Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Sep 2010 20:23 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Features, Office LibreOffice is the provisional name of a community-led fork of OpenOffice that is to be developed under the umbrella of a European based non-profit to be named The Document Foundation. This should break OpenOffice free from the shackles of Sun/Oracle, hopefully leading to a faster and more inclusive development cycle.
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Bad name
by TaterSalad on Tue 28th Sep 2010 20:42 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

They could have come up with a better name than LibreOffice. I understand what they are trying to do, but the name just doesn't roll off the tongue.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Bad name
by ebasconp on Tue 28th Sep 2010 20:53 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

My native language is Spanish, and every time I see the word "Libre" in some stuff related to open source/free software; I think the project is going to have a more political than technical nature.

Ok, I know such assertion is not true with this project, but its name makes me think on it in that way.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Bad name
by jbauer on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad name"
RE[2]: Bad name
by bitwelder on Wed 29th Sep 2010 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad name"
bitwelder Member since:
2010-04-27

Actually the usage of Libre as part of the name for a software product in essence *is* exactly a political statement, as much as it can be rallying for "free speech" rights.

Reply Score: 2

Good Name
by Radio on Tue 28th Sep 2010 20:56 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

For french-speaking people ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good Name
by Liquidator on Wed 29th Sep 2010 05:09 UTC in reply to "Good Name"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Not even! It means "Free Office". An truely creative and brand-new name would have had much more impact. LibreOffice just doesn't cut the mustard!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Bad name
by kragil on Tue 28th Sep 2010 20:57 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

is "provisional"!!

RTFA

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bad name
by blitze on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad name"
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Nah it's provincial ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bad name
by cmost on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:15 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

I agree. What's with the ridiculous fork names recently? Sidux -> Aptosid (horrible!); Mandriva -> Mageia; now OpenOffice -> LibreOffice? Who is coming up with these names? They should be fired!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Bad name
by erdraug on Sun 3rd Oct 2010 10:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Bad name"
erdraug Member since:
2007-05-25

Open source projects, "they should be fired", good joke there.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad name
by tuaris on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:09 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
tuaris Member since:
2007-08-05

Agreed, and "OpenOffice.org" wasn't that great either.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bad name
by nsrbrake on Wed 29th Sep 2010 12:55 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
nsrbrake Member since:
2006-08-17

LibreO! Pronouced lee-bro, silent e. =D

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bad name
by clasqm on Wed 29th Sep 2010 15:21 UTC in reply to "Bad name"
clasqm Member since:
2010-09-23

Could have been worse. Could have been LibreOffice.org

Reply Score: 3

Comment by cb88
by cb88 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:06 UTC
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

What happened to GoOo?

Reply Score: 2

Go-OOO
by JPowers27 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by cb88"
JPowers27 Member since:
2008-07-30

It might get disbanded. The Document Foundation has already stated that it'll include all the Go-OOO improvements.

It looks like a lot of the OpenOffice people defected over to the new foundation. And since copyrights don't need to be assigned to Sun; they are excepting just about any improvement they can find.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Go-OOO
by Timmmm on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:58 UTC in reply to "Go-OOO"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

"Accepting"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Go-OOO
by Lennie on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:01 UTC in reply to "Go-OOO"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

From the article below (at the end) pretty much says currently LibreOffice is just based on the Go-OO sources:

http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Blogs/Productivity-Sauce-Dmitr...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by cb88
by nt_jerkface on Tue 28th Sep 2010 22:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by cb88"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's really just the latest version of OO with some patches, more like a mod than a fork.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by cb88
by lemur2 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cb88"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's really just the latest version of OO with some patches, more like a mod than a fork.


At this point ... yes.

The real announcement though is the announcement of an independent non-profit organisation. This means that everyone can contribute to the software without having a feeling that they are helping their competitiors. All parties contribute, the best contributions are incorporated, everyone owns the result, everyone's costs are reduced, everyone wins.

It was only partly like this when Sun had control of OpenOffice. Sun treated it as a QA-governed commercial product, and had only a few parties who could (or were inclined to) contribute to the effort, and progress was glacial.

In fact, haven't you yourself criticised OpenOffice in the past along exactly those lines?

If LibreOffice can be run as a more typical open source community participation project, it should advance by leaps and bounds.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by cb88
by nt_jerkface on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by cb88"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

At this point ... yes.


Heh? I was talking about GO-OO which has long been a mod.


All parties contribute, the best contributions are incorporated, everyone owns the result, everyone's costs are reduced, everyone wins.
..
In fact, haven't you yourself criticised OpenOffice in the past along exactly those lines?


I have been critical of the common assumption that OpenOffice is community developed when the vast majority of the commits have been from Sun employees.


If LibreOffice can be run as a more typical open source community participation project, it should advance by leaps and bounds.


