An Open Letter to Apache Foundation and Apache OpenOffice team

A couple of weeks I visited my mother back home in Norway. She had gotten a new laptop some time ago that my brother-in-law had set up for her. As usual when I come for a visit I was asked to look at some technical issues my mother was experiencing with her computer. Anyway, one thing I discovered while looking at these issues was that my brother-in-law had installed OpenOffice on her computer. So knowing that the OpenOffice project is all but dead upstream since IBM pulled their developers of the project almost a year ago and has significantly fallen behind feature wise, I of course installed LibreOffice on the system instead, knowing it has a strong and vibrant community standing behind it and is going from strength to strength.

And this is why I am writing this open letter. Because while a lot of us who comes from technical backgrounds have already caught on to the need to migrate from OpenOffice to LibreOffice, there are still many non-technical users out there who are still defaulting to installing OpenOffice when they are looking for an open source Office Suite, because that is the one they came across 5 years ago. And I believe that the Apache Foundation, being an organization dedicated to open source software, care about the general quality and perception of open source software and thus would share my interest in making sure that all users of open source software gets the best experience possible, even if the project in question isn’t using their code license of preference.

So I realize that the Apache Foundation took a lot of pride in and has invested a lot of effort trying to create an Apache Licensed Office suite based on the old OpenOffice codebase, but I hope that now that it is clear that this effort has failed that you would be willing to re-direct people who go to the website to the LibreOffice website instead. Letting users believe that OpenOffice is still alive and evolving is only damaging the general reputation of open source Office software among non-technical users and thus I truly believe that it would be in everyones interest to help the remaining OpenOffice users over to LibreOffice.

And to be absolutely clear I am only suggesting this due to the stagnant state of the OpenOffice project, if OpenOffice had managed to build a large active community beyond the resources IBM used to provide then it would have been a very different story, but since that did not happen I don’t see any value to anyone involved to just let users keep downloading an aging releases of a stagnant codebase until the point where bit rot chases them away or they hear about LibreOffice true mainstream media or friends. And as we all know it is not about just needing a developer or two to volunteer here, maintaining and developing something as large as OpenOffice is a huge undertaking and needs a very sizeable and dedicated community to be able to succeed.

So dear Apache developers, for the sake of open source and free software, please recommend people to go and download LibreOffice, the free office suite that is being actively maintained and developed and which has the best chance of giving them a great experience using free software. OpenOffice is an important part of open source history, but that is also what it is at this point in time.


#1 Ortwin Glück on 08.17.15 at 15:42

It seems ASF has more projects with that problem. They are effectively dead, outdated and deprecated. But ASF doesn’t even have the manpower to remove that crap.

#2 Jim on 08.18.15 at 11:33

That’s some pretty exception FUD there. A minute’s research would show that the ASF moves projects to the Attic as appropriate. Also, if you had bothered to check, one could see the quarterly reports for projects, such as Xerces (

Your arguments would be a lot better if they were based on facts.

#3 David Gerard on 08.18.15 at 15:00

That report shows Xerces as all but inactive. Note it’s talking about pretty much the same problems as AOO has: ” We are long overdue for a release but need volunteers to help with that.”

#4 Jim on 08.19.15 at 02:57

All true. Can I assume that you’ll volunteer to help? *grin*

This is all Open Source you know… it’s run by volunteers.

#5 David Gerard on 08.20.15 at 23:23

I will certainly volunteer to say “this project whose continued pretence at existence appears by the evidence to be actively harmful should have the good grace to give up and go to the Attic.”

#6 Dave Neary on 08.18.15 at 19:22

Hi Jim,

I don’t know much about Apache’s internal processes, but I have been told that the Apache board does not, in general, adjudicate on whether projects are active or not, unless the PMC falls behind in its duties (including the monthly reports you mention).

Under what circumstances would the Apache Software Foundation consider it in the best interests of the open source/free software ecosystem as a whole to move OpenOffice to the attic, if the PMC continues on its current path and maintains a minimal level of activity?

If the answer is, “there are none”, then what would the LO community have to do to get the PMC on board with this proposal?


#7 Emmanuel Lécharny on 08.18.15 at 13:25

The thing is that it’s up to each project to decide when they want to move to Attic. The ASF per se can’t enforce such a move, that’s not a question of man power.

