The Open Source Office Software Sector Heats Up

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The world of LibreOffice and OpenOffice(.org) has been heating up recently with several exciting and, at times, bewildering developments. The Document Foundation remains very active as is LibreOffice development, but Oracle has given up on OpenOffice and slapped LibreOffice in the face by giving it to Apache. Perhaps the most important announcement was the release of LibreOffice 3.4.0.

The recent release of LibreOffice 3.4 demonstrates the very philosophical differences in community projects and those stifled by commercial interests. LibreOffice development has been happening at an unprecedented pace while OpenOffice lagged behind and lost many of its previous users. Even under Sun development was tightly controlled, but Oracle increased the bonds. In contrast, according to the release announcement, LibreOffice now has 120 happy developers committing approximately 20 changes per day. Cédric Bosdonnat puts the number of contributors at 223. Italo Vignoli is quoted as saying, "We care for our developers, and it shows."

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Also: Oracle and OpenOffice: The Final Insult (blog safari)