Your Office is Saved -- Forked!


Those who feared that one day might go the way of OpenSolaris have found peace of mind with the announcement of The Document Foundation. The Document Foundation, among other things, to broaden the support for a community based office product that's not reliant upon the generosity any commercial entity - or as the foundation says, "fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter."

The foundation will be led by a Steering Committee of developers and will oversee the development of LibreOffice. As Sophie Gautier states, "it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project." Free software advocates are invited to join the foundation and current members and developers come from, Novell, Red Hat, Debian, and just about every other corner of the FLOSS community. Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and SUSE have already committed to shipping LibreOffice in lieu of in future releases.

Oracle has been invited to join, but has not responded as of yet. Oracle's treatment of hasn't been all that different from OpenSolaris. Insiders report that Oracle has ignored and many fear it would be left to die of neglect. As Michael Meeks said, "The news from the Oracle OpenOffice conference was that there was no news."

Some of the main goals of the foundation are to polish the code, expand the functionality, keep the code free of copyright assignment. Community leaders are naturally on-board. FSF President Richard Stallman said, "I'm very pleased... I hope that the LibreOffice developers and the Oracle-employed developers of OpenOffice will be able to cooperate."

Novell's Guy Lunardi is quoted saying, "Viva la LibreOffice! We envision LibreOffice do for the office productivity market what Mozilla Firefox has done for browsers." Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager at Google, stated, "The creation of The Document Foundation is a great step forward in encouraging further development of open source office suites. Google is proud to be a supporter of The Document Foundation and participate in the project." Mark Shuttleworth declared, "The Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu. The Document Foundation's stewardship of LibreOffice provides Ubuntu developers an effective forum for collaboration." Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, said, "We welcome the LibreOffice project... as we believe there is a great opportunity for them to enrich the free desktop experience." Rob Weir, IBM ODF Architect, said, "I am very pleased... that the Document Foundation is firmly committed to the ODF standard."

A beta is already available at A detailed Frequently Asked Questions is online as well also at Read the full press release here, or just visit the homepage for full information. A new user/support forum has been established as well.



Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


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Give me three good reasons

Anonymous's picture

Give me three good reasons OOo shouldn't be forked ...

Mysql ??? nope

Open solaris ??? nope

General good will and clarity by Oracle ??? nope.

You forking detractors need to take a second look and Oracle's intent here.

Money != good corporate behavior. Forked! At the

Anonymous's picture Forked!

At the begining of this article, the author makes it sound as though OpenSolaris died a complete death. For those who don't know OpenSolaris is now "OpenIndiana. Reference these links: and

I downloaded the LiveCD (DEV-147) and was very surprised to see all my hardware recognized! Printers, Monitor, Video Card, et al! - And on just the LiveCD!! I was underwhelmed with OpenSolaris 5.2 but, OpenIndiana from Illumos shows extreme promise! Maybe a review should be done on this too. Oh... It also auto-senses whether you need the 32-Bit or 64-Bit version and installs the appropriate one!!!

As for LibreOffice... Time to pay or look elsewhere. Even OpenOffice has been a drag lately! It has always lacked sufficient attention to development. It is SO featureless compared to other well known suites. - But!, you get what you don't pay for.

why can't people read before

qazwiz's picture

why can't people read before they respond? it is very clear that OpenSolarus has died AND that there WERE concerns that the lack of activity on open office was a sign that the same fate was soon to be had for OO

The fact that OO has been forked means that advances that would have been available for OO will be distributed under the fork

it is a simple redirection of who has control over the very popular software that would not have happened if OO had continued to be expanded

the the lack of activity?

Anonymous's picture

This year OOo realeased 3.2, 3.2.1 and 3.3 beta which is pretty much in line with the pace of development it always had. As comparison OpenOffice 2 was released in 2005 and lasted until 2009.

In my opinion openoffice is already a good product, it may need refining, improving when importing from other formats, stuff like that, but I don't see the need to revolutionize a software that is already old as a concept. I'm personally glad if it doesn't get bloated ad MS Office. An OO version for the cloud would be a revolution, and Oracle has been planing it for some time already.

Also, you compare OpenOffice with Opensolaris. OpenSolaris was doomed from the beginning, Sun released the source code too late (2008) to create a community that could drive it to the level of linux. Perhaps if it was released 10 years earlier now this blog would be called OS Journal, but it didn't happen. OpenSolaris had failed to attract interest from the general public and had too little users to justify the effort (anyone using opensolaris for their daily work please rise their hands).

