Senin, 17 Oktober 2011

Growing and going strong LibreOffice in ububtu 11.10

A year after the fork: LibreOffice is growing and going strong
Today marks the one-year anniversary of The Document Foundation (TDF) and the LibreOffice project, a promising community-driven fork of (OOo). The project has seen considerable growth during its first year of existence. TDF estimates that there are now 25 million LibreOffice users worldwide.
TDF and LibreOffice were originally founded in response to the long-standing governance problems that have historically afflicted OOo. Under Sun's leadership, bureaucratic barriers and concerns about the project's copyright assignment policy impeded participation in OOo development. Friction between Sun, independent community members, and other corporate contributors created an unhealthy environment for collaboration. The problems only worsened after Oracle's acquisition of Sun.
Some key OOo project members banded together to create the LibreOffice fork—based partly on Novell's excellent Go-OO patchset—and decided to establish TDF to provide a truly vendor-neutral setting for future development. The early TDF participants initially hoped that Oracle would embrace the effort and be willing to participate on equal footing with other community members. Unfortunately, Oracle wasn't interested in aligning with the community's vision and forced TDF backers to step down from the OOo community council—thus formalizing the split.

The result was a mass exodus as contributors abandoned OOo in favor of LibreOffice. In April, after seeing OOo abandoned by many users and contributors, Oracle gave up the fight and made a token effort to spin off OOo as a community project. In a somewhat petty move, Oracle decided to hand off OOo to the Apache Software Foundation rather than TDF—preventing OOo from being reunited with its former community.
Despite the lack of support from Oracle, the LibreOffice project has thrived. According to statistics provided by TDF, LibreOffice has accumulated 25,000 code commits since the fork. These commits were made by a diverse body of 330 separate contributors. The project has 136 official members who have been recognized by the community for their contributions. LibreOffice is also closely followed—the project's mailing lists have over 15,000 subscribers.
In a statement issued to acknowledge the one-year anniversary, TDF Engineering Steering Committee member Norbert Thiebaud highlighted the project's inclusiveness and contributor-friendly atmosphere as factors that have encouraged the growth of the project. Unencumbered by the bureaucracy that plagued OOo, the LibreOffice community has been quicker to merge code and deliver much-needed improvements to end users.
"Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the project in the first decade," Thiebaud said.
LibreOffice has seen particularly broad adoption on the Linux operating system, which accounts for 15 million of the program's users. Of LibreOffice's other 10 million users, 90 percent use Windows and 5 percent use Mac OS X. Counting all hits to LibreOffice download mirrors, the total download count exceeds 22 million.
The strong base of LibreOffice users on Linux is driven partly by the support of the major Linux distributors—virtually all of them favor LibreOffice over OOo. SUSE and Red Hat have unsurprisingly emerged as major contributors.
Although LibreOffice still has a ways to go before it will be fully competitive with Microsoft's dominant office suite, the project offers a compelling free alternative that meets the day-to-day needs of many users. With a truly open governance model and a more streamlined contribution process, LibreOffice has an opportunity to move forward at a fast pace and go places where OOo has historically not been able to tread.

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