The Apache OpenOffice community is much larger than just OpenOffice itself. There are also thriving communities that create various add-ons to OO, such as extensions and templates. And because many of these addons are not distributed under the Apache Software License, when OO moved to the Apache Software Foundation, SourceForge offered to host some of that stuff.
As home of these two sites, we are gathering some statistical information, about top downloads, top countries and operating systems. Top downloads are probably of great interest to end-users, so that they might know at a glance which extension or template may be of interest to them.
Top 10 Templates
Tri Fold Brochure
This is a Resume
Business card template
2012 Month/Year Calendar and Planner with Holidays
DIN Brief mit Fenster links
Project Management Template with Gant Schedule Creation
Top 10 Extensions
Oracle PDF Import Extension
Professional Template Pack II – English
US English Spell Checking Dictionary
MySQL Connector for OpenOffice.org
Oracle Report Builder
German (de-DE igerman98) dictionaries
OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs – export & import to Google Docs, Zoho, WebDAV
Professional Template Pack – English
de.OpenOffice.org – German Templates
There’s not much difference between the top countries by downloads between Extensions and Templates. Considering that few of them are language dependent this comes with no surprise, though.
The situation for Operating Systems is actually different, and it could probably inspire some speculations. We’ll keep monitoring these metrics and we’ll regularly keep you posted.
I recently spoke with Russell Ossendryver, the author of that business card template, about how he got started working on this.
This all started when Worldlabel.com sponsored a Openoffice.org template contest. They became interested in trying to help the community develop a large archive of user friendly templates. When the template repository site launched, it was obvious that there was a lack of business card templates for the community, so Russ decided to create a simple Business Card template design which can be used universally. He used basic design functions available in Openoffice including insert image, text boxes, created color gradients and more. He also decided to write a howto on making business cards.
Rich: What skills are required to contribute a template to the OO project?
Russ: Very little skills are required. Some basic knowledge of how to use tables, inserting a text boxes and changing font type is all what is required. Of course the skill needed for some templates is extremely high, for example a perpetual calendar in a spreadsheet is complicated.
Rich: What’s the motivation for contributing a template to the community, rather than keeping it to yourself?
Russ: There is nothing like sharing, and if ones creation can help others that is extremely rewarding. There is also some satisfaction creating a template which becomes popular and is greatly needed. I must admit, i check once in a while to see how popular my templates are. Its kind off competitive making it fun -:) The more willing people are to give, the likeliness of people joining in increases.
Rich: What’s missing? (i.e., what templates could I contribute?)
Russ: I think there is a little of everything, but we need more, there is nothing like a variety of choices for our community. Microsoft spends huge resources on their Office template gallery, so we need to keep adding. If there is one area I think the community needs more templates is legal forms i.e. pleading forms But, we can also use more presentation templates, business cards, and resume templates are all ways popular.