago and continued through OpenOffice and LibreOffice. If it hadn’t been for Oracle making a mess of things, when they bought Sun, I’d likely still be using OpenOffice.

    1. I really liked Star Office back in the late 90s, enough to pay for it at least. If anyone wants a project to get open-sourced, let me know. I’ve bought a whole bunch of pieces of software over the years that ended up getting opened up so maybe I’ve got some kind of magic touch. StarOffice, 4Front’s sound driver, XtrkCAD, QCAD, B4A, maybe some others I’ve forgotten.

      1. I’d like to see Microsoft release the source to Caligari trueSpace. MS bought Caligari, intending to use their trueSpace software as a response to Google’s Sketchup. Google wanted people to use Sketchup to populate Google Earth with 3D buildings. Microsoft wanted people to use trueSpace as a free program to do the same for their Virtual Earth, but not long after they pulled the plug on TerraServer (selling assets to the company that runs and ceased development of trueSpace.

        Making trueSpace open source would have a few caveats. Some components (like the Lightworks rendering engine) licensed from other companies would either need to be excluded, or agreements made to either make their source code available or continue to include the versions (all now pretty old) that came with trueSpace 6.x and 7.x.

        1. Ten years ago people would have assumed you comment was a joke, but these days the idea of Microsoft open-sourcing parts of their massive software library is entirely possible.
          Especially if it’s not making them any money, although I have no idea if that’s the case here.

      2. I use Onlyoffice Desktop. It is fully compatible with .docx and .xlsx which makes it possible to collaborate with customers and suppliers that use MS Office. Unfortunately libreoffice has not managed to achieve full file format support yet.

    2. LibreOffice claims to be in active development but I can’t remember when they’ve added anything besides security patches. I think both projects have slowed down. (I use IBM Workspace)

    1. If MS Office was still a stand-alone product, I wouldn’t have much of an issue with that. It is probably more of a reflection on my history with the products than it is on the nature of the products, but I find MS Office generally more intuitive and less frustrating to use. But with MS moving to the Software as a Service model, I will learn to use Libre. I am not paying to rent software, nor do I appreciate a product that keeps trying to persuade me to put my stuff in Microsoft’s cloud rather than on my local hard drive. That may be the future, but it’s not one I will embrace.

        1. Literally and exactly “for now.”
          In the next 5 to 10 years Microsoft will do away with permanent licensing for everything. They are currently in the process of killing volume and SPLA licensing too, so if you operate a Microsoft-based datacenter, you’d better get real comfortable with Azure real fast.

          Microsoft is going to make Larry Ellison’s late-90’s vision of turning every personal computer into what amounts to a coin-operated thin-client.

      1. +1 – and ‘the future’ with data in the cloud rather than your local hard drive is the future they’d like to see and push for $$$ reasons. It’ll doesn’t have to become the future if enough people don’t go along with this crap…

    2. I install LibreOffice at home and for my familys computors, and it works well enough. At work I had MS Office and have migrated to Office 365, which I’ve learned to dislike. The good news is that Libre Office is allowed and can be installed from company program servers.

      Both programs have their stupidities, but Office 365 have more and annoys me more. Like in Excel, mark a row and move the mousepointer to another window and the marking disappear. It stay marked in Libre Calc.

      Office365 just seem like normal Microsoft “You should use/do it this way.” or the really hated automatic and trying to be helpful “you probably want this” when I really don’t, and the program just go “yes you DO”, which Word does. A lot.

  2. Maybe would be nice move on OpenOffice side if they add a banner containing links to other alternatives?
    Like has for Google Chrome ?

