Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:27 UTC
Features, Office Over the weekend, Oracle basically announced its defeat in the competition with the community-created fork of OpenOffice, LibreOffice. Oracle will cease all commercial development of OpenOffice, and will turn it into a purely community-based project.
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Rim shot
by fretinator on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:36 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

CEO: My last product was a complete and total failure.

Board: How big of a failure was it?

CEO: It was such a failure we had to open-source it.

Board: Ouch, you're hired!

Reply Score: 8

RE: Rim shot
by Liquidator on Tue 19th Apr 2011 05:07 UTC in reply to "Rim shot"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Hired or fired? ;)

Reply Score: 2

open source license shows its power
by project_2501 on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:51 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

Imagine if openoffice did not have the open source licenese it did.

Do you think we'd have the libreoffice fork? Nope.

Do you think Oracle would have felt pressure to compete or give up? Nope.

It would do what it does with its closed products - sit on them, innovate when it wants to, and you sir, take it at a price or leave it.

The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.

Reply Score: 23

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.


Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%?

Reply Score: 1

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%?


I would guess higher than desktop Linux at least...

I usually install OpenOffice/LibreOffice for all my relatives. So far that works out, except I sometimes have to respond to questions like: "How do I save my file so my friend can see it?"... but once you get over the hurdles, most average people just want something that does the basics.

The other alternatives I have are to tell them to shell out a few hundred $ for MS Office, or get them a pirated copy somewhere (which I refuse to do at this point).

My wife, kids, and I all use LibreOffice at home on Windows and/or Linux - so far it's proven usable, even if not 100% replacement for MS Office. Google Docs is pretty useful as well for sharing stuff back and forth with my wife, etc.

Reply Score: 7

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The other alternatives I have are to tell them to shell out a few hundred $ for MS Office, or get them a pirated copy somewhere (which I refuse to do at this point).


Another option is to find out if they can get a discounted version through their company; I got mine this way (the 'professional plus' edition) for like $9 US, and a friend of mine got hers the same way.

Of course, if using MS Office is against your religion, I can understand why you wouldn't want to, but for that price, the free alternatives are a lot less appealing ;)

Reply Score: 2

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Another option is to find out if they can get a discounted version through their company; I got mine this way (the 'professional plus' edition) for like $9 US, and a friend of mine got hers the same way.


So far, most of the people I've helped have run into Microsoft's "free trial" expiration/extortion scheme packaged with new computers - so they've been more than happy to use a good free replacement once they find out that they exist.

Most people are simply unaware of software like Firefox or OpenOffice - word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing for these projects.

As for MS Office - I use 2007 at work, and absolutely detest the new ribbon-based layout... I'd rather go back to Office 2000/2003, but such is life when you're forced to upgrade for business compatibility reasons.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

As for MS Office - I use 2007 at work, and absolutely detest the new ribbon-based layout... I'd rather go back to Office 2000/2003, but such is life when you're forced to upgrade for business compatibility reasons.


Or in the case of IE6, when you're forced to stick with the same version for business compatibility reasons ;)

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Best of luck with that when MS decides to arbitrarily change the file format again just to force you to upgrade.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Best of luck with that when MS decides to arbitrarily change the file format again just to force you to upgrade.


Speaking of upgrades, here is an upcoming one that people don't have to pay for:

http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/04/15/libreoffice-3-4-beta-...

http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/3.4

The default file format is ODF 1.2, which has recently been released by the ODF Technical Committee.

http://www.pupuweb.com/blog/openoffice-org-3-4-beta-release-with-im...
http://www.robweir.com/blog/2011/03/odf-1-2-committee-specification...

ODF 1.2 will formailse the ODF standard that the majority of Office suites use as their default file format today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software

Edited 2011-04-20 01:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Okay, so 0.02%.



That number seems inflated.

Edited 2011-04-21 19:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

More like 20%, possibly much higher in certain countries. It’s nothing to sniff at and a definite threat to MS. Almost every customer I’m going to I’m installing LibreOffice, and any time someone is buying a new computer I’m advising them not to purchase MSOffice unless they are working within a business environment. I alone would be responsible for a few thousand more copies of LibreOffice out there. There is no justification for buying MS Office just to be able to play some powerpoint chain mail.

Reply Score: 12

chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

"... Almost every customer I’m going to I’m installing LibreOffice, and any time someone is buying a new computer I’m advising them not to purchase MSOffice unless they are working within a business environment...


Otherwise known as spreading religious dogma.
"
Or perhaps known as offering great customer service. Most IT shops would prefer to sell you a copy of Office and make their cut than provide something that offers value for money. Good on him I say ;)

Reply Score: 8

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The individual that you save $100 today might one day use OpenOffice to send in a resume that looks garbled to the employer.


People still send resumes as .doc? I thought most saved them as PDF these days.

Reply Score: 10

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Some vote of confidence that is. Just don't send your resume as a doc file!

