Statement about Oracle’s move to donate OpenOffice.org assets to the Apache Foundation
The Document Foundation constitutes a global team of hundreds of developers working together to improve the LibreOffice product for the benefit of all users. We are governed by an open, and meritocratic community headed by a diverse interim Steering Committee, and a vendor neutral Engineering Steering Committee overseeing development.
Today we welcome Oracle’s donation of code that has previously been proprietary to the Apache Software Foundation, it is great to see key user features released in a form that can be included into LibreOffice.
The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
On the bright side, one benefit of this arrangement is the potential for future-proof licensing. The Apache License is compatible with both the LGPLv3+ and MPL licenses, allowing TDF future flexibility to move the entire codebase, to MPLv2 or future LGPL license versions. The Document Foundation believes that commercially-friendly, copy-left licensing provides the best path to constructive participation in, and growth of the project.
Thus, the event is neutral for The Document Foundation, which – as always – remains open to every company, individual or foundation that wishes to participate in co-development. There has never been a better time to get involved and advance the state of the art in free software office suites.
TDF is therefore willing to start talking with Apache Software Foundation, following the email from ASF President Jim Jagielski, who is anticipating frequent contacts between the Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation over the next few months. We all want to offer corporate and individual users worldwide the best free office suite for enterprise and personal productivity.
Finally, TDF continue executing on our time-based release plan for LibreOffice 3.4.0, due out this week, while continuing work on our bug fix release train, with 3.4.1 due in a months time, as well as ongoing feature development for our 3.5 release.
About The Document Foundation
The Document Foundation has the mission of facilitating the evolution of the OOo Community into an open, meritocratic and democratic organization. An independent Foundation is a better reflection of the values of our contributors, users and supporters, and will enable a more inclusive, effective, efficient and transparent community. TDF will protect past investments by building on the achievements of the first decade, will encourage wide participation within the community, and will co-ordinate activity across the community.
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