    Actually… I wonder how it would end if every OpenSource project would have visible section containing links to alternative OpenSource projects and also those OpenSource project that could be useful for their users (example Gimp->Ikscape & Scribus & darktable & …)

    1. That would be really awesome if every project tried it – you look up stuff you know you need and have it tell you about other useful companions or alternative similar programs in the open source domains…

      That would be awesome – and save some time – you know about blender but want a more technical accurate CAD or visa-versa for instance. Or something like OBS, Audacity and JACK – stuff many of us will know about, but still useful if the related or interconnecting programs point to each other for the rookies (heck even an opensource master might not have a clue about a good if its not something they ever do, but bound to have heard of something with some similarity in function that can then point out the neat options to actually do the task they really want.. It can be really hard to search for if you don’t know any of the right search terms/names etc)

      1. That’s almost the same idea as a manually maintained web ring. Which was a seriously great thing before social media destroyed personal sites, the internet, and our sanity….

  3. i still use open office, but out of habit only. its a piece of software i have installed but seldom use. i don’t care enough to switch over (office suits, boring). until this article i didn’t even know there was a huge difference. it might be one of those things il switch next time i reinstall the os and have to reinstall all my crap, and that probably wont happen until i build my next rig.

  4. “What do you think? Should OpenOffice throw in the towel?”

    Well, since OpenOffice is not really activ, compared to LibreOffice, they should just transmit the name and end this confusion.

    1. I don’t touch anything that has oracle involvement. your free software might have a license agreement buried 12 layers deep in some part of the software and a lawyer might turn up to collect the fees of the last 15 years. No thank you.

    2. Oracle (9i ?) is the only database engine I had to work-around issues such as 1 not being equal to 1.
      I had code that branched if an integer column value was 1 for example, the code never went down that path, double checked the data it had 1. So stepped through looked at the field value returned it looked like a 1. But evaluation said it was not 1.

      Fix was to take the returned integer column data force its conversion to a string value, then force the string conversion to an integer value, then evaluate, suddenly 1 was equal to 1 again.

    1. OpenOffice still has huge name recognition among more casual, ‘light techy’ users. They might have a five year old copy they’re still using, or maybe just be an Office user who is vaguely aware that there’s an “OpenOffice” alternative if they need to jump ship — never updating that mental knowledge.

      That’s why the open letter – it generates news and web traffic that these under-informed users might run into when they do choose. It might even get the desired result, an official statement from the owners of the old project.

      1. WordStar was wonderful, useful and well conceived, and more to point — it worked well without a GUI.

        And as I recall, WordStar did not fight illegit copies — they welcomed copying. As long as each copy perpetuated the WordStar brand. Equiem aeternam.

  5. I used pirated copy of Office 2000, one of first pirated disks we’ve got. Then I switched to OpenOffice for many years. Then I started to use LibreOffice, when OO development died…

    1. I still use a (legal) copy of Office 2003 for wordprocessing (when I’m not using LaTeX) and spreadsheets. Runs really fast and has a much nicer UI. I have a copy of a recent Office that I installed the one time I had to load a spreadsheet the old converter couldn’t handle.

  6. The timeline is interesting. I had used StarOffice a bit in the 90s on Unix and Mac, However on Windows I was using Office 98 and then Office 2000 Pro. When I started using Linux as well OpenOffice appeared so I started using that at 1.0, because it would work across Mac, Win and Linux. I moved to LibreOffice at version 3.3, and still have an install file from 2011! I’m now on 6.4.

    One of the things I have only recently started using is Master Documents, which allow you to create something like a book, but instead of having everything in one large file, you can keep, say, Chapters in separate files and link to them so that the appear in the Master. When you save it it uses the Master as a container and saves all the components as well. A bit like an HTML page. It took a bit of getting used to, but now I can’t imagine how you could do without it! That is something I remember being there 20+ years ago in StarOffice.

    If nobody is going to update OpenOffice, then it is orphaned software. They need to decide to do something with it or admit that.

  7. Almost ten years ago, I wanted a lot of numbers in a spreadsheet to be displayed in engineering notation. To my surprise, Excel didn’t offer it. I tried LibreOffice, no joy. Finally I discovered that Gnumeric did it, no problem. I revisited that experiment this morning. LibreOffice Calc now has an engineering notation, and Gnumeric continues to offer one. Excel doesn’t have the option as a button, but MS has added a custom format which generates engineering notation.