I can't even personally recommended Foxit anymore because I have seen what the 1% cases look like. Yes it is fine 99% of the time but the 1% can really ruin someone's day.

Maybe we need more neutral formats but that is irrelevant to what I will personally endorse.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Most people in my country do.

I actually send mine as RTF which is associated with Word and works with most office formats.

Reply Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

"The individual that you save $100 today might one day use OpenOffice to send in a resume that looks garbled to the employer.


People still send resumes as .doc? I thought most saved them as PDF these days.
"

Good luck with that. For two years before I was hired at my current job back in September I was sending out PDF resumes and the most common response I got back was "Can you send it to me in word?". Somehow people prefer to use an expensive, proprietary piece of software just to read a brain dead proprietary format instead of reading an open format with various FREE readers. I just don't get it but it's true.

Reply Score: 4

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

People still send resumes as .doc? I thought most saved them as PDF these days.

This is actually a sore point for me.

I've been recently hunting for a new IT job in the UK. Every single (bar one) agency and prospective employer has asked me to convert my PDF CV to a MS Word DOC format.

In fact some job sites only offer .DOC, .RTF and .TXT extensions for attaching / uploading a CV. I mean, who in their right mind thinks a raw ASCII text file is better than a PDF which -as the name explicitly states- is designed to be a standard way for sending formatted portable documents.

To say I was irritated by this idiotic request from IT recruiters and job sites would be putting it mildly.

Reply Score: 5

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

If you don't send as .doc I can tell you that most places will round file your resume since the HR pre screening software usually doesn't work on PDF. Oh and I have personally seen a student lose a full 20 points on a paper (dropping them from a B to an F) for using Open Office which turned their paper into word salad on the teacher's Office 2K3.

Whether you like it or not there is a reason why most stick with MS Office, and that is compatibility. I'm sure the FOSS guys will make some claim about Office 2K docs getting mangled in 2K10 (although frankly I have NEVER seen this, and I've dealt with multiMb docs with tons of formatting) but compared to the word salad that OO.o can spit out it really is like night and day.

In the end it is Linux all over. if you have time to learn it AND fiddle with it AND deal with its quirks AND don't need to worry about getting round filed or dinged by incompatibility? The OO.o is for you. I personally give it out to home users since little Billy doing a book report is gonna print it anyway. but in business? Good way to make sure you don't get called for that job, or get that contract signed, etc. Having your doc come out as word salad is the surest way to look Mickey Mouse in business, and appearances matter.

Reply Score: 1

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

In my experience, in the UK at least, many companies put out their job application forms in .doc format. These are generally pretty complex documents, with embedded images and text boxes/tables to split up the questions. I've yet to see one that opens correctly in OpenOffice; they're often so mangled after conversion that text is lost completely, and all look unprofessional with messed up formatting.

It's a problem when submitting any OpenOffice document to someone using MS Office. You don't know how the OpenOffice document will turn out when they open it, you can't be there to reformat it and fix the glitches yourself, and they’ll assume that it's you who messed it up.

This is the reason why most of the charities I deal with buy MS Office rather than using free software. They regularly communicate with the government and other organisations using MS Office, and those communications can be very important and time sensitive. It isn't worth losing out on tens of thousands of pounds in funding because an important application created in OpenOffice was reduced to gibberish.

For the price of MS Office, using OpenOffice often just isn't worth the hassle.

Reply Score: 3

DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

[qPeople still send resumes as .doc? I thought most saved them as PDF these days. [/q]

Sadly .doc still has to be used. A good majority of employers, even in the IT industry, demand the resume in .doc format. If sent in as a pdf, it will be ignored since they specifically require .doc.

Reply Score: 2

SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

Not only do I send PDF files as my resume's, I have been able to print out Word documents in DOCX format on a Windows machine without Microsoft Office installed on it. Microsoft supplies a Word Viewer program for free that can be upgraded to support all Word formats. It, like PowerPoint Viewer, is sufficient for my office needs in conjunction with LibreOffice and OO.o.

I only wish more Microsoft Office users would download the free plugin to load and save ISO standard OpenDocument file formats instead of the only partially disclosed OOXML file formats. One thing that always has gotten my goat about Microsoft is the way they scuttle industry standards with proprietary products that deliver only equivalent results. OpenGL and DirectX suffer the same problem. I'm happy with both my Mac and Linux machines and hope I never need to shell out the big bucks for either Microsoft Office or Windows ever again.

Reply Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

You're not telling me anything new and you probably assume I like MS Office as much as you like OpenOffice.

In reality I don't like any modern office suite. They all annoy me.

The issue is that I couldn't recommended OpenOffice to a student knowing full well he might one day run into the 1% problem, regardless of whether I tell him to send resumes in PDF and also follow instructions x y and z. People can be told instructions and then later ignore them.

