FreeOffice would be a better name. And less confusing to pronounce.
Open sourcers have seized control of the OpenOffice project and product and declared their independence from database giant Oracle. The OpenOffice.org Project has unveiled a major restructuring that separates itself from Oracle and that takes responsibility for OpenOffice away from a single company. Oracle had been OpenOffice …
It says in the article, it's a temporary name.
"Office Libre" would be better, but perhaps vulnerable to a lawsuit from Microsoft. Which is probably the key. Now the project is out from under the corporate lawyer-shelter that was provided by Sun, it will have to tread much more carefully.
My guess is that the placeholder may have to be replaced by something not containing "Office" at all.
I'll start the suggestions ball rolling with "FreeDoc". At least it trips off the tongue OK.
Stelios can't trademark "Easy", but it doesn't stop him setting his lawyers on anyone who dares to trade as Easy anything. Not even if they were trading before EasyJet existed.
It costs money to defend a trademark against an infringement accusation. Money that a free project either doesn't have, or can better spend on other things.
When some people read "free", they think "low quality", and not "open". Also, despite the fact that plenty of people like me (and perhaps Paul Slater) have no ability with another language, it's sensible to be seen acknowledging the non-English speaking world in a product that seeks worldwide popularity.
"They'll probably need to charge for it "
From http://www.documentfoundation.org/faq/ :
Q: What difference will The Document Foundation make to users of LibreOffice?
A: LibreOffice is The Document Foundation's reason for existence. We do not have and will not have a commercial product which receives preferential treatment. We only have one focus - delivering the best free office suite for our users - LibreOffice.
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This decision is a wise one given that Oracles policies seem to change on the whim of one man, much as Apples do.
With this instability it is hard to do business with these types of personality without catering to the personalities various mindsets.
Please re-read the article -- Oracle has not been a friend to Open Source. Also, note that this actual project, 'OpenOffice' cannot be referred to by the media as OpenOffice because that name is a legally owned trademark by another company. That's why it's actually named, "OpenOffice.org."
Of course there is nothing Oracle can do. The software's source code is freely available and anyone can use it to set up their own office suite, which is what has been done in this case. Oracle have now got a lame-duck software package because the main contributers have left and produced their own version.
At least for the Benelux there is a chance it can be called OpenOffice (not OpenOffice.org) depending on wheter these guys (http://www.openoffice.nl/merkenregistratie) can do something about it. They are the original trademark owners of the name OpenOffice in the Benelux. They had that name years before Sun was thinking of open sourcing star office.
Seeing as they still own the trademark and weren't going to give it to Oracle/Sun, they aren't going to give it to the new group. Seeing as it'll be problematic (and stupid) having the software called two different things depending on the location, it definitely won't ever be called OpenOffice.
Unfortunate that many of Sun's open projects are having to break away like this. But Oracle IS very quickly becoming the next closed-minded, closed-source micr0$haft. }:/
Considering the past actions/inactions of Oracle.. I'm very happy to see The Document Foundation break away from oracle. ;)
Will the domain name of the website change to reflect the organizations new name? So far, no news about any of this on the OpenOffice.org site.
That would be problematic.
OpenOffice is licensed under GPLv3 which confers patent protection, so Oracle cannot sue the producers/distributors/users of the LibreOffice fork.
VirtualBox, on the other hand, is licensed under GPLv2 which does not confer patent protection:
What do you know about marketing? It shows that we're finally at libre to develop those vital missing features that had been holding "Open" (snort!) Office back from mainstream adoption: built-in support for Klingon, and an Emacs look-and-feel.
There seemed to be a distinct lack of links in this article, so here's a couple:
http://www.documentfoundation.org/ - Web site of the new Document Foundation.
http://www.documentfoundation.org/download/ - Download page for LibreOffice. Note the lack of a final version - all the downloads are for the 3.3.0 beta 1 version. A shame they launched the fork without actually having a stable version to download (something missed by the article....).
BTW, am I the only one who doesn't like the LibreOffice name because it's a French word mixed in with an English one, which is very clumsy indeed for an office suite containing a word processor whose English spelling checker rejects the word "libre"...
Pretty specious John given that it doesn't change the fact that the word 'Libre' is not in the english language but television is. IRC english is a mix of latin and germanic languages...meh.
Then again, how many trademarks do you know that don't get a squiggly red line under them (or is it a squiggly rainbow line in LibreOffice)?
Terrible name aside, anything that takes three to four times longer to load a .doc file than MS Word on my laptop really isn't a competitive product. It was useful on opensolaris where there were fewer choices for word processing, but even there I preferred Emacs or TeX over openoffice. Hopefully the fork will also include dramatically improving the performance on multiple platforms.
until you've had to watch 100s of presentations created on Open/Star Office, all converted to PDFs –with no transitions or animations because they didn't work very well. Or because they didn't work the same across the "supported" platforms.
