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LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

Posted Nov 10, 2012 1:45 UTC (Sat) by rcweir (guest, #48888)
In reply to: LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic) by mjw
Parent article: LibreOffice and OpenOffice clash over user numbers (OStatic)

"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.


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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


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