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Is OpenOffice at a crossroads?

By   |  June 21, 2010 (OOo) is a flagship product for free and open source software but could be doing so much better than it is. What’s wrong?

Michael Meeks a long-time OOo and Gnome developer and Novell employee argues that among the chief problems are a lack of leadership, a half-hearted open source strategy and copyright assignments that discourage external contributions.

In a healthy project we would expect to see a large number of volunteer developers involved … In addition – we would expect to see a large number of peer companies contributing to the common code pool; we do not see this in Indeed, quite the opposite we appear to have the lowest number of active developers on OO.o since records began.

Richard Hillesley looks at Meeks’ criticisms of and asks whether OpenOffice isn’t at a crossroads. Read the full article (H-Online)


3 Responses to “Is OpenOffice at a crossroads?”

  1. Wogan
    June 21st, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    Not to take any swings at the OS community here (I do that elsewhere), but if OpenOffice is really the drag Meeks makes it out to be, why not do like the rest of OS and fork it? Or start something from scratch?

    The current OO.o offering basically parallels the functionality and ease of use offered by MS Office 2003. That’s nearly 7 years old. If all the developers railing against OOo for its draconian submission policies worked together and built a competitor, even if that only happened over the last 3 years, there might be a workable alternative available today.

    Instead, all we have are angry blog posts and a system that crawls forward at a pace that makes Microsoft look nimble. How is this advancing open source at all?

    ~ Wogan

  2. Fritz Meissner
    June 28th, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    Actually, there is already a fork of OO for exactly these reasons. You can see it at


  3. Kyle Williams
    June 30th, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

    I feel that OO.o has not moved forward much in the last couple of years, sure it has become simpler to use and it’s faster than before, but that’s about it. I still prefer it to MS Office 2003 & 2007, but with the release of KOffice 2.2, it just might be time to switch…

Comments are closed