Thanks, but no thanks.
The name is...*sigh*...a bit uninspired. Sounds like maybe a committee came up with it after deliberating for 5 minutes with names in a hat.
"From now on, though, OpenOffice's development and direction will be decided by a steering committee of developers and national language project managers."
Now any committee is usually bad enough, but a committee of developers fills me with absolute dread. Let's hope at least of these developers cares about usability or we're in for a geek fest of bad UI decisions. Let's also hope they resist the urge to rewrite vast swathes of code in an attempt to achieve some ridiculous code purity goal. See this time and time again unfortunately and it usually ends with a stagnated project.
After reading that article, I would have to agree that Sun was very slow witted indeed; as it appears that no sooner than it sold itself out to Oracle, that Oracle immediately shut down or suspended all successful and popular projects.
Perhaps Oracle could be called slow witted as well.
Certainly, Sun's business was not doing well at the time, but that was largely due to the gradual decline in demand for the Sparc architecture. One could say that Sun was at fault there, but all they were really guilty of was putting their faith in Sparc, years ago.
But how do Oracle's actions reflect on Sun? Sun isn't responsible for Oracle's stupidity, so that hardly qualifies it for the "slow-witted" moniker.
Oracle, on the other hand, has repeatedly been cutting off its nose to spite its face. Their market percentage was already shrinking, and what do they do? Acquire Sun, then proceed to toss all the good stuff that Sun was doing -- and that people liked -- out the window.
So we have pretty darned strong evidence that Oracle has been very slow-witted. Sun, not so much.
"as it appears that no sooner than it sold itself out to Oracle, that Oracle immediately shut down or suspended all successful and popular projects"
Depends what you define as "successful" I suppose.
If your definition is "everyone-thinks-this-is-really-groovy-and-look-how-many-people-are-downloading-this-and-yes-the-bandwidth-and-server-costs-and-the-development-costs-are-costing-us-a-fortune-but-look-everyone-loves-us-and-it-is-free-so-everyone-thinks-we're-really-cool-and-groovy-man-I-mean-how-nice-is-that-spread-the-love-more-herbal-tea-anyone" then yes, Sun were masters at it.
If your definition of successful is bringing in enough money to cover costs and just maybe turn a reasonable profit, then, er, well... They got bought, didn't they?
2. Committees are the kiss of death in nearly every software project since nobody wants to take responsibility for the unpopular decisions. It reminds me of the demotivator poster 'none of us are as dumb as all of us.'
Just because it's free doesn't mean you can ignore the fact that the software is currently bloated and has utterly terrible performance. If it takes 3+ minutes to load a 32k doc file on a laptop, it fails. One can only hope that the fork succeeds in improving the overall quality and performance.
I downloaded and installed it ...what part of the set-up would I have missed to merely be able to open and read a document? Same laptop with MS Office with a stock install opened the same document in no time at all. I think you're missing the point that if this is to be an alternative for the masses to MS Office, it has a long way to go.
I didn't have to enable a systray quickstarter to use MS Office (or Abiword for that matter) and they load a MS Office document way faster than OOo.
And why in the fscking hell I'd want a Java environment on my office suite?
Anyway, if I had to configure it properly it isn't a product ready for end-users.
OOo is bloated. Period.
I repeat - if you can't get OpenOffice to open documents ~ as quickly as Office then it's not been set-up correctly.
Changing a few settings to save the cost of Office seems a small price ( esp. as I've got it on 6 machines ). In any case Office isn't an option as I'm an all-Linux operation. Whether under Windows OpenOffice is slower I can't test now but I DO know the kind of times that are quoted, if true, don't match my experience or many other peoples either.
Where I have found OpenOffice slow is using large spreadsheets - but in my previous life Excel wasn't up to it either as I used millions of rows so needed JMP.
...that Oracle have bought something of so much community value, something which carried the geuine inspiration and genius of the modern computing generation ... and squandered that value.
Only time will tell how much hard cash follows the good will down the toilet where Oracle has flushed it ... in Oracle's bottom line.
The most noticeable thing about the last update to Open Office was that it had Oracle logos plastered all over it - I'm sure there were other fixes and maybe even new features included, but the only change that I could see was Larry's Ego marks. I immediately deleted the downloads from OpenOffice.org, and switched to the build from Go-oo.org.
in Steve Ballmer's office when that news came. I bet I would have learned some new swearwords. MS-Office is not going to be a cash-cow for much longer, and then the decline of MS becomes obvious even to the man in the street.
Any news on when Steve is getting his anti-aircraft missile launcher? I hear he wants to take out Larry's MIG while he's showboating in it...
