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Sun Microsystems

The Uncertain Future of OpenOffice.org 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the nothing-is-for-certain dept.
eldavojohn writes "What's the biggest threat to the success of OpenOffice.org? Is it Microsoft Office? Is it the simple fact that Dell doesn't offer it with computers? Not according to some participants in the 'open' source project itself, they say the biggest problem with OO.o is the fact that Sun codes, owns & makes all key decisions for the project when it should be more community oriented. A professor who participates in the project itself said 'enough developers are frustrated by both the technical and the organizational infrastructure at OpenOffice.org' and cites this as 'a real problem that is weighing on the project.' Other members of the community agree like Michael Meeks who asked 'At what fraction of the community will Sun reconsider its demand for ownership of the entirety of OpenOffice.org?' Hopefully with IBM's entrance into OO.o participation we will see the product become more community controlled & accessible. Has anyone else experienced this when developing for OO.o or another 'open' source project? Is it a good idea to criticize a company when they've put so much effort into a project that is technically open source and completely free? Is Sun trying to control OO.o like Java? Do they have good reasons or evil underlying intentions?"
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The Uncertain Future of OpenOffice.org

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  • Re:In order... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mabhatter654 (561290) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:00PM (#20669481)
    This is similar to the situation wiht Mozilla when it was still owned by AOL and Netscape. All of the code has to be "owned" by SUN and that turns some people off, especially when SUN slows the direction of OO.org to further it's Java or StarOffice agenda rather than letting it go on it's own. I think people would like to see OpenOffice spun off to it's own organization like IBM did with ellipse or Netscape did with Mozilla. That way the community has "assurance" that the needs of the Open product are being meet first, and then Sun, IBM, etc can "mooch" with "first dibs" off that code... Much how Mozilla offers the Open version, but retains rights on the code to hire it out for proprietary purposes if people pay them money. The "core" would always be open and SUN would still have stake in StarOffice.
  • Re:Sun Bashing (Score:4, Informative)

    by aitikin (909209) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:19PM (#20669795)
    You raise a rather valid point. Linus himself will tell you his position in the kernel development is basically, will this patch go in, won't it. From my understanding of the whole situation, Sun's position is more involved than Linus even. They actually write a whole bunch of stuff themselves and decide to put it in, along with other stuff that other people write out. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to me that Sun is doing more to further OS development than Linus.

    That being said, watch as I get modded down massively.
  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @01:26PM (#20669907) Homepage Journal
    Speaking as a Sun employee, and on behalf of many of my fellow employees: hear, hear! Sun has always had control issues. It's part of the corporate culture. People here criticize this every day, both constructively and otherwise. Why should the larger community be any different?

    One suggestion: don't complain to other Slashdotters: not a lot they can do. And don't complain to me: I'm just a hardware tech writer. Take your complaints to the top [sun.com].
  • Re:In order... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @02:27PM (#20670851)
    Interesting opinion, but not relevant to the issue. Linus controls the kernel. Mozilla controls firefox. They will go where the controlling body determines. At absolutely no time is Linus or Mozilla at the whim of the community. The directions of the products will absolutely be to the needs of the respective controlling body. It's no different than Sun telling their developers to work in the directions Sun needs them to work. If you don't like their direction, fork.
  • Re:In order... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @03:45PM (#20671807)
    Do you really think that Sun doesn't have conversations with the community about OOo? The fact that they don't accept every idea floated doesn't mean they aren't interacting. No more or less than Linus being a hard ass about schedulers.

    And FYI the Mozilla Foundation has something like $40 Million USD a year in revenue via the Mozilla Corporation. Staffers receive paychecks. The fact that the Mozilla Foundation is a 503 and controlling the for-profit Mozilla Corporation surely demonstrates that they have interests beyond making a fancy browser.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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