The Internet, September 28, 2011 – The Document Foundation (TDF) celebrates its first anniversary, one year after the unveiling of the project and the release of the first beta of LibreOffice. “What we have achieved in just twelve months is incredible,” says Charles Schulz, a member of the Steering Committee. “Let’s have a look at some numbers: we have 136 members who have been nominated for their contributions to the project; we have some 270 developers and 270 localizers (although we always want to attract more), many of whom are also members; we have over 100 mailing lists, with over 15,000 subscribers, half of whom receive all our announcements; and there have been thousands of articles in the media worldwide”.
LibreOffice is the result of the combined activity of 330 contributors – including former OpenOffice.org developers – having made more than 25,000 commits. The developer community is well balanced between company-sponsored contributors and independent community volunteers: SUSE and community volunteers new to the project have provided around 25% each of the commits, with a further 20% coming from RedHat and another 20% coming from the OpenOffice.org code base. The remaining commits came from pre-TDF contributors, Canonical developers, and organizations like Bobiciel, CodeThink, Lanedo, SIL, and Tata Consultancy Services.
All that effort is yielding results. Faster, more reliable, with richer features than predecessors, the LibreOffice experience is the best yet in the evolving heritage of the former StarOffice codebase. As InfoWorld said, “The newest features show that much more attention to improving performance and making the product more like a business tool and less me-too effort.”
“Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the OpenOffice.org project in the first decade”, says Norbert Thiebaud, a first-day hacker who jumped on LibreOffice code on September 28, 2010, and is now a member of TDF Engineering Steering Committee.
Downloads since January 25, 2011, the day of availability of the first stable release, have just exceeded 6 million from 81 TDF mirrors, and amount to 7.5 million when you add external sites (like Softpedia) offering the same package. In addition, there are many more users who install LibreOffice from a CD burned from the ISO images available online or bundled with a magazine. TDF estimates that there are 10 million users worldwide having installed from downloads and CDs. Over 90% of those are on Windows, with another 5% on MacOS.
Linux users, in contrast, get LibreOffice from their distribution repository. Based on IDC reckonings for new or updated Linux installations in 2011, TDF estimates a subtotal of 15 million Linux users, as LibreOffice is the office suite of choice for all Linux distributions.
TDF calculates that there is a total of 25 million LibreOffice users worldwide, in line with the expectations and well on the way to the target of 200 million users worldwide before the end of the decade.
“When the community around OpenOffice.org decided to fork into an independent, community-driven project, I was excited and wanted to see it be a success. The best way to ensure that was to actively get involved and, right from the first day, I decided I wanted to be part of the team. I work on LibreOffice documentation and website content development, operate an Alfresco platform for the project, and provide support to the marketing group. LibreOffice is indeed a live, thriving and active project, and we are all determined to ensure it continues to be a great success story,” says David Nelson, another first-day volunteer accepted into the fold as a member of The Document Foundation for his contributions.
NOTE TO READERS: If TDF had used the old OpenOffice.org metrics, counting all hits to the mirror system, the number of downloads would be counted as over 22 million.