I think it will certainly attract open source developers that didn't like how Sun kept control over the project. But Sun also had paid developers working full time and OO is not really that appealing to hobbyists compared to other projects. A application of that size and scope requires a lot of difficult and unsatisfying work. I can't imagine a lot of open source developers wanting to spend their weekend stepping through .doc parsing bugs. They really need a corporate sponsor if they want to compete with MS Office.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Comment by cb88
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by cb88"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"At this point ... yes.
Heh? I was talking about GO-OO which has long been a mod. "

Sorry, I misunderstood. BTW, AFAIK, at this point, LibreOffice IS Go-OO.

" If LibreOffice can be run as a more typical open source community participation project, it should advance by leaps and bounds.
I think it will certainly attract open source developers that didn't like how Sun kept control over the project. But Sun also had paid developers working full time and OO is not really that appealing to hobbyists compared to other projects. A application of that size and scope requires a lot of difficult and unsatisfying work. I can't imagine a lot of open source developers wanting to spend their weekend stepping through .doc parsing bugs. They really need a corporate sponsor if they want to compete with MS Office. "

If LibreOffice has only one corporate sponsor, then it will run into the same problems as Sun's OpenOffice and IBM's Symphony Office.

If there is an independent non-profit organisation, it can accept contributions (including code, funding and all other kinds of help) from anyone and everyone, to everyone's benefit.

Such an arrangement is called a "co-operative" business. Co-operative businesses have a long history in free enterprise economies. Their objective is not to maximise profits, but rather to reduce costs. Look it up.

Edited 2010-09-29 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by cb88
by nt_jerkface on Wed 29th Sep 2010 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by cb88"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

If LibreOffice has only one corporate sponsor, then it will run into the same problems as Sun's OpenOffice and IBM's Symphony Office.


I wasn't suggesting that LibreOffice be funded and controlled in the same manner. Since their organization is independent it wouldn't matter if the bulk of their funding came from a single donor. My point was that they need a reliable revenue source, whether it is from one corp or a thousand doesn't matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by cb88
by collinm on Wed 29th Sep 2010 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by cb88"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

the big problem is the same... there is only one big contribuor...

it was sun... now oracle

Reply Score: 3

v How about IDE(ology)Office?
by usr0 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:13 UTC
RE: How about IDE(ology)Office?
by cmost on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:21 UTC in reply to "How about IDE(ology)Office?"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

Did your reply have a point other than to glorify Apple's proprietary Macintosh and Microsoft's Office? If you want to be a slave to proprietary software, it's your choice but don't knock F/OSS or GNU/Linux because you couldn't be bothered to give it half a chance. Personally, I've used OpenOffice on my Linux workstation interchangeably with MS Office (which I'm forced to use at work) for several years without any major problems. I found that I have the best luck using the older *.doc/.xls/.ppt instead of the newer *.docx/.xlsx/.pptx, etc. Further, I use nearly 100% F/OSS software on my home workstations, laptops and servers and have done so for years now and without once longing for my former days of using Windows and proprietary software.

Reply Score: 4

RE: How about IDE(ology)Office?
by hussam on Tue 28th Sep 2010 21:27 UTC in reply to "How about IDE(ology)Office?"
hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

Used Linux for years, since 2000-2008. Used OpenOffice for a couple of months or at least tried to use this bull*. Finally switched over to Mac OS and never looked back at Linux although I adore Vim and the command line interface. On Mac I've used iWork: Overall ok but has its compatibility issues with ODF and several MS formats. Now I intent to use the industry's proprietary standard... once MS Office 2010 is released for Mac.

I'm not 18 anymore and have no time for playing those ideology GNU/FOSS/freedom& bull games.


You gotta be kidding me. Ideology has nothing to do with the current state of the linux operating system. I'm 29 and work for an engineering firm. we use linux for a lot of computers connected to our machines. you could say we make big moneys because we use linux which is stable and handles all the load we put on it. That is a wrong stereotype you are making. A lot of us use linux because of what is offers and not because of ideological reasons.

Edited 2010-09-28 21:28 UTC

Reply Score: 13

marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

"Used Linux for years, since 2000-2008. Used OpenOffice for a couple of months or at least tried to use this bull*. Finally switched over to Mac OS and never looked back at Linux although I adore Vim and the command line interface. On Mac I've used iWork: Overall ok but has its compatibility issues with ODF and several MS formats. Now I intent to use the industry's proprietary standard... once MS Office 2010 is released for Mac.

I'm not 18 anymore and have no time for playing those ideology GNU/FOSS/freedom& bull games.


You gotta be kidding me. Ideology has nothing to do with the current state of the linux operating system. I'm 29 and work for an engineering firm. we use linux for a lot of computers connected to our machines. you could say we make big moneys because we use linux which is stable and handles all the load we put on it. That is a wrong stereotype you are making. A lot of us use linux because of what is offers and not because of ideological reasons.
"

I second that, I'm pushing 50 and not only have used Linux exclusively (other than testing MS running in a VM) for years. I work for a company that not only makes big money built on Linux but most of us Engineer's use Linux on our Workstations. Years ago the Linux Desktop wasn't really mature enough but unless you're gaming Linux really is the best option for productivity.

Linux "just works" and you don't have to pay an obscene amount of money for productivity software.

