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Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave 589

Posted by Soulskill
from the pack-your-junk dept.
Elektroschock writes "In an unprecedented move with respect to other forks, Oracle asked the founders of the Document Foundation and LibreOffice to leave the OpenOffice.org Community Council. Apparently there is a conflict of interest, which concerns the Oracle employees."
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Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:14AM (#33922170)
    You don't have to be an oracle to see that Oracle is up to no good.
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @10:27AM (#33923778) Homepage Journal

      Conflict of interest with Oracle employees. That's the laugh!

      In the end, this LibreOffice is going to look like X.Org. Where's XFree86, now? :-)

      They need a better name, 'tho. The Latin is nice - but really doesn't sound good or brand nicely.

      I propose FreeOffice. How 'bout ThinkSuite? OurOffice? What about StarOffice ( I just found that one on the ground here. No one was using it...)
       

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Guspaz (556486)

        "Libre" is French (or Spanish), not Latin. The Latin word is "Liber" (note the "er" versus "re").

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Depends on how you define good. They are doing it for the good of their stock holders. They are running a for-profit business remember.

      Sux for us of course, but OSS was around before Oracle and will be around after. Consider this as a road bump, not a block.

  • by jappleng (1805148) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:22AM (#33922194) Homepage Journal
    If the Oracle doesn't approve, secretly create an army of 300 of your best men.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gmhowell (26755)

      If the Oracle doesn't approve, secretly create an army of 300 of your best men.

      Including Ephialtes S. Raymond?

  • I'm shocked. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wrought@gmai l . com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:23AM (#33922198) Homepage Journal
    I was expecting them to sue. Seriously. Oracle is just the snotty kid on the block with the only basketball; the one who always takes the ball and goes home instead of accepting that everyone else is just better.
    • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:46AM (#33922276)

      Well... Honestly, look at what the Document Foundation did.

      They forked the project, and then asked Oracle to donate the name to them. While, at the same time, asking Oracle to join the "new" foundation.

      Now, I know Oracle itself didn't put a lot of work into OO.org, but Sun did (something tells me OO.org's codebase is 90% the work of paid Sun employees - correct me if I'm wrong), and so now all that work is Oracle's by right.

      So, say you spent 5 years making an awesome program, and made it GPL and everything. You did the vast majority of the work. Then, some guy says, cool, I'm gonna fork it. "Ok, fine, go for it." Oh, also, I'm gonna need the name...

      How about... go fuck yourself, sir.

      There is obvious financial value in the name, and that value was Sun's, and is now Oracle's.

      • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IB4Student (1885914) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:00AM (#33922320)
        The Document Foundation's members put a lot of work into OO.org. Suppose you spend over 10 years on making an awesome program, and then some company buys out the name and doesn't let you use it. The Document Foundation has done a lot more for OO.org than Oracle will ever do. It's a crime that Oracle is allowed to have their clutches on it.
        • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:14AM (#33922552) Journal
          Citation please? Because last time I heard a great deal of the work done on Open Office was PAID for by Sun, which Oracle shelled out serious cash to buy, which INCLUDES the work done by Sun. Do you think all that money was a donation? And forking it is one thing, but asking for the name as well? I would have told them exactly where to go jump. It was rude, it was some serious attitude, and it was frankly uncalled for. Hell if I was Oracle I'd just take it proprietary and see how long the Libreoffice can keep up with $0 in work coming from Oracle.
          • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:45AM (#33923314)

            The ratio of Sun contributions to volunteer contributions has a lot to do with rejecting outside patches and making contributers assign all rights to Sun.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by houstonbofh (602064)
            It is easy to say you do all the work, when you don't let anyone else in. The problem of accepting patches was the whole reason behind go-oo. Which make me wonder... Why fork again? Will they join forces? Terrible name if the do.. LO-GO :)
            • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Informative)

              by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:25PM (#33926006)

              From the FAQ: [documentfoundation.org]

              Q: What does this announcement mean to other derivatives of OpenOffice.org?

              A: We want The Document Foundation to be open to code contributions from as many people as possible. We are delighted to announce that the enhancements produced by the Go-OOo team will be merged into LibreOffice, effective immediately. We hope that others will follow suit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by im_thatoneguy (819432)

          Should have thought about that before creating a competing fork.

          I find it pretty silly that they couldn't see the conflict of interest. (I find it more silly that anyone thinks a serious meeting could take place over IRC... but that's another discussion). Their product is competing to replace Open Office as the dominant office suite. It would be like Bill Gates being a board member for Microsoft and Apple. You can contribute. You can own stock. But to be in a leadership position is just ridiculous

          • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by diegocg (1680514) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @05:49AM (#33922824)

            It's not a "fork".

