Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffice!

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Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffice!

Postby kolAflash » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:35 pm

Today I just saw another office computer running an old OpenOffice version, missing a lot of updates available to open source office suites. Just because OpenOffice is the name people know and anything tells them which other possibilities for FOSS office suites they have.

So if we want to loose more people to MS-Office and Google Docs, the split between OpenOffice and LibreOffice is just what's make them go away!

To deliver standard users with new features and security fixes, I propose to move all legal rights including the name and the openoffice.org domain to LibreOffice (The Document Foundation)!



Office software has moved forward a lot in the last years. Not just online, but also on the desktop and as mobile apps. Sadly OpenOffice hasn't moved a lot. Since the end of the Sun era in 2012, there were only three feature releases: 3.4 (2012), 4.0 (2013), 4.1 (2014). And even the lastest bugfix release 4.1.6 is at more than a half year old. (November 2018 - and there are a lot of open bugs)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Op ... evelopment
In the Sun era before 2012, there was at least one release with new features every year! To name just the last five Sun years: 2.3 (2007), 2.4 (2008), 3.0 (2008), 3.1 (2009), 3.2 (2010), 3.3 (2011)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenOffic ... on_history


For an IT guy like me this isn't much of a problem. But normal users will always be Googleling for "OpenOffice", because that's the term they know. So instead of a more than five year old software (OpenOffice-4.1 from 2014, 4.1.6 bugfixes from 2018), the term OpenOffice should bring users to a fresh LibreOffice-6.2 from 2019.

And since 2011, LibreOffice didn't just introduce an optional ribbon like interface for people switching from MS-Office. They're also releasing new features every year, while maintaining a stable branch with security fixes every month.
LibreOffice (last five years): 4.4 + 5.0 (2015), 5.1 + 5.2 (2016), 5.3 + 5.4 (2017), 6.0 + 6.1 (2018), 6.2 (2019 - and 6.1 is still maintained)
Those versions brought a lot of new features, bugfixes and also better file format compatibility (e.g. docx).
https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/6.2 (see here for all new features and fixed bugs)
LibreOffice also released companion apps like the official LibreOffice Viewer and the LibreOffice Impress Remote for Android.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ibreoffice
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ressremote
In contrast, for OpenOffice there's just a bunch of unofficial Android apps.

So please let's put down the OpenOffice / LibreOffice split and give all legal rights to LibreOffice (TDF), which is clearly the much more active project!
They could redirect from openoffice.org to libreoffice.org and also release an OpenOffice update, switching installations to the new LibreOffice version. Maybe they even keep an theming/artwork naming the installed software OpenOffice, if users like to stick to that.


P.S.
I think there's no need to miss OpenOffice if everything is switched over to LibreOffice. Because LibreOffice is just the same codebase as OpenOffice! Sure, LibreOffice has moved along since 2011. But you can still configure it to look exactly like OpenOffice-4.1. And if you really, really want OpenOffice, you can still reinstall the lastest OpenOffice-4.1.6 which would be still available. And if someone's willing to make an OpenOffice-4.1.7 bugfix release in 2019 or 2020, the LibreOffice people will surely have no problem to load it onto their servers. But what most users need - new features and especially bugfixes and compatibility with up to date office file formats - will be brought to everyone. Not depending on if they Googled OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Last edited by kolAflash on Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby YODA » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:07 pm

The problem is licensing as I understand it LibreOffice can take code from the OpenOffice code base but not the other way around.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby kolAflash » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:09 pm

YODA wrote:The problem is licensing as I understand it LibreOffice can take code from the OpenOffice code base but not the other way around.

