The Free and Open Productivity Suite
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.5 released 1.0 Media FAQ



Q. Why is important ?

A. It is important for many reasons. Here are a few: Top

Q. What are we announcing today?

A. Today, we are announcing the second anniversary (Oct. 13, 2002) of the open source project,, and the release of the Beta version of 1.0 for Mac OS X. Also, upon the anniversary the community is announcing the release of a new Developer Build of 1.0 that will be tested and eventually end up in the next user release of the code.

Furthermore, the community is broadcasting the important milestones achieved in the short life of the project. Particularly impressive is the rate of downloads of the software and the acceleration (since the version 1.0 launch in May 2002) in the growth of users, developers and marketers who are all contributing to the improvement and distribution of the code.


Q. What is 1.0?

A. 1.0 is a full-featured office productivity suite that provides a near drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. Users report that little or no training is required for people migrating from other office suites - everything works the way people expect. The free office productivity software suite features key desktop applications - including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing programs - in more than 25 languages. In addition, 1.0 works transparently with a variety of file formats, enabling users to exchange documents freely with users of with other office suites, such as Microsoft Office and StarOffice [tm] 6.0 software. 1.0 software runs stably and natively on multiple platforms, including Linux, PPC Linux, Solaris [tm], Windows and many other flavors of nix.This makes it an ideal first step in a migration strategy towards completely open-source computing. 1.0 is the culmination of more than 18 months of collaborative effort by members of the community, which is comprised of Sun employees, volunteers, CollabNet, and end users, all working to create a world-class international office suite that will run on all major platforms.

Written in C++ and with documented APIs licensed under the LGPL and SISSL Open Source licenses, allows any knowledgeable developer to benefit from the source. And, because the file format for is XML, interoperability is easy, making future development and adoption more certain.


Q. Who are the target customers for 1.0?

A. is targeted particularly at users who do not need or cannot afford the security of Sun's corporate support umbrellA. So the users can make the choice - Home users, educational users, public sector users, non-governmental organisations, etc. are expected to find an irresistible proposition. allows students or employees to use world-class software in their classroom or office, and take their own copies without any licence worries. For developing countries in particular, this is truly empowering technology.


Q. What is the status of the Mac OS X port?

A. We currently have several completed ports, including PPC Linux and NetBSD/Sparc, and 10 in progress of which the Mac OS X port is one. Since the Mac OS X port was released to the community for further development, volunteers have joined the project and have been making significant progress. The Mac OS X port has also gone through some updates over this period and porting team have been keeping current with releases and the rapid pace of development on the 1.0 office suite. The port is now fully in beta, using the X11 window system and full Aqua integration will come in future stages. More developers are needed with Unix or Mac OS X experience to help make this port a reality and help integrate the port to Aqua.


Q. What difference does XML make to the average user?

A. 1.0's implementation of the XML file format ensures that will always be accessible to anyone in the world. It means that documents created today in 1.0 are always going to be accessible because the file format is standard, open and well-documented. For all practical purposes, files created today in 1.0 are guaranteed to be equally accessible in 100 years and beyond.

National, regional and local government agencies all over the world--who are especially sensitive to the issue of public access to information--are very substantial beneficiaries to the 1.0 promise of file format compatibility and continuity.

In addition, the 1.0 implementation of XML incorporates zip compression that's activated when files are opened and closed which makes 1.0 files size on the order of 25-60% smaller than files of the leading office suite. Therefore, the average 1.0 document file takes up significantly less space on your hard drive.

Further, XML as implemented by will soon allow document viewing, formatting and editing on small hand-held devices--including Palm, Pocket PC, and one day perhaps on a cell phone--without needing the Office application to run resident on the small device.


