From OpenOffice to LibreOffice
Earlier in the month we reported on OpenOffice.org developers breaking away from Oracle in the form of LibreOffice. Backing the new, stripped-down, lean and lite product are many open source heavy hitters including Red Hat, Google, Novell, Free Software Foundation and Canonical, among others.
But, for the remaining OpenOffice.org users who are sticking with Oracle, there was some concern as to what would happen next. Well, Oracle is still sticking with OpenOffice for the foreseeable future. It issued a press release mentioned on its blog that reiterates its support for the platform.
That support includes attending events, including the happening-right-now ODF PlugFest in Belgium, updates including improvements to the OpenOffice 3.3 beta, a commitment to open standards and, most notably:
Oracle’s growing team of developers, QA engineers, and user experience personnel will continue developing, improving, and supporting OpenOffice.org as open source, building on the 7.5 million lines of code already contributed to the community.
In the meantime, LibreOffice picked up 80,000 downloads in its first week and has launched a manifesto for the next decade that covers giving free access to office software for all, making it globally multilingual and opposing proprietary document types.
We have already seen various versions and branches (such as G0-oo which is now being forked back into LibreOffice) of OpenOffice succeed in the market, so there is plenty of room for LibreOffice to expand. It only remains to be seen if Oracle will eventually consider this a threat to its "official" version and take action.
Not All Roses
However, as with any tech divorce, there's always a little bit of politics. The OpenOffice.org council is having a bit of a ruckus, as it seems that people are moving, or being asked to move, from one camp to the other. According to a recent post on i-Programmer, three of the OpenOffice.org council members have been asked to resign their positions due to a conflict of interest -- they are members of the Open Document Foundation.
It doesn't appear that a decision has been made at this point, but we'll keep our eyes out. Certainly, loyalties will be tested and many headlines written before the dust settles.