Some time ago, I fretted about the future of OpenOffice, an open source office suite, and my software of choice for writing, spreadsheets and presentations.

The problem, put simply, was the lack of interest in OpenOffice from Oracle, it’s new owner.

Well, it looks like my worries are over.

Meet the Document Foundation, a new organisation created by members of the OpenOffice community ‘to build on the foundation of ten years’ dedicated work by the Community.’

The foundation has released the first beta of LibreOffice, and this evening I installed it in place of the OpenOffice build I had on my laptop. This is the first article written using the new build. The final version is expected by year’s end.

LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice. Sort of. Mostly, it’s OpenOffice without the branding, since Oracle hasn’t signed up to the project, and they own the OpenOffice trademark.

Oracle may hand over the trademark, and LibraOffice will go back to being OpenOffice, but free of Oracle. Or not.

I don’t really care. A truly open foundation, focused on fixing the bugs and without the Not Invented Here philosophy of Sun or Oracle, will mean a better product.

Go Libre!

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.