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Oracle To Give OpenOffice.org To Apache Incubator

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the final-destination dept.

Open Source 129

Julie188 writes "Oracle has finally officially spilled the beans: It's proposing OpenOffice.org as an Apache Incubator project — and not handing it to The Document Foundation. Oracle had announced earlier this year that it would be passing the torch to the community, but failed to provide any specifics about the ultimate destination. The Document Foundation is the organization behind the OpenOffice fork, LibreOffice."

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Choices are good, but... (4, Interesting)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310452)

I wish OpenOffice and LibreOffice would un-fork and all the brain power stay behind one unified product.

I know Oracle is sketchy so I understand the fork, but if Oracle is trying to offload OpenOffice back to the open source community it would be nice to put politics aside.

Am I missing some underhanded scheme by Oracle that keeps their foot in the door on causing legal or support issues down the road?

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310630)

LibreOffice has the momentum, and they're working through removing the Java requirements. That's a decent start!

Re:Choices are good, but... (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310760)

It's too late for that. The egos in both organizations are entrenched now, merging would be very difficult.

Re:Choices are good, but... (2)

Trixter (9555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310864)

It's too late for that. The egos in both organizations are entrenched now, merging would be very difficult.

This is the same problem, unfortunately, as the ffmpeg vs. libav fork problem (which recently has led to odd lawsuit threats [multimedia.cx] ).

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313810)

Blah, I hadn't been paying attention for a while ... I always knew the guys who tried to get rid of Michael were scummy, but this is a fucking new low. Don't send lawyers in before simply asking, unless want everyone to know you're an utter bastard.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310958)

"The egos in both organizations are entrenched now, merging would be very difficult."

Let's wait and see. Oracle has stated that they will pass OOo to Apache, they haven't told under which license. I bet it won't be under GPL.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311586)

"The egos in both organizations are entrenched now, merging would be very difficult."

Let's wait and see. Oracle has stated that they will pass OOo to Apache, they haven't told under which license. I bet it won't be under GPL.

If they chose to hand it to Apache, I would assume they intend to use the Apache License [apache.org] .

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311736)

"The egos in both organizations are entrenched now, merging would be very difficult."

Let's wait and see. Oracle has stated that they will pass OOo to Apache, they haven't told under which license. I bet it won't be under GPL.

Many details should be forthcoming from ASF, especially via http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/OpenOfficeProposal [apache.org] . No need to be GPL/LGPL, ASF licensing requirements are generally very good.

I'm looking forward to OOo being releases from ASF.

TDF tried to accomodate IBM but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311376)

Them tried to get IBM to be with TDF, see http://www.gnome.org/~michael/blog/2011-06-01.html they use license that they could have code under their terms. Instead IBM he screw them with Oracle - hope it fail.

Re:Choices are good, but... (3, Informative)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310794)

If they do merge, it'll be Apache incubator giving up and joining TDF. TDF already announced that they were going forward regardless of Oracle's actions regarding giving OO back of the community. TDF welcomes all new members -- including Apache Incubator.

At this point, TDF/LO is a stronger horse to back -- they've shown they can organize the community, and the software is (arguably) more willing to accept improvements that OO didn't (perhaps because Oracle was still working to find a way to monetize some aspect of OO)

Re:Choices are good, but... (-1, Redundant)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311112)

The need to desperately rename it though. LibreOffice is dorky as hell sounding in English countries. at Least OpenOffice sounded professional and made it easier for someone to convince the CTO to at least try it in a small group. LibreOffice might as well be called "little yellowducky Office"

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311230)

but but... how will people know it's FOSS unless we tell them in the name of our product?

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311312)

It's not just the name that matters but the domain. I bet all those OpenOffice installs are phoning home looking for updates and not finding any. Libre Office might be known about by geeks but its doubtful that the more mainstream users of OpenOffice would know about it or have the confidence / intention of switching even if they did.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311404)

how about (on update time)
Hello $username OpenOffice is upgrading to an new improved version called LibreOffice with more features and better handling of the new Microsoft office formats, for more information see the document foundation website at ......
[Next][Cancel Upgrade]

I bet 98% will click yes eventually all you need is ownership of the domains and some re-directs.

