Yes, LibreOffice did fork away from OpenOffice in September of 2010. Open Office, then was the default standard in office suites for open source software and had a large user-base. Besides, it was a strong contender against proprietary software such as Microsoft Word. After Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, the parent company of OpenOffice, it initially, remained non-committal on continuing as a free software suite. This prompted developers of OpenOffice code to start afresh with LibreOffice Project, under The Documentation Foundation.
Later, in June 2011, Oracle donated the OpenOffice Project to Apache Software Foundation and is now grows under their aegis.
Doubters believed LibreOffice would be an OpenOffice clone
The differences between both the projects in September 2010 were more organizational in nature than any distinctions in actual codes.
As LIbreOffice was born, more out of a need to retain continuity of the Open Source philosophy, many believed that, LibreOffice would simply remain a clone of OpenOffice software and reflect its code.
Doubters vindicted with LibreOffice recent sprucing codelines
Now LibreOffice is building up pace and last week has added some 7.7 new million new code lines, doing away with some 5.3K, which were defunct. Now burnished and revamped, it is sleeker, faster and provides greater value, in comparison to either OpenOffice or even Microsoft Word.
Michel Meeks, comments in his blog that the differences in code between LibreOffice and OpenOffice is now becoming wider. In future, It will probably become increasingly difficult to port code between the two products as the differences could well run into several million code-lines.
LibreOffice sleeker, faster and more enabled
Meeks mentions in the post that, legacies and defunct codelines for OS/2; code to connect Adabas database in OpenOffice/StarOffice; about 100 import/export binfilters used in ealier OOo versions are now all killed to make space for better codelines.
The latest LibreOffice inclusions are improvements in VBA; sprucing the gtk3 code; introducing newer RTF filter and a new filter for the Lotus Word Pro.
A whole lot of feature work in the new files being added has increased the net work input. All these changes are largely with respect to common files and are indicator of the amount of code-change happening.
It is assumed that, this could give rise to conflicts when merge changes occur. This would be true, if as per convention all Apache Open Office code committed were reflected in LibreOffice as well.
The gulf will increase
In future, it would be rather wrong to assume that, there would be a corresponding code committed in LibreOffice, every time there is a change in OpenOffice code. The codelines are going to become more specific to LibreOffice.
It is most likely that, LibreOffice would ‘cherry-pick’, only meaningful OpenOffice changes to be included in LibreOffice.
LibreOffice will soon be default office suite
LibreOffice is now passing the crossroads with OpenOffice. With the open source community developers behind it, it is most likely that the codelines gulf between both will increase and help LIbreOffice achieve its goals.