Many Apache projects have already been move to attic (actually, 32) :

#8 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 14:26

While they can’t enforce such a move they do have the ability to give a friendly nudge :) I am sure that if the AOO project got a request from the ASF saying that since the project obviously is still born and currently just hurting the Apache brand the ASF asks the AOO project to seriously consider moving to Attic they are more likely than not to agree.

#9 martin on 08.17.15 at 16:09

Redirecting people to LibreOffice might be a minimal solution, but doing so would be an effective admission that the Apache OpenOffice project is dead. Once this admission is being made, the right thing to do obviously would be to go all the way and transfer the OpenOffice trademarks to The Document Foundation. It is high time that the split between OO and LO is resolved, and the way things are with the two projects, this can only happen one way.

#10 Luya Tshimbalanga on 08.17.15 at 21:37

I think it is too late to ask the transfer of trademark because The Document Foundation already moved. Let reminds the split was caused by Oracle, The Document Foundation vainly attempted to negotiate and resolve the issues.

#11 Joël on 08.17.15 at 18:05

It’s time for Apache OpenOffice leaders (especially Rob Weir) to stop pretending what they haven’t achieved. The whole project is a big farce! And Apache is a landfill of dead projects — how can they allow themselves to spend resources in a project that doesn’t go anywhere, besides misguiding a lot of users?

#12 Clemens Eisserer on 08.17.15 at 18:27

I couldn’t agree more, please ASF, stop promoting as an active project!

#13 Nacho on 08.17.15 at 19:23

I couldn’t agree more. I’d go further and say, please ASF, transfer the OpenOffice trademark to the document foundation.

#14 Klaatu on 08.18.15 at 22:23

I agree. The trademark ‘Open Office’ is a very good and recognisable one; I’d much rather see it in use for a vibrant and active project like Libre Office.

#15 gurdulilfo on 08.17.15 at 20:52

I totally agree. I also think you should start a petition and announce it on Reddit. Also see:

#16 Aaron on 08.17.15 at 21:22

I have seen a lot of users have old OO.o installed and think that it’s the best they can do (It’s really genuinely horrible on OS X, still okay on windows though, I guess).

These users don’t know that the same piece of software is becoming infinitely better in the LibreOffice project.

#17 Nathaniel Nutter on 08.17.15 at 23:46

By IBM do you mean Oracle?

#18 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 00:26

No I mean IBM :) Oracle gave the code to Apache on the request of IBM. IBM then had several people working on AOO for some time.

#19 Nathaniel Nutter on 08.18.15 at 17:44

Ah, thanks, I wasn’t aware of that dynamic.

#20 Pedro on 08.18.15 at 01:49

I am in the OpenOffice team in Apache and while I don’t pretend to talk for the Apache OpenOffice PMC, I will say quite openly that your proposal just won’t happen.

First of all, we think Apache OpenOffice as released has been a huge success. A lot of people are still using, which we consider inferior to Apache OpenOffice, but we can’t really force them to update. The new releases for Apache are smaller and much more stable than ever was. and most importantly it is fully under an unrestricted license. This last point means the code can be re-used by other Apache projects, which is by all means sufficient justification to keep the project in the Apache umbrella.

Second, most of us don’t really like the direction LibreOffice is heading to. Yes, they are doing more development but the code hasn’t really advanced in significant features. They did take all the code from Apache OpenOffice and that effectively means they relaxed the extreme copyleft that was using before it was moved into the ASF. This is all good and we hope the best for the LibreOffice guys but it is not the approach most of us care about.

Concerning the trademark, the ASF owns two trademarks : which is deprecated, and Apache OpenOffice.
We obviously cannot transfer the “Apache OpenOffice” brand to a project that is not within the Apache Software Foundation. Transferring OOo would be really complicated, would cause a lot of confusion, and would not really serve any purpose.

