OpenOffice , the long-standing open source alternative to Microsoft Office , has its days numbered. And we are not saying it, but Dennis Hamilton, the Apache Foundation's chief project manager , who has stated that retiring the project is a very feasible possibility.
The reasons that have led to this situation are more than one and in fact, it is not the first time it has been raised, although it seems that it will be the definitive one.
Among all the causes of this drop, the most pressing is, without a doubt, the lack of developers . And it is that, after the appearance of LibreOffice , most of the developers have put aside Apache OpenOffice , which seems not to arouse much interest in the Open Source community . Not only does the problem remain here, developers who have migrated to LibreOffice can take code from the Apache suite , but not the other way around.
Obviously, the fact that developers are missing implies serious problems, not only related to the lack of updates but also security. With such a limited number of people on the project, in the event of security flaws, developing solutions for these would be a time-consuming process that would leave suite users completely hung up on as has happened recently.
And it is that, last July, OpenOffice announced a security flaw that could not be fixed, or at least that they could not solve quickly. That ruling could allow that the attackers realizasen DoS attacks and perform arbitrary code execution. OpenOffice's solution to this problem was to use Microsoft Office until the patch came out, something that users who directly switched to LibreOffice did not like . Apache took almost two months to release the patch for this vulnerability.
The Apache board of directors (ASF) asked the OpenOffice project management committee to make monthly updates instead of the quarterly updates that have been carried out so far, but it is something impossible to achieve with the number of integrated in the project to today.
At the moment the board has not provided any specific solution or decision, but Hamilton assures that the end of the project is a real possibility and that it is being highly valued. The source code would be made available to anyone who needs or wants to use it, and the installable binaries will be kept in a file system but nothing else could be added.
The entire project itself should be shut down in the event of the farewell moment, from social media to the corporate OpenOffice blog. At the moment all this is still a hypothesis, strong, but a hypothesis, we must also not forget that despite the rise of LibreOffice, OpenOffice still has many Windows and Mac users, and only in 2015 up to 29 million have been downloaded times.