OpenOffice.org


OpenOffice.org
OpenOffice.org
OpenOffice.org.svg
OOo App Chooser.png
Developer(s) Sun Microsystems (2002-2010)
Oracle Corporation (2010-2011)
Apache Software Foundation (2011 – present)
Initial release 30 April 2002 (2002-04-30)[1]
Stable release 3.3.0  (January 25, 2011; 9 months ago (2011-01-25)) [+/−]
Preview release 3.4.0  (April 12, 2011; 7 months ago (2011-04-12))[2] [+/−]
Written in C++ and Java
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Linux
FreeBSD
OpenBSD
NetBSD
DragonflyBSD
Unix
Platform IA-32 and x64
Available in Over 110 languages[3]
Type Office suite
License LGPL version 3[4] (OpenOffice.org 2 Beta 2 and earlier are dual-licensed under the SISSL and LGPL)[5]
Website www.openoffice.org

OpenOffice.org, commonly known as OOo or OpenOffice, is an open-source application suite whose main components are for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and databases.[6] OpenOffice is available for a number of different computer operating systems, is distributed as free software and is written using its own GUI toolkit. It supports the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) for data interchange as its default file format, as well as Microsoft Office formats among others. As of June 2011, OpenOffice.org supports over 120 languages.[3] As free software, users are free to download, modify, use and distribute OpenOffice.org. LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice.org which was formed by many of the original developers of OpenOffice.

OpenOffice.org originated as StarOffice, an office suite developed by StarDivision and acquired by Sun Microsystems in August 1999. The source code of the suite was released in July 2000 with the aim of reducing the dominant market share of Microsoft Office by providing a free and open alternative. OpenOffice.org was an open-source version of the StarOffice suite, with development sponsored primarily by Sun Microsystems. After acquiring Sun in 2010, Oracle Corporation stopped supporting commercial development[7] and contributed the suite to the Apache Incubator to become a project of the Apache Software Foundation.[8][9]

The project and software are commonly known as OpenOffice, but this term is trademarked both in the Netherlands, by a company co-founded by Wouter Hanegraaff, and, independently, in the UK by Orange UK.[10] As a result, the project adopted OpenOffice.org as its formal name.[11]

History

OpenOffice.org versions
Version Release Date Description
Build 638c 2001-10 The first milestone release.
1.0 2002-05-01
1.0.3.1 2003-05-02 Recommended for Windows 95.
1.1 2003-09-02
1.1.1 2004-03-30 Bundled with TheOpenCD.
1.1.2 2004-06
1.1.3 2004-10-04
1.1.4 2004-12-22
1.1.5 2005-09-14 Last release for 1.x product line.

Final version for Windows 95. It can edit OpenOffice.org 2 files.

1.1.5secpatch 2006-07-04 Security patch (macros)
2.0 2005-10-20 Milestone, with major enhancements.
2.0.1 2005-12-21
2.0.2 2006-03-08
2.0.3 2006-06-29
2.0.4 2006-10-13
2.1.0 2006-12-12
2.2.0 2007-03-28 Included a security update.
Reintroduced font kerning[12]
2.2.1 2007-06-12
2.3.0 2007-09-17 Updated charting component and minor enhancements[13]
2.3.1 2007-12-04 Stability and security update.
2.4.0 2008-03-27 Bug fixes and new features.[14][15]
2.4.1 2008-06-10 Security fix, minor enhancements, and bug fixes.
2.4.2 2008-10-29 Security fix, minor enhancements, and bug fixes.
2.4.3 2009-09-01 Bug fixes and minor enhancements.[16]
3.0.0 2008-10-13 Milestone, with major enhancements.
3.0.1 2009-01-27 Bug fixes.
3.1.0 2009-05-07 Overlining and transparent dragging added.
3.1.1 2009-08-31 Security fix and bug fixes.
3.2 2010-02-11[17] New features,[18] and performance enhancements.[19]
3.2.1 2010-06-04 Updated Oracle Start Center and OpenDocument format icons.
3.3 2011-01-25[20] Release motto: "Fit and Trim".

Originally the German company StarDivision developed the application as the proprietary software suite StarOffice. In 1999 Sun Microsystems purchased the code. In August 1999 version 5.2 of StarOffice was made available free of charge.

