The Document Foundation Blog


Six Months of Freedom and Community

Filed under: Community — Florian Effenberger @ 19:38

On September 28th, 2010, The Document Foundation was announced. The last six months, it feels, have just passed within a short glimpse of time. Not only did we release three LibreOffice versions within three months, have created the LibreOffice-Box DVD image, and brought LibreOffice Portable on its way. We also have announced the LibreOffice Conference for October 2011 and have taken part in lots of events worldwide, with FOSDEM and CeBIT being the most prominent ones.

People follow us at Twitter,, XING, LinkedIn and a Facebook group and fan page, they discuss on our mailing lists with more than 6.000 subscriptions, collaborate in our wiki, get insight on our daily work in our blog, and post and blog themselves. From the very first day, openness, transparency and meritocracy have been shaping the framework we want to work in. Our discussions and decisions take place on a public mailing list, and regularly, we hold phone conferences for the Steering Committee and for the marketing teams, where everyone is invited to join. Our ideas and visions have made their way into our Next Decade Manifesto.

We have joined the Open Invention Network as well as the OpenDoc Society, and just last week have become an SPI-associated project, and we see a wide range of support from all over the world. Not only do Novell and Red Hat support our efforts with developers, but just recently, Canonical, creators of Ubuntu, joined as well. All major Linux distributions deliver LibreOffice with their operating systems, and more follow every day.

One of the most stunning contributions, that still leaves us speechless, is the support that we receive from the community. When we asked for 50,000 € capital stock for a German-based foundation, the community showed their support, appreciation and their power, and not only donated it in just eight days, but up to now has supported us with close to 100,000 €! Another one is that driven by our open, vendor neutral approach, combined with our easy hacks, we have included code contributions from over 150 entirely new developers to the project, alongside localisations from over 50 localizers. The community has developed itself better than we could ever dream of, and first meetings like the project’s weekend or the QA meeting of the Germanophone group are already being organized.

What we have seen now is just the beginning of something very big. The Document Foundation has a vision, and the creation of the foundation in Germany is about to happen soon. LibreOffice has been downloaded over 350,000 times within the first week, and we just counted more than 1,3 million downloads just from our download system — not counting packages directly delivered by Linux distributors, other download sites or DVDs included in magazines and newspapers — supported by 65 mirrors from all over the world, and millions already use and contribute to it worldwide. With our participation in the Google Summer of Code, we will engage more students and young developers to be part of our community. Our improved release schedule will ensure that new features and improvements will make their way to end-users soon, and for testers, we even provide daily builds.

We are so excited by what has been achieved over the last six months, and we are immensely grateful to all those who have supported the project in whatever ways they can. It is an honour to be working with you, to be part of one united community! The future as we are shaping it has just begun, and it will be bright and excellent.


  1. First TDF says it doesn’t have anything with Portable LibreOffice (when discovered by users that not all LibreOffice languages are supported).
    When anniversaries are coming forth, TDF boasts releasing Portable LibreOffice.
    Such a Portable LibreOffice, not supporting all LibreOffice locales, is a disgrace to LibreOffice and TDF and really nothing to be proud of by the TDF officials!

    Comment by Martin Srebotnjak — 2011/03/28 @ 20:24

    • LibreOffice Portable is not directly released and compiled by TDF, but we cooperate with PortableApps. We host it in our infrastructure, and one of the maintainers is member of the German community. So, there is a link between the portable version and TDF, but it’s not directly maintained by TDF.

      Comment by Florian Effenberger — 2011/03/28 @ 20:29

      • Florian,
        I would expect from you to write to the PortableApps and say – we do not approve a release that does not cover all LO languages, please bear in mind for future versions (find a way to release several version or whatever), otherwise the releases will not be advertised or blogged by TDF. Instead, you are discussing with me whether TDF is the real publisher of it or not.
        Does TDF have a stand supporting its “smaller” languages or will it play fair only with the “big” languages? What is more in line with the TDF policy? Is the instant publicity more important than the principles in favor of world-wide open-source community?

        Comment by Martin Srebotnjak — 2011/03/29 @ 06:34

      • Martin, be assured that TDF is all about our worldwide community, and that we indeed do support all languages possible. There are many projects that are only available in a limited number of languages: We blog and twitter only in English, the LibreOffice-Box is only availabe in German, and LibreOffice Portable is available only in a few languages. However, due to community efforts, this can be changed. For the box, a team is right now working on getting it localized into Englisch, French and Spanish, and I would be more than happy if with community efforts, also LibreOffice Portable can be enhanced. I forwarded this posting to the authors of LibreOffice Portable, let’s see if we can work together on this topic.

        Comment by Florian Effenberger — 2011/03/29 @ 08:56

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  5. Hey Martin. We did the current pack of LibreOffice Portable 3.3 with support baked in for: Czech, Chinese (Simplifed and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English (GB and UK), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. We did this primarily due to space and time concerns as the portable installer doesn’t support the complexity of the LibreOffice installer with specifically selecting which languages to include and we didn’t want to make the install too large for people’s flash drives.

    Unlike most open source apps, LibreOffice doesn’t have just one or two directories with translations where we can easily add or remove them to support specific languages and instead has language information in numerous locations in files, specific folders and even XML/cache/db files.

    After LibreOffice Portable 3.3 came out, however, a number of users in the LibreOffice community asked about additional languages, so we took some extra time with LibreOffice Portable 3.3.2 to package two versions, one with the languages listed above (which we call PartialMultilingual) and one with all the languages LibreOffice support (which we call FullMultilingual). The partial one is about 400MB installed and the full one is 570MB installed.

    We also custom coded an optional component of the installer to remove some of the additional files for languages other than your preferred language (dictionaries, templates, etc) to save space on your install. This removes 200MB from the full install and 160MB from the partial one. The only issue is that the two lines for this section of the installer (“LibreOffice Portable (Multilingual)” and “Remove extra languages”) and their tooltips are untranslated, so we weren’t sure about including them in the installer proper or making them available as a separate tool.

    We’re finalizing those plans in the next hour with The Document Foundation and should have the LibreOffice Portable release out in the next 24 hours. Rest assured that, like The Document Foundation, is a truly worldwide, multilingual, open source product. Our Installer has support for 57 languages and our platform/menu has support for 53. And, like The Document Foundation, we’re in the process of translating our additional tools and support files as well. Also, like TDF, we have a team of developers and translators all around the world. So, you’ll be seeing us supporting locales large and small now and even more in the future.

    Comment by John T. Haller — 2011/03/29 @ 14:12

  6. This is an awesome project, and you guys have achieved much on these past months. Keep up the good work, and congratulations to you all. Open-source software is indeed the future.

    Comment by Ricardo — 2011/03/30 @ 13:54

  7. Only six months…?

    Wonderful … :)

    I do not ask for miracles that take years to accomplish,
    the only thing I ask is that you should follow the path
    you have taken …

    Thanks and go ahead, LO team!

    Comment by DrakoDrakkonis — 2011/03/31 @ 04:50

  8. Great work you guys. I just wanted to say that I think you are running this project the way it was always meant to be run. When I saw the list of ~20-30 (or however many there were) Google Summer of Code proposals the other day, it made me all warm and fuzzy inside. That’s the way to do it;)

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Kenneth Nielsen — 2011/04/01 @ 06:27

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