#21 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 11:24

Hi Pedro, well first of all I didn’t ask for the transfer of the trademarks, some commenters did that, but I never did in my original post. I also did not ask that you stop making the code available, feel free to do so. All I asked is that you recommend end users to move to the well maintained Office Suite. As it stands it looks currently OpenOffice isn’t even looking like it will stay up to date with security fixes. So even if you don’t think the major improvements that has happened in the LibreOffice codebase is worthwhile from a features standpoint, you should at least not want users to run a codebase which might put them at risk. So while I do realize any positive response here is unlikely it does sadden my that a great organization like Apache used to be has fallen so far :(

#22 Mark on 08.18.15 at 12:09

So maybe all that is needed is a concrete (nice fresh looking HTML) proposal for the old website and/or the page (both look like they were designed in the late nineteen-hundreds). Explaining that is no more, but that there are now two projects with different names. It could be as simple as a page with two links for the user to follow. The first for users that just want an up to date free software office suite pointing to and another to for those wishing to help out the apache project.

#23 Pedro on 08.18.15 at 14:38


While I do admit the development of Apache OpenOffice is falling short in many ways, we do have an active security team: there was security vulnerability announced with a workaround and a fix in the main tree. I actively use Apache OpenOffice and it’s not like the product is unusable or seriously lacking functionality.

In no case can the ASF endorse a project that is developed outside it’s umbrella and doesn’t respect the Apache brand.
Apache Projects have ups and downs and the ASF has experience with such situations. The ASF is indeed about processes; if development in OpenOffice goes to a null level the project will be moved to the Attic.

At this time we still have: 1) a group of developers that know the code very well but will never move to LibreOffice (for whatever reason) 2) resources in donated code that haven’t been ported to the current tree and 3) support infrastructure (Wiki, forum, websites).

If AOO were to close and suddenly disappear, all those would go with it and, believe it or not, that would actually hurt all derivative projects including LibreOffice.

#24 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 14:55

I think we have to agree to disagree here, but I think you should stop calling LibreOffice a derivative project, LibreOffice came into being before AOO and is no more a derivative of AOO than AOO is a derivative of LO.

#25 Jim on 08.18.15 at 15:07

LO was forked from OO… AOO is a direct path development from OO.

#26 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 15:13

That is playing with semantics. Any common sense evaluation of the situation would conclude that claiming that LO derives from AOO is just a vain attempt at self glorification on the part of AOO.

#27 Jim on 08.18.15 at 16:24

No one said that LO is derivative of AOO. You were the one who said that people should stop saying LO is a derivative project; it is, from OO.

#28 Spyros on 08.18.15 at 15:40

“If AOO were to close and suddenly disappear, all those would go with it and, believe it or not, that would actually hurt all derivative projects including LibreOffice.”

Out of the ~20,000 commits that LibreOffice had in the last year, only 27 were merged from OpenOffice (You can count them here: That’s 0.0014% of the total commits.

I don’t think whatever happens to OpenOffice will hurt LibreOffice as much as you think.

#29 Pedro on 08.18.15 at 16:05

“Out of the ~20,000 commits that LibreOffice had in the last year, only 27 were merged from OpenOffice ”

Well the sidebar was basically one commit but it was pretty significant and it has been more than 1 year since that so you are counting very selectively. It just so happens that after a very brutal relicensing approach, practically all their code carries references to the Apache License version 2 .

The Document Foundation has no ownership of any code. Should there be any need, the code in the repositories, including Symphony and the SUN (now Oracle) development branches, can only be relicensed by the ASF.

I was not referring about code contributions only though. A lot of the key documentation still remains in only the Wiki and the forums have been supporting both Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Shutting down the project would mean leaving everyone in the dust.

#30 Spyros on 08.18.15 at 18:21

1. “Well the sidebar was basically one commit but it was pretty significant and it has been more than 1 year since that so you are counting very selectively.

Not really, a year is a large enough period to determine the vitality of a project. Two or three years ago, OpenOffice may have had a gazillion of commits, but that’s in the past. In the last year it has only shown strong sings of stagnation and lack of volunteers.

2. “It just so happens that after a very brutal relicensing approach, practically all their code carries references to the Apache License version 2.”

Well, yes. LibreOffice migrated from a strong copyleft license (GPL) to a weaker one (MPL) via the OpenOffice code (under the Apache license). That happened a few years ago and they have already changed and cleaned the code significantly from the state it was when they relicensed. Not sure why this is an argument for OpenOffice; it was fair game, since the Apache license allowed such use.