That's right. But it isn't a problem because LibreOffice is the more active project.
Last edited by kolAflash on Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:11 pm

Great proposal but unfortunately the AOO developers, specifically Jorg Schmidt, will vote against any move to transfer the IP to LO. They are quite stubborn. I'm not sure what would need to be done for them to change their minds.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Villeroy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:16 pm

What is the matter with that individuum? Isn't Apache the owner of the dead horse?
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:26 pm

My understanding is that whenever someone on the Dev mailing list suggests collaborating with TDF or retiring the project, Jorg will write an email that tries to rally the troops to continue development, or suggests that TDF founders insulted the AOO project, etc. The reality is he makes money selling tech support to small businesses on AOO in Germany, so it's in his best interest for the project to keep running, despite that he doesn't actually provide any developer support to AOO. There are really only 2 or 3 people right now (Jim Jag and Jorg Schmidt primarily) that are causing thousands of users to install buggy software and look to proprietary software instead. If you can stroke their ego's enough, maybe they'll be able to check their hubris at the door and do what's right for society instead of their self interest.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby kolAflash » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:56 pm

AOOisdead wrote:My understanding is that whenever someone on the Dev mailing list suggests collaborating with TDF or retiring the project, Jorg will write an email that tries to rally the troops to continue development, or suggests that TDF founders insulted the AOO project, etc. [...]


That sounds like a really sad situation. Users all around the world are suffering from this. E.g. the office computer I had to deal with last Friday is in Italy.

And after 8 years of split between OpenOffice and LibreOffice, the release history shows a clear picture: There won't be any more real OpenOffice development. Even if Jorg Schmidt writes 100 mails to rally troops.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Bidouille » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:53 pm

But is that not approaching the problem the wrong way round?
OpenOffice is the main and original product.
Why could not LibO merge to OpenOffice?

AOOisdead wrote:The reality is he makes money selling tech support to small businesses on AOO in Germany

Well, same thing LibO side: Collabora (ex-Novell) and Michael Meeks has its own interests.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:28 pm

Not really. Collabora contributes to Libreoffice development. It's one of the biggest committers actually. It also contributes to the Linux kernel. They are a model FOSS community citizen. Jorg doesn't commit back to the project.

Re: LO merging into AOO. AOO isn't the original or it would be called OOo or OpenOffice.org. Also, the AOO code is literally and factually unusable to LO now, LO has been completely refactored. AOO is completely bit rot. If TDF was given keys to the AOO house, they would have to condemn the house because of mold and rot on the frame and they'd just use the land (brand) to redirect people to LO. I'm not even being hyperbolic here.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:32 pm

Bidouille wrote:But is that not approaching the problem the wrong way round?
OpenOffice is the main and original product.
Why could not LibO merge to OpenOffice?

AOOisdead wrote:The reality is he makes money selling tech support to small businesses on AOO in Germany

Well, same thing LibO side: Collabora (ex-Novell) and Michael Meeks has its own interests.


Also, prime example of AOO fanboys making it an issue of who was the original and ego about they should come to us (which TDF has extended a helping hand multiple times btw) instead of focusing on what's best for the FOSS Community. Some of these people would rather cut off their nose in spite of their face. Petty.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Villeroy » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:35 pm

As the topic subject says: old software disturbs. The best answer to an increasing number of prolems on this forum is "Replace AOO with LO and things work as before, work as expected, work at all." AOO is slowly falling apart as it becomes less compatible with some of its changing environments.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Bidouille » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:52 pm

AOOisdead wrote:Also, prime example of AOO fanboys

Of course that it shows a certain bias with your tendentious pseudo.
Registered since a couple of months and just here to post some troll.

Villeroy wrote:AOO is slowly falling apart as it becomes less compatible with some of its changing environments.

As I said before if we have one single project under OpenOffice banner, maybe all these issues should be fixed.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:59 pm

Agreed. Both projects under a single banner is the goal.

And of course I'm biased, my username is AOOisdead. I'm trying to help the non-technical users fix their problems instead of use a bunch of workarounds because a dead insecure project has too much hubris to admit it's dead and do the ethical thing and move them to better software. There's another OO out there called Onlyoffice that's arguably better than LO for modern needs. Competition is good but AOO is dead.