Reply Score: 5

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Linux "just works" and you don't have to pay an obscene amount of money for productivity software.


Depends whether the "obscene" amount of money is worth it to you or not. It certainly was for me ... I came from programming on Open Source OS (Linux/OpenBSD) with PHP, Java, Perl and a bit of python.

Pretty much every company in my area of England develop in one version of the .NET framework or another with MS SQL server.

Paying the less than £100 for Windows 7 Professional license and I can get Visual Studio Web Developer and SQL Server Express for nothing.

This got me a job, now I earn the same amount of money in a day and a half, from saying on my CV I can do C#/ASP.NET and I know MS SQL Server. Knowing Linux/OpenBSD, PHP and MySQL has earned me a few hundred pounds and I spent a lot more effort learning it.

Edited 2010-09-28 23:18 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: How about IDE(ology)Office?
by m_abs on Wed 29th Sep 2010 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How about IDE(ology)Office?"
m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

This got me a job, now I earn the same amount of money in a day and a half, from saying on my CV I can do C#/ASP.NET and I know MS SQL Server. Knowing Linux/OpenBSD, PHP and MySQL has earned me a few hundred pounds and I spent a lot more effort learning it.

Knowing Linux and knowing it well got me my current job and contributing to OpenSource (KDE) got me my previous job.

The ~2000 DKK (~268 EUR or ~365 USD or ~231£) Windows 7 Professional would cost me in Danish, I could make in a few days but why would I? It's not relevant for me work and it gives me nothing I can't do now.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

"This got me a job, now I earn the same amount of money in a day and a half, from saying on my CV I can do C#/ASP.NET and I know MS SQL Server. Knowing Linux/OpenBSD, PHP and MySQL has earned me a few hundred pounds and I spent a lot more effort learning it.

Knowing Linux and knowing it well got me my current job and contributing to OpenSource (KDE) got me my previous job.

The ~2000 DKK (~268 EUR or ~365 USD or ~231£) Windows 7 Professional would cost me in Danish, I could make in a few days but why would I? It's not relevant for me work and it gives me nothing I can't do now.
"

That is great.

My comment was more about in rebuttal to the usual "microsoft is expensive, why pay for it when there is free stuff". I don't think their tools are that expensive considering the amount of time I spend using them at work and at home.

They don't provide any value to you, so you don't buy them ... fair enough, I wouldn't expect you to.

Edited 2010-09-29 19:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

coreyography Member since:
2009-03-06

Damn straight. I had only toyed with OpenOffice until MS Office 2007 came out, with that asinine, Bill-knows-whats-best-for-you "ribbon" interface. It pissed me off so badly that I tried OO again and have not had a need to run the MS version in a VM or under Wine at all since.

I've even used OO to fix corruption in MS Office files that the Office 2003 we have at work introduced (I keep the portable version on a fast USB stick solely for that purpose).

Reply Score: 3

RE: How about IDE(ology)Office?
by lemur2 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:10 UTC in reply to "How about IDE(ology)Office?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Now I intent to use the industry's proprietary standard... once MS Office 2010 is released for Mac.


"Proprietary standard" is an oxymoron.

A standard is a means via which various separate parties/organisations/companies can each freely implement the same protocol or format in order to facilite their collective ability to inter-operate.

A proprietary protocol or format is a means to entrench a sole-source supplier.

BTW ... MS Office 2010 has a major flaw ... it has very, very poor handling of a major Office format called OpenDocument Format (ODF), which is a recognised standard format and which is also the native format of another office suite with a 10% to 20% installed base.

Edited 2010-09-28 23:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about IDE(ology)Office?
by ebasconp on Wed 29th Sep 2010 00:07 UTC in reply to "How about IDE(ology)Office?"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

And what if I say you that I use OpenOffice in my MacBook, in my Linux box at home and in my Windows machines at work?

OpenOffice is a very very good product; it does not have all the features that MSOffice ships with, but I actually do not need more than what OpenOffice provides me.

Again, I HATE comments of people bashing some software product: obviously they have never written a line of code and think that writing code is as easier as writing your name in a board.

Reply Score: 6

churlish_Helmut
Member since:
2010-04-12

The names really doesn't matter. I mean, LibreOffice isn't that bad - better than "OpenOffice.org" (or just OOo what looks for me like O_O") Am i right by saying that Libre doesn't only mean Free, but in latin it is a term for book?

But i think, this is strange... Isn't Oracle working on a cloud based office system? I think, a lot of companies will use that in future, an doing some fork like that only makes confusion.

But on the other hand: It is more interesting to get involved into LibreOffice for third parties. I think, summa summarum, this is a good decision.

Reply Score: 2

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Am i right by saying that Libre doesn't only mean Free, but in latin it is a term for book?

I don't know anything in Latin, Thom is more likely to give a valid answer here. In French, "livre" means "book". It's close to "libre", but it's French, not Latin.

