I have just discovered Donut Charts, a visual feature which has been there for quite a long time, but I have never been able to master. It is a nice feature which comes handy to compare developer’s affiliation of LibreOffice with that of Apache OpenOffice.
In fact, although we have published several times the pie chart showing the affiliation of TDF developers, there are people who keep on hinting that LibreOffice is controlled by SUSE. The Donut Chart seems to show the opposite, especially when looking at SUSE and IBM percentage of the respective communities.
Here, I am comparing over 360 TDF developers with 21 Apache OO developers, which are a picture of the situation at the end of February 2012.
I have not included in the count of TDF developers the former Sun/Oracle employees (53) and I have slightly reduced the count of volunteers as I did not want to include people like myself who have committed a patch but cannot by any mean be considered hackers.
TDF has managed to attract over 360 new developers in 18 months to hack the copyleft licensed LibreOffice, at the monthly average of 20 new hackers. Apache OO has attracted 21 new developers in 7 months to hack the now permissively licensed Apache OO, at the monthly average of 3 new hackers. At this pace, Apache OO will reach 360 developers in September 2021.
At the start of the LibreOffice project, when TDF developers were still a small number, someone has said: “Having an active contributor base of 150 coders would be an amazing accomplishment. Even a solid group of 30 coders, if not all from the same company, would be an impressive project”. LibreOffice now greatly exceeds both of those numbers (actually, it did so in less than four months, by the end of December 2010).
And not only that: LibreOffice does so with a broad and diverse base of contributors and supporters, a feat that seems easy to achieve, but which the history of open source has proven again and again a tricky thing to get right.