After Oracle adquired Sun Microsistems, many of the Sun’s projects of free software now depend on Oracle, a company with a complex relationship with the free software community. Today I learned that the community of volunteers developing and promoting OpenOffice.org set up an independent Foundation to drive the further growth of the project, and announced the birth of LibreOffice, which is available in beta version at the placeholder site: http://www.libreoffice.org.
You can find the complete information about this in The Document Foundation site.
I learned about this news from Meneame, and some people there comment that this can make both projects collapse, because of the internal fight and dividing efforts. Others say that this is the richness of free software world: plurality, diversification, adaptation…
I am only a OpenOffice end user. I try to promote it between my colleagues at work and my friends. Until now, I think is the most-used free software office suite. What will happen in some months? Will LibreOffice be the most-used, or OpenOffice? I will try LibreOffice and watch the evolution. I don’t mind to change my office suite, if my personal trip from MS Office into OpenOffice was pleasant, I suppose it would be much better now so both applications agree with open document standards and both are free software.
But I am afraid that in my “non IT” environment and friends it will cause confussion. I can imagine my friends saying: “Wasn’t OpenOffice the recommended and now you are telling me about a different program?!” – “Why should I try a different suite? You are the IT professional, just tell me which one is the best“. As in the icecream parlour, too much different flavours makes people not knowing which one to choose… But freedom is as is, you have to think, you have to open your eyes and your mind… Or maybe you prefer someone else driving your life?
Note: After I read about LibreOffice, I also learned about MariaDB as an alternative of Oracle’s MySQL. Interesting!