Apache Office, anyone?

I imagine there will be a lot of news – and commentary – and, ahem, heated discussions about today’s submission of the OpenOffice.org codebase to the Apache Incubator by Oracle. Here are a few handy links and thoughts that may be helpful to ponder:

  • It’s official – here’s Oracle’s announcement on “Statements on OpenOffice.org Contribution to Apache“.
  • A key thing to read is the official Foundation blog posting on “Incubation at Apache: What’s it all about?
  • Bertrand recently wrote how “Becoming an Apache project is a process, not just a decision“.
  • Key reminder: Incubation is a process, with many checkpoints. Just because something is submitted to the Apache Incubator does not mean that the Incubator PMC will accept it as a podling. And once we do have a podling, the most important work comes, proving that there can be a healthy community around the project – all before it can even be considered to graduate to a Top Level Project at Apache.
  • Newcomers to Apache may want to review the Apache Community Development project – think of it as an outreach group within the ASF, starting work on explaining to newcomers what the Apache Way is about and where to find the right information on technology and community rules at Apache.
  • Reading Planet Apache is a great way to see what many of the committers at the many Apache projects are saying on their personal blogs.
  • I almost forgot! The best way to learn about how Apache works is to read our mailing lists. You can follow along the Apache Incubator’s discussion yourself, right on general@incubator.apache.org!

Personally, I think one of the most important differences between a potential “Apache Office” podling and the existing (and amazing) LibreOffice product is the license. Obviously, both codebases are fairly similar, and aim to provide a fully open source office suite. It will be interesting to see, after the first wild set of commentary flies, which project – and which license – that various developers and corporations alike choose to actively support with their contributions. I just hope that this license difference – and the way that the OO.o code came to Apache, which was not something we controlled – doesn’t cause any unnecessary friction between the two communities.

I’m glad that The Document Foundation, home of LibreOffice, has spoken out on this donation as well.

And a great external view of the submission comes from Ed Brill, saying “OpenOffice moving to Apache, good news for the desktop productivity market“, and similarly IBM’s Bob Sutor writes his own “Remarks on OpenOffice going to Apache“.

Ooooh, Rob Weir has an excellent “Invitation to Apache OpenOffice” as well! Great reading in there, especially about some other famous Apache projects.

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Briefly, Shane is: a father and husband, a friend, a geek, a Member and director of the ASF, a baker, an ex-Loti, a BMW driver, a punny guy, a gamer, and lifelong resident within the 495 belt. Oh, and we have cats.

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