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Sun Refuses LGPL for OpenOffice; Novell forks 258

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-is-no-dept dept.
TRS-80 writes "Kohei Yoshida wrote a long post on the history of Calc Solver, an optimization solver module for the Calc component of OpenOffice.org. After three years of jumping through Sun's hoops on his own time, Sun says it will duplicate the work because Kohei doesn't want to sign over ownership of the code. Adding insult to injury, Sun then invites him join this duplication. Because of Sun's refusal to accept LPGL extensions in the upstream code, Michael Meeks (who recently talked about Sun's OO.o community failings, and ODF and OOXML) has announced ooo-build (previously just for build fixes) is now a formal fork of OpenOffice to be located at http://go-oo.org/. "
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Sun Refuses LGPL for OpenOffice; Novell forks

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  • There is just as much or more license squabbling in the OSS world as there is the other world.

    It's kind of sad.

    Blame the big corporations?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cheater512 (783349)
      Sun is a big corporation?
    • by darien (180561) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [neirad]> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @08:52AM (#20835665)
      There is just as much or more license squabbling in the OSS world as there is the other world.

      Yeah, but in the OSS world we still have access to all the software that's in dispute...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bogie (31020)
      Yes but usually that means someone is trying to close up or abuse source code licenses and someone else is trying to keep them open.

      Plus say your right. What's worse? Companies that are constantly trying to force you into licenses that are restrictive and downright abusive/harmful to you or your computer? Or individuals who are constantly fighting to ensure that you/society only benefit from the software license?
      • by Ferzerp (83619)
        I wasn't calling one or the other worse. I was pointing out that people will whine and fight in all situations.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      There is just as much or more license squabbling in the OSS world as there is the other world.
      It's kind of sad.
      Blame the big corporations?


      License squabbling happens when a project grows, and there are far more interests involved than you can imagine.
      It's got nothing to do with OSS vs. commercial software.

      The alternative is Sun and Novell forming their private militia and sending hitmen to hit their competitors. In a country with a developed legal system, we rather slap each other with licenses.

      Nothing's per
  • When will people learn that bickering like this is completely pointless and is in no one's best interests?
    • by iworm (132527)
      Yes it is.
    • by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:06AM (#20835775)
      While I agree with you that forking generally isn't good, at times it can possibly be a good thing. Take a look at XFree86/Xorg. Since the fork Xorg has had massive improvements, finally getting X to a modern state. Hopefully this fork will work on improving OOo, specifically in the GUI and speed areas (Novell, please at least copy Lotus Symphony's GUI or MS Office 2004 (OS X) but implement in native controls making use of system settings (it should follow my icon theme and font settings at least)). While I use OOo, it really doesn't seem as if Sun has much of a goal for it. The GUI isn't very intuitive, it still is horribly bloated, and overall it doesn't integrate with the system and looks hideous. Each new release doesn't seem to have any noticeable improvements over the previous. It just feels really stagnant. Hopefully this fork will have some direction and actually have a goal of competing with MS Office.

      They really need a goal like this [launchpad.net].
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        Novell, please at least copy Lotus Symphony's GUI or MS Office 2004 (OS X) but implement in native controls making use of system settings (it should follow my icon theme and font settings at least

        I always get a kick out of posts which start going into details of what they want company X to do, as if they're around and care what you say.

        Remember the Novell Vice President: "If you care what I say, you have no girlfriend".

        I suspect he believes this goes both ways, and wouldn't risk losing his girlfriend, so...
        • by tomhudson (43916)

          > "Miguel de Icaza, founder of ... Mono"

          Not exactly a great recommendation, considering how hard it sucks to have Mono (both the disease and the programming language).

          The guy shouldn't have to assign copyright. As long as he's LGPL'ed the code, what's the big deal? And this applies equally to the license nazis at the FSF who insist that code be assigned to them, rather than just licensed under the GPL or LGPL. Control freaks is what it sounds like.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Ed Avis (5917)
            There are good reasons [gnu.org] for requiring copyright assignment. For the FSF it's reasonable enough since in return for the assignment they promise to license your contribution as free software. Sun are requiring copyright assignment and then planning to incorporate your code into the proprietary StarOffice, which some may see as unfair.
          • by gral (697468) <kscarr73@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:54AM (#20836387) Homepage
            In that case, then everybody should just place their code under a BSD license, and be done with it. Doing this means your code can NOT be legally defended.

