The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Friday Oct 14, 2011

The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org

On 1 June 2011, Oracle Corporation submitted the OpenOffice.org code base to The Apache Software Foundation. That submission was accepted, and the project is now being developed as a podling in the Apache Incubator under the ASF's meritocratic process informally dubbed "The Apache Way". 

OpenOffice.org is now officially part of the Apache family. 

The project is known as Apache OpenOffice.org (incubating).

Over its 12-year history, the ASF has welcomed contributions from individuals and organizations alike, but, as a policy, does not solicit code donations. The OpenOffice.org code base was not pursued by the ASF prior to its acceptance into the Apache Incubator. 

The Apache OpenOffice.org Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) and Committer list are nearly 10 times greater than those of other projects in the Apache Incubator, demonstrating the tremendous interest in this project.

As with many highly-visible products, there has been speculation and conjecture about the future of OpenOffice.org at Apache. More recently, destructive statements have been published by both members of the greater FOSS community and former contributors to the original OpenOffice.org product, suggesting that the project has failed during the 18 weeks since its acceptance into the Apache Incubator.

Whilst the ASF operates in the open –our code and project mailing lists are publicly accessible– ASF governance permits for projects to make information and code freely available when the project deems them ready to be released. Apache OpenOffice.org is not at risk.

As an end-user-facing product, OpenOffice.org is unique in comparison to the other nearly 170 products currently being developed, incubated, and shepherded at the ASF. Considered to be "ingredient brands", countless competing Web server, Cloud computing, data handling, and other solutions behind the products serving millions of users worldwide are, unbeknown to most, "Powered by Apache".

And we're OK with that.

More than 70 project Committers are actively collaborating to ensure that the future of the OpenOffice.org code base and community are in alignment with The Apache Way. The project's extensive plans include assessing the elements necessary to update a product that hasn't had an official release in nearly a year; parts of the product's functionality encumbered by non-Apache-Licensed components; and a code base that has been forked and maintained by a community pursuing market dominance. As such, it is critical that we remain pragmatic about the project's next steps during this transition phase.

We understand that stakeholders of a project with a 10+ year history --be they former product managers or casual users-- may be unfamiliar with The Apache Way and question its methods. Those following the project's migration to process and culture unique to the Apache community may challenge the future sustainability of the project.

Such concerns are not atypical with the incubation of Open Source projects with well-established communities -- the successful graduation of Apache Subversion and Apache SpamAssassin, among others, are proof that The Apache Way works.

As an all-volunteer organization, we do not compensate any contributors to develop Apache code. We do, however, support those individuals with relevant expertise to pursue consulting/remuneration opportunities with interested parties, but must reiterate that they are barred from doing so on behalf of the ASF or any Apache initiatives -- be they Top-level Projects (TLPs) or emerging products in the Apache Incubator and Labs. Otherwise, they would be in violation of the Apache trademark policy, which the ASF strongly defends in order to protect its communities.

At the ASF, the answer is openness, not further fragmentation. There is ample room for multiple solutions in the marketplace that are Powered by Apache. We welcome differences of opinion: a requirement at Apache is that a healthy project be supported by an open, diverse community comprising multiple organizations and individual contributors.

We congratulate the LibreOffice community on their success over their inaugural year and wish them luck in their future endeavors. We look forward to opening up the dialogue between Open Document Format-oriented communities to deepen understanding and cease the unwarranted spread of misinformation.

We welcome input and participation in the form of constructive contributions to Apache OpenOffice.org. There are myriad ways to help, from code development and documentation to community relations and "help desk" forums support to licensing and localization, and more. 

The way to move this forward is via the ASF, which owns the OpenOffice.org trademark and official code base. This is our chance to be able to pull together our talents towards a cohesive goal and protect the project's ecosystem.

At a minimum, we owe that to the hundreds of millions of users of OpenOffice.org.

-- the ASF Press team and Apache OpenOffice.org incubating mentors


- Join the Apache OpenOffice.org project MeetUp at ApacheCon, 7-11 November 2011 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. For more information, visit http://apachecon.com/
- For more on Apache OpenOffice.org see http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/
- For more information on the Apache Incubator see http://incubator.apache.org/
- The ASF trademark policy can found at http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/


"Apache", "OpenOffice.org", and "ApacheCon" are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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Comments:

[Trackback] ♺ @TheASF Apache Software Foundation ❤ Statement on #Apache http://OpenOffice.org http://s.apache.org/XCP #OpenOffice #OpenSource #Community

Posted by metztli on October 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] Finalmente Oracle ha cedido Open Office a Apache para que esta fundación continúe con el desarrollo de esta popular herramienta

Posted by www.meneame.net on October 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM GMT+00:00 #

Unless I'm mistaken, nothing has happened in the last 6 months: http://hg.services.openoffice.org/DEV300

Posted by Arthur de Jong on October 14, 2011 at 02:31 PM GMT+00:00 #

More direct info on the matter in this story comment: http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/212949/has-ibm-kicked-openofficeorg-curb#comment-14222544

Posted by Jason Brooks on October 14, 2011 at 03:18 PM GMT+00:00 #

Arthur de Jong The code is now on Apache Servers. You can monitor activity via commits@apache.org or on https://www.ohloh.net/p/apacheoffice/commits