Promoting alternatives on the internet is fine and good but I'm not going to put my name on them in real life. I've done that before and got burned. OpenOffice does not guarantee 100% compatibility with DOC or DOCX. I came across a OO forum before where an OpenOffice user was told by an admin to buy MS Office after his paper was scrambled. You want to do personal advocacy, that's fine. I'm just explaining my position which is based on real world experience.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I only wish more Microsoft Office users would download the free plugin to load and save ISO standard OpenDocument file formats instead of the only partially disclosed OOXML file formats. One thing that always has gotten my goat about Microsoft is the way they scuttle industry standards with proprietary products that deliver only equivalent results. OpenGL and DirectX suffer the same problem. I'm happy with both my Mac and Linux machines and hope I never need to shell out the big bucks for either Microsoft Office or Windows ever again.


It is a de jure standard ... which in the real world doesn't mean a lot. De facto standards are the ones that count.

Reply Score: 1

Mage66 Member since:
2005-07-11

The individual that you save $100 today might one day use OpenOffice to send in a resume that looks garbled to the employer.


I use a universal format... It's called printing it on a piece of paper. I rarely have problems with that.

Reply Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Save $100 with this office software. Just don't use it to send any important doc or docx files. Some doc or docx files you receive might not be processed correctly. It will work 99% of the time though.

Sorry but that is not something I am going to personally endorse. People hold onto Office for at least 3 years which breaks down to $33 a year for 100% compatibility with the most common formats and a nicer interface.

I put people on Chrome since it can be trusted as an alternative to IE but OO can not be trusted with MS Office compatibility.

I regularly test open source alternatives, you're wasting your time trying to give me helpful tips on switching. I always have OO and MS Office installed. I try the major Linux distros every year.

What OO needs is funding, not personal advocacy. A 20 million investment into OO would really shake things up.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ack! So you are saying that if you come to a reasonable decision based upon a rational fact based cost-benefit analysis, and share the results of your findings to other people that makes it a religious dogma?

That makes as much sense as saying that global warming, evolution, or atheism are religions. Too often people use that word "Religious" to mean "a strongly held belief I strongly disprove of that is shared with other people".

Reply Score: 8

libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Ack! So you are saying that if you come to a reasonable decision based upon a rational fact based cost-benefit analysis, and share the results of your findings to other people that makes it a religious dogma?

That makes as much sense as saying that global warming, evolution, or atheism are religions. Too often people use that word "Religious" to mean "a strongly held belief I strongly disprove of that is shared with other people".



If you _believe_ that OO.o or Libre will work for you or others enough of a percent to be sufficient, that is religious in a sense. I take the stand that using MS products on MS file formats is supported and works in a factual sense.

Edited 2011-04-21 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Uhm? What reality do you come from?

I say to my customers: I can install LibreOffice here, right now, for free and it has "Word", "Excel" and "Powerpoint" (does it have Powerpoint is a common question), or you can go to the shop and pay £100 for MSOffice. There is no religion in it. This is just a sane choice.

Reply Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

And if you have anything more complicated than a basic document it will fall over.

Reply Score: 2

Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

This is true... I had OOo installed once, I really wanted to use it, then I tried to open a powerpoint file from work... I had only just started it, there was one page of text and a red box behind part of the text... OOo couldn't even render this basic "presentation" I installed office again and finished my pres in that, my boss couldn't give a 5h!t about MS being evil or the cost of office, he just wants me to make a presentation the next day to clients. Can't stand in front of clients who have a contract for .5 million and say "Well it looked ok in Open Office dot org at home last night", that isn't going to look to good. And I'm pretty sure they share my boss' views on MS and MS office.

OOo/libre office/symphony are fine for Nerds who either only have friends who are nerds (in which case they already use a free office suite) or are self employed and hardly ever have to send more that an invoice or 1 paragraph letter to people. In the real world 100% compatability is required, these free office suits will never have real market share until that happens.

Edited 2011-04-19 11:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

OOo/libre office/symphony are fine for Nerds who either only have friends who are nerds (in which case they already use a free office suite) or are self employed and hardly ever have to send more that an invoice or 1 paragraph letter to people. In the real world 100% compatability is required, these free office suits will never have real market share until that happens.


There's no such thing as 100% compatibility in office suites. MS Office and .doc are the de facto standards, yet documents format gets all garbled when opening the docs on different Office versions.
Same for powerpoint presentations.

It'd surely suck to make an awesome, flashy presentation in MS Office 2010 just to find it looks like crap when you have to show it to your customers on MS Office 2003.
"Trust me, it would look great on Office 2010... at least it did yesterday".


BTW it's kinda ironic that someone posting in a tech forum dares to call other people "nerds".

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Without a specific version, your statement is pretty empty. Safari was pretty worthless to browse the internet as well at one point. It got better, and so has Open office. A lot of open source projects are like that, all ways improving. If the feature you need doesn't work today, check back in a year it might be fixed.

Reply Score: 2

AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

Most people only need basic documents.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

And when that person that usually only uses the basics gets sent something more complicated they will see a garbled mess ....