As a side note, "libre" means "free" as in "free access". It doesn't mean "free" as in "free beer". We use different words for both cases, "libre" in the former and "gratuit" in the latter, to the point that the phrase "entrée libre et gratuite" (no fee and no restriction to access) exists. In fact, each possible meaning of the English "free" translates to a distinct word in French. But "freedom" and "liberty" both translate to the single "liberté"... that's the beauty of natural languages.

Reply Score: 3

Looking forward to it
by marcus0263 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 22:06 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

I don't care about the name, hell I'll use LibreOffice or even if it was called "Mangled Baby Ducks", as long as it works.

I'm also very uncomfortable about Oracle acquiring Sun especially concerning MySQL.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Looking forward to it
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 28th Sep 2010 22:55 UTC in reply to "Looking forward to it"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I don't care about the name, hell I'll use LibreOffice or even if it was called "Mangled Baby Ducks", as long as it works.

Hell, I would use it for the name if that were the case!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Looking forward to it
by sicofante on Wed 29th Sep 2010 00:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Looking forward to it"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

Me too. Please call it Mangled Baby Ducks. It's brilliant.

And while you're at it, start from scratch and do a different, original and functional office suite.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Looking forward to it
by Matt Giacomini on Wed 29th Sep 2010 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Looking forward to it"
Matt Giacomini Member since:
2005-07-06

Count me in too. I need more reasons to say that in the workplace!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Looking forward to it
by Neolander on Wed 29th Sep 2010 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Looking forward to it"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Me too. Please call it Mangled Baby Ducks. It's brilliant.

Hum... Using daily a search service called DuckDuckGo, I'll just shut up on this one... But WTF ! ;)

And while you're at it, start from scratch

Caution : you're invoking a common myth of programming that has led many projects to failure.

A rewrite from scratch is to be avoided at all cost, unless the current state of the product is absolutely terrible (not the case with OO. It has its issues, but it does the job that most people are asking from it).

The reasons why it is so is that...
-You spend a lot of time rewriting parts of the code which did work perfectly well.
-You can't ship a working and satisfactory product for years, so a lot of customers are going to go away.
-You frustrate devs for the same reason, so several ones are going to go away too.
-Newly written code is buggy code. It takes a lot of time to fix it completely. Look at KDE4 for an example : only now it starts to be somewhat stable when doing things that KDE3 and GNOME 2 have been doing for ages.

Rewrite from scratch is good for fun or when you want to bring dramatic changes at the core of the software (e.g. when you want a 64-bit real-time microkernel written in Pascal Object, it's time to think about writing it yourself). OO doesn't need either, afaik. Only the UI would deserve some work, in my opinion.

and do a different, original

Caution : you're invoking another myth of computing. "Our product has to be different" is the reason why Flash websites exists and why printer drivers weight hundreds of megabytes thanks to crappy multimedia bundles, coming with non-standard UI widgets that don't follow system settings.

It's not good to be different for the sake of being different. Differences hurt usability by breaking the usage patterns of users used to other products. As I mentioned on another topics, it leads people to get angry and blame things which "don't work" (ie work differently than in software they're used to) instead of watching the differences with shiny eyes.

It's nice to see creative products, but the search from differentiation itself is a dangerous thought that must be watched carefully.

and functional office suite.

How is OO non-functional ?

Edited 2010-09-29 20:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Looking forward to it
by sicofante on Wed 29th Sep 2010 00:42 UTC in reply to "Looking forward to it"
sicofante Member since:
2009-07-08

Actually "Mangled Baby Ducks" is a much better name.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Looking forward to it
by Brunis on Wed 29th Sep 2010 12:23 UTC in reply to "Looking forward to it"
Brunis Member since:
2005-11-01

I don't care about the name, hell I'll use LibreOffice or even if it was called "Mangled Baby Ducks", as long as it works.


How about Foie Groffice? National eating disorder of the french..

Reply Score: 2

finally!
by stabbyjones on Tue 28th Sep 2010 22:27 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

If this helps speed up development then I'm all for it. It didn't move that quickly with Sun and after what they did to Open Solaris I wouldn't expect Oracle to do any better.

Reply Score: 3

IBM ?
by Lennie on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:07 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

So, there is only one other big company do OpenOffice-forks/-whatever it is doing...

IBM, the question then becomes, will they join the list ?

Interresting...
openoffice -> go-oo -> libreOffice
opensolaris -> illumos
java/openjdk -> icetea -> ?
mysql -> ?

Reply Score: 4

RE: IBM ?
by joelito_pr on Tue 28th Sep 2010 23:48 UTC in reply to "IBM ?"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

So, there is only one other big company do OpenOffice-forks/-whatever it is doing...

IBM, the question then becomes, will they join the list ?

Interresting...
openoffice -> go-oo -> libreOffice
opensolaris -> illumos
java/openjdk -> icetea -> ?
mysql -> ?

mysql -> MariaDB http://mariadb.org/

Edited 2010-09-28 23:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: IBM ?
by Lennie on Wed 29th Sep 2010 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE: IBM ?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It has not yet shown up in any Linux distribution as the 'normal mysql' or anything like that yet, but maybe it will in the future, it is possible.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: IBM ?
by j-kidd on Wed 29th Sep 2010 06:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: IBM ?"
j-kidd Member since:
2005-07-06

On Gentoo, you can install either mysql or mariadb as a dependency for packages that require mysql.