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312094)

The problem is OpenOffice is hitting some url on the openoffice.org domain to check for updates. In order to push users into the new world you need the domain and that url to push an update. Once they get the update you can change the url or domain or even the product to anything you like. Though in truth I think OpenOffice is a far better name than LibreOffice.

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313572)

Though in truth I think OpenOffice is a far better name than LibreOffice.

Personally, I always disliked the "OpenOffice.org" moniker (it had to have ".org" tacked on due to a trademark dispute or something).

LibreOffice as a project title is fine in my book.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36313928)

Disclaimer: your book is "The Joy of Gay Sex"

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311388)

Yeah, projects with dorky names [mozilla.org] don't go anywhere.

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311432)

I know some people that would have not installed "Mozilla" but did install "Firefox"

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312042)

Since the those people aren't likely to know that Firefox is an actual animal, let a lone a panda, not a fox, they are still installing software with nonsensical names. Plus nothing say media player better than "pod" or spreadsheets better than Excell.

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312494)

The red panda is not actually a panda, mind you...

Corny names (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312312)

A few years ago, before the Firefox rename, I installed it on the computer of an elderly couple from Iowa. A few weeks later I saw them again and they thanked me profusely, "We love that Mazola."

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311434)

Mozilla didn't really go anywhere. Geeks (including me) used it, normal people didn't. Firefox, on the other hand, became successful.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311690)

That has nothing to do with the name of the browser. It has everything to do with Firefox branching off as a more lightweight browser without all of the Mozilla suites' cruft. Incidentally, if Mozilla hadn't gone "anywhere" there wouldn't _BE_ a Firefox to use.

If ever a comment on Slashdot needed a mint to take the smell of bullshit off its breath, yours definitely fits the bill.

Re:Choices are good, but... (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312998)

I defended the name "LibreOffice" because it was supposed to just be a placeholder to differentiate it from OpenOffice, until they could come up with a real new name.

However, it seems to have stuck. And sucks.

OpenOffice will continue for a while.

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311148)

This post shows an astonishing ignorance of the Apache Software Foundation and its accomplishments.

Re:Choices are good, but... (2, Insightful)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311290)

my point isn't/wasn't focused on ASF -- I'm talking about the software OO vs. LO. At this point, LO appears to have a broader support base of active developers and the LO software has made a number of improvements since forking that makes it (arguably) a better platform to build from once the community unforks.

I'm sure that ASF/incubator can do a fine job of managing OO, but since they will (if they accept) inherit lesser software and a weaker community, the onus would be on them to consider joining TSF...

The solution (5, Funny)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310848)

Someone should just start a new, independent fork to end the confusion once and for all.

Re:The solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36313166)

..too much confusion.. What's that song I'm hearing? Why are corners of all paper documents cut? Why there are paper shortage? ..too much confusion..

Re:The solution (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36314970)

Contribute to ForkenOffice!

do you feel like you have a knife in your back from all the snping projects, And the nonsense they try to spoon-feed you?

Fight back! Make the world safe for tableware users everywhere with ForkenOffice!

The fork you save might be your own. . .

Re:Choices are good, but... (0)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310874)

Another way to look at it, we now have TWO competing products, where we used to have just the one, that handle MS Word documents better than MSs version does.

Re:Choices are good, but... (3, Insightful)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311364)

Well, LO/TDF didn't instill much confidence at least in me that they were going to be better than what they cried fowl with per Oracle - the only difference being they didn't require copyright assignment. So I am quite pleased to see ASF receiving OOo, and hope it does very well there. I'm sure it will pick up steam and again become the de facto driver of OOo and its derivatives especially as this brings great clarity to what is going on with OOo - something that has been lacking since LO split, and probably the main driver behind the loss of momentum behind OOo itself.