            When SUN opensourced OpenOffice many years ago, they promised to create a independent foundation for it. All this time, the LibreOffice contributors have been waiting for the foundation, assigning their (costly) code contributions to SUN, and watching how SUN released his propietary version using their (costly) code contributions. They hoped that their self-imposed copyright donation would have a meaning they day SUN created the foundation, but the situation never had an end. After Oracle killed the OpenSolaris foundation, they decided to react quickly. It's Oracle who owes these guys an explanation.

            • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Interesting)

              by bangzilla (534214) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:21AM (#33922910) Journal
              Actually it's the folks at SUN who promised to create an independent foundation and then didn't, who owe the explanation. Then again the contributors who poured in their valuable contributions and watched, and waited and hoped are likewise culpable - expectations do not a legally binding commitment make.
              • The folks at Oracle are the successors to the folks at Sun. Sun's obligations are their obligations.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by westlake (615356)

              All this time, the LibreOffice contributors have been waiting for the foundation, assigning their (costly) code contributions to SUN, and watching how SUN released his propietary version using their (costly) code contributions

              I was under the impression that Star Office was OpenOffice.org with Sun's proprietary contributions:

              Proprietary components Several font metric compatible Unicode TrueType fonts containing bitmap representations for better appearance at smaller font sizes
              Twelve Western fonts (including

        • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:5, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:15AM (#33922892) Journal

          Suppose you spend over 10 years on making an awesome program

          Who exactly are you claiming did this? The people who originally created StarOffice, which became OpenOffice, worked for Star Division, a company that was bought by Sun. Since then, the contributions were roughly 80% Sun employees, 15% Novell, 5% everyone else. OpenOffice has been open source for less than ten years, so the only people who can claim to have spent 10 years working on it have been paid to do so by Star Division, Sun, and Oracle.

      • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:32AM (#33922414)

        Technically, remember, that OOo is basically a dressing up and improving of Star Office, started by a German company, so if you want to attribute 90% of the work to someone, I'd put it there, but I don't think, at this point, you can contribute 90% to one entity.

        Granted, Star Office, both program and company, were bought by Sun, but a lot of the work was done well before Sun stepped in and bought it.

        And, I know it's a small detail, but it can matter legally, it's not GPL, it's LGPL. There are differences.

      • Re:I'm shocked. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:32AM (#33922416)

        The obvious problem with your view of the situation is
        OO.org is GPL, the part of the copyright and trademarks may belong to Oracle, but not all. As a whole, Oracle does not "own" the project.

        I can understand the move, several community members feel Oracle is going to be bad for the future of OO.org, and the project would be better
        in the hands of a non-profit foundation.

        Besides, there this is not the first fork (go-OO), and it is a sign that the project structure at OO.org is detrimental for the project. A similar, yet different situation
        happened with XFree86. Did you ever try to ask yourself why community members would try to do something drastic as a fork? It is to get rid of the rot.

        The council members would like to stay in the council because they think that even while separate, LibreOffice and others can be part of a bigger community, having similar
        goals but different rules. So all officesuites can be part of the same foundation. I do not see a COI there, this is not a company, but an OS project. The interests of the two project are largely identical. Only the way how to actually do it maybe different.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by the_womble (580291)

          As most of the code was written by employees of companies Oracle bought, Oracle does own the copyrights. They also own the trademarks.

          Of course its a conflict of interests. They are working on a competing product. Its like a Windows developer contributing to WINE.

          I also cannot find any clear explanation of why the fork is necessary. This is very different from XFree86 where there was a clear problem. I would have thought that Oracle has both the resources and the will to rival MS Office.

      • It doesn't matter who did most of the work on OpenOffice--Sun employees or outside developers--without the open source, open format tie-in, the software would have been just another proprietary, slightly incompatible Microsoft Office clone, and it would have died long ago.

    • by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:59AM (#33922314)

      Would it kill the story submitter to give people like me with no background in open source politics some info on what the heck is LibreOffice, why was it forked and is this latest development good or bad? I occasionally use Go-oo to open incompatible files but that's about it. Wikipedia and Libreoffice's website aren't much help either. So, someone knowledgeable, please reply below. Thanks in advance.

      • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:12AM (#33922356)

        LibreOffice is a fork of OO.org that was started because of Oracle's buyout of Sun. They asked Oracle to donate the OO.org name to their fork, and now Oracle has kicked them out of the OO.org community counsel. Hard to say if it's good or bad, but it looks to be the start of a fight.

        • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @07:09AM (#33923056) Homepage Journal

          LibreOffice is a fork of OO.org that was started because of Oracle's buyout of Sun. They asked Oracle to donate the OO.org name to their fork, and now Oracle has kicked them out of the OO.org community counsel. Hard to say if it's good or bad, but it looks to be the start of a fight.

          FuckYouOffice would be a good name given the turn of events. And very counter-culture/rebellious.

          In everyday usage, it could be shortened to FuckOff, like:
              "What's that Open Source office suite you are using?"
              "FuckOff."
              "Wow, thanks. Gotta get me some of that."
          or
              "How can I convert this mysterious ODF document into Word format to read it on my Win98 computer?"
              "FuckOff."
              "Thank you, helpful person."

          It's a name that could work well for FOSS.

          But perhaps UpYoursOffice might be better because that sounds more like European-bastardized English and less Japanese than FuckYouOffice. But it's not as much fun.

          Almost anything is better than LibreOffice. Obviously LibreOffice did not wind up with any of the marketing people in the divorce.

      • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:07AM (#33922526) Homepage

        I think the short summary is that OpenOffice.org development is heavily dominated by one company who is slow to accept outside patches, requires copyright assignment and controls the direction it develops in, So far this has only lead to a set of extra patches (Go-oo), but with Sun being bought by Oracle the other contributors expect the situation to get worse and have decided to try reforming it as a community project. They've called it LibreOffice as Oracle owns the name but would ideally like to come to terms with Oracle and continue under the OpenOffice.org name. At least initially it seems that Oracle refuses the idea, and as they then see LibreOffice as a competing project this is bad news but not unexpected. I didn't expect Oracle to hand over the control so easily and suspect Oracle will not budge until most everybody else stand behind LibreOffice.

  • That does it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dishwasha (125561) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:27AM (#33922208)

    I've been talking about it for about a year now. I'm going to stop using MySQL and only use PostgreSQL from here on out.

    • Re:That does it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:23AM (#33922392)

      If you had any sense you'd have done that years ago. I can't fathom why anyone would use MySQL in this day and age. It's like a toy compared to most of the other DBMS's. The only upside I see to it is that it's free (as in beer - that's the only one many care about). If it was the only game in town, then sure, that factor would be worth using it for certain stuff. You get that with PostgreSQL too though, and you actually get a well written and capable DBMS.

      For the inevitable car analogy: I drive a Hyundai because I'm a cheap bastard and it works well enough. If when I was looking to get my car though, someone had given me my choice of either a free Hyundai (MySQL) or a free Audi (PostgreSQL), I can guarantee you I wouldn't be driving the Hyundai.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        If you're a hobbyist developer MySQL has a couple advantages. It's the usual database in ready-to-go web server packages for Windows, which means it's much more convenient on that platform. Also, many of the tutorials you find online assume MySQL. Last but not least, most cheap hosters give you a couple MySQL databases but if you want Postgres you'll often have to get a root server and install it yourself.

        Yes, this boils down to "the network effects are on MySQL's side" but for people who don't need anyth
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by greg1104 (461138)

          Many cheap hosting companies don't offer PostgreSQL because there's not enough demand for it; there's not enough demand because people don't know where to host the result, and therefore don't develop against it. You have to break that dependency one person at a time to start reversing the network effect here. There's a list of PostgreSQL Hosting companies [postgresql.org] that includes multiple entries in the sub $10/month range. So while it's still true that most cheap hosting companies don't support it yet, if you dema

  • by diamondsw (685967) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:27AM (#33922212)

    I predict within six months "OpenOffice" will be dead and "LibreOffice" (or similar community-owned fork) will have supplanted it. Linux distros will drop it like a hot potato, and Novell and IBM sure aren't going to tie themselves to a hostile third-party for their efforts.

    • by gblfxt (931709) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:29AM (#33922220)

      seems ubuntu is switching to libreoffice soon.

      http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/future-ubuntu-releases-will-be-shipped.html [techdrivein.com]

    • by bored_engineer (951004) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:45AM (#33922274)

      Didn't the license change [wikipedia.org] drive much of the switch to x.org? I recall, and Wikipedia confirms, that Keith Packard had been trying some of his own things before then, but I don't recall that they were going very far. I thought that his treatment, then the change in license was what made the difference.

