OpenOffice.org in Apache: The Next Step

9:22 am freesoftware

A few weeks ago, I wrote about what submitting OOo to Apache meant for the various parties involved. In particular, I said “IBM can continue to develop Symphony, with a licence it’s happy with.”

Yesterday, I saw that  IBM will contribute Symphony to OpenOffice.org. This is a natural next step for them for a number of reasons:

  • They will reduce their delta between Symfony and OpenOffice.org, thus reducing maintenance costs. And since they are a major sponsor of the move to Apache, we can expect considerably less resistance to invasive code changes than we might have previously seen at OpenOffice.org, making the effort to merge considerably cheaper than it would otherwise have been
  • They retain the option of keeping parts of their product private, thanks (as I pointed out) to the license involved – notably, anything related to Lotus Notes integration can stay proprietary
  • They will be helping solve a major problem for OOo adoption by Apache: the replacement of (L)GPL dependencies

All in all, this is good for OpenOffice.org, and good for IBM. And, in the long run, if the long-awaited iAccessibility2 et al can easily be integrated into LibreOffice, good all round.

 

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