OpenOffice.org 1

On 19 July 2000, Sun Microsystems announced that it would make the source code of StarOffice available for download under both the LGPL and the Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL) with the intention of building an open-source development community around the software. The new project was known as OpenOffice.org,[21] and its website went live on 13 October 2000. OpenOffice.org 1.0 was released on 1 May 2002 for MS Windows, Linux and Solaris.[22][23][24] OpenOffice.org 1.0 for MacOS X (X11) was released on 23 June 2003.[25][26]

OpenOffice.org 1.1 introduced One-click Export to PDF and can Export presentations to Flash (.SWF). It also added the 3rd Party Add-ons ability.[27]

OpenOffice.org 2

Work on version 2.0 began in early 2003 with the following goals: better interoperability with Microsoft Office; better performance, with improved speed and lower memory usage; greater scripting capabilities; better integration, particularly with GNOME; an easier-to-find and use database front-end for creating reports, forms and queries; digital signatures (only in ODF format; this feature is not defined in ODF 1.1 specification); a new built-in SQL database; and improved usability. Sun released a beta version on 4 March 2005.

On 2 September 2005 Sun announced that it was retiring the SISSL.[28] As a consequence, the OpenOffice.org Community Council announced that it would no longer dual-license the office suite, and future versions would use only the LGPL.[29]

On 20 October 2005, Sun Microsystems formally released OpenOffice.org 2.0 to the public.[30] Eight weeks after the release of Version 2.0, an update, OpenOffice.org 2.0.1, was released. It fixed minor bugs and introduced new features.

As of the 2.0.3 release, OpenOffice.org changed its release cycle from 18 months to releasing updates, feature enhancements and bug fixes every three months.[31] As of 2010, new versions (including new features) are released every six months (so-called "feature releases") alternating with so-called "bug fix releases" which are being released between two feature releases (every three months).

OpenOffice.org 3

The Sun Start Center for versions between 3.0 and 3.2.0

In October 2008, version 3.0 was released, featuring the ability to import, but not export, Office Open XML documents, support for the new ODF 1.2 document format, improved support for VBA macros, and a native port for Mac OS X. It also introduces the new Start Center.[32]

Version 3.2 included support for PostScript-based OpenType fonts. In addition, the software will now warn users when ODF 1.2 Extended features have been used. An improvement to the document integrity check will determine if an ODF document conforms to the ODF specification and offer a repair if necessary. The Calc and Writer components both have a reduced "cold start" time by 46% compared to version 3.0.[33]

New features in version 3.3 include an updated print form, a FindBar and interface improvements for Impress.[20][34]

In future versions, the user interface will receive incremental improvements. This work began with Impress in version 3.3.[35][36]

The new version 3.4 will include " new SVG import, the improved ODF 1.2 support and other enhancements".[37]

Features

OpenOffice.org 1.0 was launched under the following mission statement:

To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.[38]

OpenOffice.org 3 is promoted as being available in many languages, working on all common computers, storing data in an international open standard format and being able to read and write files from other common office software packages, as well as being available for download and use completely free of charge for any purpose.[6]

In particular, the publishers of the office suite stress that it is the result of over twenty years' software engineering, it is easy to use, and it is free, released under the LGPL licence.[6]

Platforms

Platforms supported by OO.o include Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSD, OpenVMS, OS/2 and IRIX.[39] The current primary development platforms are Microsoft Windows, Linux and Solaris.

Support for Mac OS X exists for OS X's native Aqua user interface, as of version 3.0. Previous versions required installing the X Window System component.[40] NeoOffice is an independent fork of OpenOffice, specially adapted for Mac OS X.

Operating system compatibility

Components

OpenOffice.org comprises a collection of applications that work together closely to provide the features commonly included in modern office suites. Many of the components mirror those available in Microsoft Office. The components available include:

Module Notes
OOoWriter.png Writer A word processor similar to Microsoft Word and WordPerfect. It can export Portable Document Format (PDF) files, and can function as a basic WYSIWYG editor for creating and editing web pages.
OOoCalc.png Calc A spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel and Lotus 1-2-3. Calc can export spreadsheets to the PDF format. (See ooWriter entry, above, for details of PDF). Calc provides a number of features not present in Excel, including a system which automatically defines series for graphing, based on the layout of the user’s data.
OOoImpress321logo.png Impress A presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote. Impress can export presentations to Adobe Flash (SWF) files, allowing them to be played on any computer with a Flash player installed. It also includes the ability to create PDF files, and the ability to read Microsoft PowerPoint's .ppt format. Impress lacks ready-made presentation designs but this can be overcome by downloading free templates on-line.[43][44]
OOoBase.png Base A database management program similar to Microsoft Access. Base allows the creation and manipulation of databases, and the building of forms and reports to provide easy access to data for end-users. As with MS Access, Base can function as a front-end to a number of different database systems, including Access databases (JET), ODBC data sources and MySQL/PostgreSQL. Base became part of the suite starting with version 2.0. Native to the OpenOffice.org suite is an adaptation of HSQL. While Base can be a front-end for any of the databases listed, there is no need to install any of them. Raw SQL code can be entered by those who prefer it, or graphical user interfaces can be used.
OOoDraw.png Draw A vector graphics editor comparable in features to early versions of CorelDRAW and Microsoft Visio. It features versatile "connectors" between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles and facilitate building drawings such as flowcharts. It has similar features to desktop-publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher. Draw can also export its creations to the PDF format. (See ooWriter entry, above, for details of PDF).
OOoMath.png Math A tool for creating and editing mathematical formulae, similar to Microsoft Equation Editor. OOo users can embed formulae inside other OpenOffice.org documents, such as those created by Writer. It supports multiple fonts and can export to PDF.
A small program for Windows and Linux that runs when the computer starts for the first time. It loads the core files and libraries for OpenOffice.org during computer startup and allows the suite applications to start more quickly when selected later. The amount of time it takes to open OpenOffice.org applications occasioned complaints at version 1.0 of the suite. Substantial improvements were made in this area for version 2.2.
Can record user actions and replay them later to help with automating tasks, using OpenOffice.org Basic (see below).

It is not possible to download these components individually for Apple OSX or Microsoft Windows platforms, though they can be installed separately. Most Linux distributions break the components into individual packages which may be downloaded and installed separately.

OpenOffice.org includes DejaVu fonts and OpenSymbol font in its installation packages.[45][46] Installation packages for different operating systems may also contain Liberation fonts (starting with OpenOffice.org 2.4) or Gentium fonts (since OpenOffice.org 3.2).[47][48][49] Older versions of OpenOffice.org (up to versions 2.3.x) included Bitstream Vera fonts.[14][46][50][51][52] OpenOffice.org applications use the default fonts of the running operating system. For example, as of 2010, recent versions of GNU/Linux distributions (Mandriva Linux, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE) use the Liberation fonts or DejaVu fonts as default fonts for new documents (when a new document is created).[53][54][55]

Extensions

Since version 2.0.4, OpenOffice.org has supported extensions, in a similar manner to Mozilla Firefox, including the unique extension .oxt.[56] Extensions make it easy to add new functionality to an existing OpenOffice.org installation. As of September 2009 the OpenOffice.org Extension Repository lists more than 390 extensions. Developers can easily build new extensions for OpenOffice.org, for example by using the API Plugin for NetBeans.

OpenOffice.org Basic

OpenOffice.org Basic is a programming language similar to Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) but based on StarOffice Basic. In addition to the macros, the Novell edition of OpenOffice.org has Microsoft VBA macros support from version 2.0,[57] a feature partly incorporated into the mainstream version with version 3.0.

OpenOffice.org Basic is available in the Writer and Calc applications. It is written in functions called subroutines or macros, with each macro performing a different task, such as counting the words in a paragraph. OpenOffice.org Basic is especially useful in doing repetitive tasks that have not been integrated in the program.[58]

As the OpenOffice.org database, called "Base", uses documents created under the Writer application for reports and forms, one could say that Base can also be programmed with OpenOffice.org Basic.

Connectivity

OOo can interact with databases (local or remote) using:

File formats

OpenDocument format

OpenOffice.org pioneered the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument file formats (ODF), which it uses natively and by default. Since version 3.0 the default format of OpenOffice.org is based on draft versions for OASIS ODF 1.2 (but this setting can be changed to ODF 1.0/1.1 in application settings). Versions 2.0–2.3.0 of OpenOffice.org default to the ODF 1.0 file format; OpenOffice.org versions 2.3.1–2.4.3 default to ODF 1.1. The OpenDocument 1.0 specification was approved for release as an ISO and IEC International Standard under the name ISO/IEC 26300:2006.[60]

OpenOffice.org used the OpenOffice.org XML file format in its 1.x versions as its native and default format for saving files. OpenOffice.org developers contributed the OpenOffice.org XML File Format to OASIS. On the basis of that format OASIS developed the OpenDocument format, which became the native file format of OpenOffice.org.[61][62] OpenOffice.org XML file format is still supported in all later versions of OpenOffice.org.

