Thanks to the work of 300 contributors, the new LibreOffice comes with substantial improvements
The Internet, August 1, 2011 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 3.4.2, the third version of the 3.4 family, targeting both private individuals and enterprises. LibreOffice 3.4.2 fixes the majority of the most-important bugs identified by users in the previous version, and can be deployed for production needs by most enterprises.
The Document Foundation encourages large organizations deploying LibreOffice to do so in conjunction with a support partner, who can carefully assess specific requirements, help manage migration and provide bespoke fixes for identified issues. Purchasing LibreOffice support from a TDF partner also provides enterprises with an indirect means to contribute financially to the project, thereby funding its development, improving its stability, and accelerating its growth. Users should always refer to the release notes before deploying the new version.
LibreOffice 3.4.2 is the result of the combined activity of 300 contributors having made more than 23,000 commits, with the addition, deletion or modification of around five million lines of code. The developer community is well balanced between company-sponsored contributors and independent community volunteers: Oracle and SUSE have each provided around 25% of the commits, with a further 25% coming from community volunteers new to the project since our inception, and with a further 20% from RedHat. The remaining commits came from a combination of pre-TDF contributors, Canonical developers, and organizations like Bobiciel, CodeThink, Lanedo, SIL, and Tata Consultancy Services.
If we look at the same data for individual developers, the top 12 by number of commits since the inception of LibreOffice is composed of a mixture of corporate-sponsored contributors (from 4 companies: Canonical, Oracle, RedHat and SUSE) and a number of private individual contributors, indicating a balanced situation and a healthy community.
“TDF was born with the aim of evolving the OpenOffice.org code to develop a cleaner and leaner free office suite and, after ten months, we are right on track to achieve this objective,” says Bjoern Michaelsen, one of the four Canonical contributors, and a key member of the Engineering Steering Committee. “Of course, with such a large code renovation effort, we are aware of the short-term risk of reduced stability, but this is counterbalanced by the long-term improvement in features, speed and – again – stability.”
Other news is that the number of TDF official contributors and LibreOffice users is increasing. Youbing Jin, President of RedFlag2000 Software Company, says, “We are delighted to see that TDF is getting ever stronger, and we are proud to be part of it.”
The community around The Document Foundation and LibreOffice will gather in Paris for the first LibreOffice Conference, from October 13 to October 15, 2011 (http://conference.libreoffice.org/). The call for papers is open until August 8, while registration will close at the end of September.
Although TDF is happy that 3.4.2, deployed with support from a suitable partner, can be considered “enterprise-ready”, it is clearly only one more milestone on our march towards ever greater stability, with the 3.4.3 release to incorporate further stability improvements and security fixes by the end of August.