Reply Score: 2

tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Perhaps they could contact people to write clear and concise English for their bios?

http://www.documentfoundation.org/foundation/

Example:

André is involved in the OpenOffice.org project since 2001.


- to -

André has been involved in the OpenOffice.org project since 2001.


Being a software developer in his professional live he focused his voluntary work for OpenOffice.org on user support, documentation and quality assurance... Today he is maintaining the German localization and working on a translation process based on open standards.


- to -

A software developer in his professional life, he also volunteers his time in OpenOffice.org on user support, documentation and quality assurance... Today he maintains the German localization and works in the translation process, based on open standards.

Reply Score: 1

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I have two opposite ideas about that:

In one side, you are completely right, they are trying to establish communication with a world wide community and they must do it in the best way using the community's lingua franca.

In the other side, it is great when someone that does not speak Spanish (my native language), learns it to get communicated with me! just for that, I would forgive all his/her mistakes.

Reply Score: 2

"Proprietary standard" is an oxymoron
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 01:26 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

More on the nature of exactly why phrases such as "corporate standard" or "proprieatary standard" are oxymorons:

http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20100...
"The Launch of the Document Foundation and the Oxymoron of Corporate Controlled "Community" Projects"

In particular, this quote is important:

Here’s what the world of FOSS and open source needs from a legal perspective in order to protect community efforts and ensure the greatest participation in those efforts:
1. Open source forges need to provide a light weight, free (or very inexpensive), turnkey, legal identity for small projects lacking economic support.
2. For projects that are likely to become broadly important, we need more foundations like Apache and Eclipse that can provide a more full service, nurturing legal as well as development environment.

3. Most importantly, corporations that wish to encourage wide participation by the development community must spin their projects out as independent legal entities. Only by doing so can they guarantee to those they encourage to participate that their efforts will not later be subverted or financially abandoned. Knowing that open source software can be forked is not the same as knowing that the project you spent years of your life building can suddenly be abandoned or redirected in a fashion that was never intended.

If these recommendations are followed, everyone, at every level, from individual developers to the corporations that in the past have provided most of the funding and developers for projects like OpenOffice will ultimately be safer and better rewarded.


This is why any large FOSS project needs to be "owned" by a co-operative rather than any one single corporate entity.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Proprietary standard" is indeed an oxymoron. Why is this self-evident point, one totally relevant to the topic of this thread, modded down?

http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20100...

the OpenOffice suite could have become so much more. As with other single-company controlled efforts in the past (e.g., the Eclipse Foundation, before IBM spun it out into an independent organization), other companies that could have, and would have, made significant contributions of personnel, funding and promotion stood aside.

...

Standards developers realized this danger over 100 years ago. That’s when companies first started setting up independent, incorporated membership organizations to host, maintain, and protect standards. In the last 25 years, as many as 1,000 standards development and promotional consortia have been set up, often for as little as $10,000. It’s easy to do, there are plenty of models to follow, and everyone understands everyone else’s rights.


So what is meant by "standard"? Despite what some people seem to think, it isn't a popularity contest. Standards are about interoperability. They are about facilitating many separate parties to inter-operate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_%28software%29
A Software Standard is a standard, protocol, or other common format of a document, file, or data transfer accepted and used by one or more software developers while working on one or more than one software programs. Software standards enable interoperability between different programs created by different developers.


What is meant by "proprietary"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_format
A proprietary format is a file format where the mode of presentation of its data is opaque and its specification/documentation is not publicly available. Proprietary formats are typically controlled by a private person or organization for the benefit of its applications, protected with patents or as trade secrets, and intended to give the license holder exclusive control of the technology to the (current or future) exclusion of others. Typically such restrictions attempt to prevent reverse engineering, though reverse engineering of file formats for the purposes of interoperability is generally believed to be legal by those who practice it. Legal positions differ according to each country's laws related to, among other things, software patents.


Ergo, the conjunction "Proprietary standard" is an oxymoron.

The two words in the same context mean the precise opposite of one another.

Edited 2010-09-29 03:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"Proprietary standard" is indeed an oxymoron...

... So what is meant by "standard"? Despite what some people seem to think, it isn't a popularity contest. Standards are about interoperability. They are about facilitating many separate parties to inter-operate.

I think you need to look up the difference between a "de facto standard" and a "de jure standard". It is possible to draw quite a lot parallels between the concept of a de facto standard and a popularity contest.

Microsoft Office software is a de facto standard. The older Microsoft Office file formats are a de facto standard, but the new formats are now (based on) a de jure standard (since OOXML was, unfortunately, standardised by ISO).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_%28software%29
"A Software Standard is ... Software standards enable interoperability between different programs created by different developers.


What is meant by "proprietary"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_format
A proprietary format is... Proprietary formats are typically controlled by a private person or organization for the benefit of its applications...


Ergo, the conjunction "Proprietary standard" is an oxymoron.

