LibreOffice sau 18 thang

Sau 18 tháng phát triển, LibreOffice hùng mạnh với 400 người đóng góp
(contributor), trong đó có hơn 50 nhà phát triển (developer) và 2000
ngàn tình nguyện viên.

The bright future of LibreOffice
By Open Sources
Created 2012-03-02 03:00AM

February 2012 was a coming-of-age for the LibreOffice open source
productivity suite [1]. Multiple announcements show the project is
well-supported and thriving. But what of the future?

Formed out of Oracle's neglect of the OpenOffice.org project [2] by a
community uprising in 2010, LibreOffice quickly gathered a critical
mass of developers to work on it, drawn from a diverse set of
backgrounds and motivations. They hunkered down on the tasks that had
been hard to address while the project was in the hands of Sun
Microsystems (where I was once employed), such as removing unused code
from the project's two-decade legacy or making it possible for a
beginner to get involved through Easy Hacks [3]. A year and a half
later, there's much to show for their efforts, yet so much more to do.

[ Find out how LibreOffice 3.5 rates in the InfoWorld Test Center
review [4] by Neil McAllister and his previous in-depth comparison of
the 3.3 versions of LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org [5]. | Subscribe to
InfoWorld's Open Source newslettter [6] to ensure you don't miss any
open source content. ]

February saw multiple significant events. The most important was the
release of LibreOffice 3.5, full of subtle improvements and a few
larger features such as support for Microsoft Visio files. InfoWorld's
Neil McAllister summed it up in his review [1]:

If you were expecting a revamp on the scale of Office 2007, you'll
be disappointed. For all the work that has gone into the new version,
most of it is under the hood. Still, if you're a current
OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice user, you should waste little time in
upgrading to this version, which is more stable and user friendly than

Supported on a wide range of platforms (including Windows, OS X,
GNU/Linux and BSD) this is mature code -- with all that implies,
including a need for the very latest ideas to show up. So a second
significant event was a demonstration at Europe's FOSDEM conference by
community member Michael Meeks of LibreOffice Online, a port of
LibreOffice that delivers office productivity to the browser. Add an
early preview by developer Tor Lillqvist of a port of LibreOffice to
an Android tablet [7], and it's clear that giving the community
control of the project has opened up scope for multiple independent

A news release from the project early in February [8] offered insight
into where this energy is coming from. The community now has more than
400 contributors, including 50 core developers, with over 2,200
volunteers providing bug reports. How did that happen in only 18

The key was another February event, the incorporation of The Document
Foundation [9] (TDF) as an independent legal entity. Promised by the
original founders of LibreOffice, TDF is intended to provide an
inviolable safe haven for development of LibreOffice and its
innovative new relatives. The community around LibreOffice was clearly
highly motivated by this independence, having donated $66,000 in small
payments [10] in just seven days back in 2011 to serve as the core
capital of an exceptionally stable German nonprofit. No one calls the
shots at LibreOffice apart from the developers, and TDF was created to
make sure things stayed that way even as the project is adopted by
corporate sponsors.

The most recent news underlines the wisdom of that approach. Last week
saw Intel join TDF's advisory board [11] and commit to distribution of
LibreOffice for Windows through its AppUp store. Corporate supporters
like Intel will undoubtedly be very welcome, but ensuring that every
contributor genuinely has a voice in the project remains a priority.

That has to be the key lesson to draw from LibreOffice. Successful
open source communities are places where every participant is able to
aspire to their own vision within the context of collaboration. People
participate in open source projects to meet personal goals, not just
to be philanthropic [12]. They must have room to be allowed to meet
their needs, including making money without the permission of other
community participants. When a single company is in control -- by
design or simply by being the only one who shows up -- that ability is
stifled and participation is limited. This was a takeaway from the
failure of Symbian and is hopefully one that HP understands as it
tries to migrate WebOS over to open source [13].

Where next for LibreOffice? To continue this success, the project will
need to encourage the nascent innovation seen in the Web and Android
editions. It's time for a refresh of the user interface (although not
to slavishly follow Microsoft Office), for the addition of
collaboration features, and for the inclusion of cloud integration,
all of which will need developer focus.

Today's bring-your-own-device revolution [14] provides the ideal
opportunity for an open source productivity suite to finally gain
corporate traction; to be the package of choice, LibreOffice needs to
build on this solid base and deliver the capabilities that enable it.
Time will tell if it can pull off the feat. Given the amazing rescue
of OpenOffice.org by the LibreOffice community, I have high hopes it

This article, "The bright future of LibreOffice [15]," was originally
published at InfoWorld.com [16]. Read more of the Open Sources blog
[17] and follow the latest developments in open source [18] at
InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow
InfoWorld.com on Twitter [19].


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