3. “The Document Foundation has no ownership of any code. Should there be any need, the code in the repositories, including Symphony and the SUN (now Oracle) development branches, can only be relicensed by the ASF.”

I am not sure I understand these sentences, but TDF has obtained statements from all the contributors to license LibreOffice under MPLv2/LGPLv3+ (

4. “I was not referring about code contributions only though. A lot of the key documentation still remains in only the Wiki and the forums have been supporting both Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Shutting down the project would mean leaving everyone in the dust.”

Fair point, there may be some chunks of useful information here and there, but:

-> OpenOffice wiki suffers from ancient documentation from pre-Apache times that has not been updated, which means that users or developers cannot easily distinguish if the content is useful or deprecated.
-> LibreOffice has created its own wiki and question asking forum years ago. Most of the material has already been documented there.

Even if those OpenOffice services were shut down, “leaving everyone in the dust” is terribly exaggerated. After all, there are backups (*/*/

#31 Oscar Rondon on 08.26.15 at 22:58

As user of “OpenOffice” since it was StarOffice 5.0, I can say that Apache OO may have more neat features than (up to 3.4.1 or something), but doesn’t crash at the slightest problem, like OO 4.x.x. does. I submitted at least two reproducible bugs in Impress and nobody has done anything for a year. A package that requires file saving by hand every 5 mins (in Windows 7 Pro with 8 GB RAM). because it will crash at any time, is a useless product. The crash recovery feature is useless unless one sets it to save after EACH and every change. And the crash messages are meaningless for figuring out the reason, but they seem related to some kind of interference between the OS and OO handling of memory locations. I have also used LO. I don’t like it’s look and it has its share of bugs, but it doesn’t seem to crash all the time.

Since there is no manpower to fix the innumerable bugs and the ever growing number of OS’s makes this more difficult, there is no point in keeping OO around except as a legacy, abandoned project for download as a curiosity.

Whatever the reasons why LO and OO won’t/can’t merge, it’s a shame that the office suite field is left to propietary software that, must be admitted, works and IS supported.

#32 David Gerard on 08.18.15 at 13:44

>First of all, we think Apache OpenOffice as released has been a huge success.

It gets a lot of downloads, it’s true. (Though LO appears to have caught up in the past year.)

However, LO has more commits on a typical weekday than AOO has managed all year. AOO has written in its own reports to the Apache board about how slow development is. AOO still has an open security hole with no plans to fix it until next full release.

That is: the project is dormant. That the dormant project still gets lots of downloads is the problem this blog post is stating – getting lots of downloads makes the stated problem worse, not better.

#33 MM on 08.18.15 at 07:07

+1 Please unite the clans! :-)

#34 Jim on 08.18.15 at 11:48

The idea and hope from the start was the Apache OpenOffice would serve as a permissively licensed core office framework that could then be used by LibreOffice, NeoOffice, as their baseline framework. Having such a core under the ALv2 meant that the core could be used as widely and as freely as possible. In other words, the other OpenOffice-based projects/products would build upon AOO, to create their own versions, but at the core, they would share basic implementations and functionality that formed the base of AOO. It was supposed to be a large and inclusive eco-system and community.

As we can see, that did not happen.

#35 Suminda Dharmasena on 08.18.15 at 13:19

1st step to any corporation would be for LibreOffice to move to ASL 2.0 so code can be shared. I believe doing this now would be better than delaying it in which case the change will become complicated.

#36 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 13:50

That is already to complicated and also the LibreOffice contributors prefer having a copyleft license on their code. If there really was a huge pool of contributors who wanted to contribute to an ASL 2.0 licensed office suite we would not be in this situation to begin with.

#37 Juergen on 08.18.15 at 15:56

Well they have done it already. LO is based to 100% on the AOO code base. Otherwise the re-licensing that happened there wouldn’t have been possible. All the license discussion were used by the TDF to decline any collaboration in time at the beginning of the move to Apache. And don’t forget that at this time the TDF was no existing legal entity. Nothing where Oracle could have donated the source code and trademark to.

#38 Jim on 08.18.15 at 15:12

The issue is that TDF and the LO community are extremely anti-permissive licenses; there is a strong copyleft desire. That’s not a big deal however. What is a big deal when any patches which are dual/triple/quadruple licensed in a way that AOO could use them are summarily ignored and/or refused.

