A new OpenOffice update, version 4.1.2, has been in preparation for a while. Born as a simple bugfix release, it became an occasion for some deep restructuring in the project: several processes have now been streamlined (and some are still in the works), new people are on board and infrastructure has been improved.
Now the wait is almost over, and we are approaching the final phases before the 4.1.2 release. But we still need help with some non-development tasks, like QA and final preparations (press release, release notes and their translation).
OpenOffice is driven exclusively by volunteers, and everyone is welcome to volunteer. See https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/OOOUSERS/AOO+4.1.2 for a list of opportunities and please contact our main development mailing list if interested.
Here's a quick summary of where we are at the moment.
Code and building
Most of the code changes for OpenOffice 4.1.2 have already been integrated. Dozens of old and new developers contributed in recent weeks.
For users, improvements are expected in stability (fixes in all modules: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base), Microsoft interoperability (Sharepoint) and documents import.
For developers, OpenOffice 4.1.2 is designed to be easier to build on modern systems and on non-mainstream systems, thus respecting the Apache OpenOffice mission of providing a solid codebase that people can adapt and customize.
We welcome testers for bugfixes. If you can volunteer some time, helping is easy: you will have to download one of our development builds, you will receive a short list of bugs from our bug tracking system and be asked to verify that they are fixed. It is especially important for us to get coverage of all operating systems (so not only Windows, but Mac OS X and Linux too) and all languages (a few bugs are to be checked by native Chinese-Japanese-Korean speakers).
In order to help, please read http://openoffice.apache.org/orientation/intro-qa.html and contact our QA list as explained there.
We already have volunteers for the main tasks, such as updating the website and preparing the Release Notes. But we could use more help, at due time, for translations of Release Notes and press releases. Please contact our main development mailing list if interested.