Novell developer criticises Sun's management of OpenOffice.org
Novell's Michaels Meeks has criticised how Sun Microsystems manages the OpenOffice.org project in an interview with DerStandard.at. Meeks picks out Sun's requirement that for a change to be made to OpenOffice code, ownership of that change must be assigned to Sun. Meeks says, "But the sad thing is their failure to build a community around it, getting other people involved. And that's tied to Sun owning OpenOffice.org.".
He explained "It's a Sun project. They own all of the code, they demand ownership rights, and that just really retards developer interest. I mean: Would want to work cleaning someone else's gun?". Meeks is pushing for a more community based OpenOffice.org development model and expresses some frustration at how far Sun has come without addressing the ownership issue. He adds "I think having a foundation or some kind of trusted entity handle this is fine."
Meeks is also the founder of the Go-OO fork of OpenOffice.org which delivers a version OpenOffice with non-Sun owned patches and features already integrated. In the interview, Meeks notes that the Sun OpenOffice release demands that non-Sun owned code has to be installed as a plug-in, making the user experience less than it could be. He also points out that Sun have unbundled elements like the Report Builder, which he considers and essential part of the product, into downloadable plug-ins "to build traffic".
The Go-OO branch has numerous improvements over the Sun OpenOffice release, but has lagged behind the Sun release schedule. Meeks says they hope to improve on that, along with getting substantial performance improvements into OpenOffice. "If you for instance look at The GIMP, we now start faster than they do. We're approaching Firefox for warm start".