PDF export

OpenOffice.org 1.1 introduced Export to PDF and can Export presentations to Flash (.SWF).[27] Since OpenOffice.org 2.4.0 it also supports export to PDF/A-1a format (ISO 19005-1).[14][63]

Other formats

OpenOffice.org also supports reading (and in some cases writing) many legacy and current proprietary file formats, e.g.:[64][65][66]

OpenOffice.org also supports:[67][68][69]

Development

Governance

The OpenOffice.org project is governed by the Community Council, comprising members from the OpenOffice.org community, which created the charter establishing the Community Council. The Community Council suggests OpenOffice.org project goals, coordinate with Sun Microsystems or Oracle on StarOffice, with producers of other derivative commercial products and with Open Source projects on long-term development planning issues, represents the project, gathers and allocates funds, adjudicates conflicts, offers a forum for community members, etc.[70][71][72]

The Council have no power over intellectual-property ownership of OpenOffice.org, licenses under which OpenOffice.org is released, resources controlled by Sun Microsystems or Oracle, sponsors or the contributing individuals. The Council also may not sign contracts or enter into binding legal agreements. The Council will not attempt to directly manage individual projects, except where strictly necessary in pursuing other Council's duties.[70]

Since acquiring Sun Microsystems, Oracle has made many decisions without consulting the Council or in contravention to the council's recommendations. Disputes with the community over these actions led to the departure of a large portion of the independent developers to form The Document Foundation and work on LibreOffice.[73] In April 2011, Oracle announced that it would discontinue commercial development of OpenOffice.org, and that it would become a "purely community based project".[74][75]

Overview

The OpenOffice.org API is based on a component technology known as Universal Network Objects (UNO). It consists of a wide range of interfaces defined in a CORBA-like interface description language.

The document file format used is based on XML and several export and import filters. OpenOffice.org converts all external formats which it reads - back and forth from an internal XML representation. By using compression when saving XML to disk, files are generally smaller than the equivalent binary Microsoft Office documents. The native file format for storing documents in version 1.0 was used as the basis of the OASIS OpenDocument file format standard, which became the default file format in version 2.0.

Development versions of the suite are released every few weeks on the developer zone of the OpenOffice.org website. The releases are meant for those who wish to test new features or are simply curious about forthcoming changes; they are not suitable for production use.

Native desktop integration

OpenOffice.org 1.0 was criticized for not having the look and feel of applications developed natively for the platforms on which it runs. Starting with version 2.0, OpenOffice.org uses native widget toolkit, icons, and font-rendering libraries across a variety of platforms, to better match native applications and to provide a smoother experience for the user. Projects have started to further improve this integration on both GNOME[76] and KDE[77][78] desktop environments.

This issue had been particularly pronounced on Mac OS X, whose standard user interface looks noticeably different from either Windows or X11-based desktop environments and required the use of programming toolkits that were initially unfamiliar to most OpenOffice.org developers. Early versions of OpenOffice.org required the installation of X11.app or XDarwin. Versions since version 3.0 run natively using Apple's Aqua GUI.

Security

The OpenOffice.org project includes a security team,[79] and as of October 2011 the security organization Secunia reports no known unpatched security flaws for the software.[80] Kaspersky Lab has shown a proof of concept virus for OpenOffice.org.[81] This shows OOo viruses are possible, but there is no known virus "in the wild".

The lab director of the French Ministry of Defense, Lt. Col. Eric Filiol, demonstrated security weaknesses, in particular within macros.[82] OpenOffice.org developers have responded and noted that the supposed vulnerability had not been announced through "well defined procedures" for disclosure and that the Ministry had revealed nothing specific. However, the developers have had discussions with the researcher concerning the supposed vulnerability.[83]

Ownership

The project and software are informally referred to as OpenOffice, but since this term is a trademark held by other parties, OpenOffice.org is its formal name.[11] Due to a similar trademark issue, the Brazilian Portuguese version of the suite was distributed under the name BrOffice.org.[84] Stewardship of the slightly re-branded BrOffice builds was moved to The Document Foundation in December 2010.[85]

Until May 2011, staff members of the Sun / Oracle StarOffice team managed the development of OpenOffice.org.[citation needed] Developers who wished to contribute code were required to sign a Contributor Agreement[86] granting joint ownership of any contributions to Oracle Corporation. An alternative Public Documentation Licence (PDL)[87] was also offered for documentation not intended for inclusion or integration into the project code base. [88][89]