      So far, OO.o is distributed under the same license. I seem to recall that Fedora (Red Hat) and Ubuntu (Canonical) will support LibreOffice for now, but do they have any obligation to do so? If LO doesn't draw other support, then what will stop them from running, hat in hand (so to speak), back to OpenOffice? What if Oracle throws lots of resources behind OO.o, overshadowing the efforts that LO makes?

      For the record, I tend to think that you're right. I'm just not willing to "predict" such an outcome for now. I can see circumstances which could drive it in either direction, or even a third direction, in which there's a great deal of cooperation between OO.o and LO.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        What if Oracle throws lots of resources behind OO.o, overshadowing the efforts that LO makes?

        If they keep the same license, LibreOffice is free to implement those things in their code base too. If they change the license, you have the same problem you noted earlier.

      • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:38AM (#33922648)
        What if Oracle throws lots of resources behind OO.o, overshadowing the efforts that LO makes

        Based on my experience of Oracle, OpenOffice would quickly become so buggy that the few remaining users would jump ship.

      • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:50AM (#33922698) Homepage Journal

        You should be modded up because I think your more nuanced take on the matter is a clearer way to think about the issue. I also happen to agree with you. I tend to think the LibreOffice will become the version of choice, but I don't think it's 100% or even 90% certain.

        I can see circumstances which could drive it in either direction, or even a third direction, in which there's a great deal of cooperation between OO.o and LO.

        Oracle just made the third direction a lot harder. A normal member of the Open Source community would've seen the writing on the wall when the fork was made and realized a fight would benefit nobody. Oracle is clearly an entity that desires to cut off its nose to spite its face. I don't think the direction of cooperation is likely.

        In fact, I'm really hoping the btrfs developers leave Oracle and some other Linux distribution or a foundation starts paying them. The fact they're Oracle employees is beginning to worry me. Oracle is not playing nice, and btrfs is too important to be in the hands of a company that doesn't play nice.

    • by gnalle (125916) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:48AM (#33922282)

      How much of the openoffice code was created by sun employees?

      Can libreoffice stay relevant without coorperate backing?

      No flames please. I ask because I want to know.

      • by micheas (231635) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:00AM (#33922504) Homepage Journal

        How much of the openoffice code was created by sun employees?

        Can libreoffice stay relevant without coorperate backing?

        No flames please. I ask because I want to know.

        Nobody will know the answer to your question, because libreoffice has corporate backing of both Redhat (RHT:NYSE) and Canonical Ltd.

        I would assume that Novell will merge oo-go into libreoffice and add their support to libreoffice.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          I would assume that Novell will merge oo-go into libreoffice and add their support to libreoffice.

          Go-OO code being rolled in was part of the initial annoucement of the fork.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pieterh (196118)

      I predict that projects like OOo take money to keep going, and that within six months LibreOffice and other forks will be dead. Looking at the IRC transcript I don't see Oracle forcing anything. There's a council that runs OOo and some people on that council have made a fork, which is literally a competing product. The correct place for those people is TDF, not the OOoCC, that's surely obvious.

      • by rahvin112 (446269) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:41AM (#33922434)

        FOSS projects only have to be in competition if they want to be, if they in fact want to cooperate it's still quite easy and being on each others boards would ensure competition.

        I'll make the opposite prediction, LibreOffice (a much better name IMO than OpenOffice.org) will be dominant and OO will fade to only being available from Oracle. As of right now Fedora, Ubuntu and SUSE are switching that I know of, and I thought I heard nearly every Linux distribution has announced they are switching. That's signficant marketshare. Given that OO.org doesn't allow contributions without copyright assignment and LibreOffice is already moving at about twice the development pace because they accept contributions from everyone it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that LibreOffice will soon be the default very soon.

        Oracle's made a big mistake on this front. They will be just like XFree86, completely irrelevant.

      • No force? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by reiisi (1211052)

        You don't know how to read between the lines in this kind of meeting, I'd say.

        I've seen enough of these kinds of meetings to see the evidence of backroom deals. (As I noted above, the jammed input on the COI loop is one obvious bit of evidence.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by guzzloid (597721)

      If that happens (and you may well be correct), I predict that Oracle will follow up by attacking LibreOffice with patent claims in order to re-assert OpenOffice's market position.

      I think it's plain to see that Oracle is not interested in FOSS principles, fairness, "community spirit", free market competition, patent-free software (regardless of Ellison's past claims) or even (as it seems at present) their reputation with us technical folk; they want to be a highly-profitable, dominant force in big-business I

  • Smooth move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:29AM (#33922222)

    Given that Oracle thinks this will lead to a conflict of interest, doesn't that kind of imply that there will be a conflict of interest? In other words, that what Oracle sees LibreOffice doing is going to conflict with where they want OpenOffice to go?

