What is Go-oo?


Go-oo is a community-developed fork of Sun's Open Office office suit. Go-oo contains features and improvements that for technical or legal reasons cannot be included in Sun's version of Open Office. Most Linux distributions today use Go-oo instead of the standard Open Office packages, however, the splash screen and "About" dialogs usually remain the standard Open Office versions. This is at Sun's request, to enhance brand recognition and is in stark contrast to Mozilla's stance on Firefox forks, notably Iceweasel.

Although Open Office is open source, Sun does not accept contributions from outside Sun unless the developer gives Sun ownership of the contributed code. This ownership means that Sun can release this code under what ever license Sun chooses. Most code is released twice: once in OOo (Open Office) under the GPL license, and once again in Star Office under a proprietary Sun license. Star Office, Sun's commercial office suit, is built from much of the same code base as OOo, however being a proprietary application it cannot incorporate GPL code.

Community frustration regarding Sun's licensing requirements and refusal to add critical features catalyzed several forks of Open Office, which is explicitly permitted under the GPL license. Go-oo is the leading OOo fork for Linux, incorporating enhanced compatibility with competing office suits, snappier performance, and additional features. Compatibility with other office suites is provided by filters capable of parsing Microsoft Office's native OOXML format, MS Works, and Lotus Word Pro files. Snappier performance is seen is faster startup times and improved code profiling. Some of the more useful features in Go-oo that are missing from OOo include SVG support, VBA macro support, 3D transition effects, and a built-in multimedia framework.

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