The two words in the same context mean the precise opposite of one another.
"
Software standard != standard
Proprietary format != proprietary

Ergo proprietary format software standard != proprietary standard. In fact, even if it did it, software standard (as defined by Wikipedia) is not the exact opposite of proprietary format (as defined by wikipedia) - it is quite possible to enable interoperability whilst retaining exclusive control. Using a motoring metaphor (as all the worst metaphors are), it is possible to accellerate whilst applying the brakes (e.g. whilst travelling downhill).

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I think you need to look up the difference between a "de facto standard" and a "de jure standard". It is possible to draw quite a lot parallels between the concept of a de facto standard and a popularity contest.


I know perfectly well what is meant by a "de facto" standard. However, one would only use a de facto standard when a proper dejure standard was not available. Fortunately, when it comes to Office software file formats, we do have a capable dejure standard which is implemented in many software products ... OpenDocument standard, or ODF.

Strangely enough, there is also a dejure standard called OOXML that is not implemented in any software product whatsoever, so we can safely ignore that.

Microsoft Office software is a de facto standard. The older Microsoft Office file formats are a de facto standard, but the new formats are now (based on) a de jure standard (since OOXML was, unfortunately, standardised by ISO).


Yes, but there is no software that writes OOXML. .docx is not OOXML.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_%28software%29
A Software Standard is ... Software standards enable interoperability between different programs created by different developers.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_format
A proprietary format is... Proprietary formats are typically controlled by a private person or organization for the benefit of its applications...


Ergo, the conjunction "Proprietary standard" is an oxymoron.

The two words in the same context mean the precise opposite of one another.

Software standard != standard

How so? Office suites are software.

Proprietary format != proprietary

Sigh! If a proprietary format is not proprietary, what is it?

Ergo proprietary format software standard != proprietary standard.

Say what? My but you have confused yourself somehow, haven't you?

Office formats are data interchange formats. They either allow interoperability between different Office suite software programs, or they do not. If they do not, and the details of the format are kept as a trade secret by one company, then it is a proprietary format. Pure and simple.

In fact, even if it did it, software standard (as defined by Wikipedia) is not the exact opposite of proprietary format (as defined by wikipedia) - it is quite possible to enable interoperability whilst retaining exclusive control. Using a motoring metaphor (as all the worst metaphors are), it is possible to accellerate whilst applying the brakes (e.g. whilst travelling downhill).


That is not even a good try.

"Proprietary standard" is an EXCELLENT example of an oxymoron. As I said, in the same context, that context in this case being file formats used by Office software, the two words mean the precise opposite of one another.

"Microsoft works" is another oxymoron. ;)

This latter oxymoron is even on the well-known-oxymoron list at uncyclopedia twice!

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Oxymoron#Well_known_oxymorons

Some others you might like:
Fairplay DRM
Civil Engineer
Pretty Ugly
Advanced BASIC

Edited 2010-09-29 14:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Copyright Still says Oracle
by tuaris on Wed 29th Sep 2010 01:27 UTC
tuaris
Member since:
2007-08-05

Probably an oversight, but the "About" dialog:

LibreOffice 3.3.0
OOO330m7 (Build:9526)
ooo-build 2010-09-24

Copyright © 2000, 2010 Oracle and/or its affiliates.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Copyright Still says Oracle
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 02:33 UTC in reply to "Copyright Still says Oracle"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Probably an oversight, but the "About" dialog: LibreOffice 3.3.0 OOO330m7 (Build:9526) ooo-build 2010-09-24 Copyright © 2000, 2010 Oracle and/or its affiliates.


Copyright belongs to the authors of the code, unless it is transferred in writing (i.e. sold). See copyright law.

Therefore, the copyright to the existing code still belongs to Oracle. This code is released under the LGPL_v3, in which the copyright owners (Oracle) give certain permissions to the code to everyone. Some of these permissions are conditional.

Awarding permissions is not transferring copyright.

The Document Foundation will probably request that copyrights for new contributions to the codebase are transferred to it. Even so, this is only copyrights over the new contributions, not the whole codebase.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Copyright Still says Oracle
by the-tml on Wed 29th Sep 2010 11:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Copyright Still says Oracle"
the-tml Member since:
2010-09-29

The Document Foundation will probably request that copyrights for new contributions to the codebase are transferred to it.


Certainly not. The copyright assignment required by OpenOffice.org is one very thing that necessitated the fork.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The Document Foundation will probably request that copyrights for new contributions to the codebase are transferred to it.


Certainly not. The copyright assignment required by OpenOffice.org is one very thing that necessitated the fork.
"

Fair enough.

Often an independent body, acting on behalf of a co-operative collection of parties, will ask for assignment of copyrights simply in order to be in a position to defend said copyrights (not to profit from them).

http://www.softwarefreedom.org/resources/2008/foss-primer.html#x1-1...
With so many developers generating new copyrights almost constantly as they develop software, most FOSS projects need a process to manage, and perhaps centralize, copyrights.