    In other words, doesn't this basically mean that Oracle is actively planning to screw the pooch with OpenOffice?

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:36AM (#33922250) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft must be jealous that Oracle is the new FOSS hubris king. "They are out-eviling us! We....can't....have....this!"

    • by Scholasticus (567646) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:16AM (#33922368) Journal
      Pretty much. I would add that any F/LOSS which depends on the good will of a large corporation should be ready at any time to cut and run. Nothing against big business (at least regarding this question) but the goal of a corporation is ultimately to make money. The goals of people who write free/open source software are many, though profit for it's own sake isn't usually at the top of the list. For Linus, it was at least originally "just for fun," for Stallman it's always been about the right to freedom - and you could make a long list of other reasons. Some people in the Linux and BSD communities of developers like to write software in an environment where making a mistake won't get them fired from their paying job. OpenOffice.org has been the flagship productivity suite for Linux for a while now. Since the acquisition of Sun by Oracle, it's only been a matter of time before some kind of split. I'm rooting for the fork, whatever they end up calling it, not because I don't like Oracle (I don't like Oracle, but that's not really the issue here), but because a truly independent office suite would be good to have. I hope that at least some of the devs who have been with this project for a long time continue to work on Libre Office.
  • by NaCh0 (6124) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @02:48AM (#33922288)

    That IRC meeting was painful. Is the reason OOo has been so slow to gain traction in America because nobody on the board speaks english or has the cultural fortitude to face tough issues? Thankfully louis_to was there to get down to business and make something happen.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rta (559125)

      I too was struck by the overall unprofessional tone of the discussion. The language barrier was certainly palpable, but what was up w/ all the "joking" and such. louis_to at least put down some statement of what he (and/or his faction) were demanding, but he didn't really explain how or why this was a conflict of interest.

      His statements were a quoted appeal to "gentlemanship" and a statement that he didn't want to "confuse the users". That's fairly weak reasoning. There was, for example, no state

  • by kn (167667) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:04AM (#33922332)

    As a complete outsider, having read through the logs, it is hard for me to understand how this could possibly not be a conflict of interest.

    I'm all for some Oracle bagging, as an ex-OpenSolaris user, but the comments so far seem rather unjustified in this case.

    The board seems to be composed of Oracle Employees, and 3 independents (possibly more who were not present?). Comments are made that indicate that some of the Oracle employees have been involved in OpenOffice since before Sun's acquisition of Star Office. The 3 independents have all formed a competing project, and fail to understand how forming a separate project constitutes a conflict of interest. They justify this position by mentioning that they invited Oracle to join the board of their competing project. The concept of some mysterious cloud office is mentioned by one of the independents, seemingly indicating that there is no conflict. Most reasonable people would ordinarily conclude that the independents are crazy; however, due to Oracle's involvement it is apparently they who are in error.

    Oracle may well have been uncooperative or something to bring forth a situation that necessitated a fork, but that hardly makes the current predicament anything less than a conflict of interest.

    • by Statecraftsman (718862) * on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:25AM (#33922396) Homepage
      This all depends on the interest. I am familiar with people in the free software community whose main interest is increasing free software adoption. In that case they can fully be in support of two projects. The features may overlap and the projects may compete but the interest of free software adoption can neutralize any maliciousness that might appear in a traditional business conflict of interest situation.
    • by rahvin112 (446269) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:29AM (#33922408)

      Maybe the founders of LibreOffice don't consider themselves in competition with Oracle and are simply forking because Oracle wasn't attending to what they felt were important issues. Forking a project in FOSS doesn't have to be competition, it can still be a quite cooperative arrangement. Apparently Oracle is of the opinion that if you aren't with them you are against them and that's a terrible position to be in. Oracle thinks like a private company and apparently considers a fork some kind of competitive betrayal which is quite sad really. Forked projects can be quite cooperative, sharing code, project direction and working together on everything but the few items they disagree on. That's apparently NOT the direction Oracle wants to go and wants to sideline themselves completely. Not to worry, LibreOffice is now the default in nearly all the major Linux Distributions and I have no doubt within a few years OO will be a footnote in history. Too bad Oracle's stupid.

