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Apache Open Office, sized for euthanasia by one of its own last year, still lives and should see an update before the end of May, allegedly.

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Apache Open Office 4.1.3 – the latest available version, and released in October – contains at least one undisclosed and so-far unpatched security issue: this is mentioned but not explained in the minutes of a meeting of the Apache Foundation Board of Directors in January.

As of Wednesday this week, the board minutes included the following line, explaining that the, now late, Open Office 4.1.4 release will patch one or more mysterious vulnerabilities: However, a day later, while The Register was investigating the state of Open Office, someone within the software foundation got wise to our probe, and modified the meeting minutes – quietly removing this reference to security problems in Open Office.

"We know that board reports are studiously read by people for both good and ill, and the spreading of unfounded ill that might be present in most of the private sections benefit no one, other than detractors," he said.

Acknowledging that most Open Office users depend on downloaded community-provided builds, Jagielski emphasized that rushing out fixes to a complex application without careful testing would likely do more harm than good. Let's just hope details of those unexplained security flaws stay secret, and out of the hands of exploit writers, until version 4.1.4 lands.

"There is nothing nefarious, or devious or even secretive about this," Jagielski said.

"Some items we are required to keep private, due to legal concerns; others we keep private until such issues can be officially analyzed, such as whether or not a reported security issue is valid, or an issue for the PMC (occasionally, such a report is due to a vulnerability with an external, 3rd party codebase, and we must coordinate with them)." Jagielski said such practices provide the board with insight into potential issues, most of which turn not to be matters of real concern.

In other words, Apache changed its public records to hide the fact it has been sitting on security patches for months. Bear in mind the minutes were published in March, and were modified this week, on Thursday, April 27, after we contacted the Apache foundation.

Jim Jagielski, a member of the Apache Open Office Project Management Committee, dismissed talk of the death of the productivity suite as "typical FUD that is spread by the 'usual suspects.'" We take that to mean those who prefer competing software, such as Libre Office, or who have expressed concern about Open Office's ongoing viability.

We adapted that code, and based on several rounds of feedback from users like you, improved it and integrated it into Open Office. We hope you enjoy using Apache Open Office, the leading free and open office productivity suite.