On 1 June 2011, Oracle announced that the code base of OpenOffice had been proposed for submission to the Apache Software Foundation's as an Incubator project.[8] On 13 June, it was officially accepted as an incubator project.[9]

Partnerships

On 4 October 2005, Sun and Google announced a strategic partnership. As part of this agreement, Sun added a Google search toolbar to OpenOffice.org, and Google agreed to help distribute OpenOffice.org. Sun and Google also agreed to engage in joint marketing activities, and joint research and development.[90] StarOffice was formerly distributed with the Google Pack.

On 23 May 2007, the OpenOffice.org community and Redflag Chinese 2000 Software Co, Ltd. announced a joint development effort focused on integrating the new features that have been added in the RedOffice localization of OpenOffice.org, as well as quality assurance and work on the core applications. Additionally, Redflag Chinese 2000 made public its commitment to the global OO.o community stating it would "strengthen its support of the development of the world's leading free and open source productivity suite", adding around 50 engineers (who have been working on RedOffice since 2006) to the project.[91]

On 10 September 2007, the OO.o community announced that IBM had joined to support the development of OpenOffice.org.[92] "IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of OpenOffice.org. Besides working with the community on the free productivity suite's software, IBM will also leverage OpenOffice.org technology in its products" as seen with Lotus Symphony. Sean Poulley, the vice president of business and strategy in IBM's Lotus Software division, said that IBM plans to take a leadership role in the OpenOffice.org community together with other companies such as Sun Microsystems. IBM will work within the leadership structure that exists.[93] IBM also announced 35 developers would be assigned to work on OpenOffice.org, and that it would join the OpenOffice.org foundation. Commentators noted parallels between IBM's 2000 support of Linux and this announcement.[94]

Reviews

In September 2005 Federal Computer Week listed OpenOffice.org as one of the "5 stars of open-source products."[95] In contrast, OpenOffice.org was used in 2005 by The Guardian newspaper to illustrate what it sees as the limitations of open-source software, although the article does finish by stating that the software may be better than MS Word for books.[96] OpenOffice.org was featured by eWeek several times,[97][98][99][100] version 2.0 was reviewed by Linux Magazine[101] and previewed by other media.[102][103][104] A PC Pro review awarded OOo Version 2.0 6 stars out of 6 and stated: "Our pick of the low-cost office suites has had a much-needed overhaul, and now battles Microsoft in terms of features, not just price." The reviewer also concluded:[105]

For personal use, there are even fewer reasons to choose Microsoft. OpenOffice certainly doesn't lack features compared to the market leader, and most of its ease-of-use issues stem from people's familiarity with Microsoft Office rather than an inherent problem with the program itself. As such, you should certainly try OpenOffice's offering before donating another £100 or more to Microsoft's coffers. After all, it's free.

In early October 2005, ComputerWorld of IDG reported that for large government departments, migration to OpenOffice.org 2.0 cost one tenth of the price of upgrading to Microsoft Office 12.[106]

The above information dates from January 2006 or earlier. Links to reviews of the October 2008 version 3 and earlier releases appear on the Oo.o website.

Market share

Various OpenOffice.org applications running on GNOME in Japanese.

Problems arise in estimating the market share of OpenOffice.org because it can be freely distributed via download sites (including mirrors), peer-to-peer networks, CDs, Linux distributions and so forth. Nevertheless, the OpenOffice.org tries to capture key adoption data in a market-share analysis.[107] However, studies have shown that OpenOffice has reached a point where it has an "irreversible" installed user base and that it will continue to grow.[108]

According to Valve Corporation, 14.63% of Steam users have OpenOffice.org installed on their machines as of July 2010.[109]

A market-share analysis conducted by a web analytics service in 2010, based on over 200,000 Internet users, showed a wide range of adoption in different countries:[110] between 0.2% in China, 9% in the US and the UK and over 20% in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Although Microsoft Office retained 95% of the general market as measured by revenue as of August 2007,[111] OpenOffice.org and StarOffice had secured 15-20% of the business market as of 2004.[112][113] The OpenOffice.org web site reported more than 98 million downloads as of September 2007.[114] OpenOffice.org 3.x reached one hundred million downloads just over a year since its release.[115]