  8. As an engineer who regularly has to admany comments to long technical and legal documents. I find it insanely frustrating that I can’t lock in a font colour and style in Libre office. Instead you jave to type in the document creators style, then highlight your text and change styles. This might not seem like a lot. But I have to do it hundreds of times a week. I’m not the only one, search forums for this topic and you will find hundreds of threads with many many users with the same issues. Mostly getting re-directed to open office.

    1. FONT is a four lettre word. Recall early Windows days. And even earlier — a whole lot of programming effort went into rendering normal readable text into fancy fonts and colours on the computer screen.

      I’m so glad we don’t have to think about such no more. At least I did once and have a historical understanding.

      Having said that and being colour blind, colourful displays just leave me feeling cold.

    2. Right, but it sounds like you should just be paying a programmer to write you a plugin that does what you want.

      Software freedom means they’re allowed to create whatever feature you need. No problem.

      It doesn’t work the way you want because it would be maladaptive for everybody else; a misfeature. That’s why you’ll always get “redirected.”

  9. The problem is brand recognition. In the free software affine world (Linux et al), people know that LibreOffice is the better choice.

    Not so much the Windows and Mac folks. They still pick OpenOffice — they seem to have some attachment to old traditions.

    It’s a sad situation: Oracle tricked the Apache Foundation to sit on the trademark, and the OO project can’t muster the human power to even keep the thing secure.

    Oh, BTW: of course, OpenOffice could take patches from LibreOffice. The latter is free, after all. They’d just have to upgrade to a copyleft license (GPL or MPL or both), but te Apache Foundation hates copyleft. Sigh.

    1. The name, “Open Office”, is better know and sounds better. I know that OO is more restrictive, and would say it belongs to Oracle before reading this article. Also that what people usually thing when they look for OO is really what is called now Libre Offrice. But this sounds, somewhat, strange, or not so good as the original one, so that somehow prevent some folks to try it.

      But the LO people should just focus on develop/branding/improving their product, instead of wanting to snag other projects attention or market shares.

    2. I think you are wrong here. Mac people go for LibreOffice; at least LibreOffice Vanilla (on AppStore. I think it is clear to Mac user that OpenOffice is dead. It is certainly slow on Macs. And with M1… OpenOffice is done for.

  10. I have followed the developers that were back at Sun Microsystems. I’m not certain of the story, but my thoughts are that they worked on the OpenOffice project at Oracle, but due to the debacle there, and knowing that they had a wonderful product, they decided to break off, rename, and take the project in the original directions that they had while at Sun.

    I have been using the suite since the days of Sun. It surpasses MS Office in so many ways, and easily imports and exports the files. Even if I had the funds to purchase MS Office, I wouldn’t bother.

    1. The last suite I bought was Word Perfect back when. I never did own M$ Office while I had a Windoze box. Now there isn’t a Windows box to be found (I do have a copy of W7 in a VM, for a couple of things my wife needs) here at the house … Open Office, then LibreOffice does everything I need to do. Import/Export. Then to PDF. And it is all LOCAL, not cloud based (yuck) . Never understand that paradigm of putting your data in the cloud or running apps in the cloud. I could cut the cord and continue working if necessary. I digress….

      At work I have to hunt for the option to do something in Office, LibreOffice the option is right ‘there’. Way more intuitive. I think LibreOffice UI is simple and to the point. I like it. Hope they don’t change it around, like Office did….

      1. I believe that LibreOffice will continue to be software. Servers don’t come cheap, and running them 24x7x365 costs even more. That would require charging for the package. I am quite happy donating yearly for what I consider the best office suite around.

  11. I used first StarOffice then and finally Libreoffice and it NEVER fullfilled my requirements. Ugly user interface, some compatibility issues and other things simply never worked well, at least for me. Now I use OnlyOffice and it’s a better choice, IMHO. By far.