Re:Choices are good, but... (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313194)

Well, since you value the truth: the code base is doing just fine with the Libre Office folks, and the product is better than ever. I don't see how you can even remotely compare them with Oracle, which you know very well would have mis-handled it and made it a mess for users.

Re:Choices are good, but... (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313146)

"... but if Oracle is trying to offload OpenOffice back to the open source community it would be nice to put politics aside."

Oracle doesn't know how to put politics aside. That's part of how they got where they are... and also part of the problem.

I think it's pretty clear that The Document Foundation is largely made up of people who walked out in a huff as soon as they found out what working for Oracle was like... then immediately went on to make some good improvements in the code base.

I think it's pretty clear that this is a big "fuck you" to them from Oracle. Oracle never gave a damn about their users. They want profit. That is all.

ORACLE (5, Funny)

sockman (133264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310454)

One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison

Re:ORACLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310664)

In Larry's words, "Fork us? No, Fork YOU!"

Re:ORACLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310984)

No it's FRAK you. GodDam nobody watches Caprika any more. I still do.

Re:ORACLE (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311042)

You make being rich seem almost dirty when you put it that way. heh.

Re:ORACLE (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311188)

Larry Ellison is the most evil man in the tech world and he completely escapes scrutiny because most end users have no idea what Oracle does or sells.

Re:ORACLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311318)

Larry Ellison is the most evil man in the tech world and he completely escapes scrutiny because most end users have no idea what Oracle does or sells.

Including its customers.

Re:ORACLE (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311450)

Oracle sells very expensive software. The small number of people that can afford it means that his evil doesn't (directly) affect many people. A tiny bit of evil-per-customer from a company like Apple, Google, or Microsoft adds up to a lot more than a huge amount of evil-per-customer from Oracle.

Re:ORACLE (3, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311572)

There are very few companies who don't use some Oracle product - whether it is their database, their eBusiness Suite, Hyperion, or Java. People don't realize how much they are impacted by Oracle.

Re:ORACLE (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313658)

I suffer under the yoke of Oracle's eBusiness suite. Yes, I am certainly impacted by Oracle, and I feel every blow. It is huge, bloated, astonishingly slow (I thought Oracle could do fast databases).

Java till has too much of Sun's influence to really, trylu feel like an Oracle application. I.e. it actually works quite well.

Small number of people? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311574)

Next time you go the DMV, a police station, etc. take a look at what software is running. The "small number of people" includes just about everyone, since many tax-funded institutions are using (or trying to use) Oracle software.

We could all be a bit more sympathetic to government workers who spend every day kludging through broken, half-assed software shat out by Ellison and his cronies.

Childish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310470)

This is the equivalent of Oracle saying 'neener neener!' How adult of them.

Good, now make two versions (2, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310546)

Good, now make two versions, one International version and one US version.

The international version should be the gold version, with the US version a crippled version which honors all the software patent follies going on in the US.

The rest of the world should just ignore their sissy talk.

Let us hope that Apache don't respect US software patents outside the US.

Re:Good, now make two versions (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310666)

amen. but lets go one further and make an International version and forget the US one. Tell the USA that they can stick their patents in their software and keep them... and that they can use our nice, un-encumbered software if they can bear the humiliation of using something not invented here. :)

Seriously, I like the Apache Foundation. There now no need for the Document Foundation at all, they should shut up shop and say "hah! we made you do it Larry, now we're going back to business as usual as if you never got involved". To keep the DF around to maintain a fork just to piss on Ellison is egotistical and stupid. Fold and make 1 Apache-OO.

Now... who's going to start the Data Foundation.....

Re:Good, now make two versions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311860)

openoffice was created by a US corporation, shithead

Re:Good, now make two versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36312438)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarDivision#History

Re:Good, now make two versions (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36315326)

Tell the USA that they can stick their patents in their software and keep them... and that they can use our nice, un-encumbered software if they can bear the humiliation of using something not invented here. :)

You mean like Linux, which was started by Torvalds in a foreign country (Finland), or do you mean like StarOffice, written by StarDivision in another foreign country (Germany)?