[Paris, because she's both Libre and Gratis]
Im not so sure... I'd think MS would be delighted at this news.
The fracture between OOo and Ocom and the wrangling over names etc. will go on for months if not years. Plus the resultant ummm step child is now in the hands of a commmmitttteeee (never can remember how many m's, t's and e's in there), of engineers no less, so as has been commented already UI and features are now likely to be at odds.
I'd imagine MS are laughing all the way at this one.
I almost hate to mention this, but OSS projects with good corporate sponsorship seem to do better than the more grass roots offerings by "self-organized teams". That may be an "inconvenient truth" in certain circles and surely there are exceptions (apache httpd ; perl, python, ...) but if you compare the popularity of "eclipse" (say) to other IDE's, I'd say it has as much to do with IBM's backing as with an innovative architecture. The fact that OO got much better and somewhat more popular after Sun's involvement was due to a number of factors including increased dissatisfaction w/ MS Office, the increased popularity of Linux (where would Linux be w/out RedHat, Cannonical, etc.), but I think some credit must be given to Sun's (then) deep pockets and its wealth of in-house talent.
To be sure, no one was looking forward to a version of "Base" which needed redundant control files and 24 x 7 full-time DBA's , and Oracle would likely have continued to let the suite rot on the vine anyway, but I am starting to wonder whether I will have to finally break down and learn to use that bloody ribbon in Office 2007.
As for the name, you don't suppose they'd go for iGNUoracle ?
I wish the team every success with this, we know that Oracle would only have money grabbing intentions of the project, so am glad to see that cut the strings, this story needs updates!
I deploy x(OS)Office every time someone does not want to spend money on MS office (Often deleting pirate versions of MS Office) so can only hope that the project continues.
I would advise everyone to download the binaries as Oracle might pull the plug on downloads.
Pint for the team :)
Let's be honest, sounds bad.
I would call it something like OpenDocs, OpenDocuments, NotOracle...
I hope something good comes out of this like more worth it upgrades, OpenOffice is a good and necessary piece of software. But let's be honest there are some areas that need improvement fast, like not taking an afternoon to open some documents, or getting rid of the Java crap making it even slower.
I understand what some are saying about the name, but I still don't think it's really appropriate.
I was somewhat dismayed that the article called Sun "slow-witted", without seeing fit to mention the idiot moves Oracle has made in recent years. One of Sun's biggest problems was that the hardware demand simply moved away from its platform (in a way vaguely reminiscent of VHS vs. Betamax). Oracle, on the other hand, has simply been arrogant and domineering, and has been pissing everybody off.
Under the circumstances, if I were the Document Foundation breaking away from Oracle, I think I'd name it F*ckOffice.
OpenOffice sucks anyway - regardless of what you call it. I have 5 computers at home. 3 are provided by my employer and my wife's employer and all have MS Office on. 2 others are personal ones (one for gaming and one for recording music on). I tried running OpenOffice on both these for about a year. I tried really hard because I didn't fancy forking out on an MSOffice licence. I spent so much time helping the other half out with problems, and dealing with formatting frustrations with documents sent to me (work and non-work related) that I gave up and a few months ago bought MSOffice. No regrets, despite the silly price.
I used to think OpenOffice would fail because of the fact that Excel is miles better. Now I think it will fail because it can't even get the Word Processor right, and the spreadsheet is just appalling.
I imagine Oracle are secretly very happy about this.
They have effectively been cut loose of their obligations, without coming out and having to do it themselves. They they don't have look like the bad guy in all of this.
There'll be a few drinks drunk at Oracle Towers to toast this one, I reckon...
That said, I think the LibreOffice folks could probably read the writing on the wall, and decided to act on the offensive, rather than wait for Oracle to dump OO and then have to be on the defensive, so I can't say I blame them for taking this action.
I just hope it doesn't affect the quality of OOo/whatever-it's-called-this-week because it is really shaping up into a lovely suite of products.
Personally, I think it's so good, that I would have no objection at all to shelling out a few quid for it. I'd happily pay £20 for it. I think they should consider charging for it. It's *that* good.
ARRRGH! And what about the ancient request for a decent outline view? I submitted the request in 2000 or 2001 and it has the most votes of any feature request in the database.
How much of the code are they taking with them?
Mine's the one with the ancient copy of Microsoft Word in the pocket. I'd throw it out if I didn't need the outline view.
I investigated the 'Libre Office' option of the stick. If I was running Red Hat, it might be worth the effort... I am not, so it isn't. I know how to get around an RPM file to deb... but don't feel like wasting my time getting around hundreds of RPM files, after extracting the TAR...
Looking at Lyx and LaTEX more and more, even with the learning curve. (Lotus is archaic with only 32 bit software, not worth the finagling to function.)