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.
Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%? "

About two years ago it was measured at between 10% and 22% depending on which country. It has been rising at about 1% per year, so at least in some places it would have 25% of the market by now, in other places still only about 10%.

Reply Score: 5

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

About two years ago it was measured at between 10% and 22% depending on which country. It has been rising at about 1% per year, so at least in some places it would have 25% of the market by now, in other places still only about 10%.

I think those numbers are from a Steam survey, which would mean mostly home users. It's probably a lot lower if you include businesses, but that still adds up to a lot of people.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"About two years ago it was measured at between 10% and 22% depending on which country. It has been rising at about 1% per year, so at least in some places it would have 25% of the market by now, in other places still only about 10%.
I think those numbers are from a Steam survey, which would mean mostly home users. It's probably a lot lower if you include businesses, but that still adds up to a lot of people. "

http://www.webmasterpro.de/portal/news/2010/02/05/international-ope...

"The numbers were collected using a novel methodology: Over two hundred thousand international visitors where analysed by the web statistics service FlashCounter. By checking (using Javascript) which fonts where installed on the system, we could identify the installed Office suites. "

Apparently the installation rate on business machines was about the same as that on personal (home users) machines.

Reply Score: 3

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%?


Wasn't IEs market share something like 90% at one point?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The more reasonable price for a Windows license; your welcome. That was only because of competition from open source alternatives. Consumer wins thanks to healthy market competition.

The improved hardware management and security of Windows; your welcome again. Woudn't have that either unless Microsoft felt pressure from competitors. Consumer wins thanks to healthy market competition.

osX; your welcome.. it only exists in it's current form due to having an open source OS to drop Apple's user interface on top of. Consumers win thanks to healthy market competition.. not to mention the improved consumer choice in alternative to Windows.

All those network devices available to buy; your welcome.. 99% running a BSD or Linux based OS. What whould it cost if each device vendor had to write or license there own costly OS? Consumer winning again and look at all the product choice they gained. Raid supporting NAS boxes at home for under a grand; not without that nasty and regularily disparaged "like 5%" market share maintaining OS.

In the case of Open Office, the license did exactly what it's supposed to do.

Sun wouldn't accept code contributions from third parties (I think without attributing ownership to sun) so third parties forked it it; believe that's Star Office.

Oracle made community involvement nearly impossible so the community did the same and forked it into Libre Office. User data isn't lost, the development goes on and the people who didn't want anyone playing in there sandbox get to play alone.

Again, the consumer now has an alternative to MS Office which may actually excelerate it's development thanks to better management through the community (no single gate keeper pushing away qualitifed third party developers for profit motivated reasons).

In the end, it's not all about retail market share percentages anyhow. Those become meaningless the moment you include something legally available outside of measurable retail supply channels.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Really?

what.. did someone not like the points given or did someone actually have a supporting reason for the down vote?

Not that I can really take a down vote seriously when made by someone without the stones to justify there differing opinion.

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The government organization I work for uses Microsoft Office because that's what they know. However, in a rare instance of enlightenment our IT staff has started recommending OpenOffice to employees who inquire about a "cheap version" of Office for home use.

I've also read of many governments and non-profit/NGOs that use OpenOffice (and probably LibreOffice more recently) all over the world. I personally recommend it to anyone who asks me what to do when their 60-day MS Office trial on their new computer ends. I have yet to hear a complaint about how "different" it is. In fact, I'd say the vast majority of regular users' productivity needs can be met by the Free office suites.

Reply Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

"The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.


Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%?
"

I couldn't care less about market share as long as my friends and family members have a good Microsoft Office alternative.
I'll start by saying I'm a Linux user (both and home and at work) and I'm biased.
However, a number of my friends and family members didn't really "connect" (and I'm being very polite) to Office 2KX's ribbon interface, which I used, in turn, as an OpenOffice selling point, and thus far, they seem quite happy about OO. (I recently switched all of them to LO).

Having Oracle step down and let the community take control over OO (in the long term, maybe let OD foundation merge it with LO) will only make the alternative even more promising.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

crimperman Member since:
2006-11-09

"The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.


Really? So what is the marketshare of these open source MS Office alternatives? Like 5%?
"

That kind of depends. If you mean marketshare as in sales (which is usually how software numbers are measured) then there's no real way to measure FOSS in that regard. For example where I work we have 250 installs of OOo running on Windows but there's no sales receipt and nowhere is that recorded other than here.

A more preferable way (and I think what you are referring to) is to measure installations but that is even harder to do. Having said that given anecdotal evidence of how many Linux distro's install it by default I'd say the install-share for OpenOffice.org is somewhat higher than 5%.

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

It was Sun that slapped the open source license on it after they bought Star Office.

So somehow 'give it back' also sounds a bit weird. ;-)

(obviously a lot has changed since then)

But it is good to see they are now letting the community back in.

I guess Oracle never really wanted to be in the Office business.