Sure, software patents suck, but given the insane amount of software development going on in the US I think that it's of global concern to the FOSS community that software patents still exist here...

Re:Good, now make two versions (2)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311166)

Good, now make two versions, one International version and one US version.

The international version should be the gold version, with the US version a crippled version which honors all the software patent follies going on in the US.

The rest of the world should just ignore their sissy talk.

Let us hope that Apache don't respect US software patents outside the US.

OK as long as the US users can d/l the gold version.

Re:Good, now make two versions (4, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311962)

Good, now make two versions, one International version and one US version.

The international version should be the gold version, with the US version a crippled version which honors all the software patent follies going on in the US.

The rest of the world should just ignore their sissy talk.

Let us hope that Apache don't respect US software patents outside the US.

OK as long as the US users can d/l the gold version.

But ... but ... then your Web Browser would be a circumvention device!

That could NEVER be allowed to happen!

Re:Good, now make two versions (1)

Zappy (7013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313720)

But is should default to A4 independently from the printer settings :-)

That will teach them for every piece of software I have had to endure who defaulted to a Letter paper-size...

Isn't this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310636)

Since the project is already forked, getting more people to develop open source productivity software seems like it would be good for the open source community to get more minds together and working. It sounds like ASF and TDF are on good terms and are planning on working together.

Interesting move (3, Interesting)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310658)

What are the odds that the Document Foundation will voluntarily merge with the Apache Foundation? Is there a licensing issue that might prevent this?

Re:Interesting move (5, Interesting)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310824)

The article has a reaction from The Document Foundation, and it looks like they are not interested in reuniting; they don't like the Apache license, but say they may change LibreOffice licensing to MPL or LGPL (now that they can thanks to the new Apache license).

Re:Interesting move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311236)

The article has a reaction from The Document Foundation, and it looks like they are not interested in reuniting; they don't like the Apache license, but say they may change LibreOffice licensing to MPL or LGPL (now that they can thanks to the new Apache license).

Well, Apache is crying because of Harmony and all the Java TCK issue.

That's why they moved away from JCP.

Now Oracle has a white elephant on their hands: OpenOffice. They can't make big bucks with it, because it is now forked (LibreOffice), and its license is GPL.

What to do? They are trying to fix some things, without shooting at their own foot: give OO away to Apache, who has a commercial-friendly license, put a cold water over Apache like who says "Hey! we gave OO away to you, so be cool". And trying to call LibreOffice developers to bring new stuff from LibreOffice into Apache OO.

Re:Interesting move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311974)

Indeed, besides personalities and the existing active contributor community to LibreOffice, the key issue is the license. Some people prefer GPL, some people prefer the Apache license.

Sadly, the people who tend to prefer the GPL often explicitly and vocally dislike the Apache license, which is a shame, because the Apache license actually gives more freedom to the actual end users of the software.

Re:Interesting move (1)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312270)

Yup. Like google distributing Android 3.0 without releasing the source. FreedomFreedom Oy! Oy! Oy!

Re:Interesting move (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312780)

because the Apache license actually gives more freedom to the actual end users of the software.

Freedom to deny others the same freedom you enjoy is not part of a free society.

Re:Interesting move (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310838)

That suggests an even better solution:
1. Apache takes OpenOffice off of Oracle's hands.
2. Apache says, "Hey, Document Foundation, you want this? We'll even give you the name back."
3. Document Foundation says "Great, we never really liked 'Libre' anyways," merges anything useful that was added pre-fork and switches back to OpenOffice branding.
4. Users and developers are all happy, because they have all the LibreOffice features, but are back to an easily recognizable, pronounceable, and established name.

There's no way for Oracle to win this round, that's for sure.