  12. I used Open Office for years. On my machines and on those of family and friends. Until near a year of Open Office installs crashing every windows machine it was installed on. In each case, uninstall Open Office, and install Libre Office, and all was good. No need to spend time figuring out where/why Open Office was going wrong. Just went straight to Libre Office from then on.

    1. I’m using old versions of Open Office and Libre Office. Each crashes Linux (Fedora 20, KDE spin) about once a month. Display stops changing; no response to keyboard or mouse.

      1. I used to use Fedora, but in 2012 they made some drastic changes that made the OS unstable. It may have been 20, but I’m not certain. I also was trying to get Red Hat running on servers at work, and had the same issues.

        At I researched the alternatives and decided on Ubuntu for my home systems. I have been using it with the KDE UI ever since. It has been stable, and a joy to work with. I now run the LTS distributions.

        I have never had any problems with OpenOffice, or LibreOffice on Linux or Windows.

  13. I use LibreOffice on both Ubuntu and windows 10. As LibreOffice is the choice of Ubuntu I will keep using on Windows too. I have no problem dropping OpenOffice in favor of LibreOffice.

  14. Printing envelopes should be easy, basic, simple, intuitive no brain function in LibreOffice, or any office. Yet there’s pages and pages online of “How the hell do I get standard US #10 Business envelopes to print properly!” Go to “insert” menu to print an envelope??? Get it to work once, then next time, not at all. I’ve ended up on an online envelope printing site out of frustration.

  15. There is yet another point of view to this story, one that complicates matters even more: I am the sole owner of the registered (i.e. lawfully trademarked) “Open Office” brand in three small European countries – Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg. And it’s not malicious: if you look up the Whois information for openoffice dot nl, you’ll find November 15, 1999. Rumor has it that there are more countries where someone registered “Open Office” for something, but I haven’t checked. We named our company OO because we were convinced that an open-source desktop computing system was viable: a true Linux-desktop-company.
    Then, when Sun open-sourced StarOffice, what could we do? According to law, an American company named an American non-profit with our locally trademarked name, which is nothing wrong. So should we go after the local user groups then? We figured that the best thing we could do is to hand out a free license to – something like “please use our name and use it wisely” – thus to protect the value of our brand by correctly licensing it, instead of having it diluted by a much much larger project. Which is what we did. See here for the last copy of this “licensed” page: So Apache could abandon and hand over the name – but this would not solve the trademark issue. (Funny thought: maybe I should start litigation and hand over the brand license to Libreoffice? :-D Would only count for these three small countries though…)

      1. This ought to be the way to go for everyone, especially for governments which ought to rid themselves of their dependency on Microsoft.

        They should fork the tree maintained by the Document Foundation and develop their own specific extensions for electronic government, as needed, then make it the standard platform throughout all their government institutions and promote its use by the local governments within their jurisdiction and by all their citizens.

        It is crazy because the licensing costs paid to Microsoft are so high that any government could easily buy up the whole Document Foundation for a small fraction of the cost, i.e. like providing it with total funding, which is less than 10^6 €/year and everyone could then use it, not just the government.

        1. Let’s not forget that M$ likes to domicile it’s IP in tax jurisdictions with favourable taxation treaties, so the lion’s share of the licencing fees paid by students, universities, and schools in many countries when purchasing products like MS Office goes offshore straight away …

          I am thinking specifically of IP licencing via Singapore wrt sales in the asia-pacific region

    1. ‘We figured that the best thing we could do is to hand out a free license to – something like “please use our name and use it wisely” – thus to protect the value of our brand ‘

      If somebody bigger stepped on your brand in a way that you can’t, won’t, or didn’t fight, then it might have negative value that you’re preserving.

  16. I used to have both MS and open source Office suites installed in my computers until Ribbon UI came out.

    Then, I will absolutely stick with the Office suite that can provide me a user interface WITHOUT the Ribbon.