            If there is a Legal dispute over the code, we would have to round up EVERYBODY that contributed to the codebase. They would ALL have to travel to Boise, IDAHO, or some place in Egypt, or Australia, or where ever the dispute is filed. Once their, they would EACH have to give a dissertation on what they contributed. If even one person doesn't show up, then you would lose, much like if a football team showed up with not enough players.

            How many legal disputes would it take to make sure a person NEVER contributes again?

            The GPL and LGPL are licenses, that allow a whole lot of different things to happen, but they are still LEGAL licenses that if you really want people to abide by them, you will have to be able to defend in court.

            I am not a lawyer, but I have been the Documentation Lead on the OOo project for the past 6+ years.
            • by shaitand (626655)
              True, copyright assignment is just good sense. The real issue is that Sun can't be trusted to be the copyright holder. For one they hold the project in their talons under an iron grip when the project should be in the hands of the community. For another, Sun blatantly does exactly what everyone fears when assigning copyright, they take your code and sell it as proprietary software.
            • I am NOT a lawyer, but my father-in-law is! (hmmm, so what?) As some recent cases in Europe show, They may "steal" GPL code from many people, but if one copyright holder sues and wins, everyone wins! So the assignment clause, does not hold water on this ONE argument. It does server other purposes and is a valid requirement, but comes with a negative side too. I personally will not contribute to any project that has this requirement. My contributions, have stayed my own, under GPLv2.

              That being said. I still
          • by ajs318 (655362)
            Sun insist that you assign copyright to them, so that they can use your code in their proprietary, closed-source StarOffice application. This is almost exactly like OpenOffice.org -- except that you have to pay for it, and you're restricted how many copies you can make and how many computers you can use it on. (The LGPL ordinarily forbids a completely closed-source release; you can link a closed-source program against an LGPL program, but you have to make the Source Code for the LGPL part available -- un
            • by makomk (752139)
              No, the FSF *require* you to assign copyright to them in any code contributed to any of the GNU applications (emacs, gcc, binutils, etc) - the same as Sun do with OpenOffice.org.
            • by teflaime (738532)
              I don't remember having to pay for StarOffice last year when I downloaded it. Is this a new development?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by hawk (1151)

          Remember the Novell Vice President: "If you care what I say, you have no girlfriend".

          I suspect he believes this goes both ways,
          Does that mean no boyfriend, either? :)

          hawk
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        The GUI isn't very intuitive, it still is horribly bloated, and overall it doesn't integrate with the system and looks hideous.

        Hmm it wasn't long ago I heard praises of OO since while Office 2007 changed its UI dramatically to deal with control bloat, OO kept the 2003-style interface. I mean you do realize: Open Office literally has the Office pre-2007 UI, in fact OO has less controls and toolbars than Office 2003 did.

        I'm seeing more and more opinions in the other direction, which means the tide is turning.
        • No, I think the GP is just a Mac person (or hasn't used OOo since the 1.x days). AFAIK the interface for MS Office on the Mac is non-trivially different in comparison to the Windows version, and the GP is pining for the Mac version's interface in OOo. Also, the GP complains about a lack of integration (using the system icons, fonts, etc), which is a non-issue if you're using KDE or Gnome (at least, maybe Windows too, I don't know) as OOo will already use a set of appropriate icons, use the correct file open

    • by femtoguy (751223) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:15AM (#20835883)
      I don't know that his is actually so bad. Remember that open source is all about choice. In the proprietary world, there is a huge advantage to being the one standard program, and so companies have used file formats to guarantee their positions. In the open source world, the open office xml file format is an open standard that anybody can use. We can easily have IBM with their office suite, Sun's Star Office, OpenOffice.org and a fork of it, KOffice and everybody can choose whichever version they want, as long as they use the standard file format. It's perfectly analogous to the web. It doesn't matter that some people use IE, others firefox, and others iCal or lynx, because html is standard, and anybody can implement it. In the end it is data that matters, not programs or platforms. This is the great strength of open formats and open source. Let people choose their programs based on their features and use interaction rather than being forced by format externalities.
      • by aliquis (678370)
        [quote]It doesn't matter that some people use IE, others firefox, and others iCal or lynx, because html is standard[/quote]

        Yeah... right.. no problems at all, it all just works!

