Statement about Oracle’s move to donate OpenOffice.org assets to the Apache Foundation
The Internet, June 1st, 2011 – The Document Foundation constitutes a global team of hundreds of developers working together to improve the LibreOffice product for the benefit of all users. We are governed by an open, and meritocratic community headed by a diverse interim Steering Committee, and a vendor neutral Engineering Steering Committee overseeing development.
Today we welcome Oracle’s donation of code that has previously been proprietary to the Apache Software Foundation, it is great to see key user features released in a form that can be included into LibreOffice.
The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
On the bright side, one benefit of this arrangement is the potential for future-proof licensing. The Apache License is compatible with both the LGPLv3+ and MPL licenses, allowing TDF future flexibility to move the entire codebase, to MPLv2 or future LGPL license versions. The Document Foundation believes that commercially-friendly, copy-left licensing provides the best path to constructive participation in, and growth of the project.
Thus, the event is neutral for The Document Foundation, which – as always – remains open to every company, individual or foundation that wishes to participate in co-development. There has never been a better time to get involved and advance the state of the art in free software office suites.
TDF is therefore willing to start talking with Apache Software Foundation, following the email from ASF President Jim Jagielski, who is anticipating frequent contacts between the Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation over the next few months. We all want to offer corporate and individual users worldwide the best free office suite for enterprise and personal productivity.
Finally, TDF continue executing on our time-based release plan for LibreOffice 3.4.0, due out this week, while continuing work on our bug fix release train, with 3.4.1 due in a months time, as well as ongoing feature development for our 3.5 release.
About The Document Foundation
The Document Foundation has the mission of facilitating the evolution of the OOo Community into an open, meritocratic and democratic organization. An independent Foundation is a better reflection of the values of our contributors, users and supporters, and will enable a more inclusive, effective, efficient and transparent community. TDF will protect past investments by building on the achievements of the first decade, will encourage wide participation within the community, and will co-ordinate activity across the community.
Media Contacts for TDF
Florian Effenberger (Germany)
Mobile: +49 151 14424108 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivier Hallot (Brazil)
Mobile: +55 21 88228812 – E-mail: email@example.com
Charles H. Schulz (France)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Italo Vignoli (Italy)
Mobile: +39 348 5653829 – E-mail: email@example.com
This is awesome!
May I ask for a clarification about “donation of code that has previously been proprietary”? Do you just mean the (rather irrelevant) fact that this code used to be proprietary in the Nineties, before it was put under a free software license by Sun? Or there is more, i.e., Oracle has donated not only OpenOffice.org but also all proprietary software (StarOffice, “Oracle Open Office”) that was based on it? I can’t find other sources confirming this and this would be breaking news indeed.
Rob Weir argued the TDF unlike the Apache foundation has a membership selection committee. I didn’t know TDF was “exclusive” but in the Apache foundation a 2/3 majority can kick members out.
TDF is based in Europe, AF in Delaware. I wonder what sounds more trustworthy…
Btw, what would be the annual membership fee of TDF?
Hm, better read this.
First Apache are subpoenaed by Oracle America, then they get the assets whatever that may be) from the same company just a month later. Oracle must be desperate.
Personaly I would never contribute code, time or energy (except a very limited fraction of it) to a project that does not use a copyleft Free license.
How can someone that is working for a better world, where people are not enslaved/controlled by their computers, like his efforts being used just to the opposite goal once are embedded in some proprietary program or to “enhance” a proprietary program?
Oracle has done nothing right to OOo form the beginning to the end, so no surprise here.
“…The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity…”
Well thought out and well said.
Notwithstanding, in this respect my questions are:
Why Oracle did not do the donation directly to TDF?
Why is now so anxious to get rid of its rights to OpenOffice?
I do not think that the step of Oracle was a gesture of goodness but an act of planting darnel for future discords between communities of the Open Source …
On the surface it seems like a welcome move by Oracle, but I can’t help but think it’s pretty divisive at the same time, and also somewhat of a FU to LO.