Apache OpenOffice in 2013: a year in review
2013 has been an exciting year for the OpenOffice project and community.
Click on the picture below to start a slideshow with highlights from 2013. A text-only version is under the picture.
- January: Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 is released in 8 additional languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Polish, Basque, Asturian and Scottish Gaelic) thanks to the work of new translation volunteers.
OpenOffice supports 120+ languages, but only those that are 100% translated and maintained are officially released.
- February: OpenOffice comes back to FOSDEM, one of the most popular Free and Open Source Conferences in Europe, with a dedicated devroom and a stand.
- March: Apache OpenOffice starts integrating improvements from IBM Lotus Symphony, a previous fork that is now closed and donated to the Apache Software Foundation.
The integrated improvements bring better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents.
- April: It's time for a radical improvement of the OpenOffice user interface.
The first major change in years, the Sidebar, is done by the Apache OpenOffice "dream team" in Hamburg in close cooperation with hundreds of other community members.
The code, distributed under the Apache License 2.0, is promptly reused by other projects.
- May: After a long selection process that saw over 5000 votes cast, a new logo is selected for OpenOffice 4. The winning proposal is submitted by community member Chris Rottensteiner, from South Tyrol.
- June: The social media presence of Apache OpenOffice grows.
The Facebook fan page at https://facebook.com/ApacheOO has about 40 new fans per day and reached the 10,000 fans milestone in 2013.
The official Twitter account at https://twitter.com/apacheoo has more than 2,000 followers.
- July: Apache OpenOffice 4.0 is released.
OpenOffice 4.0 features an innovative new Sidebar user interface, additional language support for 22 languages (including 3 new languages), 500 bug fixes, improvements in Microsoft Office interoperability, enhancements to drawing/graphics, performance improvements, etc.
The full list of improvements is available on the project's community wiki.
Apache OpenOffice 4.0 is downloaded at an impressive rate, about 1 million downloads per week.
- August: The official repositories for Apache OpenOffice Extensions and Templates are refreshed.
The updates bring to the two community sites get a nicer search functionality, social media sharing features, better spam control and many other improvements.
The sites offer more than 750 extensions at http://extensions.openoffice.org and more than 2,800 templates at http://templates.openoffice.org
- September: The Apache OpenOffice Forum reaches 60,000 registered users.
The official forum at https://forum.openoffice.org is the most used channel for user support, averaging over 100 posts per day and accumulating over 270,000 posts about Apache OpenOffice and all derivatives.
The Forum and Wiki benefited from a number of infrastructure improvements in 2013, thanks to the Apache Infra team.
- October: Apache OpenOffice 4.0.1 is released. It is a maintenance release which fixes critical issues and improves the overall quality of the application.
General areas of improvement include: additional native language translations, bug fixes, performance improvements and Windows 8 compatibility enhancements.
The full release notes are available on the project's community wiki.
- November: Apache OpenOffice successfully integrates support for the Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and IAccessible2 interfaces.
Support for these interfaces enables screen readers and other assistive technologies to work with Apache OpenOffice, which in turn enables greater productivity by OpenOffice users who are blind or who have low-vision.
With the new accessibility support OpenOffice becomes even more attractive for use by governments and public institutions, like the administrative region of Emilia-Romagna, in Italy, that recently announced a migration to OpenOffice.
- December: Apache OpenOffice reaches 85,000,000 downloads.
According to the statistics provided by SourceForge, that hosts the official downloads, the English version is the most downloaded one, followed by French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Russian.
The Apache OpenOffice porting page at http://openoffice.org/porting lists other versions, such as a portable version for Windows, the PrOOo-box software collection in German, and AndrOpen Office, an Android port of Apache OpenOffice available since June 2013.