I wonder if the Document Foundation / Libre Office will not get what they asked for: the OpenOffice brand/name/logo so they can be recognised by the people again.

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The open source license is doing wonders for consumer choice, and putting competitive pressure back into otherwise closed monopoly abused markets.


Most of OpenOffice was written by proprietary developers when it was StarOffice.

Sun open sourced it with the hope of attracting community developers to turn it into an Office killer. That never happened. Development was almost entirely internal.

The license has nothing to do with it. Since it was an internal project they could have kept it proprietary and provided the same amount of competition. People use OpenOffice because it is free, not because they have access to the source. Freeware proprietary software can also do wonders for consumer choice. Skype is one such example.

Edited 2011-04-19 01:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Solaris Desktop
by Macrat on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:55 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

Since Sun used Solaris on all employee desktops, they needed an Office package and bought StarOffice. Secondary to company use, they tried to sell it along with server contracts trying to convert customers from MS Windows/Office desktops to Sun SuRay/StarOffice stations.

OpenOffice was created as the "demo/free" version of StarOffice as a try-and-buy attempt to attract business.

Opinions vary on the success. :-)

With that in mind, note that Oracle desktops are Windows/Office. Not really a value add to keep OpenOffice around.

Edited 2011-04-18 21:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Solaris Desktop
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:06 UTC in reply to "Solaris Desktop"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14


OpenOffice was created as the "demo/free" version of StarOffice as a try-and-buy attempt to attract business.

Opinions vary on the success. :-)


Fun fact: It worked for my former company. They seemed to live by the by the " buy a single copy of MS Office and throw it on a network share for everyone to install" model of licensing. Then the fired some lazy guy, he went straight to the BSA and the company was audited. In addition to the heavy fine, they didn't also want to pay for legit MS Office copies, but they did want to keep records of licenses to protect themselves in the future. Solution: Star Office 1.0 for everyone!

They let us use open office, but still bought us a copy of star. It was pretty bad at that point. The same geniuses also paid for sco licenses for our linux servers. It was at that time that I figured I'd better find a smarter company....

Reply Score: 8

The Name
by benb320 on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:29 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

so oracle is giving away the name openoffice then? cause I don't really like the name Libreoffice

Reply Score: 3

What about former Star Office team
by dsmogor on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:45 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

That's the most important question now. Will, Oracle now that is forgone profitting on that, disband it?

Reply Score: 3

stupid community
by stabbyjones on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:46 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Translation: "we thought we didn't need that stupid community"

My thoughts on how Oracle thinks of the free software software community in a few words. Even if OOo became an alternate Document Foundation style project and merging becomes a possibility the name Open Office is dead to me.

Libre all the way.

Reply Score: 4

RE: stupid community
by umccullough on Mon 18th Apr 2011 22:51 UTC in reply to "stupid community"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Translation: "we thought we didn't need that stupid community"

My thoughts on how Oracle thinks of the free software software community in a few words.


Oh, Larry Ellison said it himself in almost as few:

"If an open source product gets good enough, we'll simply take it."


http://blogs.computerworld.com/16766/how_oracle_sees_open_source_ma...

Didn't work out too well for him this time it seems.

Reply Score: 4

Defeat?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 19th Apr 2011 01:13 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

More like finally deciding to do something after sitting on it for so long. There is still a lot of open source from Sun that they are unsure of what to do with.

I'm not sure why everyone is celebrating because the best case scenario would have been for Oracle to increase funding. There is no win here, OpenOffice development was almost entirely funded by Sun.
http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html

The only victor is Microsoft. Oracle is making it clear that they aren't going to be a serious contender in the office suite market.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Defeat?
by SamuraiCrow on Tue 19th Apr 2011 01:51 UTC in reply to "Defeat?"
SamuraiCrow Member since:
2005-11-19

Many governments outside the USA don't like giving money to a large corporation that pays most of its taxes to another country. This means they go out of their way to install free alternatives.

The fact remains that the ISO is still looking for details in the OOXML formats to make other programs able to generate those files. This includes the .DOCX file format. In the meantime, OpenDocument file formats are clear enough to allow other programs such as AbiWord to generate somewhat compliant files to the standard.

Microsoft may only have a hollow victory if they lose government contracts to open-source competitors due to standards non-compliance. God knows that the USA needs more businesses and so on, but it looks like the government is getting most of the jobs at this point and it (USA) can only go downhill from here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Defeat?
by Lennie on Tue 19th Apr 2011 08:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Defeat?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

"Many governments outside the USA don't like giving money to a large corporation that pays most of its taxes to another country."

How do you think we feel in Europe ? I think 75% of IT spending in Europe goes to 'other places', companies like Microsoft I'm sure.

I'm trying to find the article that mentioned it. It is a crazy big number, I hope I remembered it correctly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Defeat?
by smitty on Tue 19th Apr 2011 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Defeat?"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

"Many governments outside the USA don't like giving money to a large corporation that pays most of its taxes to another country."

