Linked by Debjit on Mon 1st Nov 2010 21:46 UTC
Features, Office "We all knew that it would come to this and it has finally happened - 33 developers have left OpenOffice.org to join The Documents Foundation, with more expected to leave in the next few days. After Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice.org fell into the hands of Oracle, as did a lot of other products. So, last month a few very prominent members of the OpenOffice.org community decided to form The Documents Foundation and fork OpenOffice.org as LibreOffice, possibly fearing that it could go the OpenSolaris way."
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:02 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

What’s interesting is the topic of "conflict of interest" being raised by Oracle. In all of these resignations the people have stressed that they don’t see a conflict of interest and would rather it didn’t have to be this way, but Oracle is pushing them out.

Is OpenOffice.org’s interest *not* to see a free, open-source office suite used by the world?

Methinks Oracle’s "interest" is money, not open source, otherwise there would be no conflict in the existence of the Document Foundation / LibreOffice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ok, I think I finally understand what happened, thanks to the article.

1) Oracle Buys Sun.
2) Oracle kills Open Solaris.
3) Non Oracle Open Office devs get nervous, try to take over by creating an umbrella organization that would oversee all Open office development, but not have Oracle in charge.
4) Oracle just sees it as a fork, kicks everyone related to it out.

I'm not really sure about the last one though, either Oracle saw it as a fork, or they're just using that as a excuse to cover for the fact that they really don't want to willingly give up control over the project.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The graph on this page paints a picture: http://cedric.bosdonnat.free.fr/wordpress/?p=734 Guess what happened on Week 38.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by WorknMan on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 07:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Methinks Oracle’s "interest" is money, not open source, otherwise there would be no conflict in the existence of the Document Foundation / LibreOffice.


What, a for-profit corporation interested in money? Holy shit, say it ain't so!?!?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by bitwelder on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
bitwelder Member since:
2010-04-27

Say it better: "What, the corporation lead by the 6th richest person in the world is interested in money?"

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by gilboa on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06


What, a for-profit corporation interested in money? Holy shit, say it ain't so!?!?


... And yet, RedHat is also -very- interested in making money, which doesn't prevent it from working (almost) exclusively on OSS projects.

You could claim that there's more money to be made out of making OO proprietary (I doubt it), but this doesn't negate the fact that external OO contributors had every right not to trust Oracle.

- Gilboa

Edited 2010-11-02 13:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

OOo Developers are Oracle Employees
by Macrat on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:20 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

99% of OOo developers are Oracle employees.

The details are sparse, but I'm guessing these 33 have nothing to do with the majority of the OOo code.

Reply Score: 2

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Out of curiosity, from where you got this number?

Reply Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

He's probably referring to the commit logs.
http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html

Of the 33 only a few actually contribute code. Digtizor reported this story incorrectly.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Only programmers would place more importance on code than anything else. 33 people is still 33 people.

Reply Score: 1

Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

Only programmers would place more importance on code than anything else. 33 people is still 33 people.

More people doesn't mean more productivity, ask Greeks for that or anyother European country.

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

So are these people idiots to you or something? They all had their part to play in the success of OpenOffice.org. It’s highly disrespectful to just brush aside their hard work because they don’t all write lines of code. You would make an awful product manager with an attitude like that.

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Greeks? What do the Greeks have to do with whatever point you are trying to make? I asked a Greek and he does not know what you are talking about.

Reply Score: 5

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

When it comes to this type of open source project yes I would place more importance on the code.

OO has a massive, unwieldy C++ codebase that few developers would want to work on in their spare time. A project like FreeBSD offers more independence and satisfaction.

But I wasn't trying to dismiss the significance of the loss. From what I have read they were responsible for the German version. Given the size of OO that is like losing a floor of people. For any commercial ISV the German port is the most important.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Damn, Oracle has thousands of OOo developers?

Reply Score: 2

FOSS software and corporate
by acobar on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:27 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

So, it seems, we are having a lot of friction lately. I guess, corporations need to awake to a very true fact when willing to work with FOSS community on a project: give a balanced power to contributors and everything will be workable, both sides will benefit from each work and a synergy ecosystem will be build. It for sure can be very productive and may foster the adoption of a product and accelerate its development. It did it for OpenOffice, Webkit, cups, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Java, CRM's and ERP's with community versions and many other projects.

But, once the work is going on, and you see the benefit of working on this kind of environment, and none of the cited products would have the level of penetration or development they have today otherwise, be kind, cooperative and clear about your intentions. On all relationships respect and trust are paramount to keep parties from divorce.

Reply Score: 4

RE: FOSS software and corporate
by joekiser on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:33 UTC in reply to "FOSS software and corporate"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

So, it seems, we are having a lot of friction lately.


Don't look now, but KOffice is about to split as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FOSS software and corporate
by acobar on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE: FOSS software and corporate"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

That is sad, but as there are groups with different priorities competing for different targets, it looks like it will be unavoidable. As long as the oars pick almost the same direction the boat will advance. It was not happening on KOffice lately, I guess.

More info on that: "" rel="nofollow">http://lists.kde.org/?l=koffice-devel&m=128812911619277&w=2"

Reply Score: 2

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

The thread is long and looks like they do not agree on why they are splitting. Perhaps, there is still a change of reconciliation.

Reply Score: 2

boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

No, no chance at all. After five or six years of interaction problems arising from the personality problems of the author of that mail quoted above, a number of people in the KOffice community decided that enough is enough. He didn't want to leave, so a separation between him and the rest of the community was the only way out.