Posted by Ross Gardler on October 14, 2011 at 03:30 PM GMT+00:00 #

Heh, @Arthur de Jong, I think @Ross meant to say that the Apache OpenOffice podling is doing quite a lot of work on the new SVN repository for the Apache OpenOffice code. The previous hg repository is no longer being actively used, and I imagine that Oracle will eventually decommission that server. http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/source.html shows where you can get the code, and http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/mailing-lists.html notes that there is a ooo-commits@incubator.apache.org mailing list that records all commits to the AOOo SVN repository. You can read more about the process on the wiki: https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/OOOUSERS/Build-Dev-Plan Basically, the Apache OpenOffice committers took the OOO340 trunk, converted it into our Subversion repository, and are now cleaning up and improving the Apache licensed code there.

Posted by Shane Curcuru on October 14, 2011 at 03:40 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #ooo #odf

Posted by schestowitz on October 14, 2011 at 07:09 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] Apache OpenOffice.org and The Apache Way! https://blogs.apache.org/foundation/entry/the_apache_software_foundation_statement #asf #fb #in

Posted by faw on October 14, 2011 at 09:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

I hope that the software will be branded as Apache OpenOffice (or something similar) without the '.org'.

Posted by kingfisher on October 14, 2011 at 09:26 PM GMT+00:00 #

I think it would make sense to join the efforts of both Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation, if possible, in oder to get all possible development power in favor of having a powerful yet totally free (as in freedom) office suite in the market, who could beat competition of proprietary "standard" tools.

Posted by Rafael Peregrino da Silva on October 15, 2011 at 05:49 PM GMT+00:00 #

I hope OpenOffice.org can advance under Apache, but it seems that LibreOffice has stolen the spotlight

Posted by Maroun on October 16, 2011 at 08:13 PM GMT+00:00 #

What kind of blog post is this? Are you just going to ignore LibreOffice? Where is the transparency and reasoning? No, seriously, what's the point? If it's too late to merge LibreOffice back into OpenOffice, then just count your losses and throw it away. The whole situation is stupid, and an insult to the open source ethos.

Posted by Nathan Broadbent on October 17, 2011 at 08:31 AM GMT+00:00 #

Without accusing anyone of anything, it just saddens me to see how the open source community can be so divisive... As if we've got too much resources on our hands - to waste them on silly struggles such as this one. Oracle simply played on the known weaknesses of the ecosystem to create this situation... Cynical, but evidently effective.

Posted by Itamar Rogel on October 17, 2011 at 09:56 AM GMT+00:00 #

Open-Office, Libre-Office or whatever ye wish to call it is a program full of bugs. I note it every day, seven days a week, so I am well aware of its shortcomings. I do with it forwhy that I make do with Ubuntu, another program with a lot of bugs. I do with the latter to get away from viruses. In that, it has been sorely spedful. What I have to say is this: I hope that time is taken by ASF to get rid of these bugs. Up unto this time, I have only seen new bugs come in. I have never seen old ones go missing, though it might have happened. The way to find them is for the folk who write the code to make do with the software day in and day out, not but only test new code. By the way, the Linux version seems to have more bugs than the Windows version, which I do with at home. If ye so wish, we could open a forum on these bugs. I think that would be a good thought to put in play, for it could give direction unto the code-writers. What I'm saying is that revision, not expansion, is the way to go forward.

Posted by Gaio E. Tiberio on October 17, 2011 at 05:23 PM GMT+00:00 #

I wish Apache all the best and sure it will defeat LibreOffice. TDF=Totally Defective Freeware :)

Posted by Donald on October 17, 2011 at 05:38 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:03 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:04 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:04 PM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org http://is.gd/l7IX2t #asf #openoffice #foss

Posted by jaganadhg on October 18, 2011 at 03:04 PM GMT+00:00 #

Please do not let the 'divide and conquer' strategy of Oracle succeed. Make peace with LibreOffice and let's create one EXCELLENT project. thank you.

Posted by Clinton on October 19, 2011 at 02:20 AM GMT+00:00 #

Agree with the above, the world doesn't need two competing open source office suites, it needs one good one. Make peace and get collaborating. As for the project itself, to me it is time to accept that the MS formats ARE the standard, and stop pushing philosophy over practicality. These projects need work toward 100 percent MS Office compatibility. The number one drawback to both OO and LO is the fact that its 'almost compatible'...and pretty good is just not not good enough with corporate documents, people's CVs, company presentations and financial reports in MS World. Ignore this, then accept that you will never change Office-app world. Solve this, and you conquer Office-app world instead.

Posted by Matt on October 19, 2011 at 03:57 AM GMT+00:00 #

I have been an evangelist to whover would listen about Open Office for years, even if simply for file format conversion capability. I switched all my machines and my recomendations to LibreOffice months ago afte Oracle put it on the back burner. Been happy since and will continue unless I see significant progress. Seems like the people at LibreOffice really picked up the ball. IMHO And the deserve support and praise.

Posted by Paul K. on October 19, 2011 at 07:59 PM GMT+00:00 #

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