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LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

From:  Italo Vignoli <italo.vignoli-AT-gmail.com>
To:  lwn-AT-lwn.net
Subject:  LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users
Date:  Mon, 01 Aug 2011 16:24:37 +0200
Message-ID:  <4E36B725.6010906@documentfoundation.org>
Archive-link:  Article

Thanks to the work of 300 contributors, the new LibreOffice comes with
substantial improvements

The Internet, August 1, 2011 - The Document Foundation (TDF) announces
LibreOffice 3.4.2, the third version of the 3.4 family, targeting both
private individuals and enterprises. LibreOffice 3.4.2 fixes the
majority of the most-important bugs identified by users in the previous
version, and can be deployed for production needs by most enterprises.

The Document Foundation encourages large organizations deploying
LibreOffice to do so in conjunction with a support partner, who can
carefully assess specific requirements, help manage migration and
provide bespoke fixes for identified issues. Purchasing LibreOffice
support from a TDF partner also provides enterprises with an indirect
means to contribute financially to the project, thereby funding its
development, improving its stability, and accelerating its growth. Users
should always refer to the release notes before deploying the new version.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 is the result of the combined activity of 300
contributors having made more than 23,000 commits, with the addition,
deletion or modification of around five million lines of code. The
developer community is well balanced between company-sponsored
contributors and independent community volunteers: Oracle and SUSE have
each provided around 25% of the commits, with a further 25% coming from
community volunteers new to the project since our inception, and with a
further 20% from RedHat. The remaining commits came from a combination
of pre-TDF contributors, Canonical developers, and organizations like
Bobiciel, CodeThink, Lanedo, SIL, and Tata Consultancy Services.

If we look at the same data for individual developers, the top 12 by
number of commits since the inception of LibreOffice is composed of a
mixture of corporate-sponsored contributors (from 4 companies:
Canonical, Oracle, RedHat and SUSE) and a number of private individual
contributors, indicating a balanced situation and a healthy community.

"TDF was born with the aim of evolving the OpenOffice.org code to
develop a cleaner and leaner free office suite and, after ten months, we
are right on track to achieve this objective," says Bjoern Michaelsen,
one of the four Canonical contributors, and a key member of the
Engineering Steering Committee. "Of course, with such a large code
renovation effort, we are aware of the short-term risk of reduced
stability, but this is counterbalanced by the long-term improvement in
features, speed and - again - stability."

Other news is that the number of TDF official contributors and
LibreOffice users is increasing. Youbing Jin, President of RedFlag2000
Software Company, says, "We are delighted to see that TDF is getting
ever stronger, and we are proud to be part of it."

The community around The Document Foundation and LibreOffice will gather
in Paris for the first LibreOffice Conference, from October 13 to
October 15, 2011 (http://conference.libreoffice.org/). The call for
papers is open until August 8, while registration will close at the end
of September.

Although TDF is happy that 3.4.2, deployed with support from a suitable
partner, can be considered "enterprise-ready", it is clearly only one
more milestone on our march towards ever greater stability, with the
3.4.3 release to incorporate further stability improvements and security
fixes by the end of August.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 can be downloaded from
http://www.libreoffice.org/download/.

Short link to The Document Foundation blog: http://wp.me/p1byPE-ao.

-- 
Italo Vignoli - The Document Foundation
email italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org
phone +39.348.5653829 - VoIP +39.02.320621813
skype italovignoli - italo.vignoli@gmail.com



(Log in to post comments)

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 2, 2011 23:57 UTC (Tue) by marduk (subscriber, #3831) [Link]

But in order to be attractive to "enterprise" users, one should be warned against using terms like "libre" and "free". A much more enterprise-friendly term would be "open"... er... nevermind.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 6:00 UTC (Wed) by kragilkragil2 (guest, #76172) [Link]

Well, let's wait five years and ask Captain Hindsight how the adoption of Apache OO and TDF LO is in the enterprise.
I don't see IBM actively marketing OO so the license and the name are the things that could hold LO back.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 8:59 UTC (Wed) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

Please note that, if corporations don't like the (L)GPL on LO, there's an easy way round it.

Audit the code, rebase the LO stuff on to the Apache AL2 original, and presto - your LO code is now AL2/MPL-licenced! No need to rely on the (L)GPL at all!

If we divide the LO source code into two parts - the original code from OOo, and the new code from GO-oo and LO itself, the former has all been relicenced AL2 and the latter is all available under the MPL. All it needs is the audit to prove it, and you're set to go!