Re:Interesting move (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310974)

I thought LibreOffice was a temporary name? It seems like they are sticking with it, which is unfortunate.

No matter how good the product is, you need brand recognition. While LibreOffice is a unique name, it is not very catchy and does not roll off the tongue very well.

I know it is all subjective, but it needs a more polished and professional name and then perhaps you will see more market penetration, especially in business environments.

Re:Interesting move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311128)

No, that will not do. LibreOffice is an open-source project. It is not a brand. You do not buy it off a shelf. You do not shop for it in a store or boutique (physical or electronic). If businesses bought software by their names, then it would be no surprise that IT is in such a sad shape.

It does not matter what the open-source project is called, as long as the software does the job without any nasty surprises.

Re:Interesting move (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311232)

They should rename their project to XXXFreePornOffice. As long as the software does its job, it doesn't matter what it's called, right?

Re:Interesting move (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311796)

*rushes off to register domain*

Re:Interesting move (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312950)

LibreOffice is an open-source project. It is not a brand. You do not buy it off a shelf. You do not shop for it in a store or boutique (physical or electronic).

Of course you do.

You can call it an app store or give it some other name and features. But there has to place where users can discover your product, explore its features and give it a test drive.

If businesses bought software by their names, then it would be no surprise that IT is in such a sad shape.

Barriers to adoption remain barriers to adoption whether they are rational or not

The name no one can spell or pronounce.The name no one can understand or explain. Ekiga The name that reads as a sexual double entendre. The Gimp.

Re:Interesting move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36312234)

Depends. Around here (Switzerland), it is a very "polished" name. In Europe, if you want to be international and esp. in Switzerland with its three (to four) languages, some linguistic portmanteau like LibreOffice has an attractive feat.

Just like everybody uses Suisse Something instead of Swiss, because it sounds the same, but does not offend the French speaking part of Switzerland. And there is a considerable part of the populace which learned during the last years that what calls itself open isn't always. Libre (spoken leebrö') is something new.

Re:Interesting move (3, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311996)

Why is LibreOffice not recognizable or not pronounceable?
I would rather see to take all the good parts out of OpenOffice into LibreOffice that could not have been done before and just end OpenOffice. Now that the main development will be coming from TDF anyway and all the distributions are going for LibreOffice, there will be more confusion if LO would end and OO would be resurrected.

I see the turn more like a political one. The Apache Foundation criticized Oracle for Java and left the JCP EC, now Oracle is giving them something to come back maybe? And at the same time punish the TDO for forking OpenOffice by giving OO to Apache and as such not recognize TDF as a legit successor.

Re:Interesting move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36315336)

LibreOffice is less recognizable because it hasn't been around as long as OpenOffice.
LibreOffice is less pronounceable simply because it has a non-English word in it.

Re:Interesting move (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36315388)

I see the turn more like a political one. The Apache Foundation criticized Oracle for Java and left the JCP EC, now Oracle is giving them something to come back maybe? And at the same time punish the TDO for forking OpenOffice by giving OO to Apache and as such not recognize TDF as a legit successor.

Yes, I, too, am confused as to why Oracle would give the project to Apache.

One possible reason to give it to Apache is that they seem to be hooked on Java like nobody else. Don't get me wrong here, I love a lot of the projects that Apache works on, I use the Apache webserver on most of my machines, and I even try to give them some money each year, however their reliance on Java always seemed an odd fit, and now that Oracle is swinging around their Java assets like a machete, I don't want any more of my software relying on Java.

AFAIK, TDF has been working to de-couple Java from the OOo code, something that I believe was never a priority for Sun (in fact I believe that they might have been inclined to do the opposite, given that Java was their baby). If the Apache Foundation assumes oversight over one copy of the OOo codebase, I am concerned that they might (unintentionally) make the project more open to attack from Oracle in the future.

I'm sure we'll all be closely following what the Apache Foundation and TDF do in the next couple of weeks...