  17. I’ve used both extensively and can say the best choice for a good free word processor is Google Docs haha. I can use Libre but my wife always gets frustrated with it and can’t figure out how to do common tasks with it.

  18. Well, for a start, messaging someone to redirect the front page of their project to the front page of someone else’s project is incredibly impertinent.

    No, OpenOffice should not throw in the towel in the way that has been suggested—that would not make much sense; instead, the two projects should merge, i.e. the Apache Software Foundation should give OpenOffice to the Document Foundation, including the precious name of the project, which is the most valuable part of it, if not the only valuable part of it, actually.

    Besides, I understand that OpenOffice may have a greater appeal and may be more attractive not just owing to its name and its wider public recognition, but also because its licence is more permissive.

    1. Sometimes even very very smart people don’t know absolutely everything.
      I hope that one day you’ll find it in your heart to forgive those of us who have to learn about things after we find out that they exist.

    2. As far as office suites go, I’m an idi0t too X-D . I use spreadsheets regularly, word processors occasionally, and I’m cheap, so I have been using OO for several years, and happy enough with it. So actually, I’m grateful for this article, because before this i didn’t really understand the difference between LO and OO. I may shortly give Libre office a try.

      The one regular task that i have to use a word processor for is laying out the quarterly newsletter for a club we belong to. And every 3 months, this task reminds me how much I HATE word processing applications… be it M$ Word, or OO. My God they both suck. (Or I suck at layout and word processing)

    3. Interesting perspective. I’d been using OpenOffice for over a decade up until recently when using tables started to cause Writer to repeatedly crash. I attempted to find a fix online, discovered that OpenOffice wasn’t really in development anymore and that switching to LibreOffice would solve the issue and so I downloaded the suite. I wouldn’t have switched at all if the repeated crashes hadn’t begun occurring, since in my mind, there’s no reason to fix what ain’t broke and OpenOffice was allowing me to perform every document writing function I need to perform.

      I guess that makes me an idiot.

  19. I started using OpenOffice some time in the 2000’s, shortly after realizing that I couldn’t afford to buy a copy of MS-Office and still feed my family. Shortly after OpenOffice went to Oracle, I switched over to LibreOffice on the advice of a good friend.
    I wasn’t aware that OpenOffice had basically died, but I’m not all that surprised.

  20. “…particularly since most had both a Windows machine and a Unix machine…” I was at Sun at the time, and I really have to question this claim. While many employees owned personal gear, relatively few of us had corporate windows machines (I never did in 19 years at Sun). Macs were popular (both as personal and corporate gear). I did have a corporate Toshiba at one point, but that was much later, and it was running the Sun branded version of SuSE.

    I have no doubt there were many different reasons for the acquisition, but I seriously doubt that per seat licensing costs for an office suite was much (if any) of a factor.

  21. whOracle screwed the up. They had something they could brand. They had something they could brand. They became too grabby, and it slipped through their fingers.

    “You cannot undo.”

    Long Live Libreoffice!
    And thank you all.

  22. I’ve always been a big proponent of open software, but… In the professional world, MS Office reigns supreme for several reasons. It just works. It’s stable. And it’s what everyone else has. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it includes a fully integrated programming environment and language without the need for separate installations. Oh, and I almost forgot one of the most important things… Documentation. Anything that you need that isn’t in the substantial help files is most certainly a google search away.

    I’ve tried to switch a couple times, but it’s just no contest… especially if you need to share your work with others who are inevitably using MSO. It’s impossible for an open source project of volunteers to compete with the substantial resources of a large corporation.

    1. I used to believe the same as you. I was quite used to MS Office, and used it at work wherever I went. However, a friend pointed me to StarOffice/OpenOffice, and I gave it a try. I hated it. But I couldn’t afford MSO, so I stuck it out, and gradually learned to like it. It has all of the functionality of MSO, and learned that it had SO much more capabilities. I also learned that I could import, and save MSO files, and use them at work with no complications.

      Today, I wouldn’t touch MSO, especially the cloud version. I keep my personal files just that.