How do you think we feel in Europe ? I think 75% of IT spending in Europe goes to 'other places', companies like Microsoft I'm sure.

I'm trying to find the article that mentioned it. It is a crazy big number, I hope I remembered it correctly.

It's funny, because here in the US the big story is about how all our companies have setup their headquarters in Europe (actually just a mailbox and maybe a conference room) in order to take advantage of tax havens and avoid the US corporate tax rate. Ireland was a popular location, and I think Switzerland or Austria.

Edited 2011-04-19 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Defeat?
by unclefester on Tue 19th Apr 2011 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Defeat?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Ebay is the best example.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Defeat?
by Lennie on Tue 19th Apr 2011 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Defeat?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I found the article but it was in Dutch and not available publicly online, but it was 75% in the article.

Supposedly the number came from these people: http://www.hec.nl/

Have no idea how trustworthy they are.

This not taxes or anything like that, this is just sales, subscribtions and so on of software.

Taxes is a totally different story.

Edited 2011-04-19 15:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Defeat?
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Apr 2011 02:45 UTC in reply to "Defeat?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

More like finally deciding to do something after sitting on it for so long. There is still a lot of open source from Sun that they are unsure of what to do with. I'm not sure why everyone is celebrating because the best case scenario would have been for Oracle to increase funding. There is no win here, OpenOffice development was almost entirely funded by Sun. http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html The only victor is Microsoft. Oracle is making it clear that they aren't going to be a serious contender in the office suite market.


Sun/Oracle spent money on OpenOffice only to reject most of the proposed changes to it.

Since it forked, LibreOffice has gone ahead by leaps and bounds, and it has done so without any of Oracle's funding. First they removed all of the cruft and hidebound code so that LibreOffice now starts an runs just as speedily as MS Office does on the same hardware. They are continuing with this task, but they are also now introducing new features and improvements.

All of the new features on this page marked with an asterisk* are unique to the LibreOffice fork:

http://www.libreoffice.org/download/new-features-and-fixes/

Version 3.4 beta
http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/04/15/libreoffice-3-4-beta-...

probably has as many new faetures and improvements again.

None of it funded by Oracle.

Edited 2011-04-19 02:46 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Defeat?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 19th Apr 2011 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Defeat?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Sun/Oracle spent money on OpenOffice only to reject most of the proposed changes to it.


Oh BS, OpenOffice was governed by a community council that contained independent members.

Nothing stopped the open source community from creating their own fork.

OpenOffice simply didn't attract outside developers as much as other Sun projects.

As for LibreOffice I'm not at all surprised that it is making progress. But it will need funding to directly compete with MS Office. I'm just glad that lame Java tie-in will be removed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Defeat?
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Apr 2011 04:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Defeat?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Sun/Oracle spent money on OpenOffice only to reject most of the proposed changes to it.
Oh BS, OpenOffice was governed by a community council that contained independent members. Nothing stopped the open source community from creating their own fork. "

Sun blocked a lot of improvements to OpenOffice, and it required assignment of copyrights over to it. Oracle did the same, only worse. In the end in frustration the community did precisely what you suggested, and created their own fork, precisely to overcome these problems.

OpenOffice simply didn't attract outside developers as much as other Sun projects. As for LibreOffice I'm not at all surprised that it is making progress. But it will need funding to directly compete with MS Office. I'm just glad that lame Java tie-in will be removed.


The reason is that outside developers had to assign over their copyright. In contrast LibreOffice is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3) and contributers get to keep the copyrights to their contributions.

LibreOffice is getting a lot of contributions:
http://www.libreoffice.org/about-us/credits/

I think the only funding they have required is to register as a legal organisation:
http://challenge.documentfoundation.org/

"In just eight days, some 2,000 donors from all over the world contributed €50,000 for the capital stock necessary to set-up the legal entity in Germany.

Thank you very very much! You are our rockstars!

The €50,000 collected will form the Foundation's paid-up capital, ensuring a permanent future for the organization after the legal paperwork is complete, based in Germany. The capital will be frozen assets for the Foundation: the funds cannot be spent, and we will be able to avail just the annual interest. All money donated from now on will actually bankroll our ongoing running costs for things such as marketing, hardware, infrastructure, attending trade shows, initial financing of merchandising material and, of course, developing new and exciting ideas."

Edited 2011-04-19 04:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Defeat?
by Soulbender on Tue 19th Apr 2011 12:48 UTC in reply to "Defeat?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

True, a commitment from Oracle to work on OOo would have been better but lets be realistic; what are the chances Oracle is going to give a shit about anything that doesn't contribute to Larry buying another fighter jet?

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

This is so obviously just a cheap move to win us back. Most everyone that mattered (developers, etc.) probably already moved on to LibreOffice, which was right from the start meant to give control of the program to the community to allow more community input. And it shows--its first version is already better and has more features than the OpenOffice.org equivalent.