    • by badpazzword (991691) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (drowzzapdab)> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:12AM (#33922544)
      It is still concerning -- hell, misleading, confusing to have an "Open Office.org Community Council" made by 100% Oracle employees and 0% community.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @04:53AM (#33922708) Homepage

      The board seems to be composed of Oracle Employees, and 3 independents (possibly more who were not present?)

      No, there are just three independents on the council. Without those three it's 100% run by Oracle, and while they may find bodies to fill the seats nobody will think they have any real influence over Oracle. In practice it's the community council that is being dissolved, at least the "community" part of it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious (11933) *

      This is Open Source. There doesn't have to be a conflict of interest. Netscape and Mozilla got along fine for a long time. If there is a conflict of interest, it is created by Oracle. It's interesting that the Oracle employees won't explain precisely what the conflict of interest is.

  • by NZheretic (23872) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:16AM (#33922372) Homepage Journal
    Quoting myself [blogspot.com]

    At some point some open source projects developers may go in a direction that the distribution vendors and end uses may disagree with. It is the licensing which allows a fork of the project to develop that sets the open source development model apart from the pure proprietary development model. Apache, X.org and even the current version of the GNU GCC compiler toolset have been all derived from an outside fork of an existing open source project. No vendor or open source software developer can block development for any substantial period of time without the risk of the development being taken over by a descendant of the same project -- it's called evolution.

    Every time the leading members/developers of each of those original projects complained bitterly about the interlopers.

    The longer the original team remains entrenched in their design/implementation choices, the less the original team control has over the successor project and the less original product's market share of total users.

    This will remain true for all freely licensed source code that Oracle has purchased or inherited. Even for the forks of the GPL licensed Java.

    In the end freely licensed source code can have no dictators, only obsoleted dickhead.

  • Understandable move (Score:3, Interesting)

    by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:55AM (#33922486)

    Understandable move from Oracle. Anyone finding out that their wife/husband/life partner is having a side affair would ask them to move out.

    It is really really sad, but I am not so sure about the ethical steps from Oracle's side up to this point. What made these guys create LibreOffice in the first place and why doesn't Oracle answer to that more constructively? Does LibreOffice really have the momentum already to withstand this move or is Oracle using the early stage?

    At this stage we are not in a win-win situation, and things may get worse than the frustrated name calling of a bitter drama-queen feud.

  • Self-destructive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday October 17, 2010 @03:59AM (#33922496) Homepage

    LibreOffice and co. have been a barely known contender in the free Office market so far, while OO.o has the market pretty much sealed up.

    After this little stunt, and if this trend continues in the future, I would be surprised if OO.o remained the office of choice in Ubuntu 11.04, or really any of the Linux distros who pride themselves on free software. Oracle is destroying its free-software products.

    A naive person might ask why they bought Sun in the first place, if they are clueless about how to manage free software. A cynic would answer that they bought it in order to run OO.o, MySQL and Java into the ground.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cbope (130292)

      Hence, the need for better regulation of the "free market" when it comes to anti-competitive behavior as demonstrated by Oracle. Hands up if you still think an unregulated free market is a good idea and better for consumers?

  • by managerialslime (739286) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @11:36AM (#33924168) Journal

    I use OO as a file-conversion utility (but never for anything else), and was originally dismissive of the amount of attention this thread generated. Over the years, I have supported companies large and small. If you include my direct reports, I have supported thousands of users. Maybe twice in that time have I run into (or heard of) anyone who disclosed that they use OO at home or work.

    So I did a little Googling and was amazed to find that multiple sources ". . . estimated that market share of Open Office amounts to 7% for office use and 20% for home use."

    "http://books.google.com/books?id=B2Wcn_Io9B8C&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=%22market+share+of+open+office%22&source=bl&ots=GU9-1psXXG&sig=K50OV3lD3ot-PPJYa_gv2S6P6dk&hl=en&ei=hw-7TLXUE8H-8AaHntjsBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCMQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22market%20share%20of%20open%20office%22&f=false"

    If accurate, this makes OO a larger threat to Microsoft than Google as each copy of OO represents a bigger threat to one of Microsoft's three significant streams of profitable revenue (Office, Windows, and Xbox) than anything offered up thus far by Google.

    That this "underground" success has happened despite distro companies from Redhat to Ubuntu failing to develop marketing campaigns to bring OO to greater public attention means the opportunity for greater success for OO may still lay before us.

    Right now, iPad and Android users are adopting non-MS office apps by the thousands. Perhaps forks like Libre Office will rejuvenate efforts to finally bring a cross-platform (Windows, MAC OS, MAC IOS, Android, and Linux) office that will simplify support efforts.

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