Your Office is Saved -- OpenOffice.org Forked!
Those who feared that one day OpenOffice.org might go the way of OpenSolaris have found peace of mind with the announcement of The Document Foundation. The Document Foundation, among other things, to broaden the support for a community based office product that's not reliant upon the generosity any commercial entity - or as the foundation says, "fulfil the promise of independence written in the original charter."
The foundation will be led by a Steering Committee of developers and will oversee the development of LibreOffice. As Sophie Gautier states, "it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project." Free software advocates are invited to join the foundation and current members and developers come from OpenOffice.org, Novell, Red Hat, Debian, and just about every other corner of the FLOSS community. Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and SUSE have already committed to shipping LibreOffice in lieu of OpenOffice.org in future releases.
Oracle has been invited to join, but has not responded as of yet. Oracle's treatment of OpenOffice.org hasn't been all that different from OpenSolaris. Insiders report that Oracle has ignored OpenOffice.org and many fear it would be left to die of neglect. As Michael Meeks said, "The news from the Oracle OpenOffice conference was that there was no news."
Some of the main goals of the foundation are to polish the code, expand the functionality, keep the code free of copyright assignment. Community leaders are naturally on-board. FSF President Richard Stallman said, "I'm very pleased... I hope that the LibreOffice developers and the Oracle-employed developers of OpenOffice will be able to cooperate."
Novell's Guy Lunardi is quoted saying, "Viva la LibreOffice! We envision LibreOffice do for the office productivity market what Mozilla Firefox has done for browsers." Chris DiBona, Open Source Programs Manager at Google, stated, "The creation of The Document Foundation is a great step forward in encouraging further development of open source office suites. Google is proud to be a supporter of The Document Foundation and participate in the project." Mark Shuttleworth declared, "The Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu. The Document Foundation's stewardship of LibreOffice provides Ubuntu developers an effective forum for collaboration." Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, said, "We welcome the LibreOffice project... as we believe there is a great opportunity for them to enrich the free desktop experience." Rob Weir, IBM ODF Architect, said, "I am very pleased... that the Document Foundation is firmly committed to the ODF standard."
A beta is already available at www.documentfoundation.org. A detailed Frequently Asked Questions is online as well also at www.documentfoundation.org. Read the full press release here, or just visit the homepage for full information. A new user/support forum has been established as well.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
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