Re:Interesting move (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36314578)

I believe its more of a "Who Cares?" issue than anything else.

For a piece of software that has been around for 11.5 years and who's own website shows a 3% decrease in home usage in January 2010 (I guess given the fork turmoil ((that makes business run as fast as they can in the other direction)) they don't feel necessary to update their usage statistics) and the ">21 % in Poland,Czech Rep,Germany" that also hasn't been updated since January of 2010 PLUS there is a thing [documentfoundation.org] that isn't from some Slashdot clone or one of ComputerWorld or ZDNet's fanboy's or some random blogger with a sensationalist headline and no facts to back it up when it comes to LibreOffice.

LibreOffice's Market? It Sucks. [documentfoundation.org] Paper airplane designs? Icons to use? I mean 10th anniversary? [documentfoundation.org] Maybe for OpenOffice, not for LibreOffice.

As I've said before they combined total of all of our Microsoft site licenses and CAL's spread out over the life time of the software plus the Gold/G.I. Joe level of support I get from the vendor I purchase them from doesn't come close to equaling what we spend in one year on our lease+toilet paper+cups+coffee+employee reimbursements for travel expenses+continuing education that those employees went on to better themselves that we pay for+the special tape I buy to make sure the rugs at the entrance doors don't bunch up and someone trips+plates, bowls, plastic forks/spoons/knives+the safety committee budget,the fun committee budget,the alarm company monitoring charges plus the fee's we pay when someone forgets their code and sets the alarm off and police show up+overtime+a ton of things that a lot of you have no clue about! How is Linux or OpenOffice going to help me with any of that? Who am I going to call when someone has a question I can't answer? "Hello Document Foundation, my user.....".

I pay $600 for a name brand PC with Windows 7 Pro, Office 2010, and 3 years of 2/4 hour on-site service (2 for hardware, 4 for software) and before I ever even order them they send me one which I setup with our image then send back which they then load on all the other PC's, test them, and ship them over-night to me.

Oh yeah, I don't think any of that is going to FORK anytime soon.

Let it die (2)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310672)

Let it die and stick with Libre. Oracle did what they did out of spite. They thought they could control it and still get support and that didn't work so instead of doing the right thing, they gave it to Apache out of spite.

Same thing with Hudson.

Re:Let it die (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310700)

I tend to agree. Oracle fucked OpenOffice over severely, and the momentum is with Libre now.

Re:Let it die (1)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311072)

I don't think that spite was an issue, but then again I really don't know whether Larry Ellison was punching stuffed birds all this time and cackling, "let the f---ers sweat!"

I suspect rather that Oracle didn't have the ability, willingness, or the guts to revise the source code licensing/assignment restrictions put in place by Sun Microsystems. And maybe they would have liked to, but could not legally resolve the assignments with a change to a more open license. Maybe it took them all this time to realize that they were sort of screwed one way or another and, with most of the OO.o talent leaving for Libre, they couldn't make this work anymore even if they wanted to. Maybe they had just wasted too much time thinking what to do, and maybe it was just easier to pass it on to the Apache Foundation and let them deal with the whole mess of making it work or whatever.

At least Oracle did give OO.o to Apache, instead of hanging onto it forever. The question that concerns me now is not whether they did it out of spite, or whatever the reasons were, but whether Apache can and will help reunited the two code bases. Personally, I'm sticking with Libre, but I hope that eventually the difference between OO and Libre will be merely cosmetic.

In any case, this looks to be a good thing for the community.

Re:Let it die (3, Informative)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311868)

I suspect rather that Oracle didn't have the ability, willingness, or the guts to revise the source code licensing/assignment restrictions put in place by Sun Microsystems. And maybe they would have liked to, but could not legally resolve the assignments with a change to a more open license.

No. Contributors to OO.org had to assign their copyright to Sun/Oracle [openoffice.org] , EXPRESSLY SO THEY COULD EASILY change the source code license at will...

