OpenOffice.org developers move to break ties with Oracle

Developers of OpenOffice.org have created a new foundation and a new brand, LibreOffice, to promote the software suite

Some developers of the OpenOffice.org desktop productivity suite announced a break from Oracle on Tuesday, introducing a new name for the project and establishing a new foundation to guide its future.

They will distribute a version of the open-source office productivity suite under the name "LibreOffice," under the purview of an independent organization called The Document Foundation.

The move underscores the tensions between the open-source community and Oracle over open-source projects such as OpenOffice.org and the free database application MySQL that were managed by Sun Microsystems before its acquisition by Oracle.

OpenOffice.org is an outgrowth of the StarOffice suite made by the German company StarDivision. Sun bought StarDivision in 1999 and launched OpenOffice.org -- based on StarOffice -- in 2000.

Oracle completed its acquisition of Sun earlier this year and has dedicated developers to OpenOffice.org. But members of the OpenOffice.org community haven't been happy despite Oracle's release of two stable versions of the software since taking control of the project.

There was a feeling that Oracle regarded the community as "more part of the problem" than the solution, said Charles H. Schulz, a project lead for worldwide language development for OpenOffice.org and a member of its community board.

Schulz said he doesn't consider LibreOffice a fork of OpenOffice.org but rather a continuation of the original project. LibreOffice is now available for download on the The Document Foundation's new Web site.

Oracle is not an automatic member of the new foundation, but has been invited to participate.

The Document Foundation has asked Oracle if it can used the trademark for OpenOffice.org. If Oracle says no, then the new name of the office suite will stay, Schulz said.

"We are very happy if Oracle wants to work with us on the trademark but failing that we have LibreOffice, Schulz said.

Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Oracle owns the copyright to the code for OpenOffice.org, but that code is also under a free software license which gives others the right to modify and distribute it, Schulz said.

The foundation said its launch has received broad support from other companies with a stake in open-source software: it lists among its supporters Google, Red Hat, and Canonical, which develops the Ubuntu open-source operating system.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags open sourceOraclesoftwareapplicationsOffice suitesOpenOffice.org

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?