To be clear, the ALv2 (and all permissive licenses) allow this sort of “one way” treatment. It is up to the person/entity consuming the permissively-licensed codebase on whether or not they want a “two way” road, where code from the consumer is donated back to the “origin” code. There is no desire or intent for that to happen on the TDF/LO side. That is certainly their choice and their right.

#39 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 15:31

Do you have any links documenting this actually ever happening Jim? I have never heard of a good patch getting refused inclusion into LO due to having a 3rd license tagged on. It would not make any sense whatsoever especially considering the patch author could submit the patch separately to LO and AOO under different licenses if he or she wanted. And if LO really ever had done such a thing it shouldn’t be a problem for AOO anyway as you would be able to merge such a triple licensed patch regardless LO merging it or not.

#40 Jim on 08.18.15 at 16:28

#41 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 16:37

Well you and Michael having a flamewar and postering with silly hypoteticals is not the same as it actually having happened. I asked Caolan and to his knowledge there has never been a triple licensed patch submitted that was rejected (at least not with that being the reasoning, he didn’t know if there had ever been a triple licensed patch that got refused for other reasons.)

#42 David Gerard on 08.18.15 at 16:38

That conspicuously doesn’t supply any information that backs the remarkable claim.

#43 David Gerard on 08.18.15 at 16:37

“What is a big deal when any patches which are dual/triple/quadruple licensed in a way that AOO could use them are summarily ignored and/or refused.”

That’s a definite “citation needed”. I assume you can produce links to said patches.

#44 Jim on 08.18.15 at 18:06

Not said patches. Simply that such patches would not be considered. A simple Google search of ‘meeks apache libreoffice license’ returns lots of examples where it is clear that ALv2 is simply not welcome.

With my Red Hat hat one, I had meetings suggesting that all Red Hat contributions include the ALv2. The CTO thought it was a fine idea. The LO developers under Red Hat wanted no part of it.

Again, all this is fine. I am glad for LO’s success and in the progress they have made. It’s a great FOSS story. We all need to recall that the “enemy” is not other FOSS office suites, but in that one commercial one from some company from Washington :-)

#45 uraeus on 08.18.15 at 19:10

Well to try to move beyond this. My blog post wasn’t about retreading past history of who said what, what if, who owes who and so on. It is pretty clear that the AOO and LO communities have very different opinions on a lot of those issues.

My blog post was more an attempt of saying ‘Looking at where we are today, what should happen going forward.’
One thing is clear and that is that AOO is not what anyone can fairly describe as an active and vibrant project anymore and it hasn’t really been since IBM stopped paying people to work on it. So lets point users towards the free office suite that is actively maintained and developed. Windows users are suffering enough as it is, without us adding to the burden and risk Apache having its brand tarnished in the process.

#46 David Gerard on 08.18.15 at 19:33

You have:

1. completely failed to supply any evidence for your remarkable claim;
2. when called on this, told the person asking you to back up your claim (not anyone else’s) to do your research for you.

The reasonable conclusion is that this never happened at any time whatsoever, and your claim does not in fact hold.

#47 uraeus on 08.19.15 at 15:04

This seems to have been beaten to death. But there is a significant difference between asking LO developers to ALv2 their patches and LO refusing contributed patches that is also licensed under the ALv2.

Yes, LO developers have not been interested in adding ALv2 license to their patches, but you can not from that make the opposite argument, which you did, that patches which carry the ALv2 would not get merged into LO.
I understand that Apache would love it if open source software developers wanted to contribute to an ALv2 licensed Office Suite, but I guess by this time it is shown that for the most part they are not interested,
and my original blog post is a suggestion for moving forward instead of keep reharshing the pro and cons of non-copyleft licensing, the intentions of Apache for taking on OpenOffice, why having AOO as a shared upstream would be so lovely etc. until we are all blue in the face. Open Source at the end of the day is about developers and the developers have voted with their feet and their vote has not gone to AOO.

#48 Jim on 08.19.15 at 02:45

“your claim does not in fact hold.”

Why, because I provide 1 list to numerous links (the results of the Google search when using the suggested) instead of several links…

Don’t believe me. Doesn’t change the facts.