    2. Yup. Life is too short to have the additional hobby of trying to do actual normal productive tasks on the open source suites. I’m an adult now and can afford a $150 software license.

    3. I’ve mostly lived by the motto “Any day i don’t have to wear a suit and tie is a good day”. I feel the same about office software; the less I have to use it, the happier I am. (with the exception of spreadsheets. I don’t mind working with those). So for the few times I need office software, OO’s been fine… and now i’m gonna try Libre Office.

      $150 buys a lot of funky little packages from AliExpress…

    4. Existing diagram tools are utter trash compared to Visio.

      Probably the reason why no one has been foolish enough to bundle one with OpenOffice or Libre.

      But honestly I see zero reason to keep upgrading and purchasing MS Office. I’m happy with my old M$ office suite.

      But as to why people default to any of the newer formats? In word processing Is stupid… stick with .doc (Word 95 compatible)

      Worse people now expect you send them .pdfs.. because they don’t know what .rtf is.

      Speaking of which no one has made a ..rtf reader as a browser plugin. Sloppy, really damned sloppy.

    1. remove this. I was having trouble being able to post comments using my google email address, but since the ‘automatic login’ doesn’t work right, I had to enter my email address manually. Anyhow, carry on.

  23. No. They’ve run out of humanpower. OO is practically dead, they haven’t the resources to fix security flaws, and this is, the times being what they are, Very Bad.

    The situation is bleak (cf [1]).

    So as usual in free software, if you care about OO, truss up your sleeves and contribute.

    Whining somewhere on the Intertubes won’t cut it.


    1. I use whatever is in Debian with Mate, i think is LibreOffice…. works fine for what I need including microsoft compatibility.
      Forking code is one of the issues that prevent free software to be even better, there are several options of the same program or distro, if instead all developers worked together to improve only one program that would make it more robust and more features it would be great… but no, people work on different pieces

  24. LibreOffice is a remarkably good project. They’ve made a lot of performance and quality improvements over the years, without going wild with changes for the sake of change. OpenOffice is a dead project pretending to be alive, lagging months or years on security patches, and most of its activity was when early after the split, they merged the Lotus code that adds features that I never heard of anyone actually using.

      1. Update: I couldn’t get LibreOffice to run on MacOS 11.0.1 Big Sur, so I re-installed (after many years) OpenOffice. At least I can get to my documents until LibreOffice gets up to date.

  25. WHAT exactly has Oracle “done” with Sun Microsystems tech, IP and software?

    Seems like absolutely nothing.

    Just trying to hijack the JAVA JRE and SDK.

    I really don’t understand what Oracle “gained”…

  26. Been there working for StarDivision, Sun and Oracle and member of the community. Historically the article is incorrect. The fork of LibreOffice was before Oracle dropped it and may have been one of the cause for dropping it after all. The fork was also not initiated by “most developers” as the article says and implies but by a couple of mostly non developers of the community who wanted to have more influence without contributing code or QA-Work like those being employeed working on the project. The “most developers”, QA ppl., Translation folks and others contributing significant work daily was simply fired by Oracle as result of the Event. I would say the this request by some of the LibreOffice folks is just another try of those seeking for influence without contributing much work over those who really do code, QA,… to get to their goals. The chances we had already has been destroyed in the past so it doesn’t really matter.

  27. For your information: Oracle IS Sun. Oracle was formed by the same people that were running Sun at that time, after the capable engineers were thrown out from the board running the company. They did some shitty transactions to “acquire” Sun, but in reality they just switched names. Then the new strategy made the company crash.

    Big “f*** you” for both office suites:
    -> Open Office sucks due to Oracle policies;
    -> Libre Office sucks because it can not be compiled on Sparc64 architecture, so I can’t use my secured Sun station with OpenBSD as an office computer.

    Big “OK, great!” for both of them:
    -> Open Office is stable so it needs no new updates;
    -> Libre Office is always improving.

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