Apache OpenOffice now a top-level project
The Apache Software Foundation has announced that, after being in the Apache Incubator since June 2011, the Apache OpenOffice project has now graduated and become a top-level project (TLP) of the foundation. Graduation recognises that the project has, in the seventeen months it has spent in the incubator, shown that it is able to manage itself in a transparent meritocracy, gaining new volunteers and electing a Project Management Committee (PMC) to oversee the project's direction.
The incubating project released Apache OpenOffice 3.4 in May 2012, with support for 20 languages, and has subsequently seen over 20 million downloads of the open source office suite. The project is currently working on new functionality with future major releases targeted for the first and fourth quarter of 2013. These will likely include the integration of some of IBM's Symphony code, which was contributed to Apache OpenOffice in May 2012.
Created in the 1990s by StarDivision, the code base was acquired in 1999 by Sun Microsystems who set out to open source it. However, the licence terms were cumbersome and the development model was not transparent with most of the work on the code taking place at Sun. When Oracle acquired Sun in 2010, a large number of developers and contributors forked OpenOffice.org, as it was known, to create the LGPLv3-licensed LibreOffice; this has attracted wide support from the free software community.
Given this fork, Oracle decided to contribute the ten million lines of OpenOffice.org source code to the Apache Software Foundation. There, it has been renamed as Apache OpenOffice and re-licensed under the Apache 2.0 Licence (after removing or replacing licence-incompatible components). IBM, which developed Symphony as a hybrid Eclipse/OpenOffice package, committed itself to the Apache OpenOffice project at the start of 2012.