There is bias toward Oracle in the articles, it may be more or less justified (oracle greatest achievement in opensource is re-branding RHEL) but it's still bias. I don't see them trying to kill OpenOffice, as I don't see them killing MySQL (and even less I see the various forks eroding it's market share).

If OO forks and half the programmers leave you will have two teams working exactly on the same things and each of them achieving half the goals in twice the time. And it will be hard to find new paid programmers to join any of the forks, let alone volunteers. OpenOffice is 10 million lines of code and it takes hours to compile, how long do you think it takes for an average programmer to get accustomed enough to make any significant contribution?

Sometimes I find articles on LJ are quite biased.

Anonymous's picture

Frankly I don't understand the title, openoffice wasn't in danger of dying and I can't really get why so many people cheer over a possible fork. Forks are always negative in opensouce projects. The least that will happen is that the resources (programmers, sponsors, etc) will spread even more thin that they were already.

Openoffice has a huge code base, you can't just hire a programmer and hope it will get the job done, it will possibly take a year or more to just to begin understanding it.

Then what? You will have programmers on both sides working exactly on the same problems, possibly taking different directions and then making an effort to merge this changes once again.

If the fork goes on, it will just take twice the effort to get half the work done, Openoffice users and the opensource community in general will gain nothing but delays and poorer quality code.

I don't like much oracle either, but battles should be fought within the project not breaking away.

old news

mikesd's picture

I would think a printed Linux publication would be more on top of breaking news. This hit the press last week.

That which does not kill me only postpones the inevitable.

re: old news

Susan's picture

Well, sometimes other articles are in front of others in the publishing queue. It is unfortunate, but it's the way it is.

Thanks for your post.

So is it true that that open office is dead?

Website Design's picture

I think it is great that some folks stepped up to the plate and created libre office. I loved using open office and I sure hope that the development will be as successful as in the case of Firefox. p.s. : what is the current situation of open office? I tried going onto their website and the website seems to be completely down.

So is it true that that open office is dead?

Website Design's picture

I think it is great that some folks stepped up to the plate and created libre office. I loved using open office and I sure hope that the development will be as successfull as in the case of Firefox. p.s. : what is the current situation of open office? I tried going onto their website and the website seems to be completly down.

hi everyone

Tarot divinatoire gratuit's picture

that's one of my favorite web site :) thanks for the article

great job

astrologie's picture

Thank you for the effort you have made in creating this blog, share information better so this is one of the values of democracy ... if I can do anything to help this site .. I am delighted .

Excellent work

medium's picture

Your blog is a true mine of informations, I am an faithful reader and I wish you good continuation

just like that

medium's picture

I stumbled upon your blog very interesting! ! A quick hello from a person who has always appreciated


tarot's picture

it’s good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource.

good job

voyance gratuite's picture

Some talk too much without saying anything! at least here I find what looks so clear and precise...

well done

VOIX SUR IP's picture

I found your blog by chance and I like it a lot.

I wish you a good

horoscope 2011's picture

I wish you a good continuation.

Preemptive, indeed.

Charles's picture

I, too, don't know if this is a necessary action. Certainly, is a prime example of software worthy of paying for. Oracle quite likely would have cancelled the project in favor of the commercial StarOffice product - and rightfully so - but now they are almost certain to do exactly that. Oracle certainly knows the value of the Star/OpenOffice products. They will undoubtedly continue development and market it (Star) more effectively that Sun ever did; possibly even making it a serious rival to MS Office in the same way that their database product is a serious rival to SQL Server.

Will a fork be able to benefit from further commercial development and marketing?

Beta already available for Slackware

Niels Horn's picture

OpenOffice is dead. Long live LibreOffice!

For Slackware users, packages can be downloaded from:

Note that the beta version does not have the language packs for now!

Beta already available for Slackware

Niels Horn's picture

OpenOffice is dead. Long live LibreOffice!

For Slackware users, packages can be downloaded from:

Note that the beta version does not have the language packs for now!

Help seeding LibreOffice

Debianero's picture

A very easy way to collaborate is seeding!

Preemptive strike

JoeKlemmer's picture

Don't know if this move was a necessity but it is definitely a safe one. Oracle has shown it can't be relied on, and not just with the OpenSolaris debacle. I'll be switching to LibreOffice as soon as possible.

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