Open Office Devs Break Away from Oracle to Launch "LibreOffice"

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BenMo

This sounds like another lawsuit from Oracle waiting to happen.  It seems to be their preferred way of making headlines these days.

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I Jedi

Wait, they honestly believe that Oracle is going to let go of OpenOffice? That's like asking Oracle to let go of MySQL; it just won't happen. Besides, what exactly is this "foundation"'s complaint against having OpenOffice under Oracle's control? I wouldn't know, so do fill me in. I wonder if the foundation is afraid that Oracle may try to close-source/pay for some parts of OpenOffice, just like Oracle tried to do with MySQL, before the community there went ballistic. At either rate, I can't see Oracle letting go of OpenOffice, and if they do, it will be from the generosity of their corporate hearts. We all know how much corporations are really willing to give things away for free.

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Corfy

As to why they would want to break from Oracle, I can give some of the answers, although perhaps not all of them.

The biggest issue with Oracle is Oracle has never really made a formal announcement what it planned on doing with OpenOffice.org. OOo developers didn't know if Oracle would walk in tomorrow and say that they were shutting down OpenOffice.org, or if Oracle was going to walk in and say they were going to fund OpenOffice.org heavily, if Oracle was going to let OpenOffice.org die a slow death from neglect, or something in between. That level of uncertainty made the project somewhat unstable, and development has kinda stagnated recently as a result.

Plus there is the fact that Sun wasn't the best stewards of OpenOffice.org even before Oracle bought them. While the project was open source and free for anyone to download the code and make changes, and giving lots of kudos to Sun for releasing the source code to begin with, from my understanding (I'm not a programmer, so I can't speak from personal experience), getting changed code submitted back into the main project was a rather arduous task bordering on the near impossible. Many developers left the project because they felt their changes would never get into the program.

And I don't know if the foundation honestly believes that Oracle will give up the OpenOffice.org trademark, if they are merely hopeful, or if they are simply rallying community support for Oracle to give up the trademark. However, unlike MySQL, Oracle doesn't have an office suite to compete against OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice (at least, not before buying Sun), so it is hard to say how much interest they have in keeping it. But if Oracle keeps the OpenOffice.org trademark, then the new project will keep the name LibreOffice. Other items that Oracle currently has control of include support forums, wikis, community documentation, and extensions.

At least, that is my take on it, and I'm sticking to it for now.

Corfy

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