If I want to do a book, Lyx/Latex seems to be the answer. RTF or .txt is enough for 99% of what I write... The other 1%? I use a pen..
Irritating the Open Source Community, though, makes little sense... Too many of them are 'Black Hats.'
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IBM has a relatively piss-poor fork of OO.o underpinning its Lotus Symphony offering. Perhaps they could be persuaded to adopt and sponsor the mainstream project. It should have some appeal as a relatively simple way to irritate Larry, given that Oracle and IBM probably see each other as their main rival.
(don't at all find the «temporary name that bad), as even the most myopic should be able to see that OpenOffice.org will soon get the final shaft from open source's friends and allies at Oracle. I install the Swedish-language version of OOo on the computers of retirees who have the wisdom to refuse to pay the Microsoft tax for an office suite ; in order to able to use LibreOffice instead, the language problem (only English-language versions are available at present) would have to be addressed. For my own part, I should want to see deb versions ; as «the old rang» indicated, most of use can find better uses for our time than converting RPM files. But I'm hopeful that the Document Foundation people will shortly get 'round to dealing with these problems - let us hope that the community will support them in their efforts !...
nasty behaviour... effectively killed a competing database to their existing products, and then an Office Suite that would have made their entry into the market harder.
Looks like they have MS firmly in their sights (Larry probably hates the fact that BillG is still way cooler than he is)
Oracle has shown itself to be an uncaring and unsympathetic steward of open source projects. If OpenOffice can cut itself loose it may find itself enjoying a new lease of life.
Perhaps this move was even motivated by layoffs or rumours of further layoffs in Oracle. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Oracle were to conduct a serious cull of the former Sun workforce & projects.
I will take OO.o or LO seriously when they and their forum fudging twats, implement the embedding of ones own fonts in ones own documents and creative works.
Whoever gets this up and running - be it Oracle or LibreOffice; they will be the one who gets their software used.
Until then, their jerk fest of non transferable formatting and artwork, from the production machine to anything and anyone else's work station, printing or publishing company OR archived for safe storage - is basically worthless.
Most of the people who have backed this fork are Oracle competitors, not some sort of freedom movement.
I suspect we will see a re-branded office suite in some Linux distros, but are most Openoffice users Linux users ? More are windows users looking for a free as in beer office suite with little interest in free as in speech, the Openoffice.org brand is strong and is still owned by the Oracle side of the Openoffice split.
Oracle is not the evil empire some of these people are making out - on their own the are the 6th biggest Kernel contributor - how many lines of code did Ubuntu/Canocial contribute to the average Linux distro - how many did Oracle / Sun ? Who is writing a decent filesystem for Linux - Oracle not Red Hat ( what did happen to Sistina after they were swallowed by Red Hat ? ).
Where did most of the OpenOffice code come from it was not these vocal few, but was bought by Sun and freed or written by Sun engineers, who are still doing much work as Oracle employees.
I guess we will end up with two office suites, the best will survive, but you could argue the real winner is Microsoft, who will have two weaker competitors.
In the long run Open source will loose out, as the next company who thinks about buying a huge product and opensourcing it, simply won't bother. Given the contribution Sun made to this project perhaps it is fair for Sun ( and now Oracle ) to have a reasonable say in its development ? Novell, Redhat and Google et all would never have written it from scratch.
Linux in the data center owes much to Oracle, anyone who works in the business knows they played a huge part in getting Linux taken up as a credible OS. Be careful Red Hat, as companies buy apps and wanted cheap hardware, don't kid yourself your OS is any Solaris - they wanted X86 not Red Hat Linux complete with restrictive support agreements. Anyone know where I can free Red Hat binaries and updates ? They make Oracle look pretty free and easy don't they ?
If Larry is sat in Oracle towers considering whether to spend his money on Opensource Linux or Solaris you may just help him define his investment priorities with actions like this. Even the OpenSolaris thing has been blown out of all proportion - 99% of the contributions to Opensolaris came from Sun/Oracle and they are still willing to make their Source avaiable after Solaris 11 comes out, quite reasonable, unless you are Nexenta trying to get a competitive advantage for your NAS over Oracle by using largely Oracle developed code.
Google are being sued because Oracle ( and Sun before them ) believe they have not played by the license and copyright rules - Linux guys would be quick to come after those who break the GPL.
Perhaps you might think I hate Linux and Opensource, you are very wrong, as I am pro both - but the way some "community" members are claiming the moral high ground will do neither any favours. Trust me Red Hat, Google, Novell are commercial organisations and are all about making money - are they a little scared of Oracle ? Yes, but is Oracle any worse than IBM, HP or any other big corporation - I think not.
Sometimes people should look at what they have been given, not scream and shout because they want more ......