One simple question: The ONLY thing that allowed TDF and LO to relicense (and gain IP provenance) was them consuming AOO, which, being under ALv2, allowed them to switch the license. WHY did they not then, when possible, make LO multi-licensed under the ALv2 (or MIT or whatever other permissive license you would want). The answer is obvious, as well as having been said explicitly: TDF and the LO community want a copyleft licensed codebase. But again, so what, it’s their project and they can license it as they want. The only issue is that they have specifically created an environment where the code/patch path can ONLY be one way.

Please review:

Note the discussion about triple licensing… see where it went.

#49 Jim on 08.19.15 at 02:49

Of particular note:

Read that and tell me how acceptable anything ALv2 (or anything that smells of Apache) was…

#50 JamesH on 08.20.15 at 07:13

So I read through all those links and not one matched the claim you made, that being triple licenced will cause a patch to be rejected.

In fact if you look at history the 22 Apache licenced commits from AOO that were merged would indicate they indeed have no problem with merging a permissively licenced patch.

What they won’t do is relicense their codebase to a noncopyleft licence as they don’t believe that beneficial to the community. But then that wasn’t anything to do with the claim you made ;)

#51 David Gerard on 08.20.15 at 09:56

None of your three links support your claim, which was:

“What is a big deal when any patches which are dual/triple/quadruple licensed in a way that AOO could use them are summarily ignored and/or refused.”

Several people have asked you for an example of this happening. You have been unable to produce one despite repeated requests.

This strongly suggests it never, ever happened, and that your memory is entirely faulty on this point.

#52 Stephan on 08.18.15 at 16:26

Hi Christian,
I thinks that’s a wonderfull idea!
I had the case that i told some friends of mine to use libreoffice. I removed OO and installed LO. I also explained why it’s better to use LO.
But after some month OO was again on there PC.
OO is what they know and it’s really hard to turn them to LO.
Good luck with the letter!

#53 Jim on 08.18.15 at 18:09

And even if AOO would to retire, LO owes a debt of gratitude to AOO and the ASF. Without AOO, LO would not have been able to consume and relicense their codebase, nor would they have the depth of IP provenance that they now have.

The mulch isn’t sad when the seed grows into a tree.

#54 Antoine on 08.18.15 at 21:11

Well, I was following the events as they unfolded then. LO came mostly from the go-oo patchset, which existed because Sun OOo wasn’t accepting patches from outside. Things got sour when the various teams around go-oo tryed to create an experimental build to test and try new functionalities for OOo (then Oracle OO) The attempt failed, with Oracle et all calling this a dishonest fork, which it was not at that time, and expelled from the OOO dev all the people working on the build. Since the work was already in progress, it was decided to get a new name, since OpenOffice was not an option, and so LibreOffice was born.

What I see, is that from the __beginning__ the various OpenOffice incarnation rejected cooperative effort from the outside of their team. So, when some OO-people says that it’s all the LO fault, I have some difficult time to parse that affirmation. Also, each and every time I did speak with OO related people, the discussion became an LO-bashing exercice, or at least a sneering contest.

Since LibreOffice is a more nice and more alive project, I don’t have _any_ reason to recommand Apache OpenOffice.

#55 Jim on 08.19.15 at 02:53

“What I see, is that from the __beginning__ the various OpenOffice incarnation rejected cooperative effort from the outside of their team.”

Referring, of course, to the Sun/Oracle OpenOffice.

And LO was founded out of that. And that’s a great thing about Open Source.

The irony is that they then turned around and did the same when OO was dropped on Apache’s lap. And as stated earlier, the whole idea of accepting OO was to allow that long hoped for cooperation to happen, and create that central core. It was never to “kill” LO.

#56 David Tardon on 08.19.15 at 15:23

> The irony is that they then turned around and did the same when OO was dropped on Apache’s lap.

Really? LibreOffice did reject outside contributions to its code an any point, like Sun did before?

> And as stated earlier, the whole idea of accepting OO was to allow that long hoped for cooperation to happen, and create that central core.

It might have been Apache’s idea to create some “central core” (whatever does that mean). But did anyone else actually want / need that? Basically, what Apache did was to decide: “We have a solution. Now let’s look for a problem.”

