Sometime last night the 5 millionth copy of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 was downloaded. Over 5 million downloads in 6 weeks. To put this in perspective, the population of Norway just hit 5 million earlier this year. That's a lot of OpenOffice!
(Apache OpenOffice is currently undergoing Incubation at the Apache Software Foundation.)
If you look at a chart of our daily download numbers you see that the download rate has increased in the past two weeks. This is caused by our recent enabling of the update notification server. Installations of the previous version of OpenOffice, version 3.3.0, check our servers once a week to see if a new version of OpenOffice is available. So we're now getting a mix of new installs and upgrade installs.
So what are we doing in the project other than counting download numbers? Quite a lot, in fact. Many are working on a 3.4.1 maintenance release. This release will focus on quality (bug fixes) rather than new features. It will also include new translations, likely including UK English, Finnish and Slovenian. Work on other translations is underway, based on volunteer interest, including Uyghur. We're tracking the 3.4.1 items on the wiki, if you want to see the details. Tentative date for 3.4.1 is the end of July.
In parallel with the 3.4.1 maintenance branch we're also working on discussing how best to use the Symphony contribution from IBM. This code has many bug fixes and UI enhancements that could benefit OpenOffice users. Some of the bug fixes from Symphony have already made it into the 3.4.1 branch. For post-3.4.1, we are weighing two options: a slower, incremental merge of Symphony enhancements into OpenOffice, or more rapid rebasing of OpenOffice on top of Symphony. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, as well its supporters.
The Apache OpenOffice project welcomes new volunteers on these and other items. Developers are needed, of course, but also those interested in testing, technical writing, translation, web design, usability, marketing, event planning, system admins, etc. This is a large, high visibility project where we can really make an impact in the world, but also one that is non-bureaucratic and organizationally flat, where it is easy for newbies to fit in. It is a great place to get started on an open source project. If you are interested in volunteering, you can send an email to our public mailing list, at email@example.com. Introduce yourself and tell us what you would be interested in doing.
More information on the Apache OpenOffice product, including info on how to download, can be found at our website, www.openoffice.org.
To be added to a mailing list for official OpenOffice-related announcements, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Identi.ca and Google+.