OpenOffice.org moves forward!
By jparkinson on Oct 04, 2007
Everyone hopefully has been noticing the great strides that the
OpenOffice.org community has made of late and the fantastic
set of features that are now available for everyone in the latest
release 2.3. If you haven't tried it yet, download a copy and give it a
try. I guarantee you will be just as impressed as I have been.
The Sun team is extremely excited with the progress made to date.We are aggressively working to move in the right direction, to ensure that the
community continues to thrive. What many of you might not be aware of
is that we (Sun) have increased our focus and dedication around
OpenOffice.org. Nine months ago Rich Green asked me to take over the
responsibility for Sun's commitment and support to OpenOffice.org. We are looking at
the history of OpenOffice.org, issues that might effect the community and
how best to evolve, for everyone's benefit. Based on my observations
and discussions with the community members, three areas of focus are;
1. Community governance
2. Contribution agreement
3. New tools and more open selection of tools
In the area of Governance, we have asked a number of folks to join a new Community Advisory Group. These are companies interested in investing more resources in OO.org and from the community at large.
To better describe the role the text from the invitation is below.
There have been significant and ground-breaking announcements around OpenOffice.org and there is great momentum around the project and community. We should all feel very proud of being part of such an amazing Open Source project. We can't just stop here we need to continue to evolve and ensure we are doing the right things for the community and the product's long-term future. I can ensure you that this common goal is something that I am committed to. With this goal in mind I would personally like to take this opportunity to invite you, and the company you represent, to join the OpenOffice.org Advisory Board.
The goal of the Advisory Board is to ensure we continue to move OpenOffice.org in such a direction that guarantees its long-term success and a successful future. The Board will provide strategic representation of the project's key stakeholders and community representatives. It will mediate between the desires and interests of the stakeholder companies and the community, and balance the inputs against with the strategic goal.
There are no preconceived notions on the actual structure and boundaries of the Board and suggest we cover that collectively at our first meeting. The Board will not manage the project's daily affairs, nor will it replace the OpenOffice.org's existing governing body, and the Community Council. The council will continue to do what it has done so well: resolve community issues and conflicts, set community goals, manage community funds, and most important, give a voice to the hundreds of thousands who make up the OpenOffice.org community.
I will report out after the first meeting, which is Nov. 1, 2007.
In order to address some of the concerns I have heard from the community, we are planning for OO.org to use the new Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA) http://www.sun.com/software/opensource/contributor_agreement.jsp. I have carefully reviewed this document and have had council from a variety of our community members. This SCA goes a long way in addressing a variety of concerns with the current agreement. The most community friendly aspect of moving to the SCA is the inclusion of language stating that any contribution licensed out by Sun will also be licensed under an OSI or FSF approved license. Please take a look at it and give comments. We plan to use this agreement as soon as possible. This is a positive step forward for the community and more evidence that we are listening. We continue to listen to feedback regarding the license under which OO.org is available.
In the tools area, I have asked Michael Bemmer and the Engineering Steering committee to come back with recommendations on the tools the community agrees are best. Then we will start the process to implement as soon as possible. We are counting on the community to help in that effort. We are committed to a bug,build and source code management environment that speeds contribution and adoption by all.
Having read many blogs in the last few days, I need to clear up a few things:
-- StarOffice and OpenOffice are almost identical binaries
-- The big difference is that Sun can indemnify any user of StarOffice
-- StarOffice comes with enterprise level support and hence we charge for that. OpenOffice is free
-- The copyright assignment is not new
-- Sun contributes all of its development to OO.o under LGPL
Clearly we have work ahead, please be assured that Sun is steadfastly behind a strong, transparent and fair community process. We value the users and developers in the community! We welcome your input and your contribution. We invite developers, users and corporations to join the OpenOffice community effort !