Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 21:56 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Features, Office "A group of key OpenOffice.org contributors and community members recently decided to fork the project and establish The Document Foundation in order to drive forward community-driven development of the open source office suite. Oracle has responded to the move by asking several members of TDF to step down from their positions as representatives on the OOo community council."
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FreeGamer
Member since:
2007-04-13

You don't seem to understand the politics behind this fork.

Currently, if you wish to contribute to OpenOffice.org, you must sign a copyright waiver that gives Oracle (formerly Sun) ownership of your contribution and the right to do with it as they please. This is a massive barrier to contributing.

Since the open source release of OpenOffice.org, a decade ago, Sun has been promising to set up an independent foundation to manage OpenOffice.org which would allow community ownership of the project. Oracle has been ignoring this subject since the acquisition of Sun. So, the foundation has not been forthcoming, and control of the project is still under the Oracle (formerly Sun) corporate umbrella.

This fork is for the freedom of the project. It is not to do with features (although the current structure of the project was blocking certain features) but to do with how the project was run. It should be doing better than it is by now, given it's critical role in the open source desktop and the number of companies that work with it.

The fork is to take a corporate-run open source project and make it a community-run Free software project.

Reply Parent Score: 9

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

You don't seem to understand the politics behind this fork.

Currently, if you wish to contribute to OpenOffice.org, you must sign a copyright waiver that gives Oracle (formerly Sun) ownership of your contribution and the right to do with it as they please. This is a massive barrier to contributing.

Lots of companies involved in Open Source do this. Just the top of my head, SuSE also forces you to sign a copyright waiver.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

"Lots of companies involved in Open Source do this. Just the top of my head, SuSE also forces you to sign a copyright waiver."

Reference needed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Lots of companies involved in Open Source do this. Just the top of my head, SuSE also forces you to sign a copyright waiver.

Suse doesn't for anything because they don't control many of the projects they put into their distribution, but Novell does for things like Mono.

Saying that other projects do it doesn't make it acceptable nor does it not make it a hindrance to contributing as they say.

Reply Parent Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Thanks for the clarifications.

It appears that Oracle only continues, albeit more strongly, the approach originally taken by Sun in preserving a corporate ownership of the code-tree. Too bad.

From the general perception of Oracle expressed in many comments on OSNews, it is unlikely that it will do an opening gesture for full collaboration with the community - for example assigning the ownership of the code contributed to OpenOfficeOrg to the organization it-self. This would also require an appropriate license to support this spirit so that Oracle and The Document Foundation can each pursue their respective goal/vision - one commercial and one communial.

As an end-user, I would be turned off if having to deal 2-3 years down the road with two incompatible "Open Office" file formats and/or ways of doing things because of the divergences arising form this fork.

Reply Parent Score: 1