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Oracle Open Source Software

OpenOffice.org To Be Given Back To the Community 219

An anonymous reader writes "Oracle has stated they will give back the OpenOffice.org productivity suite to the community. Edward Screven, Oracle's Chief Corporate Architect, said the company intends upon 'working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office.' Because there was a 'breadth of interest in free personal productivity applications,' the company believes the OpenOffice.org project would be 'best managed by an organization focused on serving that broad constituency on a non-commercial basis.'"
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OpenOffice.org To Be Given Back To the Community

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  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @03:50PM (#35832306)
    Can't make money off it? It isn't competing with something we already offer? Get rid of it!

    Oh, and could somebody ban "slashushi"? Some troll out there is generating slashdot ID's just to post pictures of himself.

    • by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:00PM (#35832476)
      I suspect the mass brain drain of former Sun employees has a lot to do with it as well. It's hard to support your customers if everybody who knows how to support it has left the building. This just might be an olive branch to keep some of the talent from flying the coop long enough to get new blood up to speed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fermion ( 181285 )
        I think oracle deserves some credit for this decision. They looked at their core mission, they looked at their resources, and discovered they had a product that was not a good fit. In the case of Sun, openoffice.org was a small part of a solution for the desktop. For Oracle it was not. It was an asset that may or may not be worth something. It could have helped out the Java asset. It did not. So they let it go. They could have made an attempt to make money off it, and let the brand flounder and die.
      • More "mass brain guillotineage"

      • Yuh. My first thought was "wow, that many people left for LibreOffice?"

    • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:09PM (#35832584) Journal

      Actually, more like "wah! guys! please come back! we promise we won't spite the community!"

      This doesn't mean shit unless they change the bylaws [groklaw.net] which give oracle complete control over openoffice with the ability to nullify the community basically.

      • also, yes, this is a different product listed, but the same scenario.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Why would they need "the community" when most of the actual paid developers are still at Oracle. The people who left were mostly auxiliary people who were easily replaceable.

        • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:39PM (#35833004)
          If what you say is true. Then why is LibreOffice already so much better than OpenOffice ever was?
          • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @08:19PM (#35835658)

            why is LibreOffice already so much better than OpenOffice ever was?

            Listen, I tried open office from 1.04.

            It wasn't quite there yet.

            But as of 3.00 I went to OO and had no need to look back.

            I even had a large series of Word 1998/2000/2003 documents which would not work in Word 2010 and 2007. No explanation-no error message - they just hung.

            I loaded them into OO (which I'd used since as early as 1.04 to fix broken Word documents which crashed word by loading and resaving them) and the problem was apparent. The bounding boxes on the artwork was overlapping the tables. These did not display in Word so it would have been nearly impossible to fix.

            So.. I bit the bullet and converted my 100 page document from Word to OO. It took about 8 hours. I got to learn about what the "little grey lines" meant and about styles. I figured out the replacement for techniques like "styleref".

            So then I converted my next 130 page document. It took 2 hours.

            Then I converted all the rest of my documents- each taking under 2 hours.

            Bonus? They printed MUCH faster than in word. Seriously- these things were taking 15 minutes to print in Word before they became unusable- now they printed in seconds in OO.

            Libreoffice-- well it's different (not necessarily better- it does some new things OO doesn't- OO does some new things LO doesn't.). I'm okay with EITHER since either will load my OPENDOCUMENT format documents.

            I'm no longer LOCKED IN to word. I no longer have to pay HUNDREDS of dollars for new versions every 3 years.

            I've gotten in to Openoffice draw and created lots of maps and pictures and have developed a basic tool set of objects I can use in the documents.

            I've gotten into Openoffice Calc and written a starfleet battles damage allocation program (complete with sound effects) which I can port to Excel if I ever felt the need to.

            In business- I'm forced to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint. I *still* (after 12 months ) am struggling with these new interfaces. I'll be fine then I want to do something that used to be easy and it's very hard. I waste a few hours trying to find out where the hell they moved the command in Word.

            And when I use word, I look for OO features which are not implemented in word and it's jarring since Word is supposed to have everything including the kitchen sink.

            Libre office, Open office. They are both excellent and SUFFICIENT programs even if they cost up to $75. But they don't- they are free.

            • Libre office, Open office. They are both excellent and SUFFICIENT.

              For me, the lack of a good grammar checker is a serious issue.

              • by udippel ( 562132 )

                For me, the lack of a good grammar checker is a serious issue.

                Fully agree! That's why I wouldn't spend a fiver for Microsoft Office. OpenOffice also cannot, but at least it cannot for free.

            • You are writing 100 page documents and you were using word or open office?

              LaTeX is what you need, handles typesetting for you nicely and everything.

