Moved by Freedom – Powered by Standards » Leaving the OpenOffice.org project

Posted by Hester PC
Oct 22 2010
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Moved by Freedom – Powered by Standards » Leaving the OpenOffice.org project.

Charles H. Schulz is leaving the Oracle run OpenOffice.org. Mentioned below he will be continuing with the Document Foundation. Their primary focus was LibreOffice.  LibreOffice is a repackaged OpenOffice.org.  However, now indeed forced to be a complete fork of the product.

As far as how this comes about I have a few opinions about Oracle.

I feel Oracle will come to find their desires against open source projects will be a failure. Maybe this is part of their plan. Maybe they only wanted parts of SUN. I would say they are quickly burning their bridges to open source.

That being said, maybe in some sick twisted fashion this is what they want to do to free the projects they control. To allow the projects to continue as Oracle exists they must be freed and by a community movement. Alienation of the community, which seems to be present in MySQL, OpenOffice.org, seems to have driven those who hold strong to their projects to drive a new direction. I even wonder how well VirtualBox is doing under Oracle.

Sad to see this happen. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t shining in Oracle’s favor.

Today is a special day. I feel both sad and relieved, happy and somewhat disgusted. I have officially resigned from my all my duties, roles and positions inside the OpenOffice.org project. My resignation is effective immediately and I am leaving the project. I will now be contributing to the Document Foundation, while of course continuing to work at Ars Aperta and at the OASIS as a member of its Board of Director, eGov Steering Committee and ODF Committees.

These past days have been tense. In a sense it was to be expected, but on the other hand I feel that it was in fact quite surprising and unprofessional. The Oracle employees who are members of the OpenOffice.org project and who expressed themselves these past days have displayed a disturbing lack of understanding of Free and Open Source Software; LibreOffice is, after all, and until proven otherwise, a downstream version of OpenOffice.org, and as such deserves inclusion into the OpenOffice.org community.  I can only imagine what it would be like if Debian was rejecting the Ubuntu employees among its teams, calling it a fork.  As for the fork itself, and because we’re still a downstream version of OpenOffice.org, forks become forks only when one of the boys refuse to play ball with the others; and the Oracle team of OpenOffice.org just did that. As such, and you might call this disingenuous, they created the fork and bear the final responsibility for it; of course the community at large created the Document Foundation and LibreOffice, but the astounding lack of dialogue, the immediate labeling as competitors from the very second created the fundamental rift that turned a potential, vague state of things into a hard reality.

Now, this is not going to be an Oracle bashing blog: I would like to thank the engineers of Hamburg, the former Sunnies and StarDivision employees for the opportunity and honour they gave hundreds of people like me to work on their side and contribute to a quite unique project. They’re good people. But History plays against them. In any case, they are for ever welcome inside the Document Foundation. Fair winds, Genossen.

This post would not be complete without my final message to the Native-Language Confederation of OpenOffice.org, the bulk of the worldwide communities forming the heart of the OpenOffice.org communities: this is my message of resignation that I’m reposting here:

"It is with great emotion that I am resigning from my role as lead of
the Native-Language Confederation of OpenOffice.org. This resignation
is immediate. It has been a pleasure, a lifetime experience, a honour,
to work with all of you for 10 years. When we started, we were around 3
to 4 projects. We are now over a hundred communities, reaching
worldwide a hundred million of users. This has been the achievement of
the OpenOffice.org community, it has been our achievement, and let no
one take this away from you. I look forward working with all or most of
you again in The Document Foundation, and am considering the future
with optimism. Last but not least, I would like to thank all of you
here, in the OpenOffice.org community, who made all this possible, and
even gave me a chance to become someone better. You can be proud of you.

Cheers up!

Charles-H. Schulz. "
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