Actually if you read the Apache Foundation meeting minutes for April it seems LO Devs have been giving patches to AOO for certain bugs. AOO doesn't have the capacity to merge them. That's.. sad. https://www.apache.org/foundation/recor ... _04_17.txt
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby YODA » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:15 pm

Time is always a problem with Volunteer Projects because Real Life tends to get in the way.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby kolAflash » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:46 pm

For me personally it's absolutely no matter which "banner" the software has. OpenOffice, LibreOffice, ...
Also it's fine for me if someone makes money selling support. Only requirement is, that the project and the users shouldn't be hindered by that. (actually I think paid support might even help spreading the office we all love, because some companies and government agencies want to have a contract partner they can call)

All I want is to deliver people with great up to date open source office software under a term the people are Googling for. The software doesn't even has to be named by that term. It should just technically work out that way.
Meaning: The term "OpenOffice" should lead people to the software version that's currently called "LibreOffice-6.2". And existing OpenOffice installations should offer an update to that version.



The most practical way I see to reach this goal, is to move the OpenOffice legal rights + domain to the LibreOffice project (a.k.a TDF - The Document Foundation). So they can give people the newest download and maybe a short message why it's now called "Whatever"Office.

Additionally TDF should get whatever is needed to publish an update which pops up in existing OpenOffice installations.

I'm a little in favour of TDF, because they got it right in the last years to run an very active project around the office software we all love. A project at Apache would also be fine for me. But it looks like a lot of active developers, including former StarOffice developers made them self a home at TDF.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby RusselB » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:44 am

I disagree with, what seems to me, to be a push to LibreOffice for people that are perfectly happy with OpenOffice.
If I want to run OpenOffice, I shouldn't have to put up with pop-ups/ads telling/suggesting that I go to LibreOffice.
The only time I should get a referral to another product, imo, is if I am trying to do something in OpenOffice that OpenOffice can't do (or not do easily) when the other product can do it (or can do it more easily than OpenOffice)

Some people prefer OpenOffice, and this forum is primarily to support those people. That is why the forum address is forum.openoffice.org
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby keme » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:25 pm

Some statements here about ulterior motives and emotional aspects hindering collaboration and real development. I feel that making such accusations in public does not promote collaboration.

My impression is that Apache has the better system for quality assurance. The trouble there is that the system is so rigid and the procedure to enlist is such a crooked path that it does not invite new contributors. TDF, on the orher hand, seems to allow some degree of freedom for creativity, but could use some improvement in the coordination and QA.

I suspect that this difference is a major factor to oppose collaboration/merge. Contributors on each side see their own advantages and the other side's flaws, and a fruitful negotiation really needs someone from the outside, with sufficient knowledge but without the emotional luggage hindering progress. This person probably is not yet born...

This is, superficially, the impression from an outside perspective, with next to zero knowledge of the organizing and workflow, conflicts internally or between dev. communities, or how far the codebases have now deviated. I did at one time try to register in the Apache system, but gave up...
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby robleyd » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:17 pm

This person probably is not yet born...


Or possibly died some 2000 years ago !
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby orangeli » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:24 pm

IMHO AOO should just be ignored.
Ignore Jorg, Jim et al.
TDF doesn't need the brand name "Open Office" to succeed.
I didn't like the name "Libre Office" when the suite was born and still don't, but it is just a name...
As long as TDF listens to its users and doesn't try to mimic others everything will be OK.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Lupp » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:38 pm

BTW / OT?
@orangeli: Why do you visit this forum? Do you think it would survive and retain its value if AOO was "just ignored"? If so, what are your reasons?
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Zizi64 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:22 pm

My opinion:
The most valuable substance of the OpenOffice project today is: this forum. The LibreOffice does not have such valuable and huge database of the user experiences.

I am using the LibreOffice since the beginning, because it is better for me and for my little company.
Yes, there are bugs (new and old ones) in the LO, there are unnecessary efforts for similarity to the MS Office (the Ribbon-like UI development), but there are usable new features, and there is an active development.
The LO project is live. At least there is a hope, that the bugs will be fixed, and there is a hope to maintain compatibility with the developed operating systems...