            • Libreoffice-- well it's different (not necessarily better- it does some new things OO doesn't- OO does some new things LO doesn't.)

              This is wrong as far as I know. Libreoffice is the latest OpenOffice with Go-OO fixes and some plug-ins merged in. Go-OO was made during a time when developers were getting frustrated that OO development was stagnating and they weren't being allowed to include improvements and fixes. So they made them available elsewhere, at go-oo.org [go-oo.org]

              LO will continue to fork, but for now, it's OO with bug fixes and improvements. They even used the same version number, 3.3 [wikipedia.org], because "The Document Foundation and most of

              • Okay- I had the impression there were minor differences however you are correct.

                Libre is a fork of OO and has these notable additions.

                * SVG image import
                * Lotus Word Pro and MS Works import filters
                * Improved WordPerfect import
                * Dialog box for title pages
                * Navigator lets you unfold one heading as usual in a tree view
                * "Experimental" mode

        • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

          That would ignore the fact that most of the critical code has already been written, and LibreOffice was getting it for free. Add in the fact that all of the distros are tossing out OOo, and it was just a matter of time until OOo would be a dead project.

          Maybe Oracle realized that if they keep the community engaged, there may be rewards to be developed. Maybe they could even hold out hope for a Firefox like surge by the open source project, but if it happened while they were at odds with the outside community

        • Yes, it's quite easy to make it the case that one's official line is mostly developed by one's own employees if one choses to incorporate one's own employees' contributions over outsiders' contributions. This is precisely why the Go-OO/LibreOffice fork formed and is precisely why when Oracle changed its rules to be even more restrictive than Sun was there was enough of a push that people wanted LibreOffice to be the official fork.

          In short, trying to deny "the community" as an important part of OpenOffice's

        • by mbkennel ( 97636 )

          Why would they need "the community" when most of the actual paid developers are still at Oracle. The people who left were mostly auxiliary people who were easily replaceable.

          "Why would they need "the community" when most of the actual paid developers are still at Oracle. The people who left were mostly auxiliary people who were easily replaceable."

          Because they're about to fire all the actual paid developers at Oracle. The only thing that Larry hates more than not having totalitarian asshole control is paying money and not having totalitarian asshole control.

          And, realistically, Libre/OpenOffice will then suck. It's too big and complicated for people who don't have full time jo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng ( 193332 )
      Be that as it may: that's good news. OpenOffice is a well established (and well chosen) name it will be good to have it back for the OSS community.
      • Be that as it may: that's good news. OpenOffice is a well established (and well chosen) name it will be good to have it back for the OSS community.

        OpenOffice is a decent name, but who the fuck names a software program with a web domain (i.e., OpenOffice.org [wikipedia.org])? Ugghhhhh.... That's one distinct and major advantage LibreOffice [wikipedia.org] has in my mind. It may not be as obvious a name, but at least it doesn't appear to be run by a bunch of weirdos at first glance...

  • by broknstrngz ( 1616893 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @03:51PM (#35832314)

    It actually says: the code is a mess and we don't have any customers that would even remotely consider using it. So there, have it back and get off our lawn.

  • Too much outcry from the community? Wasn't worth it after LibreOffice? (despite the stupid name?)

  • Cool, let's try this with Java. LibreJava anyone?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:00PM (#35832464)

    I have already uninstalled and deployed LibreOffice across our 500 client org.

    I will not keep bouncing about.

    We now fully back LibreOffice and will continue to do so. We will not backtrack back to OO until the next time Oracle change their mind.

    Bye Bye Oracle.

  • by Bloodwine77 ( 913355 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:04PM (#35832508)
    Does it mean we can rename LibreOffice to OpenOffice now? Or are the two forks going to continue separate lines of development?
  • This is how Oracle supports open source? we don't/won't pay to support it so we 'give' it back to the community.

    Given the options this is the lessor of two evils, they could have let it die internally.

  • Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smcn ( 87571 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:11PM (#35832604)

    I've already switched to LibreOffice.

  • Oracle Lost (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They are trying to take the Document Foundation and Libre Office brands now.

    Do not fall for Oracle's scam. Back LibreOffice and the Document Foundation.

    Show Oracle how we play the game. Kill Oracle Open Office by not using it.