Q. Why is the momentum for revolutionary?

A. Growth in the community and in the downloads have far surpassed all expectations.

The community is growing in large numbers and comprising of a larger user community wishing to contribute. Some numbers on will help explain this:

  2001-04 2001-10 2002-05 2002-10
Downloads 5,000 1 Million 4.5 Million 8.5 Million+
Mirrors 0 6 34 35+
CD Distributors 0 1 12 55+
Community Size 1,500  3,500  10,000  70,000+
Native Lang Projects 1 1 5 6
Weekly Posts 300 600 1500 2,000+


Q. What are the factors that would prevent someone from moving to 1.0?

A. We are open about this information too.


Q.What is

A. is the largest open source project with more than 7.5 million lines of code. To date million downloads of earlier versions of 1.0 have taken place. is also the home of the open source project and its community of developers, users and marketers responsible for the on-going development of the 1.0 product. The mission of is to create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format. Additional ports, such as FreeBSD, IRIX and Mac OS X are in various stages of completion by developers and end-users in the community. 1.0 is written in C++ and has documented API's licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL) open source licenses.


Q. What does, the source project and community do?

A. The project provides the necessary facilities to make this open source technology available to the developer- and user-community. This includes the publicly accessible source code, over 31 projects and information Web site (/), and active discussion forums with over total posts per week.


Q. What are the objectives of the project?

A. The objectives of are to:


Q. Who will benefit from

A.Both companies, governments, and individuals will benefit. 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, will also provide value for API and macro developers and of course, the end-user community, which will enjoy the benefit of new innovation, applications and the ability to maintain and exchange documents with any users.


Q. What is Sun's role in this?

A. Sun initiated this effort, in July 2000, by donating over 7.5 million lines of the StarOffice software source code and engineering to the community. Sun engineers work on the code, giving back the contributions to the open source community. Sun's goal with the StarOffice software is simply to make it the premier branded implementation available - based on the technology.

Sun continues to sponsor and support the innovation in the community and remains, as a strong supporter for the use of open standards in the industry. It is critical for all of Sun's customers that there be open, viable, cutting-edge office productivity software available to run in the heterogeneous network and across all platforms. makes it possible. Through open standards and by expanding the market for product implementations based on open standards Sun can lead through hardware and related services. Sun believes 'innovation happens elsewhere' and the community has shown true creativity and innovation both in development and marketing of 1.0.


Q. What is the difference in between StarOffice [tm] 6.0 software and ?

A. 1.0, which shares the same code base as Sun's StarOffice [tm] 6.0 software is - like StarOffice 6.0 software - a full-featured office suite that provides a near drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. 1.0 offers software freedom, enabling a free market for service and support, while the Sun-branded product, StarOffice 6.0 software, offers 24x7 fee-based support and training for consumers and businesses, along with deployment and migration services. StarOffice 6.0 includes some proprietary code in the form of third-party licensed technology, which is not available in 1.0. Sun pays to license the third-party technology included in StarOffice and it does not have permission to open source it. Examples of this third-party technology include: offers numerous additional ports and supports 23 different languages, developed as a community, with many more languages and ports in progress. The two office suites complement each other, meeting the varying needs of consumers, open source advocates and enterprise customers.


Q. What are the Software Freedoms offered by

A. from (the Free Software Foundation website) These are:


Q. Are other office productivity vendors involved in

A. invites everybody to join us in this journey to free and open office productivity. By combining an open community and the dual licensing model so that anyone can participate in this endeavor freely.


Q. Why was founded?

A. The community was founded to create the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format. The Community was established in Oct 2000 with Sun's donation of the StarOffice 5.2 source code.


Q. How can I join

A. Anyone can join the community by simply registering here. Once you have registered, you may join particular projects, file issues, bugs, patches, or comment on already filed issues. If you want to be informed of future announcements to make sure you don't miss out send an email to:


Q. What is CollabNet's involvement with the infrastructure?

A. CollabNet's SourceCast application enables both centralized and geographically distributed software development teams to collaborate. SourceCast is the premier Web-based collaboration environment, which includes an integrated set of software development applications and tools.


Q. Where can I find more information about the community?

A. You can find more information about on the Website, /. Take a look at the site FAQ or the media resources kit for more information.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, StarOffice, Solaris and "The Network Is The Computer" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.


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