Who Contributes the Most to LibreOffice?

Cedric Bosdonnat has been tracking contributions to LibreOffice since its announced fork from OpenOffice.org. He uses Git Data Miner to gleen results from the main branch of LibreOffice Git repositories. Git Data Miner is more commonly known as the tool used by Jonathan Corbet in his periodic kernel code reports.

Bosdonnat began tracking line contributions in the middle of September 2010 with the original 14 contributions being made by Oracle. Oracle actually contributes code to OpenOffice.org, and then LibreOffice merges those changes, thus resulting in Oracle's contributions to the new fork. These 112 contributions have continued throughout development, but are dwarfed by the contributions of new developers.

New contributors are those that have signed on to help with LibreOffice since the fork, either with code or translations. These contributions make up well over half of the total new changes found in LibreOffice as of mid-February. Weekly contributions in this area have averaged between 20 and 30 with a total number of 517 line contributions.

Those who worked on OpenOffice.org previously and are not employeed by any other major contributor are classified as known contributors. While their number of contributions have been fewer, they averaged approximately five per week since the fork. This totals 90 contributions in the 22 weeks of development.

Novell has been credited with a large portion of the contributions made to LibreOffice. When looking through changelogs the name Novell is seen over and over again. They were significant contributors to OpenOffice.org and many of their patches are used in LibreOffice to this day. Novell developers averaged in the neighborhood of 10 contributions per week for a total of 205 since the fork.

Red Hat, who also contributed to OpenOffice.org, has chipped in as well. With usually two contributions per week, Red Hat developers have provided 39 patches since the fork.

The newest known name to join the contributors list is Canonical. They contributed the Human theme and a later fix, but more Ubuntu integration code is likely. Björn Michaelsen contributed 2 patches in the last few weeks so far.

Bosdonnat says there are 133 new coders and 55 localizers since the fork. There seemed to be a slight dip at the end of last year according the graph and Bosdonnat attributes that to the festivities of the holiday season.


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.


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It's open sauce :D

caf4926's picture

It's great software
Share the power
Enjoy the freedom


Anonymous's picture

Say what you will of Canonical but, there motto and goal of software for humans has changed the demographics of Linux forever. Without their contributions Linux would not be reaching the masses it has. It is good that the mindset of those in Linux land change from "If you can't use the command, line then go back to windows." to "Hey, let's design this software so my grandpa can use it." It is far better for Linux to pull as many users from the windows world as possible.

A few corrections ...

Michael Meeks's picture

So - the graph doesn't measure absolute patch numbers - but instead the number of individual contributors in each week committing at least one patch on the Y axis, and week number on X. ie. it is a measure of community health and diversity, not the volume of code contribution (which is much huger, and a far more 'spikey' activity).

RedHat has contributed way in excess of 39 patches - being a core contributor from the very beginning.

Similarly Bjoern - has been working for Canonical for 2 weeks, so you will see one of him in the stats for Canonical for the last couple of weeks.

The real number of patches is rather huge, think of ~two orders of magnitude more :-)

Otherwise a great article ! thanks.

Under threat?

Use Metric (SI)'s picture

Is oo really under threat, that lo had to split off? I do not see oo going away.

Cheap Shots

Martin Owens's picture

The trolls in these comments bullying Canonical are disgraceful.

As must as I have issues with Canonical, there is no need for the crude and inappropriate jibes which do nothing to encourage further development of good FOSS. It's cheap, nasty and childish.


Tuxymous's picture

As Lucas Nussbaum said, "For those wondering how much work was done by Canonical directly on the Banshee package: the banshee package in Ubuntu natty is based on the package currently in Debian experimental. The package is mainly maintained in Debian by an Ubuntu developer not paid by Canonical AFAIK, Chow Loong Jin. There are some differences between the Debian package and the Ubuntu package, which are fairly limited (full diff here) and mainly about enabling UbuntuOne and disabling the other music stores. That patch itself apparently was provided by Jo Shields, who doesn’t seem to be a canonical employee. (Feel free to correct me)"

Pointing out the failings of Canonical and the manipulations of its wannabee astronaut investor is not "bullying". Canonical's efforts to create a saleable investment asset are frequently beyond the community's acceptable limits of conduct. Good luck to anyone making money from FOSS within ethical limits, but Canonical is not an ethical organ.


Anonymous's picture

My major concern is that Novell develops a regime of addons intended to make Libreoffice Mono dependant. Like they try to do with Gnome.

Heavens forbid.

Oracle is not mentioned within the article. Why?

Anonymous's picture

If you take a look at the chart then the blue segments show Oracle's contributions LibreOffice has merged into their build

You mean other than the entire second paragraph?

David Lane's picture

Oracle is mentioned three times in the second paragraph, pretty much outlining the contributions (such as they are) to the Libre Office code base.

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

No joke, Tuxy. I don't

Anonymous's picture

No joke, Tuxy. I don't suppose Canonical's patches to LibreOffice include a patch to redirect 70 percent of any donation to Canonical's bank account? Meanwhile, after all the Ubuntu bluster about how much they're "contributing" to the state of Linux GUIs, the most recent statistics still show the likes of Novell, RH, Intel, etc being the largest contributors to X.org development, and Canonical nowhere to be found.

Canonical, defo

Tuxymous's picture

Canonical is definitely the greatest contributor. Without Canonical's majestic distribution channels, the stability of the Narwhatsit or the unerring guiding hand of the infallible dicktator, there would be no Free and Open Source Software, no Community - in fact, life as we know it.

"They contributed the Human

Anonymous's picture

"They contributed the Human theme" Ha Ha... Canonical is definitely the future of Linux!

"They contributed the Human

Anonymous's picture

"They contributed the Human theme" so that LibreOffice looks good on Ubuntu.

That's the most important thing to them :(

Opensource for suckers!