Notable users

Large-scale users of OpenOffice.org include Singapore’s Ministry of Defence,[116] Bristol City Council in the UK and Banco do Brasil.[117] In France, OpenOffice.org has attracted the attention of both local and national government administrations who wish to rationalize their software procurement,[citation needed] as well as have stable, standard file formats for archival purposes.[citation needed] As of 2006 OOo is the official office suite for the French Gendarmerie.[118] Several government organizations in India, such as IIT Bombay, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Supreme Court of India, ICICI Bank,[119] the Allahabad High Court,[120] which use Linux, completely rely on OpenOffice.org for their administration. In 2008 Grafton Fraser Inc, a Canadian menswear company, dropped Microsoft Office for its store computers and now runs OpenOffice.org exclusively.[citation needed]

Use of Java

In the past OpenOffice.org was criticized by the Free Software Foundation [121] for an increasing dependency on the Java Runtime Environment which was not free software. Because Sun Microsystems was both the creator of Java and the chief supporter of OpenOffice.org, the software maker drew accusations of ulterior motives.

Version 1 depended on the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) being present on the user’s computer for some auxiliary functions, but version 2 increased the suite’s use of Java requiring a JRE. In response, Red Hat increased their efforts to improve free Java implementations. Red Hat’s Fedora Core 4 (released on 13 June 2005) included a beta version of OpenOffice.org version 2, running on GCJ and GNU Classpath.

The issue of OpenOffice.org’s use of Java came to the fore in May 2005, when Richard Stallman appeared to call for a fork of the application in a posting on the Free Software Foundation website.[121] This led to discussions within the OpenOffice.org community and between Sun staff and developers involved in GNU Classpath, a free replacement for Sun’s Java implementation. Later that year, the OpenOffice.org developers also placed into their development guidelines various requirements to ensure that future versions of OpenOffice.org could run on free implementations of Java and fixed the issues which previously prevented OpenOffice.org 2.0 from using free-software Java implementations.[122]

On 13 November 2006, Sun committed to release Java under the GNU General Public License in the near future.[123] This process would end OpenOffice.org's dependence on non-free software.

Between November 2006 and May 2007, Sun Microsystems made available most of their Java technologies under the GNU General Public License, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, thus making almost all of Sun's Java also free software.

The following areas of OpenOffice.org 2.0 depend on JRE installation:[124]

  • The media player on Unix-like systems
  • All document wizards in Writer
  • Accessibility tools
  • Report Autopilot
  • JDBC driver support
  • HSQL database engine (used in OpenOffice.org Base)
  • XSLT filters
  • BeanShell, the NetBeans scripting language and the Java UNO bridge
  • Export filters to the Aportis.doc (.pdb) format for the Palm OS or Pocket Word (.psw) format for the Pocket PC
  • Export filter to LaTeX
  • Export filter to MediaWiki's wikitext

A common point of confusion focuses on the need for the Java API JavaMail in mail merge to generate emails in StarOffice; however, as of version 2.0.1, OpenOffice.org uses a Python-component instead.[125]

Retail

The free software license (under which Sun distributes OpenOffice.org) allows unlimited use of the software for both home and business use, including unlimited redistribution of the software.[126] Several businesses sell the OpenOffice.org suite on auction websites such as eBay, offering value-added services such as 24/7 technical support, download mirrors, and CD mailing. One retail site, Open Office Anywhere, also offers the ability to run the suite using just a web browser.[127]

In July 2007 Everex, a division of First International Computer and the 9th-largest PC supplier in the U.S., began shipping systems preloaded with OpenOffice.org 2.2 into Wal-Mart and Sam's Club outlets in North America.

Derivative software

A number of open source and proprietary products derive from OpenOffice.org.[128] The OpenOffice.org site also lists a large variety of complementary products, including groupware systems.[129]

StarOffice / Oracle Open Office

OpenOffice.org inherited many features from the original StarOffice upon which it was based, including the OpenOffice.org XML file format which it retained until version 2, when the ISO/IEC standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) replaced it.

