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LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 3, 2012 10:58 UTC (Sat) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
Parent article: LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

It is ironic that Weir refers to betting on the "fastest horse". One of the projects was fast to ship code, fast to develop new features, fast to go out and make the technical case for its software, and it wasn't Apache OpenOffice.

Why are there loads of downloads of Apache OpenOffice? I think Weir knows perfectly well why it is - which makes it all the stranger, if he were really interested in being "open and honest", that he never mentions it. OO has brand recognition. Millions of people have thought "Oh, I need that free office software" and typed "Open Office" into Google. That's nice, the name was the only significant thing given to Apache, and they're entitled to take advantage of it, but let's not pretend it's about anything Apache have done or are doing.


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LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 3, 2012 15:03 UTC (Sat) by tzafrir (subscriber, #11501) [Link]

In a recent local LUG meeting someone told us of a certain usage of OpenOffice.org in the wild. About a year and a half ago he was in India (not sure where exactly, sorry) and he had to file a complaint for theft. At the police station they used OpenOffice.org (not that much a surprise. A year and a half ago).

Only it was OpenOffice.org 1.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 5, 2012 13:39 UTC (Mon) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

The one thing that the LibreOffice developers should do on their Web site is to point out that their project is a variant of Apache OpenOffice or is at least related to it. Some people don't even realise this and think that LibreOffice is yet another office suite, with all the usual connotations that come with that idea, whereas people are already used to OpenOffice or at least the idea of having it installed on their systems.

I imagine that a mere mention of the "rival" product with trademark acknowledgement won't cause Apache's lawyers to see red unless the Apache Foundation really has sold out recently.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 5, 2012 16:32 UTC (Mon) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

" to point out that their project is a variant of Apache OpenOffice "

Apache OpenOffice started in June 2011, first release was May 2012....

LibreOffice started October 2010, first release January 2011.

both fork share a common extinct ancestor OpenOffice.org
but one cannot be a 'variant' of something that did not exist when it was created.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 5, 2012 21:50 UTC (Mon) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

I'll leave it up to other people to figure out the wording, but the message absolutely has to get across that LibreOffice is the new OpenOffice: if you knew about OpenOffice or "open office" or whatever the average person calls it, then LibreOffice is "the same thing but better", even if it isn't actually the same. The average person will just be confused by the details of the relationship between the two things, so those details should be relegated to the history/developer pages and Wikipedia.

Just get the message out!

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 16, 2012 3:10 UTC (Fri) by steffen780 (guest, #68142) [Link]

That's how I explain it... OOo has been renamed to LO. Sometimes I mention that, effectively, megacorporate interests (IBM) have.. how do I put this without risk of being sued.. been given the trademark&domain under highly questionable circumstances, then proceeded to negligently (so gross it might as well have been intent) endanger users by failing to even mention that they have a critical security hole that has long been fixed in an LO release. And then accused LO of being at fault for AOO failing to monitor it's official security mailbox. Some people...

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 16, 2012 8:18 UTC (Fri) by Jonno (subscriber, #49613) [Link]

I usually explain the split like this: OpenOffice was a cooperation between about 1000 corporations and unaffiliated individuals. When Oracle bought Sun, the largest contributor at approx. 25%, they essentially said "my way or the highway", so the remaining 999 left, but took the code with them and started LibreOffice instead. Since then LibreOffice have been getting about three times as much development compared to OpenOffice, so use LibreOffice instead...

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 7, 2012 0:22 UTC (Wed) by rcweir (guest, #48888) [Link]

Actually, if a user is interested in free office software then they probably query Google for "free office software". The AOO website comes up at the top of that list, but it is not because of "brand recognition". This is SEO.

Was Apache the beneficiary of a contributed trademark? Yes, of course. Were we also the beneficiary of donated source code? Yes, of course. And so was LibreOffice, which benefited greatly from source code primary developed by Sun employees over the past 10 years.

Of course, if LibreOffice really cared about the OpenOffice trademarks and websites then their strategy of publicly attacking Oracle at every opportunity and making Oracle their boogeyman to rally the troops against a common enemy seems, in retrospect, ill-advised.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 7, 2012 11:03 UTC (Wed) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

Would it be an idea to share the Trademark/SEO/update goodwill between The Document Foundation and Apache? Since there are now two forks based on the same code base it would be nice to give the user choice. Whenever they search for an OpenOffice successor or whenever the automatic updater kicks in they would get a Free Office choice screen where they can choose either free derivative of OpenOffice, Apache Office or LibreOffice. That might spur some nice coopetition where the user decides which innovations are the most desirable. As a bonus you would share download statistics, so you can easily compare.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 10, 2012 1:45 UTC (Sat) by rcweir (guest, #48888) [Link]

"Since there are now two forks based on the same code base..."

There is only one fork, LibreOffice. Apache OpenOffice is the continuation of an open source project that has had continuity for over a decade, first at Sun, then Oracle, now at Apache. Same code, same website, same trademarks and branding, same user base. Forks come and go. Symphony is merging back in, ending that fork. LibreOffice has not yet ended its fork. But I think that is just a matter of time for their corporate sponsors to realize that it makes as little sense for them to bear the complete cost of development as it did for Oracle.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 10, 2012 16:24 UTC (Sat) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106) [Link]

Every fork has two branches, in this case Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Code continuity is the same for both projects, since they started from the same codebase, although LibreOffice has moved further ahead since the fork. Apache OpenOffice appears to have kept the website, trademarks and branding while LibreOffice has the user base and developers. I'll leave it to you to decide which of the two is more critical to the continuation of the project.

Sometimes branches die out after a fork. Other times they replace the "official" branch--consider X.org vs. XFree86.

As for "bear[ing] the complete cost of development", that's just a matter of network effects. It could easily go either way, depending on which branch get more participation, and right now the balance appear to be in favor of LibreOffice. There is also the fact that anything added to Apache OpenOffice can be merged into LibreOffice, but not vice-versa.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 11, 2012 11:34 UTC (Sun) by mjw (subscriber, #16740) [Link]

I think the problem with this reasoning is that both branches got only part of the original. Apache got the trademark and the domain name, but The Document Foundation got the community. So ApacheOffice sees a lot of downloads from users that don't know yet that there is now a more capable branch of the original out there. LibrOffice sees a lot of new development and features, sharing the development cost with a large developer base. Sharing the trademark and downloads/updates sites to give the user choice seems beneficial for both. That way it is also more clear which fork/branch users prefer and hopefully will show how to push a shared vision forward around free software office suites and the ODF standard.

The Next Decade Manifesto of the Document Foundation might provide such a high level vision: http://www.documentfoundation.org/pdf/tdf_manifesto.pdf

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 7, 2012 18:09 UTC (Wed) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

What strategy of attacking Oracle? Which I haven't noticed (I must admit I haven't been looking, but it hasn't jumped out at me).

I am aware of a lot of things that people aren't happy about with Oracle, but as far as I'm aware they're justified.

The Open Source community isn't happy with copyright assignments ...

What's this about Oracle sueing Google over an API!

Oracle have a reputation for price-gouging ...

Imho their database isn't called Snoracle for nothing ... (imho, ALL relational databases are, by necessity, inefficient and slow! :-)

etc etc.

As I say, I haven't noticed (haven't looked for) any Oracle-bashing by LO, but can you point me to anything that is not justifiable?

Cheers,
Wol


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