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A group of OpenOffice.org developers has announced the creation of an independent foundation - called the Document Foundation - to guide the further development of the office suite, which is provisionally named LibreOffice. At the heart of this effort is longtime OpenOffice.org developer Michael Meeks.
The Document Foundation launches LibreOffice 3.3, the first stable release of the free office suite developed by the community. In less than four months, the number of developers hacking LibreOffice has grown from less than twenty in late September 2010, to well over one hundred today. This has allowed us to release ahead of the aggressive schedule set by the project.
LibreOffice, the community-driven fork of OpenOffice, appears to have a very healthy and growing group of code contributors. The Document Foundation has published new stats that portray the climbing rates of developer involvement both in terms of numbers of people and numbers of code commits.
The media has been abuzz with OpenOffice being forked into LibreOffice by The Document Foundation in past few days. The Document Foundation, has already released a beta version of Libre Office that can be installed on Ubuntu.
I guess everybody has heard that a majority of the key developers in the OpenOffice.org community decided to set up the Document Foundation: an independent foundation to continue and manage work on the Openoffice.org codebase. If you’ve not, then I can recommend Terry Hancock’s piece as a starting point (and a good summary of why forking is vital).
The Document Foundation is a newly founded organisation with a mission: to make an office suite available as truly free software, developed within the wider community. Supported by companies like Google, Novell and Red Hat, the Foundation has forked the Oracle-owned OpenOffice software and created LibreOffice.
LibreOffice will be uncompromisingly free software, and as one developer observes, "it is hard to think of anyone of any note in the community that isn't involved," including developers from Red Hat and Debian. The hope is that OpenOffice / Libreoffice "will go where people want it to go, because it hasn't been going where people want it to.