Sun subsidized the development of OpenOffice.org in order to use it as a base for its commercial proprietary StarOffice application software. Releases of StarOffice from version 6.0 were based on the OpenOffice.org source code, with some additional proprietary components, including the following:

  • additional bundled fonts (especially East Asian language fonts)
  • Adabas D database (the OpenOffice database module does not use Adabas)
  • additional document templates
  • clip art
  • sorting functionality for Asian versions
  • additional file filters
  • migration assessment tool (Enterprise Edition)
  • macro migration tool (Enterprise Edition)
  • configuration management tool (Enterprise Edition)

Following the acquisition of Sun by Oracle, StarOffice and StarSuite became known as Oracle Open Office for the 3.3 release. In April 2011, Oracle announced the discontinuation of Oracle Open Office as part of the decision to turn OpenOffice.org into a "purely community-based project".[74]

Go-oo

On 2 October 2007, Michael Meeks announced[130] (and generated an answer by Sun's Simon Phipps and Mathias Bauer[131][132]) a derived OpenOffice.org work, under the wing of his employer Novell, with the purpose of including new features and fixes that do not get easily integrated in the OOo-build up-stream core. The work was called Go-oo, a name under which a set of patches for OO.o software has been available for five years. The new features, shared with Novell's edition of OOo, include:

  • Support for VBA macros
  • Faster start-up time
  • Improved GTK theme handling (especially dark-colored)
  • "A linear optimization solver to optimize a cell value based on arbitrary constraints built into Calc".[133]
  • Multimedia content support in documents, using the gstreamer multimedia framework
  • Support for Microsoft Works formats, WordPerfect graphics (WPG format) and T602 files imports
  • Export for Office Open XML files such as docx, xlsx, pptx by using Novell OpenXML Converter[57]

The office suite branded OpenOffice.org in most Linux distributions (including Ubuntu, openSUSE and Mandriva Linux) was in fact based on Go-oo.[134][135][136] The Go-oo project was deprecated and merged into LibreOffice upon its establishment.[137]

LibreOffice

Start Centre in LibreOffice

On 28 September 2010, key members of the OpenOffice.org Project formed a new group called The Document Foundation, and made available a rebranded fork of OpenOffice.org, provisionally named LibreOffice. The Foundation stated that it will coordinate and oversee the development of LibreOffice.

Oracle was invited to become a member of the Document Foundation, and was also asked to donate the OpenOffice.org brand to the project.[138] However, Oracle declined this invitation and demanded that all members of the OpenOffice.org board involved with the LibreOffice project step down.[139]

The Document Foundation received statements of support from members of the OpenOffice.org community, including the companies Novell,[140] Red Hat, Canonical and Google.[141] The goal is to produce a vendor-independent office suite with ODF support and without any copyright assignment requirements.[142]

Go-oo improvements are being merged in LibreOffice. Improvements done in other forks are expected to be incorporated as well.[143][144]

Debian Linux (including Ubuntu) and OpenSUSE prefer LibreOffice to the original OpenOffice.org.[145]

Other projects

  • IBM's Lotus Symphony, with a new interface based on Eclipse (based on OO.o 1.x).
  • OpenOffice.org Novell edition, integrated with Evolution and with an OOXML filter.
  • Beijing Red Flag Chinese 2000's RedOffice, fully localized in Chinese characters and with support for English.
  • OOo4Kids is an Open Office.org education project designed for 7-12 year-old age range with specific adaptations to the world of education. These include an interface that is easier to learn, where more complex math, word-formatting and some other functions no longer explicitly appear. These features are still present and working, but are hidden.[146] A portable version for Windows (17 locales) is available. See [147]
  • NeoOffice, an independent port, offered a native OS X’s Aqua user interface even before such integration was available in OpenOffice.org. Its releases lag behind the official releases, due to its small development team and the concurrent development of the technology used to port the user interface.[148]
  • PortableApps.com and LiberKey distribute portable versions of OpenOffice.org designed to run the suite under Microsoft Windows from a USB flash drive,[149] where the user can install new TrueType fonts in the folder openoffice/share/fonts/truetype.[150]
  • OxygenOffice Professional extends OpenOffice.org, adding the ability to run Visual Basic for Application (VBA) macros in Calc (for testing), improved Calc HTML export, enhanced Access support for Base, enhanced color-palette, enhanced help and documentation, additional clip art, several templates and sample documents and over 90 fonts.[151]
  • OpenGroupware.org is a set of extension programs to allow the sharing of OpenOffice.org documents, calendars, address books, e-mails, instant messaging and blackboards, and to provide access to other groupware applications.
  • A set of Perl extensions (available through the CPAN) allows external programs to process OpenOffice.org documents.[152] These libraries do not use the OpenOffice.org API. They directly read or write the OpenOffice.org files using Perl standard file compression/decompression, XML access and UTF-8 encoding modules.

See also

References

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