    • It is a trap, a trick to try and salvage some tiny remnant of influence now that they've lost control of the mindshare and developers.
    • Actually AC, we can put a Gamer mentality on it. We can use both, and note here and there where the two programs don't render the same to watch out for MS style rendering tricks. Then treat it like it is "on loan". Slurp the good code out of it and include it into LibreOffice (if it hasn't already) before they take it away again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ashe Tyrael ( 697937 )

        To be fair, one of the things the Libreoffice peeps have done is started going to town on the "this is awful/redundant code, can you help us rewrite it" thing, complete with one of the nicest ideas I've seen, http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/Easy_Hacks [documentfoundation.org]

        Basically, a list of stuff that needs doing, but they don't necessarily have time for, but is easy enough that a beginner/lower level coder can do the grunt work. Eases people into working with a big project.

  • by Zandamesh ( 1689334 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:18PM (#35832692)

    The first thing I though when I installed it was: woah, these icons look awesome!

    • I don't like the LibreOffice application icon. It looks too much like a generic document.
      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        I agree, the original OpenOffice icon, especially on OS X, looks very nice - the sweeping line separating the two shades of blue and the two stylised birds. It's one of the icons that I "keep" in my Dock, unlike some truly ugly app icons that are only there when the apps are running that I launch from the Apps springloaded folder.

        I wanted to loved LibreOffice but the name and icon are... suboptimal. I think this makes me shallow, but I like my UI to look good, especially if I am staring at it for long perio

        • by manicb ( 1633645 )

          1. Open Applications folder
          2. Select OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice, "Get Info"
          3. Click on OpenOffice.org icon in top left of its panel, hit command-C to copy
          4. Click on LibreOffice icon in top left of its panel, hit command-V to paste
          5. Drag LibreOffice from Applications menu to dock.

          • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

            I did that for all the original Creative Suite 1 apps, with a modified community-created set of icons, since the original ones were awful. The ones for the new suites (which I don't have) are similarly pretty terrible.

            CS1 (PS, InDesign, Illlustrator) still sit on my dock with the much nicer community icons to this day.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:29PM (#35832846) Journal

    Who are you, and what have you done with Oracle?

  • by Jeek Elemental ( 976426 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:36PM (#35832950)

    the story before this one was "Students Build Life-Sized Trojan Horse For Class Project"

  • A no win Battle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TrueSatan ( 1709878 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @04:44PM (#35833092)
    Oracle (and Sun before them) were, prior to the fork that created LibreOffice, able to prevent the additional features that were in their commercial Ooo derivative from being added to Ooo itself and thus had a product that they could monetise. Novel sponsored GoOo and that then offered code Sun (and then Oracle) would not allow into Ooo (mostly to "protect" those additional, commercial derivative only, features) and this was what first put the skids on Oracle's continuing support of Ooo. Once LibreOffice merged the GoOo code into their Ooo fork there was no real point in Oracle attempting to sustain hope for their commercial derivative...it has simply taken them a while to acknowledge its demise. As there's now no money in it for them their "handing to the community" of Ooo means little and may well come with the existing bylaws of Ooo that will preclude a merger with the Libreoffice fork. Out of spite alone (WaaaaaI If I can't play with my ball I'll take it away so nobody can play with it.) I can't see them making a merger of the two into a possibility.
    • In that case OO.org will simply disappear into obscurity. Sure, for a while name recognition will keep in going, but in the end it's toast. I've got some other big projects on the fly, but likely in June I'll be moving the thirty workstations we have running OO.org over to LibreOffice, mainly for OOXML support (though it's still far from perfect). Once we're down that path, there's no way in hell I'm going to move back to OO.org, even if they roll in the GoOo features, simply because I've got better thin

  • And this is how it got expressed. LibreOffice people, just keep doing your thing. You don't need corporate control.

  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @05:03PM (#35833354) Homepage

    Yeah, it feels like a clingy, manipulative ex-husband. "This time I'll change", etc., etc.

  • maybe it's just a coincidence but given how Oracle has acted in the past, we should all be wondering what gives with the turn around.
    Maybe there's a patent or two they are holding behind their backs which have recently obtained from Novell. boo!

  • corporate-speak bullshit. In actuality, I'll bet Oracle was more concerned about the public image damage by trying to wreck a community's efforts at developing an open source productivity suit. Also, Oracle could have been concerned about running afoul of the GPL license. They certainly took a lot of flack from the community over this one including some high level software engineer defectors. I think we would have a lot more respect for Oracle if they were to come out and simply say, "We made a mistake.
  • I don't trust Oracle. Give me one good reason why we should?

  • I wish they would've taken this approach with the Hudson CI server rather than fragmenting the community.

    http://jenkins-ci.org/content/about-jenkins-ci [jenkins-ci.org]

  • Its too late. you should have thought it before going 'oracle' on your community. now there's libre office.
  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Friday April 15, 2011 @07:00PM (#35834814)
    It's not named LibreOffice.org.
  • OpenOffice is that things that's tainted by Oracle.
    Is there anybody not switching to LibreOffice?

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10