I think now is really the time to take advantage of what The Document Foundation has laid out and not turn back to Oracle's version. No point in wasting the work done on producing the fork (due to Oracle being dicks)... keep building on to the already-superior fork. But... that's just my opinion.

Really, the way Oracle handled this whole situation should be a red light saying "this project needs new leaders". Go LibreOffice.

Reply Score: 4

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

This is so obviously just a cheap move to win us back. Most everyone that mattered (developers, etc.) probably already moved on to LibreOffice, which was right from the start meant to give control of the program to the community to allow more community input. And it shows--its first version is already better and has more features than the OpenOffice.org equivalent.

I think now is really the time to take advantage of what The Document Foundation has laid out and not turn back to Oracle's version. No point in wasting the work done on producing the fork (due to Oracle being dicks)... keep building on to the already-superior fork. But... that's just my opinion.

Really, the way Oracle handled this whole situation should be a red light saying "this project needs new leaders". Go LibreOffice.



Not so sure. I initially joined the mailing lists for TDF/LO, but soon found the founding leaders - all 3 of them - to be rather pig headed and not paying attention to the community either. So I don't really see TDF/LO as a step in the right direction, at least yet.

Hopefully Oracle with setup a proper foundation for OpenOffice to take it over, and then LO can merge back in or remain a secondary fork of OOo and the two can track each other.

At present there are some fundamental differences in values between the two:

1. OOo does not write OOXML files. LO does. There may be legal issues there. LO founders wouldn't listen to the community - of which well over 50% (based on the mailing lists) agreed LO shouldn't write OOXML files.

2. OOo does not integrate Mono. LO founders seem to be pushing that direction as well. Again legal issues may be there.

TDF/LO founders seem to be more of the Novell-Microsoft agreement mindset than of the FLOSS mindset. Interestingly they are all members of Novell.

About the only real positive for TDF/LO is that they don't require Copyright Assignment to TDF/LO to participate where OOo does. If Oracle changed that in converting to the community structure than OOo would (i) be able to accept changes from TDF/LO, and (ii) probably get most people back from TDF/LO and get the momentum behind OOo again.

So while I initially looked forward to TDF/LO, I still solidly remain in the OOo camp just because I don't agree with some of the fundamental values that have taken hold of the TDF/LO camp due its founders insistence on doing things their way. If that ever changes then may be I'd join TDF/LO. Until then I lurk on the mailing lists to monitor the situation.

Reply Score: 2

I like the name LibreOffice better
by nt_jerkface on Tue 19th Apr 2011 03:12 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

OOo is such a lame abbreviation.

Reply Score: 2

Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

No-one was ever realy happy with the OpenOffice.org name, so much so that people just started calling it OpenOffice which was a proposed change before Oracle took over.

Reply Score: 1

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

No-one was ever realy happy with the OpenOffice.org name, so much so that people just started calling it OpenOffice which was a proposed change before Oracle took over.


OpenOffice was the original name. They changed it to OpenOffice.org as OpenOffice was already trademarked.

Reply Score: 3

How long until it is dissolved?
by r0b0 on Tue 19th Apr 2011 07:11 UTC
r0b0
Member since:
2006-09-21

So Oracle is no longer paying for openoffice development (as I read the announcement) and all the community developers have gone to libre office, who is left to do any work on openoffice? They could just as well outright dissolve it.

Reply Score: 1

FOSS and marketshare
by Janvl on Tue 19th Apr 2011 07:59 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

I see the same discussion all the time. Linux or OpenOffice or any other FOSS-programm "has a marketshare of only x %".
Please tell me how to measure marketshare for something free, there are no sales.

Every attempt to hang a marketshare on a FOSS program is suspicious because no one knows how many copies have been made or installed.

Linux "marketshare" varies between 1% and 12% depending who writes the article. CT in germany did a poll among it's readers once and they said that in germany almost half the readers have OpenOffice installed, often next to MSoffice.

I am a longtime user of OpenOffice, starting with Staroffice 5.1, now I choose for LibrOffice because I think the project runs better in a foundation then with some big compagny on the top. I did miss some functionality in OpenOffice that has now been integrated in Libre office.

If you compare MSoffice to OpenOffice then you can do your work with both, they both have more functionality then most people will ever need.

Reply Score: 2

Just let them join TDF
by trev on Tue 19th Apr 2011 14:36 UTC
trev
Member since:
2006-11-22

To me Oracle has nothing more to offer than anyone else in the TDF now. It has been proven they are not needed (since all major commercial entities have moved on to LibreOffice). Any value they had in the OO.o brand/product is lost already. That's what happens when things are grossly mis-managed and a fork is needed.

TDF has already moved on with another brand and a new structure. I for one commend them and wish them much future success. I know at the next distro upgrade I and many users I support will be using LO.

To me this is a clear example of another strong benefit of FLOSS: routing around incompetence. When projects are not run well, no matter what they are, a fork can set them back on course. Not something to be done lightly but it does offer a better alternative to throwing the entire package out.