        Btw, iCal for surfing the web? I guess you can export your calendar as HTML but ... ;D

        Anyway would be intresting to hear why Apple doesn't use ODF for iWork 08.
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @08:45AM (#20835581) Homepage Journal
    to Michael Jackson and Weird Al Yankovich:

    They told him, we don't your code around here
    Don't wanna see your source, make it disappear
    The license they don't like, and they made that clear
    So fork it, Just fork it.

    You better take your code, better do what you can
    Don't wanna see it die, 'cause Sun wanna be da man!
    You wanna own your code, better do what you can
    So fork it, but you don't wanna be mad

    Just fork it, fork it, fork it, fork it
    No wants this to get too heated
    Show 'em the way to free code that's right
    It doesn't matter how the code comes to light
    Just fork it, Fork it
    Just fork it, Fork it
    Just fork it, Fork it
    Just fork it, Fork it

    They won't take your code, best to leave while you can
    Don't wanna fight with Sun, you wanna be da man
    You wau wanna keep the code alive, just do what you can
    So fork it, Just fork it,
  • by mgpeter (132079) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @08:50AM (#20835635) Homepage
    This is not an official "fork" of OpenOffice.org. This is simply a way for Windows user's to get a nice "Development version" of the office suite similar to what is deployed on most GNU/Linux Distributions. Of course if you don't want to use a "Development Version" on your workstations, you can get a stable version of the OOO-Build service with Novell's version of OpenOffice.org for Windows (which is what I prefer).
  • So, I guess it's back to the Openoffice 1.x-days, when I routinely emerged ooo-ximian for my Gentoo workstations (better integration with KDE using native dialogs et al).

    As long as they don't get "exclusive" features that are only in one version and not the other, this probably won't be a problem.
    • by eobanb (823187)

      As long as they don't get "exclusive" features that are only in one version and not the other, this probably won't be a problem.
      But that's exactly what's happening. The go-ooo build of OpenOffice includes things like VBA support, reading MS Works documents, WordPerfect graphics import, and EMF+ rendering. The official Sun-maintained version does not have these features.
      • by Zarhan (415465)
        I meant "exclusive" in a sense that other fork is a superset of the other. Suppose that Sun-version gets MS Works import and Go-OOO gets VBA support and I'd like both. However, now go-ooo just seems to have a superset so it's easy to choose which to install.
  • by Bert64 (520050) <[moc.eeznerif.todhsals] [ta] [treb]> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @08:54AM (#20835687) Homepage
    Why do Sun demand that ownership is signed over, can't they just accept dual licensing - that is you license it under the LGPL and license it specifically to Sun under other terms (eg BSD) so they can reuse it in staroffice.

    • by Dionysus (12737) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:06AM (#20835785) Homepage
      Same reason FSF demands that ownership is signed over
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why demand signed-over ownership?

        Same reason FSF demands that ownership is signed over

        I guess you're right: both Sun and the FSF request copyright assignment because they want the flexibility of re-licensing the code later on, without contacting the multitude of authors who have contributed to the code-base.

        However there is a notable difference between the FSF and Sun. The FSF has a plainly-stated goal that they want to promote free software. Thus if you agree with their vision of what "free software"

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          In which case, you would just fork the last free version put out by Sun.
          Whilst they can relicense, they cannot apply it retroactively.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by eviltypeguy (521224)
          That's wrong. Actually the latest version of the SCA explicitly promises that contributions will remain under a free software license. Also, it is *joint* ownership. Which means you still have all the rights you did before to the code, it's just that Sun gets all of the same rights too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mmurphy000 (556983)

      Note that Sun requires joint copyright assignment (JCA), whereby both the original author(s) and Sun jointly hold copyright. This allows Sun to relicense the OpenOffice.org code as needed (e.g., GPLv3).

    • Why do Sun demand that ownership is signed over, can't they just accept dual licensing - that is you license it under the LGPL and license it specifically to Sun under other terms (eg BSD) so they can reuse it in staroffice.

