Apache OpenOffce Timeline

Not too long ago, many, yours truly included, thought that OpenOffice was dead. That opinion was informed by the decision the major Linux distributions made to replace OpenOffice.org, as it was known at that time, with LibreOffice, the new office suite forked from OpenOffice.org by its former contributors.

If this is all news to you, here is a brief recap of what happened. OpenOffice.org was a Sun Microsystems-sponsored project. It was, then, the most popular office suite, as it was pre-installed on almost all Linux and BSD desktop distributions. Then something happened. And that “something” was the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Inc. by Oracle Corporation.

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Oracle’s history of not caring too much about Free Software led several contributors to fork OpenOffice.org. And that is a very brief account of how LibreOffice came to be. Not knowing what to do with OpenOffice.org after most of the contributors left to join The Document Foundation, which oversees the development of LibreOffice, Oracle donated OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) on June 1 2011.

Since then, the ASF has been working behind the scenes to take over complete control of the project’s development. It has since been renamed to Apache OpenOffice. So what exactly has the ASF been doing? The following graphic, published in a blog post here, provides a clue.
Apache OpenOffce Timeline

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It is doubtful that the major Linux distributions will reverse course and pre-install Apache OpenOffice when it is finally released, but that will not stop individuals from installing it on their systems. Ultimately, usage and adoption will be driven by features. Back in July 2011, IBM donated Lotus Symphony code to Apache OpenOffice, so that should add some UI improvements.


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9 Responses

  1. FTW if you buy a laptop full disk encryption is in the TCI bits of the BIOS (now UHCI since yes, 2006.) Had businesses planned to give people ca. 2005 laptops, that this escaped your notice?

    So, how can you not see tasks running concurrently if you mouse to Gnome3’s top-left overview trigger? It’s not like Fedora or EagleMode, then?

    You did not say or cite how Gnome3 (r2) was dislikable, or detail the failures once ‘serious computing’ had been achieved (not a common use case I think; aim for a MS, get a 11th grader) with WebGL or whatever, but I’d consider this a review if you did.

    Of course one also expects instaboot movie-player options, but those are -also- UHCI features drawn from a patent portfolio (still, I think) orthogonal to Microsoft’s.

    Contrawise, you could shorten the review to ‘no iTunes/iPad executable VM, thus no adoption, QED.’ At least point at the dog of the Way Forward; otherwise, it is much like whinging that hybrid LED/HID bathroom lighting takes too long to pay for itself and you already know where things are.

  2. “Unity looks good at a first glance, until you start using it to do serious computing. Then you find out how badly it sucks.”
    When I worked at the phone company, the first half hour of my day was spent logging into the various computer systems I needed to access to do my work. These systems had to run concurrently.
    This is supposedly a business desktop, and what do we see? No ability to see what programs are running concurrently! Doesn’t anyone at Canonical actually want to run programs concurrently? How would you expect a person to work across several computer systems?
    That is why people use a windows environment: so they can run programs concurrently! “Oh, you can Alt-Tab”. I got RSI from doing Alt-Tab! That is an extremely bad habit, and should never be encouraged! Do you want to cripple your employees?
    You can’t even see when one of the programs you have concurrently running has an alert. Right now I have 3 programs running, and I can see them along the bottom edge of my screen, and one of them is the superior Pidgin Instant Messenger, and the writing is in Bold font, so it is telling me I have some new emails. Can Unity do that?
    What is so difficult to understand about “the customer is always right”!!!

  3. 1. I think the regulations state that full-disk encryption is sufficient, but not necessary. They explicitly say that non-sensitive data does not need encrypting, and it would be hard to argue that the OS itself is sensitive data. On Windows XP systems, user data can be found in many places across the filesystem, so FDE might be the only way to guarantee protection. A properly managed Linux system should keep it all in the home directory, so there is not a strict need to encrypt /usr, /etc, etc. [Yes, I’m aware that /tmp and swap ought to be protected too/]

    2. I could give a good argument for keeping a guest user on a business laptop – then there is absolutely no reason for sharing the main user account for non-business purposes, children’s games, etc. Think of all the stories of viruses introduced by the family.

    3. I suspect businesses that don’t like Unity will positively hate Windows 8 tiles! But as has been noted, there is still a choice of interfaces available.ding

    4. Regarding root access – it’s easy to disable root/sudo access and manage centrally, if that’s what you want. Or to use the first account as a local admin if you prefer that way of working.

  4. Oh come on. “Unlike the default GNOME 3 interface, which looks and feels bad no mater how many times you look at it or use it”

    Its not for everyone, and obviously wouldn’t be ideal for businesses, but I really like gnome-shell. I use it on my home laptops and its great. Smooth and polished, and features like the instant messaging integration are really well done.

    You can always use a dock if you don’t like having to use the overlay.

  5. Spot on, esp about the lack of full disk encryption.

    “Most of Europe could also be experiencing a heat wave right now.”

    Personal opinion: At present, KDE is the only desktop environment that I feel fits business needs.

  6. “Ubuntu Desktop, there has been an almost endless cry for Canonical to “stop this madness.”

    This is there biggest problem, following the farce of the KDE “upgrade” the Linux desktop upgrade options are a joke.

    We use Linux on the Desktop and I have a boss friendly to it but I can’t recommend we stick with it at the moment.

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