OpenOffice, the free office productivity suite now in version 4.1.2, could be retiring. Dennis Hamilton, vice president of Apache OpenOffice, mentioned the possibility in an email sent to the software’s project contributors.
What is Apache OpenOffice?
Apache OpenOffice is a leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers.
Why is this project about to end?
In the email, Hamilton says, he’s observed that the Apache OpenOffice project has “limited capacity for sustaining the project in an energetic manner.”
His main concern is that the project doesn’t have the group developers it needs to “supplement the half-dozen volunteers holding the project together.”
The “litmus test,” he says is for a project to have a project management committee, with at least three members, that can produce releases.With OpenOffice, the need to disclose security vulnerabilities for which there is no mitigation in an update has become a serious issue, he says.
It’s a great enough concern that the Apache Software Foundation has asked the project management committee to account for its inability to mitigate security issues and report to the board each month.
The retirement of the project is a serious possibility, he says, and would require a rather extensive process with considerations for the code base, downloads, development support, social media, branding, and other factors. “I cannot predict how this will all work out,” Hamilton says. “My interest is in seeing any retirement happen gracefully. That means we need to consider it as a contingency.”
Hamilton’s email has generated considerable discussion and the potential exists that developers could yet save the project.
OpenOffice is used by many companies. Most of them are those who do not have enough capital to purchase proprietary software. It was used in most government offices in India. OpenOffice is a good alternative to Microsoft Office.