Some FOSS projects require developers to transfer copyright ownership to the “project” (either by assigning to the founder of the project, or to some legal entity that represents the project) before new code is permitted into the official distribution. Other projects instead leave individuals’ copyrights in the hands of each contributor. Still others require contributors to “disclaim their copyright interest” (placing the contribution into the “public domain”), so that the contribution can be included under the main copyright of the work. (The latter of those is usually done for very small contributions.)

These are all valid options, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.


It varies from project to project.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 29th Sep 2010 02:14 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Could they use FreeOffice?

Reply Score: 1

Interview
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 05:37 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

An interview with Charles-H. Schultz, of the steering committee of The Document Foundation, can be read here:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100928224103271

I like this quote from the interview: "But enough talking on OOXML, a standard that does not exist. Let's rather focus on ODF, an existing open standard we support and promote".

Indeed, OOXML does not exist, because no software implements it, not even one program. So therefore it can't be used for inter-operation between programs can it? If it can't be used for inter-operation between programs, then it is not a standard. QED.

Reply Score: 3

Btrfs?
by Bubbel on Wed 29th Sep 2010 07:04 UTC
Bubbel
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know how involved Oracle still is in the BtrFS development, but as Oracle is moving more and more to a closed-source organization, what will that do for the BtrFS development?
As it seems the development is done for the basic features. That means that debugging and feature expansion is the main focus. But who will take/hold the lead in the project?

Maybe I'm too paranoid and is the ownership and leadership already a done deal, but that's something I don't know about.

Anyone does know?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Btrfs?
by draethus on Wed 29th Sep 2010 07:27 UTC in reply to "Btrfs?"
draethus Member since:
2006-08-02

Btrfs is already in the kernel, under the GPL. It's too late for them to close the source now and AFAIK development on it continues.

Btrfs is a frighteningly incomplete filesystem with no fsck tool at this time (!!) and no 1.0 release yet. People have suffered data loss and I am not touching it until mid-2011.

Reply Score: 2

Qt port
by diegoviola on Wed 29th Sep 2010 10:13 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

How about if they port this LibreOffice to Qt?

Edited 2010-09-29 10:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Qt port
by steogede2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 14:16 UTC in reply to "Qt port"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

How about if they port this LibreOffice to Qt?


That would be nice to see, but I suspect it would be an awful lot of work. I would quite like to see a remake based on OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice - sort of like Seashore, the Cocoa remake of GIMP.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Qt port
by Kroc on Wed 29th Sep 2010 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Qt port"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

NeoOffice, right?

Reply Score: 1

Come on
by vodoomoth on Wed 29th Sep 2010 10:37 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

Oracle has also been invited to support The Document Foundation, for instance by donating the OpenOffice brand.

Am I the only one to be surprised by the boldness of that?

There is something weird in it that I find very unsettling after reading the news and the comments. What I understood:
- there's the open source product OpenOffice.org owned by Sun, and the copyright to Sun has to be mentioned in all versions. I don't see any problem there.
- there's a little amount of contributions to the product outside of Sun
- Oracle buys Sun
- people fork the product based on... what exactly?
- those people, riding the wave of permissions allowed by the license, now ask Oracle to relinquish the copyright thing.

If there's no mistake in this quick summary, please let me think about whether Oracle would be happy.

Now, I do support open source, but software making pays my bills and my lovely car. I wonder where the greediness of people will stop? What prevented those people, who are now so willing to put efforts into LibreOffice, from contributing to OpenOffice? Why hasn't IBM joined Sun to make OpenOffice faster, especially the launch time and the reaction time in the menus? The governing board (if such a thing exists for large projects like OOo) could have been hijacked by contributors, whether corporate or not. Why hasn't that happened? And now I read that there had been a previous fork named Go-OO? God, why are we so inclined to dispersing efforts here and there and over there?

There is a very good reason to fork OpenOffice, and it's definitely not the company whose name and logo must appear in the copyright notice and splash screen, it's the damn UI! LibreOffice should have started there.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Come on
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 10:58 UTC in reply to "Come on"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Oracle has also been invited to support The Document Foundation, for instance by donating the OpenOffice brand.

Am I the only one to be surprised by the boldness of that?

There is something weird in it that I find very unsettling after reading the news and the comments. What I understood:
- there's the open source product OpenOffice.org owned by Sun, and the copyright to Sun has to be mentioned in all versions. I don't see any problem there.
- there's a little amount of contributions to the product outside of Sun
- Oracle buys Sun
- people fork the product based on... what exactly?
- those people, riding the wave of permissions allowed by the license, now ask Oracle to relinquish the copyright thing.

If there's no mistake in this quick summary, please let me think about whether Oracle would be happy.
"

You were going great until you got to "ask Oracle to relinquish the copyright thing".

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?443083

"donating the OpenOffice brand" is not "relinquishing copyright".

Relinquishing trademark, yes OK, it is that, and I agree with you that asking that of Oracle is perhaps a little cheeky ... but this is not an act of "relinquishing copyright".

Awarding permission for others to use your code is not relinquishing copyright to that code.

To relinquish copyrights you would have to put your code in the public domain. Once it is in the public domain, no-one has copyrights over it.

