What is Apache OpenOffice (OpenOffice.org)?

EDIT December 2018: Most of the material formerly on this site has been removed, because it is obsolete.

EDIT September 2016: If you are using, or considering using, Apache OpenOffice, please see this article for some information on why you should consider LibreOffice instead.

EDIT 2014: I am no longer maintaining this blog and website, because I am no longer using this program for my daily work. I am using LibreOffice, a descendent of the old OpenOffice.org. It is developed by an active and enthusiastic community. I have a blog about it here: Taming LibreOffice.

Apache OpenOffice (AOO) is another descendent of OpenOffice.org (OOo), starting with version 3.4.

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Here’s why to choose LibreOffice, not OpenOffice

Bruce Byfield summarizes the main reasons to choose, or switch to, LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice, in his article OpenOffice: A Project in Search of an Exit Strategy.

Bruce writes, “I keep asking myself what OpenOffice can do that LibreOffice cannot do better, and I keep coming up blank… LibreOffice has always held every advantage. Whatever the ins and out of the LibreOffice fork in 2010, the majority of OpenOffice.org contributors forked with it, including many of the most ambitious and thoughtful developers.

For more details, see this article in Ars Technica: OpenOffice, after years of neglect, could shut down.

Also, Contemplating the possible retirement of Apache OpenOffice.

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New book: Designing with LibreOffice

Designing with LibreOfficeBruce Byfield’s much-anticipated book, Designing with LibreOffice has been published by Friends of OpenDocument, Inc. Read about it here or jump straight to the download/buy page to get a free PDF or buy a printed copy.

Most of the information in this book applies to Apache OpenOffice as well as to LibreOffice. Major differences are noted in the text.

Carla Schroder, Author of The Linux Cookbook, The Linux Network Cookbook, and The Book of Audacity, says this about the book:

“Designing With LibreOffice” teaches everything you need to know about document production: chapters, footnotes, citations, indexes, outlines, cross-references, incorporating images and spreadsheets, and controlling the appearance of your documents. It is well-organized and contains abundant examples, and is suitable for beginners to wizened old pros, who will probably discover things about LibreOffice that they didn’t know.

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I have resigned from the AOO project

I just posted the following note to the Apache OpenOffice project management committee and the project’s public mailing list.

“I hereby resign from the Apache OpenOffice PPMC. I intend no further involvement with this project and will unsubscribe from all project lists after posting this note.

For me, contributing to a volunteer project must be enjoyable. I do not enjoy working with this group, because of the behaviour of some of the key people, primarily Rob Weir.

I remain available in my role with Friends of OpenDocument to process funding proposals for AOO marketing or other purposes. I also remain available to help anyone who wishes to get started using the AOO section of the ODFAuthors website.

Goodbye and good luck.”

EDIT 6 May: More information: my resignation is not primarily due to the few direct interactions I’ve had with Rob, although those are obviously part of it. It is due as much, if not more, to the tone of Rob’s (and a few others’) interactions with some other members of the community, and comments on the private list about those other members. These interactions and comments add up to an overall pattern of behaviour that I find unacceptable.

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