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OpenOffice Is Dying (And IBM Won't Help) 298

jfruhlinger writes "OpenOffice.org, now separate both from corporate sponsor Oracle and the Document Foundation's LibreOffice, is in trouble, with its team putting out a dramatic press release detailing the organization's trouble. One missing player in all this is IBM, who has backed OpenOffice.org in the past. One possible reason for Big Blue's silence is that it might be a prelude to the killing of Lotus Symphony, its OpenOffice-based suite." The Apache Software Foundation, on the other hand, insists OpenOffice.org is not at risk.
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OpenOffice Is Dying (And IBM Won't Help)

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  • Ah. Ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Friday October 14, 2011 @11:53AM (#37714860) Homepage Journal

    The point of Open Source is that it is an evolutionary-based philosophy. Branches compete and, in those environments in which a given branch thrives, that branch will continue to evolve. ("Survival of the fittest" is a misnomer as it carries the implication that there is a unique fittest and a unique environment for it to be fittest in.)

    Libre Office is thriving in most of the environments Open Office used to do well in, with KOffice, Abiword and other integrated office packages doing well in their own niches. Saying "Open Office can't be allowed to die" is simply not the right approach. The right approach is to find a niche in which Open Office and not Libre Office or any other office software is the correct solution.

    To do that, of course, Open Office has to actually do something new. Just doing the same things Libre Office already does better isn't a reason to maintain it. It has to diverge FIRST and then, if that divergence produces something interesting, it will survive because it is doing something interesting.

  • Re:Ah. Ok. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7.cornell@edu> on Friday October 14, 2011 @12:04PM (#37715008) Homepage

    Yup. OpenOffice was dead once it forked hard, XFree86 style.

    Oracle separating themselves from OO was too little, too late - by the time Oracle stopped meddling, the project was already dead.

    OO being dead doesn't really matter that much other than the fact that LibreOffice is a rather lame name which will probably inhibit corporate acceptance in some organizations. LibreOffice just has too many idealistic/propaganda connotations in the name - it makes it sound like it came from a bunch of RMS-style nutjobs (even if it didn't).

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RCL ( 891376 ) <rcl...rs...vvg@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 14, 2011 @12:12PM (#37715136) Homepage
    Death of OpenOffice.org will damage LibreOffice, too. Only geeks around me know (and care) about the split, whereas most other users I know just use "open Office" because it's free and don't want to be educated about the situation (they simply don't care). News about OpenOffice.org dying will probably result in them considering the "open Office" idea a failure and switching to MS Office, not LibreOffice, since LibreOffice is a scary and not widely known name.

    You already see that headlines like these make news, and you will see that overall population of Libre/OpenOffice will dwindle if brand is considered "dead".
  • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 14, 2011 @12:40PM (#37715506)

    Unwarranted? You don't know what you are talking about.
    By accounts of many insiders and users, a split was desperately needed to fix all the problems Oracle refused to.

    As for "obscurity", it's already more popular and widely-used than OO.o ever was.

    The only reason OO.o still exists is because Oracle is run by assholes who gave it to Apache Foundation just to spite LibreOffice.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @01:35PM (#37716164) Homepage Journal

    ...most other users I know just use "open Office" because it's free and don't want to be educated about the situation (they simply don't care).

    I think you're right about the "simply don't care" part. But as for the rest, if they are even considering alternatives to MS Office, that's 90% of the battle. The rest is just post-battle triage. The usual scenario I experience is "Hey, where's OO?" followed by "use Libre, its the replacement." ending with "Oh." ~install~.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @01:35PM (#37716172)
    Yes, they absolutely should have changed the name. Even "Liberty Office Suite", "FreeDocument Suite", etc., although kind of dumb, would have been vastly better than what they ended up with.

    But the damage is done, and I think switching now would cause even more damage. They've been GIMP'ed, and are now stuck with it.
  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aztracker1 ( 702135 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @01:54PM (#37716396) Homepage
    I think that OOo should just be moved under the LibreOffice management, and LO rebranded back to OO... just to preserve the branding OOo has built (for what it's worth).
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @02:31PM (#37716738)
    Actually Java is alive and well and still has no real rivals in the heterogenous enterprise space (and just happens to also earn me a lot of money). Please check your facts by looking at the following data:
    * http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html [tiobe.com]
    * http://langpop.com/ [langpop.com]

    Also expect a the annual few-percent rise in Java usage in the New Year as new teams are formed and projects are kicked off. Java doesn't get much good press anymore because it is as reliable and ubiquitous as electrical infrastructure (although the Slashdotters after 'Teh New Shiny' and 'More Esoteric Featurz == betterer' would have you believe otherwise, althoguh they usually have never used their darling trend-language on huge multi-year projects with large teams).

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.