Edited 2010-09-29 11:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Come on
by vodoomoth on Wed 29th Sep 2010 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Come on"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


"donating the OpenOffice brand" is not "relinquishing copyright".

Relinquishing trademark, yes OK, it is that, and I agree with you that asking that of Oracle is perhaps a little cheeky ... but this is not an act of "relinquishing copyright".

Awarding permission for others to use your code is not relinquishing copyright to that code.

LibreOffice has been able to fork. As IBM did before, and, as I read on this topic, Go-OO. So the permission (you wrote "Awarding permission for others to use your code ...") is already there.

Hence, my surprise as to "Oracle has also been invited to support The Document Foundation, for instance by donating the OpenOffice brand"; in the light of what you've just explained in you last post and that I quoted above, there's even more gumption to it than I previously thought. Why does TDF also want the OpenOffice brand since the "(c) Oracle" will stay in any (am I correct here?) OpenOffice derived product until Oracle transfers the copyright in writing?

Even before that question, what is "[Oracle] donating the OpenOffice brand" supposed to mean? Does it mean putting "OpenOffice", the trademark, in the public domain? If so (and also in any case), what difference would it make that OpenOffice falls in public domain in regard to the fact that it's already fork-able, modify-able and download-able at will?
Or, which appears even more twisted to me, LibreOffice will change its name and be called OpenOffice?
Or (more reasonable I think), as you put it in one previous post of yours you gave the link to, transferring the copyrights to the new code modifications/additions to the foundation ? In this very case, why does the foundation need Oracle's good will when the foundation has forked the project? Doesn't the fork mean that all mods are automatically copyrighted to the "forker"?

As one can see, I don't understand the implications of a company donating a brand name to a non-profit organization.

Anyway, LibreOffice and TDF, change the UI first and continue the good job that's been done in the recent releases shortening the startup time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Come on
by lemur2 on Wed 29th Sep 2010 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Come on"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Even before that question, what is "[Oracle] donating the OpenOffice brand" supposed to mean? Does it mean putting "OpenOffice", the trademark, in the public domain? If so (and also in any case), what difference would it make that OpenOffice falls in public domain in regard to the fact that it's already fork-able, modify-able and download-able at will?
Or, which appears even more twisted to me, LibreOffice will change its name and be called OpenOffice?
Or (more reasonable I think), as you put it in one previous post of yours you gave the link to, transferring the copyrights to the new code modifications/additions to the foundation ? In this very case, why does the foundation need Oracle's good will when the foundation has forked the project? Doesn't the fork mean that all mods are automatically copyrighted to the "forker"?

As one can see, I don't understand the implications of a company donating a brand name to a non-profit organization.


A "brand" comes under trademark law (not copyright law). Oracle owns the OpenOffice.org brand.

http://marketing.openoffice.org/brand/
http://www.openoffice.org/trademark/brandrefresh.html

Mozilla, for example, will only allow people to use the name "Firefox" if they ship Mozilla's code.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Firefox_3.5_logo.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mozilla_Firefox_wordmark.svg

Debian doesn't ship Mozilla's code exactly, Debian modifies it a little. Hence Debian is not allowed, by Mozilla, to call it "Firefox".

http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/iceweasel.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation_software_rebranded...
http://wiki.debian.org/Iceweasel

So Debian's Iceweasel browser isn't called Firefox, but it is almost identical to Firefox.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iceweasel307.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iceweasel-icon.svg

You will note that iceweasel has nowhere near the same level of brand recognition that Firefox does.

OK, that is trademark law. It is all about the name, the brand, what you call something.

It is quite possible to allow people to use your code but refuse to let them use your "brand".

Ergo, Oracle are under no obligation whatsoever to allow the LibreOffice co-operative (aka The Document Foundation) to use the OpenOffice.org name.

If Oracle decide they want to keep OpenOffice.org as a product, and keep the name exclusive to them, then we will have a fork, and LibreOffice and OpenOffice will slowly diverge to become two different programs. Effort will be duplicated.

If Oracle decide they want to allow the LibreOffice co-operative (The Document Foundation) to use the OpenOffice.org name, then there is no fork, OpenOffice.org continues as one product, Oracle have effectively joined the co-operative (aka The Document Foundation), and OpenOffice.org suddenly has significantly larger community, a whole heap more manpower, help and financial backing.

It all depends on what Oracle want to do, but this is not in any sense a theft of OpenOffice (just as Iceweasel is not a theft of Firefox) ... either way there are pluses and minuses, choices and consequences, swings and roundabouts, benefits and penalties to be had by Oracle.

The choice is up to them.

Edited 2010-09-29 13:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Mingw
by fithisux on Wed 29th Sep 2010 14:27 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

If it works with mingw with a ./configure and no psdk on windows it is fine with me.

Reply Score: 2

Good Open Source PR.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Sep 2010 14:48 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

The vast majority of the press says that it was a voluntary decision by the open office developers.

It most certainly was not. Oracle cut them off and told them to hit the road.

Reply Score: 2