Open Source Microsoft Office Alternative Losing Project Developers

Open Office softwareIf OpenOffice program is unable to recruit more developers to support the free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office, it may have to shut down.

The project’s volunteer vice president Dennis E. Hamilton laid out the problem in an email, saying if things didn’t improve, the program would have to retire. The company only has six core members, and the lack of volunteers has made it impossible to address the security vulnerabilities quickly.

Hamilton said there’s not much prospect of attaining more talent.

Ars Technica noted OpenOffice lost some volunteers after the introduction of the LibreOffice in 2011. LibreOffice has a more vigorous release schedule than OpenOffice does.

According to Hamilton, many of the developers are getting older. Hamilton has been creating software since the late 1950s and developers don’t see OpenOffice as being helpful for their resume.

OpenOffice goes back to the times of Sun Microsystems, which, in August 1999, attained Star Division for $73.5 million. Star Division were the developers of Star Office. At the time, Sun had planned to use Star Office to sell its server systems and provide a free server-dependent client.

In October 1999, Sun released the source code for Star Office and launched OpenOffice.org in an effort to support the development community. Sun employees made their own contributions. While OpenOffice was successful, it didn’t dethrone Microsoft Office.

Sun attained Oracle in 2011, and the OpenOffice project was given to Apache Software Foundation. However, some developers began LibreOffice, a spinoff of OpenOffice. Why has LibreOffice flourished whereas OpenOffice is failing? The OpenOffice license lets the LibreOffice use its code, but it’s not able to borrow in the other direction.

One OpenOffice developer responded to Hamilton’s message that said the project’s management under Apache is obstructive, and its public relations are not adequate.

It appears this is the case, as the most recent blog post on the OpenOffice website is the announcement of OpenOffice 4.1.2 October 2015.

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Posted by on Sep 5 2016. Filed under New, Sci/Tech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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