Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

Summary: While Novell appears to have dropped its support for Mono, LibreOffice will continue to be developed by SUSE programmers.


While Attachmate has talked a lot about its plans for Novell after it bought Novell, no one saw Attachmate closing down Novell's Mono programming effort. Indeed, other than cutting Novell's work-force by 25%, Attachmate has said little concrete about the company's open-source plans. I have learned from sources though that LibreOffice, the open-source office suite, will continue to receive Novell's support.

Novell developers were leaders in founding the LibreOffice's parent organization, The Document Foundation and splitting LibreOffice away from the Oracle sponsored OpenOffice project. Their feeling was that Oracle, as Sun had before it, had been neglecting OpenOffice and letting bugs go unfixed and new features go un-added for far too long.

The LibreOffice project quickly picked up many supporters, but much of the “goodness” in LibreOffice came from work that Novell had already done on its own spin on OpenOffice. This included better support for Microsoft Office's Open XML formats.

Others quickly agreed that LibreOffice was the better office suite even as LibreOffice was first released. Canonical, for example, chose LibreOffice over OpenOffice, for its Ubuntu 11.04 Linux release.

Indeed, on April 15th, Oracle appeared to wash its hands of OpenOffice. The company announced that it was moving to a purely community-based open-source project and to no longer offer a commercial OpenOffice, aka StarOffice.

True, Edward Screven, Oracle's Chief Corporate Architect also said, "We intend to begin working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office. Oracle will continue to strongly support the adoption of open standards-based document formats, such as the Open Document Format (ODF)." But, without Oracle's commercial support, OpenOffice appears to be a dead project walking. The real development from the OpenOffice family going forward will be with LibreOffice.

That's why it's so important that Novell will be continuing to support it. While there are other Linux and open-source office suites, such as KDE's KOffice and AbiWord, none of them come close to OpenOffice/LibreOffice's spit and polish and their range of features.

From what my sources indicate, Attachmate will continue to support LibreOffice out of SUSE's Nuremberg Germany offices. The next version of LibreOffice, 3.4, is now in late beta and is expected to arrive in a timely fashion.

Related Stories:

Is Mono dead? Is Novell dying?

Novell Deals Done

Attachmate reveals Novell, SUSE, & Linux Plans

First LibreOffice Release arrives

Topics: Oracle, Collaboration, Open Source, Software

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  • RE: Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

    Last time when I checked they are still selling monotouch and monodroid based on Mono. That means they have no intention of closing Mono. Why would they, it gets some money for them with $399 a license each for professional version and $999 for enterprise license and it offers easy development for Microsoft .NET shops who want to quickly get their apps on to iOS and Android with a lot of .NET resources available. At the same time anyone who hates Microsoft at Attachmate could pull the plug and it is like closing a venue of revenue generation.
    Ram U
  • Mono is a PATENT bomb waiting to explode

    The reason Mono has not attracted anybody serious is because it is a patent bomb with a hair thin trigger waiting to explode.

    Novell had the advantage of having a SIGNED contract with MS (that apparently ended, since they are back to suing each other) so they went with it with little success. Now they are dropping the ticking bomb that nobody else wanted to touch.
  • RE: Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

    Glad to know Mono is dead, why develop something that has Microsoft patents in it? It's Microsoft responsibility to develop .NET framework for other platforms but Microcrap = Monopoly so that will never happen
    • Yes it is their responsibility and they decided not to

      @shellcodes_coder I think they would be better off if they did make .net cross platform, it would probably generate much more interest.

      As for the monopoly thing, look up that word. It's clear MS has no monopoly on anything. Heck, look at the way Linux successes are trumpted here. None of that would be possible if MS had a true monopoly.
  • Mono FUD

    I heard that at least some Attachmate empolyees are still working on Mono. I wonder if your "source" is more accurate than mine.
  • Thi first major distro to ship Libre Office by default

    ... wasn't Ubuntu, but openSUSE 11.4. Which predated Ubuntu 11.04 by more than a month. :-)