I hear and understand his message.

Story: Some remarks on OpenOffice going to ApacheTotal Replies: 6
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Jun 03, 2011
6:54 PM EDT
Nevertheless, I have to throw one huge spanner into the works: The Document Foundation and LibreOffice. Perhaps it is just me, but over the past few days I have given a lot of thought to Oracle's transfer of OpenOffice to Apache and each time I come back to the words: misused commercial power, pride, egoism, spite, vindictiveness, stupidity.

As I see it, Oracle totally mismanaged OpenOffice and by its actions created a situation where a previously thriving supportive community simply walked away. The result has exceeded all expectations with LO now in place to be the default office suite in virtually every distribution and improvements to the original code base coming thick and fast. I'll soon be shifting over from my dearly loved Sun OpenOffice - I simply would not allow an Oracle production onto my computer. I also understand that a number of slower Java processes have either been replaced or are in similar process. Oracle's last threads in LO are being cut.

So what need now for OpenOffice ? Perhaps as a niche "boutique" suite, because on reading Bob Sutor's article I couldn't help thinking that all those things he is excited about that OO can or will do, are already done by LO and will be done and improved on in the future.
Quoting:Over time, the code will be refactored and more uses will be found for it. Within a couple of years I think you’ll find greater use of ODF in other desktop applications, mobile apps, and even in the cloud. This won’t all come from the existing code base but rather also from new contributions from others working in the ASF.

ODF is not the only thing that OpenOffice supports: it’s got word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other capabilities. Within Apache I think you’ll see advances in the user interface, functionality, performance, and reliability.
Sure, if Oracle was "hanged if it will ever allow itself to either cooperate with or allow benefit to flow" to those renegades that perpetrated the emergence of LO, then I suppose Apache might be a good home, but LO is now thriving and in place to be the default office suite for the Linux world, so a transfer to LO would have been far simpler and nicer. Like I said, "pride, spite, vindictiveness" seem appropriate.

I personally can't get excited about Bob's article or share his enthusiasm. Unless he can see something that cannot be duplicated by LO, then I fail to see how OO can survive. It's so sad really, but out of those ashes, LO has emerged and has become what OO should have been. My prediction is the opposite to Bob's: a slow but steady decline in use of OO, and it's eventual disappearance. Feel free to disagree because I cannot help feeling whimsically sad over what I see as the destruction of what was a flag-ship software package.

Update Edit: Something along the same concepts I describe above has just appeared in this article:


Jun 03, 2011
11:36 PM EDT
I wrote this in their comments: --------- Any change can be done in LibreOffice.

Consider the massive complexity of this technology, and the amount of work to be done.

IBM could help the community by having the core OO developers work in LibreOffice. Note also that LibreOffice could use this help. The proprietary stuff (Notes, Symphony, etc.) doesn’t matter to "us", but why not build that on LO as well?


Jun 03, 2011
11:45 PM EDT
Whatever. The suits had their chance and blew it. LibreOffice is the future. OOo is dead.

Jun 04, 2011
9:50 AM EDT
> ...then I fail to see how OO can survive.

It can survive as a code base, maintained by IBM, and freely scavenging from Libre Office, used to create Lotus Symphony. That's pretty much it. A fork of Libre Office maintained by the suits, for the suits. And not used by anyone outside the IBM corporate umbrella.

Jun 05, 2011
3:19 AM EDT
There is an enormous and (I think) rather good analysis of the licence details of the Oracle-Apache-IBM moves with OpenOffice here on Groklaw:


The best bit I found was near the end where Bradley M. Kuhn gives his summation under the heading "Ditching Copyleft to Compete with a Fork?" This in turn was taken from Kuhn's article at:


It is interesting to see that Kuhn has the viewpoint that the transfer of the OO.o code to Apache is "the most insidious attack Oracle and IBM could make on the (LibreOffice) project". Kuhn makes what I think is a very sensible suggestion which is quite simple to implement and which allows LibreOffice to turn the tables and take advantage of the transfer of the whole OO code once it is placed under the Apache licence: LibreOffice simply takes that entire code base and re-licences it to LGPLv3-or-later.

Jun 05, 2011
8:06 PM EDT
Fixed the url


Jun 06, 2011
3:12 AM EDT
@BernardSwiss.....Ta muchly......I shall leave my horrific error strictly alone since you were kind enough to put in the correction. Thanks again. :-)

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