- Vote on accepting OpenOffice.org for incubation at Apache
After the heaviest traffic in recent memory on the Apache Incubator list, with many impassioned messages on both sides of the argument (along with some heavy-handed slapdowns here and there by proposers of the action), the vote is now open for 72 hours and looks like it will gain approval by a comfortable majority.
- My +1 Vote
I voted in favour of starting an incubator podling. I did this because I believe there is a strong future for a new project drawing code from OpenOffice.org and maintaining it for use by multiple projects, such as LibreOffice, RedOffice and Symphony. I believe it would be hard and misdirected work to attempt to build a full competitor to any one of those projects at Apache – a good explanation is on the mailing list.
If a re-usable reference implementation of ODF editors for each ODF sub-format can be created from the code Oracle is relicensing and maintained at Apache, it could be immeasurably positive for everyone. Over time I’d hope LibreOffice, Symphony and the rest could incorporate that new work, since the strongest path to interoperability by way of a clear and open specification with a shared open source reference implementation.
If on the other hand the Apache podling just turns into an opportunity for the known opponents of LibreOffice to attempt to compete with it using the “OpenOffice.org” name, that will be a dark development for software freedom and I’ve expressed my disapproval strongly elsewhere.
- An Invitation to Apache OpenOffice
While the official statement on IBM’s behalf is interesting, the discussion in the comments is far more enlightening. The statement itself completely ignores the existing ecosystem and speaks as if Apache is moving into a green field, but the comments reveal how the existing community feels about that as well as showing the intense and inexplicable antipathy IBM feels towards The Document Foundation in general and LibreOffice in particular. Note especially the wise and balanced comments from Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project).
The FSF’s statement is pretty balanced. I can’t help thinking they were forced to comment after misinterpretations of their advice on licensing were forcefully asserted by the proposers of the Apache podling despite correction from an FSF Board member.
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