Apache OpenOffice

Tuesday March 13, 2012

Where did the time go? (A look at the Apache OpenOffice (incubating) timeline)

The above timeline shows just some of the accomplishments of the Apache OpenOffice project since we first started incubation at Apache last June.  I've arbitrarily categorized the items as Infrastructure, Community or Development, knowing full well that any such act of categorization is dubious at best.  There is a lot of overlap, and something I put under Infrastructure could arguably also be other categories as well.  In the end, it is one project, with many aspects, and the pieces work together.

So what does this timeline tell us, other than the obvious fact that we've been busy?

Take a look at the box called "Removal of copyleft".  This is the work we did to get the OpenOffice.org code to conform to Apache policy regarding licensing.  In essence, Apache products are permissively licensed, so anyone is free to use them in open source or proprietary products.  So ensure that downstream consumers of Apache OpenOffice have maximum flexibility in that regard, and to encourage a broader ecosystem, we removed components that were incompatible with these goals. In most cases we replaced the copyleft modules with equivalent or superior libraries that were also permissive licensed.  That effort was a couple of months.  This is important to know, since we sometimes hear, or read on the web, the statement that the Apache OpenOffice has spent an inordinate amount of time removing or replacing copyleft components in OpenOffice.  But has the timeline above shows, this one-time cleanup effort actually took only a little time.  But it was time well spent.

As the timeline shows, most of our attention on the project has been spent on community building and infrastructure migration efforts. We're not engaging in a race to see how fast we can come out with a release, or to show how quickly we can crank out minor releases.  A huge portion of our effort has been to ensure continuity for the many millions of users of OpenOffice.org, by far the most popular open source productivity suite.  The OpenOffice ecosystem is not just a download site (though it certainly includes a download site that continues to see nearly 10 million downloads/month).  The ecosystem includes mailing lists, support forums, wikis, bug databases, documentation, extensions and templates repositories, etc.  These public-facing and user-facing services are critical to the entire ecosystem, not only to Apache OpenOffice.  To give a sense of the magnitude of this interdependence, the libreoffice.org domain contains 13,281 links to webpages hosted on openoffice.org domains.

Oracle has kindly allowed us use of some legacy servers during the migration to Apache.  The last of these servers should be disconnected on or soon after March 16th.  At that point the Apache OpenOffice infrastructure will be entirely hosted by Apache, aside from the extensions and templates repositories which are graciously hosted by SourceForge.  So our migration is complete.  A round of thanks is due, from all sides, for the efforts of the Apache Infrastructure team and Apache OpenOffice volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure that the OpenOffice web presence was preserved and can continue to be a valuable resource for OpenOffice users, as well as other projects based on the same codebase. 

Friday March 02, 2012

Retirement of legacy openoffice.org email forwarding service



As you may have heard, Oracle contributed the OpenOffice.org (OOo)  code to Apache in June. As part of this move, we will lose access to the servers that formally hosted the OpenOffice.org website and various other online services associated with the project.  Fortunately, the Apache OpenOffice project, working with the Apache Infrastructure Team, has been able to migrate most of these services to new servers, hosted by Apache.  This includes critical services like version control, downloads, website, wiki, bug tracking, user forums, etc. However, the email forwarding service will not be among the services we preserve. The OpenOffice.org email forwarder will be terminated effective March 15th, 2012.

How this will impact you

Starting on March 15th, 2012, emails sent to openoffice.org email addresses will stop forwarding.  Senders will receive a bounce notification pointing them to an OpenOffice website with more information on the termination of openoffice.org email forwarding.  No personal information about you will be shared with anyone.   If the sender already knows an alternative way to contact you, then they might resend their email to an alternative email address, or contact you via other means.  We cannot control this.  Many emails are automated, and there is no human at the other end to react to such bounce notices.  In those cases you will not receive the emails and may not even know that you have missed an email.  So we recommend that you not rely on senders reacting to the bounce notification. Instead you should proactively reach out to correspondents to notify them that your email address is changing.

What you should do

If you have an openoffice.org email address then you should take the following steps well in advance of March 15th, 2012:

  • Contact those with whom you have shared your openoffice email address and let them know to use a different address to contact you.
  • If you have subscribed to mailing lists using your openoffice.org address, then unsubscribe from your openoffice.org address and resubscribe with another address
  • If you have used your openoffice.org address as a registration address for an online service, then log in to that account and change your address.
  • If you list your openoffice.org email address on your webpage or in your profile page, then update that information.

Some special instructions for OpenOffice-related services:

  • To update the email address used with your Bugzilla account, follow the instructions here.
  • To update the email address used with your OpenOffice.org wiki account, follow these instructions:
    1. Log in to the wiki.
    2. Select the "my preferences" link at the top of the page.  You should be seeing the "User Profile" tab by default; if not, select that tab.
    3. Change your email address, and save your change.  A large notice will appear, about the confirmation email.
    4. You will get an email at your new address.  You must click on the "confirm" link to complete the change.  You should see a wiki Special Page, confirming that your new address is verified.
  • If you are subscribed to a ezmlm mailing list, such as ooo-dev, ooo-users, or ooo-marketing, then you will need to unsubscribe from the list from your old address and resubscribe with your new address.  More information on working with the mailing lists can be found here.
  • If you have an account on our Extensions or Templates website, then please login to that account and follow the given instructions for converting your account over to the new SourceForge hosted authentication. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your password, but you need to do that immediately, before March 16th.  Also, if you received an email from communityteam-AT-sourceforge-DOT-net providing you with instructions to retain access to the OpenOffice Extensions and Templates website you can trust that source.  It is not a "phishing" attack.

For more information

You can read more about the current status of the migration effort on this wiki page.

Additional relevant information is published in our project blog (which you are currently reading).

If you have questions, you can send them to our public user support list at ooo-users-AT-incubator.apache-DOT-org.  You can also subscribe to that list by sending an email to ooo-users-subscribe-AT-incubator.apache.org

-- The Apache OpenOffice Podling Project Management Committee




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