LibreOffice does not require any copyright assignment [documentfoundation.org] , so if they want to switch licenses they better do it before it becomes infeasible to request permission from all the copyright holding contributors. FTFAQ:

Q: What difference will The Document Foundation make to developers?

A: The Document Foundation sets out deliberately to be as developer friendly as possible. We do not demand that contributors share their copyright with us. People will gain status in our community based on peer evaluation of their contributions - not by who their employer is.

Source code can only flow one way, from OO.org to LibreOffice / Document foundation, not vise versa. OO.org has a disadvantage: Their competitor (LO) can gobble up their codebase, but OO.org can not -- Well, depending on if you can get the developer to assign copyright. (Haven't cared to read the new Apache license for OO.org, but if it still requires assignment, they're toast).

Re:Let it die (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36313768)

did sun ever make, significant, money off staroffice? Oracle's donation to Apache and subsequent license change is a last attempt to produce a proprietary offering.
A copylefted office suite will suffice for most - the rest will buy MS anyway. Hence I can't see that Larry or Apache stand to gain much unless another big contributor agrees to dual license.

Re:Let it die (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311566)

Who is actually behind LibreOffice? Not downstream users, developers. They've incorporated the Novell patches (which were rejected by OO.o because they infringe some Microsoft patents and it's not actually clear that Novell's license to these patents allows GPL'd distribution), but who is working on LibreOffice other than Novell? It always looked like a way of Novell making their fork (go-oo.org) the official one, from the outside. Last time I looked, about 80% of new code in OO.o was coming from Sun, about 10% from Novell, and 10% from everyone else put together, so if Oracle is continuing to employ the OO.o developers, their version remains the interesting one - LibreOffice remains OO.o + patchset. If they're not, then who is now employing all of these ex-Sun developers? Are they still working on OO.o / LO?

Re:Let it die (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312112)

You've alluded to a very important issue.

You can't take a project, stick it on Sourceforge and magically get an army of developers. Donating it to the Apache foundation amounts to the same thing, and has the same problem.

Office software is not particularly fascinating, and for most F/OSS developers, "good enough" means "never going to see much more work". OO.o is, for most practical purposes, "good enough". Frankly, it's not moved on that much since the late betas of version 1.0 I remember from 2002.

I reckon if you were to write a list of every single person on the planet who is remotely qualified to work on OO.o (including some sort of experience in writing user-facing applications), and exclude:

- Everyone who's under NDA/non-compete agreement for a competing product.
- Everyone who's happy with OO.o as it is.
- Everyone who cannot afford the time to get up to speed with OO.o's codebase.
- Everyone who's already actively contributing to OO.o.
- Everyone who has no interest in devoting time to OO.o, and isn't likely to be put on a project contributing to it by their employer.

You'll wind up with maybe a couple of people worldwide.

We don't need your stinking office... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310768)

You've been forked foo.

Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony (1)

rimugu (701444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36310924)

Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony

After all, Oracle did all it could to kill Apache Harmony.
Why would Apache take OpenOffice like that! It may be a trap and it wouldn't be the first time.

Re:Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311074)

Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony

Yes, but in the grown-up world, big organizations don't usually let grudges get in the way of unrelated issues.

Apache may take OO.o and still fight Oracle on Harmony. Or not, but if it's smart, it'll evaluate it an OO.o deal on its own merits.

Heck, Apple is suing Samsung for supposedly copying the iPad, but it's still ordering loads of Samsung components to be used in the next iPad! And we all know how capricious Apple can be.

Re:Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311170)

In the case of Harmony, it was an attempt to make a cleanroom implementation of the Java Classlib. In this case, it's Oracle looking like they're just handing it all over to them, lock, stock, and barrel. If so, there's no trap to be had.

Re:Aren't Oracle and Apache at odds about Harmony (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36314016)

the harmony problem emerged long before Oracle got involved. It commenced with dubious status re Sun's blessing which was never resolved. Further, twas a political ploy given cleanroom Java was already in play - GNU Classpath/cacao/jamvm/gcj/kaffe. A few Apache folks got their noses out of joint because it never came to fruition and Google bastardized their work in Android.
OO.org is a straight donation, without the ideological baggage. Apache becoming a dumping ground for yet another dying offering the vendor is no longer interested in maintaining.

