In an open letter, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) outlines its vision to offer a neutral collaboration opportunity, with a few OpenOffice trademark restrictions laid out, too.

Apache Lands OpenOffice

Back in June 2011, Oracle announced that it was handing OpenOffice off to the Apache Foundation. The Document Foundation, which forked LibreOffice from the OpenOffice project in 2010, had been considered a possible steward for the project, which Oracle stopped commercially supporting in April of this year.

Apache OpenOffice is now progressing, or "incubating," with a steady stream of new committers added since incubation started in June.

Apache's Open Letter

In the Open Letter to the Open Document Format Ecosystem from The Apache Software Foundation, the Apache Foundation says that Apache OpenOffice will not have a single vision. Rather, it will offer a neutral collaboration opportunity:

The permissive Apache License 2.0 reduces restrictions on the use and distribution of our code and thus facilitates a diverse contributor and user base for the benefit of the whole Open Document Format ecosystem. Within an Apache project it is possible to rise above political, social and commercial differences in the pursuit of maximally effective implementations of freely available open standards and related software tools."

According to the letter, Apache has more than 50 incubating projects right now, including the Apache Lucene Connector Framework.

Apache project participants are free to set their own boundaries for collaboration. Trademarks, however, are a different beast. The letter says:

To ensure that the use of Apache marks will not lead to confusion about our projects, we must control their use in association with software and related services provided by others."

xOffice Releases

The Apache Software Foundation plans to release Apache OpenOffice version 3.4 in the first quarter of 2012, and this release will bear the official trademark. The 3.3 release came out in January 2011. The OpenOffice fork, LibreOffice, released its own version 3.3 that same month. LibreOffice is currently a step ahead of OpenOffice, rolling out its 3.4 release in November 2011.