That's the only real issue, all the rest is spin.

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Sad, but even I could see there was something wrong. KWord has seriously stagnated over the years and I always wondered what that libflake crap was about.

Reply Score: 2

RE: FOSS software and corporate
by Valhalla on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 12:45 UTC in reply to "FOSS software and corporate"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Well if LibreOffice picks up steam and becomes a better alternative than OpenOffice then it was a good decision to fork, but in order to do that they need to attract developers and this is the achilles heel as I see it. I just can't imagine that there are many developers out there who wants to program an office suite 'for fun' but I may very well be wrong. Also chances are that some companies will provide LibreOffice (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it ;) ) with backing (code, monetary).

Reply Score: 3

oracle
by xaeropower on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:24 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

33 left, 330000 waiting for new job in india. What difference does it make. Even tho this software still a piece of garbage, as of now:

OpenOffice.org 3.2.1
OOO320m19 (Build:9505)
ooo-build 3.2.1.4, Debian package 1:3.2.1-6

It should load as fast as gnumeric. But now that oracle owns it just going to be slower and slower just like their other products.

Reply Score: 0

RE: oracle
by Doc Pain on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 04:25 UTC in reply to "oracle"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Even tho this software still a piece of garbage, [...] It should load as fast as gnumeric. But now that oracle owns it just going to be slower and slower just like their other products.


I think you're not being fare. Comparing OpenOffice to GNumeric is not valid as GNumeric "is less than" OpenOffice (a spreadsheed application vs. a full-featured office suite). GNumeric, just like Abiword, is a "more stand-alone" program, allthough to be seen as part of Gnome's office suite (but quite independent of Gnome).

Still, I can partly agree with your statement. Modern software tends to get slower and slower, that's true. If you would compare today's OpenOffice (version 3) to an older version (version 1), you would see that the older versions often load faster even on older systems. If you then maybe compare more backwards to StarOffice... well, seems to be a lot faster.

The reason? Because there's much more functionality inside, like script processing engines, extensive input and output filters, and all the other litlle things - MANY little things - users are interested in. With the implementation based upon newer sets of libraries that need certain dependencies that need certain dependencies that rely on other dependencies... cont. ad. n... it's obvious that such a program CAN'T be fast unless you upgrade your hardware and software along with that program.

Another point I'd like to mention in this regards is the trend of modularization. For example, OpenOffice version 1 and 2 contained a german dictionary in the default localized install. Today, those doesn't seem to be part of the localized builds anymore. I think that's sad - spending hours on compliling and then still missing essential parts that have been present in the past.

I'm not sure Oracle is to be blamed here, as the trend I pointed out is visible across many (most?) software products. With today's more-than-enough resources on hardware, there seems to be no need for efficient programming. "Go buy a new PC!" seems to solve everything.

For example, if I compare the startup times of OpenOffice 2 on FreeBSD 5 on a 300 MHz P2 vs. OpenOffice 3 on FreeBSD 7 on a 2 GHz P4, I can see that the older system loads faster. On the other hand, it's not so important how fast a program loads - this is O(1) - but how well it performs when in use - that would be some kind of O(n), "scientifically" spoken. :-)

Coming back to your initial statement, I found myself more and more often using Abiword and GNumeric instead of OpenOffice because of speed issues. The only times I fire up OpenOffice if I reach the limits of the other programs (mostly related to importing nonstandard file formats).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: oracle
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 3rd Nov 2010 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE: oracle"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

OOo took the English dictionary out of the base install too, if I remember correctly. They reasoned the dictionaries should become a plugin since they are different between localizations, which would be fine if the automatic plugin installation process actually worked.

Modularization is a good thing; it makes it easy to create system which only contain necessary items. With that being said, the system also has to have an easy way to add those items back in when they are needed.

Removing the dictionaries from OOo wouldn't be so painful if the Plugin finder actually worked. It should let you find the plugin and install it without any more intervention then a click, Firefox does this well, but that's not the way it works.

Reply Score: 1

RE: oracle
by Kroc on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 09:23 UTC in reply to "oracle"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

33 left, 330000 waiting for new job in india


I think you are missing the key factor. If there’s no commit access anymore, then nobody can replace those who have left. Oracle are locking down OOo so they can better profit from it.

Reply Score: 1

70 active developers in 2004
by cheemosabe on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:39 UTC
cheemosabe
Member since:
2009-11-29

"magnitude and trend: OO.o peaked at around 70 active developers in late 2004 and is trending downwards" (from http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/ooo-commit-stats-2008.html)

I think that includes developers from outside Sun (now Oracle).

Why do people think that not all 33 contribute code? Why would they otherwise be so adamant to leave for TDF?

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 14:26 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

If OpenOffice had 33 developers it wouln't be the mess it is.

Reply Score: 3

This kind of news just cracks me up.
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 18:51 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

After what Oracle did to OpenSolaris, OpenOffice.org, etc., it's great to see their "acquisition" bite them so hard in the ass. I admit, I didn't know all that much about Oracle before they bought Sun, but right from the start I could tell they were up to no good. It didn't take long for their real motivations to come through. It's just great watching them get what they deserve.

F*** you Oracle. Now if only VirtualBox OSE would be forked and LibreOffice would re-code all the Java-specific crap without having to rely on Java... because other than OpenOffice.org, I've never had a real use for Java. Might even be able to extract a bit of speed out of the office suite in the process, as every Java program I've used in the past--even the smallest and simplest--tend to feel like slow, bloated, memory-hogging crap.

Edited 2010-11-02 19:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2