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Good ol' Larry thought that he can score some cash from OpenOffice like he tried with Solaris and Java. Now that he sees that money aren't coming, he's making a donation.
We just have to be happy he didnt let it die.
Well I'd say we should be happy there are enough developers who won't let it die. Larry couldn't have affected that, especially after the fork.
Now if they would just give Java to the Apache Foundation, life would be great. Of course, that will never happen. But at least they did the right thing with OpenOffice. Kind of saw this one coming. Oracle has no interest at all in an office suite.
As much as I loathe Larry Ellison and Oracle, he's no fool when it comes to sound business choices. Pity it took this long for Sun's assets to end up in competent hands.
It is true that it was hard to figure out exactly what Sun was up to in their later years. They went on a massive buying spree of buying up smaller companies, including ones that couldn't possibly benefit them financially, such as StarOffice. The bought up Cobalt Server appliances, tried to sell their server appliances for a little while, and then just discontinued them. They bought up Virtual Box, which was another one of those "why?" moments. Virtual Box is useful for desktop virtualization, but it's not exactly enterprise level server virtualization type stuff.
Sun ended up going massively into debt by going on this buying spree, and the companies it was buying simply didn't seem to provide a lot of benefit to Sun's overall business strategy.
Their whole "open source" strategy was baffling from the beginning. It seems like they wanted the buzzword cred but had no clue how to make the process work.
at least they had one.
Virtualbox would have been an interesting buy if Sun had continued the bare metal project Innotek had going and expanded it.
Everything Sun did could have been interesting if they had any vision about where to go with it.
When you start pushing people, don't be surprised if they fall.
so Oracle screwed up AGAIN... no surprise.
I quit my old Sun job 2 months ago and I'm only looking forward. Lets just hope Java escapes the Oracle death-grip :/
I would be interested to read an article detailing what Oracle has actually gained when they bought Sun. Because it appears to me they've only bought it to kill off the products.
Anybody fancy writing an article about that?
Oh I can tell exactly what they gained.
First, they gained a permanent seat on the JCP (Java Community Process Board), which gives them more infuence over the future of Java. And Oracle's entire enterprise application stack is built on Java.
Second, they gained the Solaris operating system, which has long been the "gold standard" for running high transaction / high availability Oracle databases.
Third, they gained control of Sun's hardware business.
What they hope to do with all this is simple. They want to become a full solution provider for all your data needs. They will probably build "database appliances" with zero maintenance and such. Just shove your data into it, pull it back out, and you are good to go. Edited 2011-06-01 21:38 UTC
Don't forget they also got MySQL, and probably more importantly the customer base from Sun as well. The patent portfolio is also nothing to be sneezed at Edited 2011-06-01 21:52 UTC
True. MySQL might be important to their small business strategy. Small business don't run Oracle after all. Too expensive, and also largely too complicated for their needs.
They gained also the right to sue Google for Dalvik that is similar to Java virtual machine for mobiles phones.
It seems pretty cool that OpenOffice will now gain developers from Apache and from IBM.
Now ... if libreoffice really wants to merge the codebase, they could just relicense their stuff under a dual LGPL3 and/or Apache license, so the best of both projects can still be merged or at least so that both projects will remain compatible at a source level for a while.
After all, it was libreoffice who forked so it should be them who merge back.
Two communities developing two almost exactly identical pieces of software instead of just one; makes both communities weaker and makes progress slower.
And how is it different from proprietary?
There's more than one proprietary DB implementation, in games more than one FPS, MMORPG, many raster graphics programs, C++ compilers, operating systems, Media players, etc.
Add to that there is a lot of dead wood lying around everywhere. the code in OpenOffice will be picked upon for LibreOffice. LibreOffice will be the fork of choice until some other fork comes along and Libre becomes dead wood.
ASF policy is not to incorporate LGPLv3 source as LGPLv3 isn't AL 2.0 compatible ( http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html ). The same holds for closed source code; it would need to be under a compatible (ie: liberal) license.
LibreOffice can incorporate AL 2.0 code. ASF OpenOffice can't incorporate LibreOffice LGPLv3 code.
Note that the copyrights belong to individuals on Apache projects too. Any issues for users (the 'corporates') are likely to be around the LGPLv3 licensing; both the copyleft issues and the patent terms.
They could have given OOo to LibreOffice instead of Apache; we think they did this just to be mean to the LibreOffice group.
We still have no response as to what is going to happen to the OOo developers. IBM has announced that they will provide developers for the Apache migration. We think IBM is most likely stepping in to further the Symphony project (currently it's based on the OOo 1.x code base).
It is already becoming too hard to move patches between the OOo code base and the LibO code base; they are becoming too far apart (last week's merge of the two code bases broke LibO master and it's just now getting somewhat stable). The current plan seams to be to monitor the OOo project and only cherry-pick items of interest.
So far none of the LibreOffice developers has expressed any interest in joining the Apache team.
The above is mostly my impressions of the current state and I don't speak for the LibreOffice community. Edited 2011-06-02 16:00 UTC
LibreOffice 3.4 has been released.
Features and screenshots: