Apache Software Foundation Outlines Plans for OpenOffice.org

FOREST HILL, Md., Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — On 1 June 2011, Oracle Corporation submitted the OpenOffice.org code base to The Apache Software Foundation. That submission was accepted, and the project is now being developed as a podling in the Apache Incubator under the ASF’s meritocratic process informally dubbed “The Apache Way”.

OpenOffice.org is now officially part of the Apache family.

The project is known as Apache OpenOffice.org (incubating).

Over its 12-year history, the ASF has welcomed contributions from individuals and organizations alike, but, as a policy, does not solicit code donations. The OpenOffice.org code base was not pursued by the ASF prior to its acceptance into the Apache Incubator.

The Apache OpenOffice.org Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) and Committer list are nearly 10 times greater than those of other projects in the Apache Incubator, demonstrating the tremendous interest in this project.

As with many highly-visible products, there has been speculation and conjecture about the future of OpenOffice.org at Apache. More recently, destructive statements have been published by both 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.

Whilst the ASF operates in the open –our code and project mailing lists are publicly accessible– ASF governance permits for projects to make information and code freely available when the project deems them ready to be released. Apache OpenOffice.org is not at risk.

As an end-user-facing product, OpenOffice.org is unique in comparison to the other nearly 170 products currently being developed, incubated, and shepherded at the ASF. Considered to be “ingredient brands”, countless competing Web server, Cloud computing, data handling, and other solutions behind the products serving millions of users worldwide are, unbeknown to most, “Powered by Apache”.

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. Those following the project’s migration to process and culture unique to the Apache community may challenge the future sustainability of the project.

Such concerns are not atypical with the incubation of Open Source projects with well-established communities – the successful graduation of Apache Subversion and Apache SpamAssassin, among others, are proof that The Apache Way works.

We welcome input and participation in the form of constructive contributions to Apache OpenOffice.org. There are myriad ways to help, from code development and documentation to community relations and “help desk” forums support to licensing and localization, and more.

The way to move this forward is via the ASF, which owns the OpenOffice.org trademark and official code base. This is our chance to be able to pull together our talents towards a cohesive goal and protect the project’s ecosystem.

For more on Apache OpenOffice.org see http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/

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