OpenOffice, the once-popular open-source alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite, is effectively on life support, and could be shut down altogether due to a lack of developers willing to update it.
Hamilton’s concerns led to a lengthy discussion on the thread about what might happen if OpenOffice stopped development for good – such as where to archive the code, and how to box things up before bringing the curtain down.
Despite the lack of developer’s willing to contribute to the project, some have expressed disappointment that the project’s leaders are giving serious thought to retiring it.
Developers Phillip Rhodes and Roberto Galoppini both said that the email thread was a mistake, saying that even discussing the project’s potential retirement could lead to it happening. Those fears were echoed by Hamilton himself in his email.
“I cannot [predict] how this will all work out. It is remiss of me not to point out that retirement of the project is a serious possibility,” Hamilton continued.
Unfortunately for OpenOffice, despite being loved by a select few, its survival ultimately depends on its popularity among independent developers who’re willing to work on it. Sadly, there are very few left – just six volunteers at present – and Hamilton voiced his concerns that they don’t have the resources to keep the software up to date. as such, it looks like OpenOffice’s decline could well be terminal.