Reply Score: 4

Oracle's getting a bum rap on this one...
by benali72 on Wed 20th Apr 2011 04:08 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Most articles I see on this topic are like this one -- they blame Oracle Corp for this fiasco.

But in fact, OO developers fled Oracle and started the Document Foundation before there was any actual evidence to show how Oracle was going to treat the OO project.

The Doc Foundation people jumped the gun, based on their perceptions of Oracle Corp's reputation, rather than actual facts.

This could have turned out very differently if Oracle Corp had been given adequate time to digest its acquisitions resulting from the Sun purchase.

Oracle Corp's only fault was in focusing on completing the acquisition, rather than instantly rolling out complete software strategies to satisfy the FOSS community.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Most articles I see on this topic are like this one -- they blame Oracle Corp for this fiasco. But in fact, OO developers fled Oracle and started the Document Foundation before there was any actual evidence to show how Oracle was going to treat the OO project. The Doc Foundation people jumped the gun, based on their perceptions of Oracle Corp's reputation, rather than actual facts. This could have turned out very differently if Oracle Corp had been given adequate time to digest its acquisitions resulting from the Sun purchase. Oracle Corp's only fault was in focusing on completing the acquisition, rather than instantly rolling out complete software strategies to satisfy the FOSS community.


Oracle gave the first indications of the direction they intended to go with OpenOffice and ODF when they announced a whopping fee for the ODF plugin for MS Office:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-20002921-16.html

IMO Oracle made their strategy concerning open source software perfectly and utterly clear when Oracle sued Google.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/08/oracle-sues-google-...

Oracle sued Google over header files which aren't protectable by copyright anyway.

Oracle sued Google even though both are members of the OIN
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/licensees.php
and hence each has promised not to sue the other over FOSS ... Oracle used the excuse that Java isn't Linux.

Guess what, Oracle? ... Dalvik isn't Java.

What is happening now to Oracle is a clear case of karma IMO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

Edited 2011-04-20 04:34 UTC

Reply Score: 5

saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

Actually Oracle initiated the lawsuit over patents, not copyrights (although apparently Google did change the copyright on a decompiled Java file from Sun, woops!).

The patent-quibble is over the implementation issues in the VMs, not Java itself.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Actually Oracle initiated the lawsuit over patents, not copyrights (although apparently Google did change the copyright on a decompiled Java file from Sun, woops!). The patent-quibble is over the implementation issues in the VMs, not Java itself.


Against Google's Android, Oracle alleged issues with both copyrights AND patents.

They did this despite the fact that Dalvik does not replicate Java, nor is Dalvik functional code a copy of Java functional code, and despite the fact that both Oracle and Google are members of OIN and therefore have supposedly licensed each other for all of their relevant patents.

It says so here:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license.php
"Licensee grants license to other current and future licensees – All licensee patents and applications for the Linux System"

Oracle is an OIN licensee, and Google is an "other current licensee". Android is a Linux System.

Ergo, via the agreements it made as an OIN licensee, Oracle has already licensed Google to use the patents at issue.

Edited 2011-04-20 07:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

OIN has a definition for a Linux system which is a bit brittle, unfortunately. This is likely what Oracle would argue, that Dalvik is not a Linux system, which appears to be true given the OIN's definition.

In any case, remember this has to do with VMs not the Java language.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 21st Apr 2011 08:30 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

People defending the Office monopoly are like those who defended the IE monopoly.

Seriously? You enjoy your whizz-bang secure web-browser every day (1000x faster JS) and yet you can find nothing but vehemence when something open comes and threatens your beloved MSOffice.

I like MSOffice, I sure do, it has a whole ton more spit and polish than LO, but I can spot a rip-off from a distance and I could never tell my customers with a straight face that they are *required* to spend £100 just to type a letter on a computer that cost £300.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by lemur2 on Thu 21st Apr 2011 09:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I can spot a rip-off from a distance and I could never tell my customers with a straight face that they are *required* to spend £100 just to type a letter on a computer that cost £300.


You are sooooooooo right. Absolutely spot on the money.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by andih
by andih on Thu 21st Apr 2011 22:45 UTC
andih
Member since:
2010-03-27

OOo was ok, more than good enough to replace MSoffice. And Libre Office is getting better fast.
Go Libre Office!!!

I really hope it gets big enough to make those monopolists having no other chance than making their products with great ODF support.

I use vim for all writing, and when I have to make something look neat or readable for others, I paste text into OpenOffice, spell-checking, putting on fonts and crap.. (I have always preferred writing with colored letters on dark screen not having to worry about fonts and margins, so vim does this perfectly..)

I use OOo version packaged for Debian 6, saving docs in ODF. Or saving to PDF when I suspect receiver being a MSmuppet. Jumping happily to LibreOffice as soon as debian does ;)

Works great for me.

Latex looks cool though. Im definitely going to take a closer look ;)

Reply Score: 1