Larry Ellison's cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36310962)

Ellison is fond of dismissing the complexity of some piece of code by claiming that "my cat could write Software XYZ". I'm sure he's said that a couple times about Open Office.

Re:Larry Ellison's cat (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311052)

Don't knock it, for all you know, Larry Ellison's cat is a programming genius

Re:Larry Ellison's cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36313286)

A lolcat writing a piece of perfect C++ would be a good start for the lolcats programming in popular and obscure languages-meme. A video of a lolcat writing in APL could be produced simply by putting the cat over the keyboard or playing with it using a typeball.

Re:Larry Ellison's cat (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36315716)

The only cats who can program are the FVWM Cats [fvwm.org] .
all other cats are copycats.

How insulting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311068)

No one from Oracle and Apache discussed this with the OO or LO community. This whole thing is a IBM coupe. I sense improprieties!!

Re:How insulting (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36311352)

I hope IBM throws in leather seats.

Oracle and Apache relationship improves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311136)

To me this is the interesting bit:
"So this may not be 100% optimal, but it looks like things are moving in a positive direction. It might also mean that Oracle and Apache are burying the hatchet. While it'd be nice to see Oracle cooperate with TDF, I suspect that the company has some legitimate reasons for favoring a well-established organization like Apache."

Oracle's unfortunate treatment of Apache Harmony was what soured the relationship between Apache and Oracle. But maybe the animosity between the two with come down a notch and they can work together more closely again for the the direction Java takes in the future.

What about the trademark on OpenOffice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36311564)

If Oracle is going to hold on to the brand I say let it die.

This is what turns people off from open source (0)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312022)

This is the kind of stuff that makes people and businesses that just don't care about the behind the scenes politics stick with Microsoft Office. Should one move to the fork? Stick with the original? What if the fork falters? What if both suck over time due to talent drain between them? Many businesses will answer these questions with "we don't have time for this, just go buy Office."

Re:This is what turns people off from open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36312108)

This is the kind of stuff that makes people and businesses that just don't care about the behind the scenes politics stick with Microsoft Office. Should one move to the fork? Stick with the original? What if the fork falters? What if both suck over time due to talent drain between them? Many businesses will answer these questions with "we don't have time for this, just go buy Office."

Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, Office Standard, Office Professional, Office Professional Plus or Office Professional Academic?

Re:This is what turns people off from open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36312558)

After all, no proprietary software product has ever gone through ownership transfers and development disputes leading to confusion for users... :)

keeping the exploitation angle (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36312628)

Putting under the Apache Foundation would allow oracle to still leverage it, make closed changes/plugins without legal issues.

They easy saw TDF was going to steer OpenOffice (now the LibreOffice fork) into a GPLv3-ish license, which would be at Oracle's disadvantage.

Smart move by oracle, decent for the OSS community, tolerable for the F/OSS community, but still not sure if it's a smart move for the end user.

Re:keeping the exploitation angle (1)

Boltronics (180064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36315818)

+1 if I could.

Apache once again a dumping Grounds (1)

free2create (536753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36314320)

I am surprised that the Apache Board voted Incubate this given there was the forked project. An end user Office Suite is a huge undertaking and to my knowledge a first at Apache. I can only speculate that allot of $$$ was promised. -Rob

OO Base (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36314592)

Would someone please take OO Base (LO Base, whatever) and rip out all of the Java shit and actually make the thing work with some semblance of speed.

Re:OO Base (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#36315652)

IIRC libreoffice in FreeBSD ports builds without the java dependencies. (actually, last I heard the java dependencies didn't build on FreeBSD).

You lose the database connector and the edit a wiki page functionality. You might also lose mail merge in writer.

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