I have the latest portable version of the Apache OpenOffice on my PC, but it have only one reason: to try the problematic (attached) documents, and my suggestions for the user's questions of this forum.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby AOOisdead » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:05 pm

Completely agree with Zizi64. This forum is a wealth of information. I think it's foolish of TDF to say ask.libreoffice.org is an appropriate replacement. People want a forum in an open source community, not a Q&A site that is as out of date as AOO. There is a german libreoffice forum https://www.libreoffice-forum.de/ but it's only for german speakers unfortunately. It would be amazing if TDF spun up a NodeBB or Discourse forum and could transfer the data from this site to it. I have misgivings about the slow nature of TDF staff in adopting new methods of communication, but I recognize they are working with resource constraints and on slow and iterative progress. I do think they'd attract more users and a bigger user community if they had a forum though.

If AOO didn't have this forum people who download AOO would be thrown to the wolves of Ebay resellers and other charlatans.
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Lupp » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:29 pm

My very short answer to the post by "orangeli" also had the intention to empasize the value of this site- and to hint to the fact that it is based on the openoffice.org domain.

Concerning the ask.libreoffice.org it may be of interest that my question https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question ... ed-better/ posted there is one of the most upvoted questions (11 times to date) in that askbot site.

Already maintaining and the more moving a wealth of information will be, however, a project of its own, and, as with any stack of that kind, time is aging it. This may cause increasing problems up to the ...
No I shouldn't continue here off topic. I long had the intention to start a discussion about the related bunches of problems under a speaking subject of its own. Alas! I don't feel competent to do it from the beginning, and I lack partly the time, partly the energy to change that. ...
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Re: old software disturbs - legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby orangeli » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:32 pm

Lupp wrote:BTW / OT?
@orangeli: Why do you visit this forum? Do you think it would survive and retain its value if AOO was "just ignored"? If so, what are your reasons?


Advice about Calc, Writer etc.
As time passes this forum will become obsolete.
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby floris v » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:20 pm

Come on. I just entered "free office suite" in the Ecosia app - because I got that quite recently and it probably doesn't have a history of my searches, so its results should be neutral. It lists Libre on its first page and it lists a review of the best free office suites, with Libre #1 and not mentioning OpenOffice at all.
So, anybody who wants free office software only has to google for that search term. If that's too much trouble for them, let them by all means buy MSO.
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby RusselB » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:37 am

I just performed the same search using Google.
The entire list (a lot of which is other references to free office suites, and not actual programs) came in at 1.41 billion results.
The top 4 office suites in that list, in the order I saw them, are: LibreOffice, OpenOffice, WPS Office 2016 (Free edition), Southmnaker Free Office.
I'm familiar with the first 3, but have no knowledge on the last one.
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby RusselB » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:47 am

Getting back to the original topic, which I think has been strayed from, you said
kolAflash wrote:normal users will always be Googleling for "OpenOffice", because that's the term they know. So instead of a more than five year old software (OpenOffice-4.1 from 2014, 4.1.6 bugfixes from 2018), the term OpenOffice should bring users to a fresh LibreOffice-6.2 from 2019.

If people are searching for OpenOffice, then the results returned are controlled by whatever search engine they are using. To my knowledge, and if someone knows better, I'm willing to be corrected, neither OpenOffice nor LibreOffice have Internet search capabilities, thus it is not in the perview of either office suite to control the results returned by an independent search engine.
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby Mr.Dandy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:09 pm

RusselB wrote:Getting back to the original topic

+1

LibreOffice can get OpenOffice code because Apache license is permissive. But the reverse is not possible with copyleft.
Why all developers don't published under AL?
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby keme » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:38 pm

Mr.Dandy wrote:...
Why all developers don't published under AL?

As far as I have gathered:
  • Some open source modules and libraries used in LibreOffice have a more restrictive license, incompatible with Apache licensing.
  • Apache workflow is heavier on the red tape.
I can't recall any specific information which led me to believe this, so it may all be taken out of thin air. That is sometimes the case with beliefs. I still believe...
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Re: Old software disturbs - Legal rights to modern LibreOffi

Postby robleyd » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:59 pm

W. C. Fields wrote:Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.


I share his beliefs
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