Birthday Presents

I bumped into Steve Gillmor at the BlackBox unveiling and he told me he can tell when I am up to my ears in Bay Area work because I stop blogging. I admit it - work around open sourcing Sun's Java implementations was all-consuming last week. While that's good - yes, it will be real open source real soon - I missed an important birthday.

When I joined Sun I was lucky enough to go to OSCON in Monterey in 2000, and I was able to witness the launch of one of the most important projects for Free and Open Source software - OpenOffice.org. So that means this year it's six years old. The birthday was last week, and they celebrated with the 2.0.4 release. An exciting aspect of that release for me as a Mac user was that, for the first time, the Mac X11 release of OpenOffice.org came out at the same time as the other platforms - a very positive development.

As if that wasn't enough of a birthday present, Sun also had two small but important gifts for the community. The first you can see on Digg (and maybe vote for) - it's the page offering commercial support for OpenOffice.org from Sun. So now you have a choice if you want full support - either buy StarOffice 8, or get support on OpenOffice.org, both from the team with the greatest experience of writing and supporting that codebase.

The second is even more interesting. In our first venture to fund Sun's OpenOffice.org developers through an add-on product, we've released Sun Weblog Publisher, a plug-in for OpenOffice.org or StarOffice 8 that turns it into a full-featured blog editor. At only $9.95 it's exceptional value, and it directly supports our efforts to keep OpenOffice.org development rolling.

Both of these should give you a taste of where we're going with OpenOffice.org - watch out for further developments.

Comments:

It's always great when companies offer support for open source software. Thanks Sun. However, I see you only support selected languages which puzzles me. The OpenOffice.org community have localised the suite to a number of languages and with the concept of language packs you can apply any localisation to any OpenOffice.org installation. E.g. I can download a Danish language pack and apply it to an English installation. Will Sun support that combination? Søren

Posted by Søren Thing Pedersen on October 18, 2006 at 05:29 PM PDT #

I'm sure you expected someone to say this, so I may as well go ahead and say it. You know how you could get more people to buy the Weblog publisher? Free the source! If it's open, people will contribute and the number of supported blogging platforms will increase quickly. Despite the source being available, people will still buy it because they want to support OO.org. As it is now, some people will NOT buy it because it's closed, even if they would like to support OO.org. I hope this isn't the future for OO.org - new features being sold as proprietary add-ons instead of integrated properly into OO.org. If it is, you should expect a fork real soon...

Posted by David Johnson on October 18, 2006 at 08:10 PM PDT #

On David Johnson's comment - there is already an open source blogging extension for Writer: see oooblogger and some comments

Posted by David Fraser on October 22, 2006 at 08:00 PM PDT #

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