ASF says OpenOffice.org is in good health
Four months after the transition from Oracle to the ASF, the Apache Software Foundation has made it clear that it considers OpenOffice.org (OOo) to be heading in the right direction. It believes that the presence of more than 70 active committers – ten times the number involved in other projects in the Apache Incubator – illustrates the level of interest in the project. Although it has been six months since the last new OpenOffice release, this is, says Apache, a matter for each individual project. Intensive work on adapting OpenOffice.org to the Apache Way is apparently under way.
The ASF statement is a reaction to "destructive statements" published by "members of the greater FOSS community and former contributors to the original OpenOffice.org product, suggesting that the project has failed during the 18 weeks since its acceptance into the Apache Incubator. [...] We understand that stakeholders of a project with a 10+ year history – be they former product managers or casual users – may be unfamiliar with The Apache Way and question its methods." This state of affairs is, the statement notes, not unusual when projects with a large community are brought under the Apache Software Foundation umbrella. There are, however, plenty of examples which demonstrate the efficacy of the Apache Way for projects with large communities, such as Apache SpamAssassin and Apache Subversion.
The ASF appears to be referring to a call for donations (English press release) from Team OpenOffice.org, a group of four individuals with connections to Hamburg-based Star Division, the company which originally developed the OpenOffice.org precursor, StarOffice. Statements such as: "After the withdrawal of major sponsor Oracle, OOo finds itself staring into the financial abyss", do indeed appear to be intended to give the impression that OpenOffice.org is facing extinction.
OpenOffice.org fork LibreOffice, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, has, by contrast, seen rapid development over this period. Browser and tablet versions are expected to be released in the next 12 months. Over the last year, a number of major Linux distributions including Ubuntu and openSUSE have switched from OpenOffice.org (the current version is 3.3.0) to LibreOffice (current version 3.4.3 ).
- Learning from The Apache Way, a feature from The H.