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Oracle Offloads Open Office

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Oracle has announced that is to be a community project and to cease production of the commercially supported version. From the press release:

"Given the breadth of interest in free personal productivity applications and the rapid evolution of personal computing technologies, we believe the project would be best managed by an organization focused on serving that broad constituency on a non-commercial basis," said Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect. "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 (ODF)."

With OOo now being OOO, it remains to be seen what will happen with the product as a whole. A community fork, called LibreOffice, was created in the split from the OpenOffice trademark and Oracle eviction notices. It is hosted by the free document foundation, which has explicit bylaws.

The community progress, which also included members from other commercially sensitive supporters such as RedHat, meant that the evolution of the office suite outpaced the commercial development behind the original Oracle developers. This delay can be traced back prior to Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, although the takeover precipitated the move.

The same scenario is currently unfolding with Hudson/Jenkins. As with OOo, the Hudson trademark was applied for (retrospectively, in this case) and the same hardware issues were the trigger that started the cascade. Although Oracle are still supporting Hudson with ongoing development, most of the community members have moved to Jenkins, with a two weeks later and two months later showing that the difference in the pace of commits.

With Oracle finally abandoning the commercial variant of and offering up for the community may be too little, too late; the community has already chosen Libre Office.

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