Linked by Rahul on Sat 11th Oct 2008 01:39 UTC
Features, Office Michael Meeks who leads the OpenOffice.org development team within Novell has taken a detailed look at contributions associated by metrics to OpenOffice.org and makes the case that Sun's tight control over the codebase and the lack of enough volunteer contributors leaves the development slowly stagnating over a period of time. Michael Meeks has recently started strongly advocating the position that Sun needs to setup a more independent OpenOffice.org foundation or otherwise allow more relaxed policies for commit access and be less rigid about assignment of copyright to itself for the development community of Openoffice.org to thrive beyond Sun developers.
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RE[4]: heh...
by Phobos on Sun 12th Oct 2008 03:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: heh..."
Phobos
Member since:
2008-04-30

"If IBM was steward of this code and managed it in the same fashion Meeks would probably be lambasting them for their mismanagement."

If IBM was steward of this code... look at Lotus Symphony... nobody would be lambasting it, because it would be proprietary.

"Novell has over 20 years involvement with Microsoft-whether as a company producing software to run under windows, or standing before a judge in legal issues with Microsoft."

That's not the current issue... the problem at hand involves SUSE, and GPL code... Sun also works with Microsoft in areas such as virtualization... but doesn't hijacks GNU/Linux and exposes it's users to the risks of legal litigation from MS.

"Expecting Novell to completely purge any relations to Microsoft after having purchase SuSE and Ximian is like expecting IBM to divest from the mainframe business once they started focusing more on software as a service product."

That is not expected.

"Moreover I highly doubt that Meeks was consulted by the higher-ups at Novell when they made deals with Microsoft in the past couple of years. You seem to conflate the corporate political issues between Novell and Microsoft with the *agendas* of those employed by Novell who are working on Free Software."

True, never stated the opposite of this. But maybe Meeks should talk to his higher-ups about their agendas before attacking other companies and their decisions on their products.

"Although I do not have access to any meaningful statistics about who has historically contributed the most to OpenOffice"

Well, of course, Sun.

Even if Sun didn't produce StarOffice's original code, they did pay for it, modified it and open sourced it... and keeps working and paying for it's development... The fact that they didn't originally made it is irrelevant.

"Sun maintains a propietary hold on this Free Software through a) all the hurdles it creates for contributors b) copyright assignment."

The GNU project (most of what constitutes the Linux world right now... the Linux kernel being just a VERY small fraction) also requires copyright assignment and hasn't stopped anyone from contributing. For better understanding of why this is necessary (and also applies in Sun's case), read: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.html

"Now why did Sun release the code for OpenOffice under a FOSS license? I don't really know the answer to this"

Does it matter?

"community and corporations which build on FOSS(like IBM)"

IBM doesn't build on FOSS by pure altruism, IBM sells whatever can be sold and can give services to, that is all that matters. Don't expect an open source AIX, DB2 or Lotus soon...

"Mozilla is struggling with many of the same issues which OpenOffice has-a horrifically complex codebase which scares off many potential contributors, but a) this situation has gotten noticably better in the last years b) they also have spawned a vibrant community of plugin writers-which ultimately is a pool from which programming talent can be drawn."

same thing happens with OpenOffice's extensions: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/

Edited 2008-10-12 03:51 UTC

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