See our list of Free Extensions for OpenOffice.org & LibreOffice!
Free software users want a free software world
OpenOffice.org is free software, and an important contribution to the free software community. However, the program offers the user a library of extensions, and some of them are proprietary. Distributing OpenOffice.org in the usual way has the effect of offering users the nonfree extensions too.
The FSF asked the OpenOffice.org Community Council to list only free software extensions, or to provide a second independent listing which only included free extensions, but they declined to change their policy. It falls to others in the free software community to address this issue.
Therefore, the FSF will assemble a replacement extension library for OpenOffice.org, one that will contain only the extensions that are free. Once it is set up, any OpenOffice.org user will be able to use the FSF's extension library instead of the usual one just by making a simple configuration change. Conveniently, this will not require any change in the code of OpenOffice.org itself, or any forking of individual extensions.
LibreOffice uses this extension library by default, so it doesn't have the problem with recommending nonfree add-ons. Libreoffice has launched a public beta of its extensions repository. Naturally only free software is accepted. It is at http://extensions.libreoffice.org/
How you can help
Help build the listing
The main way to help is to import your favorite free extensions from http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/ to our free listing.
The official URL for the free extensions repository is http://www.fsf.org/openoffice. Right now, this redirects to Group:OpenOfficeExtensions/List, but please use the canonical URL, as the target location may change in the future as the project develops.
If an extension is not free software please add it to the Group:OpenOfficeExtensions/NonFree list. This list can also serve as a resource for trying to fix the freedom issues of these extensions.
You can also help by working on tools to automatically bulk import extensions from that list, according to the guidelines below.
To be included on this list, extensions must be distributed under a free software license, as listed at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html.
The default OpenOffice.org library has only very simple licensing information, unfortunately describing a variety of licenses as just "opensource" without specifying the license name. These are good extensions to start with, but you'll need to look in the extension source code and verify the actual specific license.
If a license does not appear on the FSF's license list, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about it.
Don't include extensions which don't have any licensing information. In that case, please write to the author of the extension asking her if she would be willing to release her extension under a free license, and note that you have done so on the Discussion page.
We do not want to list add-ons that are only helpers for "Software as a Service." That means the add-on sends your data to someone else's server, which does a computation on your data and sends you back the results. If you see an add-on in this list which appears to be just a front-end for Software as a Service, please report it.
This is a checklist to help you verify if an extension is free or not:
- Does the extension contain a file with the license for the whole work?
- Is the license a free software license, as listed at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html?
- Does the extension include valid copyright & licensing notices?
- Does the extension contain all necessary build scripts?
- Does the extension still work if you don't have a network connection?
- Is the extension a frontend or helper for "Software as a Service"?
- Does the extension contain binary-only components (other than artwork)?
If you're unsure if a particular extension should be considered free software or not, don't guess -- contact other project members and ask. See the "Join the conversation" section below for more information.
Ask OpenOffice.org to change their policy
OpenOffice.org users can also help by contacting the OpenOffice Community Council and respectfully requesting that OpenOffice.org not be used as a platform for distributing proprietary software. Contact information for the current committee members is listed under "Representatives". OpenOffice.org community members (defined by the Council as people who have registered accounts on openoffice.org) can also suggest new agenda items for the Council's next meeting.
Join the conversation
Sign up for the mailing list at http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/openoffice-extensions-discuss.
If you see a problem with an extension on our listing, such as a broken link or a nonfree license, please fix it by editing the wiki page. If you're unsure, you can report it on the Talk page or send a note to the mailing list.
Join the #fsf IRC channel on irc.gnu.org (or irc.freenode.net).
- Follow these instructions to use the free repository of OpenOffice.org extensions.
Jason Self is the current project maintainer.