#57 Chris Sherlock on 08.23.15 at 07:22

I’m sorry, but that just was never going to happen. I’ve contributed to the LO code base directly and although my commits were never as high impact or as important as others I can’t for the life of me see that the team members of Apache OpenOffice would welcome me like mmeeks, kendy, mst, vmiklos, tml and a bunch of others did!

Due to reasons beyond my control I’ve not been able to continue contributing, but if I ever do want to help improve the codebase I’d not choose what I perceive to be an unfriendly and elitist group who were donated some code quite some time ago by IBM, which they have sat on, not improved much and complained that another group of developers who are doing a lot of coding and who are making great strides with things like document compatibility, build efficiency, performance improvements and added features are essentially freeloading. Especially when there are core members in that group who, through their own clique like behaviour, made it incredibly hard for the other group to contribute changes to the original codebase, thus necessitating the split.

#58 Greg on 08.18.15 at 22:36

Trying to promote a point of view with biased motives, is just noise..which is everyones right on the internet..everyone is a blogger :-) with an opinion.

I used Star Office, Open Office, Go-Office which is the true predecessor to LO, and now I prefer AOO..for very valid reasons, #1 is document fidelity with my archivde business docs is 100%.

I also have LO 5 installed because it seems to be more MS office like and people occasionally send me an ooxml file. Why, when publish to pdf gets the job done most of the time.

Finally, there is nothing inherently bad about software that is stable and just works with security point of view.


#59 David Gerard on 08.20.15 at 23:26

Apache OpenOffice doesn’t get security updates. You can send someone a ‘sploit in a HWP, give it a .doc extension, they open it and they’re pwned.

So no, you don’t get what you want from AOO. Months after the fact, they literally can’t get it together to release a trivial security patch. Every AOO user is in danger.

#60 Linux User on 08.18.15 at 20:33

Looking on Apache’s blog I can see last entry dated May. And last release is year ago. “It’s dead, Jim, it’s dead”. Their commits are laughable. Biggest set of commits comes to translations update.

Basically, it looks like if there’re no morons who want to do unpaid jobs for Oracle and watch how Oracle releases proprietary versions, incorporating these jobs. Dear Oracle, you’re bunch of greedy nuts, who only remembers about “freedoms” and “permissive” licensing only after you’ve got into trouble. That’s not how things are supposed to work. And looking on how Oracle manages other “open” projects, I wouldn’t count on these projects either, be it Java, MySQL or whatever.

Not to mention Oracle’s Chief Security Officer is lame person who thinks “security by obscurity” is way to go.

#61 Pedro on 08.18.15 at 20:58

Hmm … while making preposterous proposals … how about an open letter to the ASF so they redirect the apache subversion downloads to git?

I am pretty sure such proposal would have rabid support from the open source development community ;).

#62 Greg Stein on 08.19.15 at 00:44

LOL … not a chance. Apache Subversion is actively developed (we just released 1.9.0 a couple weeks ago). There is still a HUGE user base, and a continuing demand.

All the cool kids talk about git, but fail to notice all the enterprises that need/use svn.

To each their own. People have different preferences, and the svn peeps don’t feel upset by git’s upswing. Personally, I think it is due to GitHub being such an awesome development site, more than git being “better” than svn.

#63 Antoine on 08.25.15 at 09:45

I works with both svn and git in a very big corporate customer, and to say the least, Git is perfectly fine with devs, but doesn’t help much people with a more centralised workflow (as their marketing and content provider are). Personnally, I like both, for different reasons.

#64 David Tardon on 08.19.15 at 08:27

> Hmm … while making preposterous proposals … how about an open letter to the ASF so they redirect the apache subversion downloads to git?

This is a strawman. First, subversion’s development has not stalled. Second, git and subversion are not exchangeable: git cannot directly use remote subversion repositories (and vice versa). Third, there is a big difference in behavior between subversion and git even in the most basic operations.

> I am pretty sure such proposal would have rabid support from the open source development community ;).

Is there actually anyone who has used both subversion and git, but prefers subversion?

#65 Jon Nordby on 08.20.15 at 20:43

Not arguing that Apache should drop SVN, but git contains (since some years back) ‘git svn’ which allows basic bidirectional interop with SVN.

