"OpenOffice" is dying; reincarnates into LibreOffice

Yes, folks, you read it right. OpenOffice as we are wont to calling it will have to be laid to rest.

In case you have not heard, Oracle has already bought Sun, which used to own Java programming language, Solaris operating system, MySQL database package, and OpenOffice productivity suite. Since the acquisition in mid-2009, the "opensource-ness" of these softwares has been doubted. The future of these brands has been subjected to intense debate, what with the stronger claim by Oracle of these brands. The open source and user communities wonder whether they will still continue to enjoy the freedom that used to come with them.

Truth to tell, Oracle contributes to Linux kernel development. But its recent moves -- including its Java copyright infringement claim against Google -- have not endeared itself to the open source community, which somewhat negates its Linux development contribution.

And the OpenOffice developer community has seen through Oracle. The community decided to put up the Document Foundation, which shall lead in picking up from what Sun has left for OpenOffice. The developer and user communities will continue to use a free and open source productivity suite with a new name "LibreOffice". And why the need to "rebrand" the suite? To quote from the FAQ page of the Document Foundation's site:

Q: And why are you calling the software "LibreOffice" instead of "OpenOffice.org"?

A: The OpenOffice.org trademark is owned by Oracle Corporation. Our hope is that Oracle will donate this to the Foundation, along with the other assets it holds in trust for the Community, in due course, once legal etc issues are resolved. However, we need to continue work in the meantime - hence "LibreOffice" ("free office").

Major Linux distributions are poised to follow in the footsteps of the Document Foundation. Ubuntu, for one, will replace OpenOffice with LibreOffice for its next major release.

So, folks, brace yourselves. It's time to shed the skin of your productivity suite. Make way for LibreOffice.

(Note: This article is also published on http://foss.upm.edu.ph.)