Cheers,
Wol

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 10:28 UTC (Wed) by BeS (subscriber, #43108) [Link]

But in order to be attractive to "enterprise" users, one should be warned against using terms like "libre" and "free".

"Enterprise users" love freedom, think about a free market or entrepreneurial freedom. Usually they can't get enough of it.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 12:04 UTC (Wed) by Karellen (subscriber, #67644) [Link]

Enterprises *hate* free markets. There's not enough profits in them if some upstart can come along and sell the same thing (or something better) without the insane markup they want to sell at.

Think patents. Think DVD region coding. Think HDMI. Think trying to prevent grey-market imports. Think import tariffs, lobbied for by enterprise.

Enterprises love monopolies, oligopolies and cartels, which allow them to gouge their customers for as much as possible. Sure, they say they love free markets (and sometimes do, for *other* markets, e.g. so they can outsource labour, manufacturing and support to the lowest bidder who isn't in a position to gouge *them*) , but their actions show that it's not really true.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 13:29 UTC (Wed) by BeS (subscriber, #43108) [Link]

I don't know (many|any) company which would appose a market economy aka a free market

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 14:23 UTC (Wed) by kragilkragil2 (guest, #76172) [Link]

You guys are talking about different things. Sure most companies want a market economy, but also a lot of them want patents, monopolies (or something similar) etc. AND most companies(with lawyers) prefer Open (as in Apache) to Free/Libre (as in FSF). It may hard to accept for a lot of people, but that is just the current reality of things. So LO is at an disadvantage there. Deal with it.
(Over and out, I know there will be a lot of disagreement, but that is the reality _I_ live in)

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 14:43 UTC (Wed) by BeS (subscriber, #43108) [Link]

To some degree I agree with your argument but the initial argument by marduk to which i responded was about terms and here I strongly disagree.

"Free" is not a term which puts companies off. In contrast they really like this term and use it a lot. The crucial point is not the term but how you argue about free software or LibreOffice and how you find the right argument for the right audience. For example listen to Simon Phipps from OSI how he argues about the value of software freedom for business: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xup0HOyQy8U.

(A small side not: Open as in Apache is also Free as in FSF (it's a common misunderstanding that free as in FSF means Copyleft only or even GPL only))

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 17:32 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722) [Link]

Office software, for nearly all enterprises, is an "other" market, so calling it "LibreOffice" should be good there.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 18:07 UTC (Wed) by marduk (subscriber, #3831) [Link]

Yeah... it was intented to be a facetious comment, undeserving of a second thought, let alone so many comments :D

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 3, 2011 17:07 UTC (Wed) by debacle (subscriber, #7114) [Link]

In my personal and very limited experience enterprise users do not at all oppose the word "free". It is used as a marketing term in every imaginable meaning and beyond. "Libre" is, as "free", sometimes used as synonym for "gratis" and also has a connotation of rum...

Can be downloaded?

Posted Aug 3, 2011 12:32 UTC (Wed) by dwmw2 (subscriber, #2063) [Link]

LibreOffice 3.4.2 can be downloaded from http://www.libreoffice.org/download/.
Can it? I choose my system and language and can check or uncheck the boxes for 'Download using bittorrent' and 'Get details', but there seems to be no way to actually download it. Am I just being stupid here?

It was bad enough with 3.3.3 where there was no apt/zypp/yum repository, and I had to download a tarball of RPMs, extract that and put it into my own yum repository that I then pointed my machines at. But now they've decided even that was too easy, it seems...

There's a promising 'Other way to download LibreOffice' link near the bottom, but that just takes you back to the same page :(

This is with Firefox 5.0 on Fedora 15.

Can be downloaded?

Posted Aug 3, 2011 12:39 UTC (Wed) by Trelane (subscriber, #56877) [Link]

I see a set of links right below that.

Can be downloaded?

Posted Aug 3, 2011 13:47 UTC (Wed) by Kit (guest, #55925) [Link]

Sounds like you might have JavaScript disabled. The combo boxes/checkmarks don't do anything with it disabled, and instead it just shows a large tree of different archives. With JS enabled, the site is working fine for me in multiple browsers- I'd make sure JS is enabled, or check to see if some other extension is breaking the page.

Can be downloaded!

Posted Aug 3, 2011 14:42 UTC (Wed) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

Seems to work for me on F14 with firefox 6.0. Maybe some javascript magic gone wrong? There is also plain http://download.documentfoundation.org/libreoffice/ which has everything old, new, stable, unstable, source, deb, rpm, language packs, etc.

