A LibreOffice/Apache OpenOffice Comparison

As the date of the Apache OpenOffice release approaches, and the final release candidate wends its way through a couple of rounds of approval / voting, I thought it might help clarify the current situation to have a side-by-side summary of what is in each suite. I’ll update this entry in response to feedback, please do mail me with corrections if I’ve got things wrong.

Let me say, straight off, that I think the ‘removal of copy-left’ code (or at least its replacement) has been done reasonably well. Potentially rather a confusing description though: there are still great big gobs of copy-left code as hard requirements for a useful Apache OpenOffice but these are category b copy-left, instead of the category x licenses: (including the LGPL) that Apache excludes. The functionality loss from this removal is modest, as new versions of dependencies have been selected or system dependencies added, with even some rule-bending around shipping GPL dictionaries.

On the other hand, thus far, there are rather few really new features in the release that did not come from Oracle’s existing work; that is outside of some pleasant drawing improvements, which we hope to merge into LibreOffice for our next major release.