#66 Martin on 08.19.15 at 14:34

hmmm….. if LO is that wonderful and great than why does it need this open letter?
Normally this behaviour means that getting on top can only be achieved by putting the others down……..

my2p Martin

#67 uraeus on 08.19.15 at 15:08

It doesn’t, if you have looked at the graphs they are all pointing up for LO and down for AOO, but just because that is the trend doesn’t mean we should drag out the process longer than it needs to be. Sometimes a quick clean cut is better than a dragged out process for everyone involved.

#68 Martin on 08.21.15 at 10:51

what process, [hollow laughter] libreOffice world domination [/hollow laughter] ?

#69 Anonymous on 08.19.15 at 19:15

I think that Apache and LibreOffice should make this deal: Apache releases AOO in dual license with LGPL and LibreOffice adds Apache License 2.0 to its code.

#70 nevarmaor on 08.19.15 at 21:43

I fail to see how shutting down a project benefits the open source community. The community is strengthened by diversity, not monopoly.

#71 Pedro on 08.20.15 at 00:21

I detect readers of this blog are 1) gullible and 2) humor impaired. I actually use subversion a lot (when not forced to use perforce) and I think it is disrespectful to suggest any open-source developer to cease their volunteer activity.

I think there is a huge misunderstanding in the root cause of the issue. The root issue is: Christian’s mother poor ability in updating OpenOffice into LibreOffice (I won’t blame her, some of us non-mothers find it rather thrilling too).

I will proceed now to better the proposal in an open letter to Redhat, SUSE and other GNU/ linux distributions. Let’s redirect Fedora, OpenSUSE and the like, to Ubuntu. We can all agree that Ubuntu is more mom-friendly, has more users, and is basically the same shit. Furthermore it is really difficult to install OpenOffice there. For tech-savvy moms we can edit /etc/hosts.

If successful we can always extend similar proposals to Redmond and Cupertino.

#72 David Gerard on 08.23.15 at 11:05

The trouble is you’ve already ceased your developer activity. That’s the entire point of this post.

Look at what you’re doing. You are serving up a Windows installer that you know has a serious vulnerability: anyone can send an exploit in a HWP document with a .doc file extension, and an AOO user opening it will be pwned. You know this is the case.

Everyone downloading AOO between April 2015 and August 2015, you have done them actual harm and installed a vulnerability on their machine.

The fix is trivial: repackage the Windows installer minus one file.

Instead of doing that one simple thing, you’re posting excuses to a blog for not doing it.

And when I say “you”, I do mean “you personally”, as an AOO developer. Please explain why you personally have done nothing to fix this.

(If the answer is something like “well, Apache procedures make it difficult to just rerelease an installer minus one file”, then this would not be evidence in your favour – it would be evidence that the AOO bureaucracy actively hampers the interests of users, and is not fit for purpose.)

You can’t expect people to take seriously your claims that the project is not dead when you’re actively harming your users by serving them software with a serious vulnerability, and spending your time posting excuses on blogs instead of fixing it.

#73 Pedro on 08.20.15 at 15:22

Ugh … nevermind my last proposal …
I just received terrible news that Ubuntu slaughters kittens:

And if it’s on the net, it must be true as no one in it’s sane mind would do a false accusation and leave a video about it.

I love moms but I also love kittens.

#74 Paul on 08.20.15 at 17:21

Thats the reason why the Project is called Apache Graveyard in some regions. No offense meant.

#75 Jan on 08.24.15 at 09:32

I read the post and every comment so far made, and sincerely can’t understand why – perhaps apart from AOO devs – anyone would argue against this proposal.

IMHO some commenters refuse to look forward (“but LO wouldn’t be where it is today if…”), others simply fail to see the point Christian wants to make:

AOO is at best accumulating dust, at worst it’s simply dead. LO isn’t.
In that sense, vaguely referring to esr, the projects’ last duty should be to hand over the code to someone else or point people to another, actively maintained project (LO). This is what Christian proposes and I hope it won’t go unheard.

#76 Leon on 08.24.15 at 14:48

Smart proposal, I agree with it.
Let OpenOffice have the place it deserves (the past history) and look at the future where there is a strong open source effort, LibreOffice.