Can be downloaded?

Posted Aug 4, 2011 2:07 UTC (Thu) by zander76 (guest, #6889) [Link]

[quote]Can it? I choose my system and language and can check or uncheck the boxes for 'Download using bittorrent' and 'Get details', but there seems to be no way to actually download it. Am I just being stupid here?
[/quote]

LOL, the can it question made me spit out my coffee.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 5, 2011 7:07 UTC (Fri) by hingo (guest, #14792) [Link]

Wow. Do we have more details on what those 300 contributors are? The email makes it sound they all committed something, perhaps not only code but also translations. Or does it also include things like "people writing to an email list"? 300 is a very good number. Linux, Drupal and some other projects have 1000+ committers. To get a third of that in 2 years is an amazing feat for a piece of software that has stagnated under bad governance for a decade.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 5, 2011 8:02 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

According to ohloh (BTW is there a free alternative to that service?) it is even more than 400 committers over the last year: http://www.ohloh.net/p/libreoffice/factoids/7758072

cia.vc also reports a staggering amount of commit messages:
"32812 messages since the first one, 0.84 years ago, for an average of 13.39 minutes between messages" http://cia.vc/stats/project/libreoffice

Their wiki says there are 277 active users (who made changes the last 3 months), with a total of 32,311 edits:
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Special:Statistics

The LibreOffice credits page has even more people listed (611 committers, 1005 wiki contributors), but read the fine print about double counting and also recognizing previous OpenOffice.org contributors: http://www.libreoffice.org/about-us/credits/

I could not find statistics for their mailinglists:
http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/
But their main development mailinglist http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/libreoffice/ is seeing between 1200 and 1700 messages a month. gmane might be able to give some statistics about the others:
http://gmane.org/find.php?list=documentfoundation

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 5, 2011 8:22 UTC (Fri) by hingo (guest, #14792) [Link]

Excellent! This is an excellent showcase for the difference between mismanaged Sun project vs thriving community project. I always felt OpenOffice was underperforming, after all, a cross platform office suite should by all means have more potential (both in adoption and business) than something like Linux kernel. One thing I was wondering about the committers, do I remember correctly this includes people committing translations and documentation in many languages? It's still impressive, but would make all of this easier to believe. I think counting openoffice.org contributors is perfectly kosher. They contributed to LibreOffice whether they like it or not. As the email here explains, they are not the majority of committers anyway.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 5, 2011 9:59 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

I don't know, so I asked on The Document Foundation list to see if someone has more broken down statistics:
http://listarchives.documentfoundation.org/www/discuss/ms...

They will have a huge conference later this year http://conference.libreoffice.org/ in Paris, October 12th-15th, with several tracks. One of those is the Community Building track which will most likely contain some more background about the massive explosion of new contributors: http://conference.libreoffice.org/sponsors/

If I read the numbers right then under corporate control OpenOffice.org got about 200 (code) contributors in total throughout its whole existence. Within less than a year The Document Foundation got more than 400 contributors to LibreOffice code (600 if you also count the old/switched OpenOffice.org ones). That is a huge increase. Not to mention the amount of corporate and organizational sponsors they attracted: http://www.documentfoundation.org/supporters/

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 9, 2011 9:45 UTC (Tue) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

Michael Meeks gave a presentation at the Desktop Summit. In his slides http://people.gnome.org/~michael/data/2011-08-07-libre.pdf he gave the following numbers:

11 months in: how is it going ? - extremely well
205+ entirely new code contributors with included patches
200+ active translators, for ~100 languages (in Pootle)
Two stable branches: 3.3.3 and 3.4.2 – 7 stable releases in 10 months
Development continues apace: 3.5.0 due early Feb 2012

So new code-vs-translation contributor patches seem about 50/50. I still don't know if those 205+ new contributors are everybody, or whether there are another ~200 "old" contributors who might or might not have also migrated to the new LibreOffice project. But the numbers are impressive for a community grown in less than a year anyway.

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 6, 2011 15:27 UTC (Sat) by mab (subscriber, #314) [Link]

When you enterprise I'm wondering how many and which document management systems does it integrate with

LibreOffice 3.4.2 for enterprise users

Posted Aug 9, 2011 20:23 UTC (Tue) by JanC_ (subscriber, #34940) [Link]

OOo/LibO certainly provide everything a document management software provider needs to integrate with it, but convincing them might take some time (or a big customer requesting it...).


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