BUSINESS SOFTWARE HOUSE Oracle has decided that the best way forward for Open Office is to turn it back into a community-led project.
Oracle had taken control of what was widely regarded as the most complete rival to Microsoft's Office business suite after it purchased Sun Microsystems. At the time Oracle's involvement with Open Office led to the creation of The Document Foundation and its Libre Office project in case Oracle turned Open Office into a closed source project.
While Libre Office continues to go from strength to strength, Open Office has seen its community support dwindle, with many Linux distributions including Canonical's Ubuntu and Red Hat's Fedora opting to ship Libre Office instead of Open Office. Oracle has taken note and said that Open Office will be managed by an organisation on a 'non-commercial basis'.
Oracle's decision to shift Open Office to a community based project doesn't mean the firm will completely back away from contributing. In a statement issued by Oracle, Edward Screven, the firm's chief corporate architect said, "We intend to begin working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office. Oracle will continue to strongly support the adoption of open standards-based document formats, such as the Open Document Format."
It's good to see Oracle hand Open Office back to the community, however if it had made this decision a few months earlier it would have saved a lot of trouble and perhaps avoided the fork of Libre Office.
At this stage it's not certain whether anyone will want to take on this project, given the growing popularity and developer base of the Libre Office project. µ
Watch this space
Hackers could erect man-in-the-middle attacks
Painted into a corner
What we'd call copying, Cupertino calls 'inspiration'