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FAQs

Last updated 2002-08-01

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These faq have been compiled over the span of OpenOffice's lifetime. Most of the information is now out of date. See the OpenOffice FAQ page on our official wiki for up-to-date information. If you find instances that need updating, let us know by sending a note to dev@openoffice.apache.org.

   Overview: Questions  

  1. What is OpenOffice.org?
  2. What does OpenOffice.org do?
  3. What are the objectives of the OpenOffice.org project?
  4. What benefits does OpenOffice.org provide?
  5. Who will benefit from OpenOffice.org?
  6. What components are included in OpenOffice.org?
  7. As a Linux developer, what does this mean to me?
  8. Where do I find more information about this project?
  9. If I build the code for OpenOffice.org, can I call it StarOffice?
  10. Can I take code from OpenOffice.org and modify StarOffice?
  11. May I add/bundle the Sun Java Runtime Environment to/with a (commercial) distribution of OpenOffice.org?

   Overview: Answers  

  1. What is OpenOffice.org?

    OpenOffice.org is the open source project through which Sun Microsystems has released the technology for the popular StarOffice[tm] Productivity Suite. All of the source code is available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Sun is participating as a member of the OpenOffice.org community. OpenOffice.org is being hosted by CollabNet.

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  1. What does OpenOffice.org do?

    The OpenOffice.org project provides the necessary facilities to make this open source technology available to the developer community. This includes the publicly accessible source code, project information Web site (/), and discussion forums.

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  1. What are the objectives of the OpenOffice.org project?

    The objectives of OpenOffice.org are:

    • Providing open access to the source code,
    • Establishing open productivity XML-based file formats and language-independent component APIs, and
    • Enabling innovation which will build the next generation of open network productivity services.

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  1. What benefits does OpenOffice.org provide?

    The benefits of OpenOffice.org include:

    • A common source base for open source office apps
    • A world-wide community of developers
    • Enhanced compatibility and interoperability resulting from open, language-independent APIs, open XML-based file formats, and a common reference implementation
    • Open access to code and modifications
    • Limitless porting and localization
    • Free binaries
    • Flexible development scenarios including open source or open language-independent APIs
    • Direct developer participation in the evolution of the code base
    • The ability for developers can take the technology in new and innovative directions and into new markets

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  1. Who will benefit from OpenOffice.org?

    OpenOffice.org represents open sources, open language-independent APIs, open XML-based file formats, and open access. In the short run, these benefits affect source code developers, especially those in the open source community. In the long run, OpenOffice.org will also provide value for API and macro developers and of course, the end-user community, which will enjoy the benefit of new innovation and applications.

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  1. What components are included in OpenOffice.org?

    OpenOffice.org components include word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, data charting, formula editing, a database, and file conversion facilities (including those for Microsoft Office formats). See our Features page for more information.

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  1. As a Linux developer, what does this mean to me?

    There is now a full-featured, open source office productivity application suite available for your use.

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  1. Where do I find more information about this project?

    The OpenOffice.org project is hosted at /. Here you will find a community with relevant information and interesting discussions. Here you will also find details of how you can become involved in this project.

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  1. If I build the code for OpenOffice.org, can I call it StarOffice?

    No. You can not call what you build, or any modifications thereof, StarOffice. You can call it anything else, however, that is not already trademarked. So, if you are working at Bobco Software and you wanted to call what you have built "BobOffice," that would be ok, presuming that Bobco is not already taken by another "Bob."

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  1. Can I take code from OpenOffice.org and modify StarOffice?

    No. StarOffice is Sun's commercial product and is not licensed under the GPL license family. StarOffice 5.2 is built on a code base that predated the OpenOffice.org code. To modify StarOffice in any way with the code from OpenOffice.org would be out of bounds.

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  1. May I add/bundle the Sun Java Runtime Environment to/with a (commercial) distribution of OpenOffice.org?

    Yes.

    OpenOffice.org 2.0 uses Java technology to increase its functionality: Java technology is used for wizards and for the database component; its use here does not affect the licensing of either OpenOffice.org or the Java software.

    The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) may be freely (at no charge) downloaded from http://www.java.com and can be freely (at no charge) distributed with OpenOffice.org via CD or other media as provided in the JRE license (among other things, Sun shall deem the OpenOffice.org software to provide significant Java technology based value add to the JRE as required by the JRE license, and note that the JRE needs to be bundled unmodified with the OpenOffice.org software - including the license contained in the installer).

    For more information on Java's licensing, please visit http://www.java.com/en/download/license.jsp

    Information on OpenOffice.org's license can be found at //license.html.

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