IBM, which had lobbied for Oracle to spin out the OpenOffice project after it was clear that the company had no commercial interests in continuing its development, also issued a statement today, saying that “We look forward to engaging with other community members to advance the technology beginning with out strong support of the incubation process for OpenOffice at Apache.”
But those community members may be elsewhere, as the creation of The Document Foundation included some of the leading developers on the OpenOffice project. While Oracle has handed over its OpenOffice code, the move does not reunite these two groups.
The Document Foundation stressed the importance of bringing these communities together in its statement in response to todays news: “The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.
Seems like a good move all around, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to undo the mess that followed Oracle taking over Sun and the OpenOffice project.