      That's the thing: that isn't even necessary! The whole point of the LGPL is that they could use it in StarOffice without having to make the whole of StarOffice open source! This is why Sun's position is so unreasonable.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @08:56AM (#20835699) Journal
    I submitted a story about this a week or two ago [slashdot.org]. I think it's also worthy to note that IBM seems to have done the same thing [desktoplinux.com].

    What was the story I submitted tagged as? 'fudfudfud'

    I wonder how many forks we'll see? I also wonder if anyone's going to actually make this real open source or if each company is going to fork their own copy and call all the shots on it? I hope someone learns that to be the OpenOffice you have to be open to community ideas, wants & needs as well as truly governed by the community.
    • by aliquis (678370)
      I came here to say "what would happen if everyone/ibm did it aswell, so then we can have four office suits? openoffice, staroffice, novellwhateveroffice and ibmlotusoffice, great!!"

      Kudos to Sun for buying it in the first place and releasing it for free.
      Less so for the others...
    • by ajs318 (655362)
      There have already been temporary OO.o forks from Debian; first they built a Java-free OO.o, then some or other Debian developer managed to build a 64-bit-clean OO.o before the "official" Sun one.

      Anyway, as long as one of the forked versions is released under the GPL (you can re-licence LGPL code to "full" GPL, but not the other way around) then there is no reason for version proliferation to happen. Even GPL v2/3 compatibility issues will sort themselves out in time. It will be legal to take LGPL cod
  • Considering that IBM has just put > 30 programmers fulltime working on OO (Yes I understand under a new name), isnt all of this squabbling kind of pointless?? Also, with this amount of squabbling going on, I really do have that IBM just forks their changes and continues to maintain the codebase with a fulltime staff. Someone needs it...
    • by arivanov (12034)
      And the 1 million dollar question is: "Is Sun forcing IBM to hand over the ownership on all of its contributions?".
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        And the 1 million dollar question is: "Is Sun forcing IBM to hand over the ownership on all of its contributions?".

              No, but they'll just quietly patent everything :)
    • by hub (78021)
      It is called Lotus Symphony. And nobody has seen the source, despite being based on an obsolete version of OpenOffice.org
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:00AM (#20835727)
    For all of you who think releasing your proprietary software under open source means just free community work and good PR.

    If you keep acting as if you never did it, you'll wake up one day with the entire project forked by a competing company.
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      you'll wake up one day with the entire project forked by a competing company.

      That really doesn't matter. People will use the program that suits them most. Forked or not.

      It's like having kids. You splice your DNA to your partner's DNA, and who knows what you end up with. Some will be decent people, others will be downright brats. Society as a whole will take care of deciding which "version" is worthy of success. Just because one of your kids turns out to be a brat
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        That really doesn't matter. People will use the program that suits them most. Forked or not.

        Right, but if it wouldn't be forked, they'd be forced to use your own single version.
        And as businesses are involved in making money, that's certainly the better alternative vs forking.
        • by daeg (828071)
          Or, you know, you could just be better then your competition and actually actively prevent forking by listening to what your users want.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Dunbal (464142)
            Different users want different things. If you end up with "One Big App" that tries to do everything anyone could ever dream of, you'll have all the creative, hard to find bugs, flaws and design problems that go along with such complexity. Which is where we're at today with slow, bloated, buggy programs.

            Remember that the whole POINT of software is to specialize. I'd rather see many forks of smaller, specialized, GOOD apps than the "One App to Rule Them All" approach. So long as we keep
  • go-oo.org? (Score:3, Funny)

    by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:08AM (#20835807) Journal
    I have issues with that domain name.
  • Why get upset? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rindeee (530084) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:13AM (#20835859)
    This is one of the reasons the 'fork' exists. It's not worth getting worked up over. Sun has a particular license and that's their decision. Fine. If the community at large wants something different, they'll do it differently and it will become the defacto standard. Done.
  • Coding is commodity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XMLsucks (993781) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:14AM (#20835869) Journal
    When you contribute open source code on your own time, it is an implicit admission that your code is worth little, and so don't be surprised to see someone else take the same view and duplicate it! The value is the fun in writing it, thus there will be some handful of people on the planet that share the same sense of fun, and will duplicate the work. I've seen lots of my stuff duplicated. And I've duplicated other projects. That is how people have fun and learn.

    Imagine if you'd gotten money from Sun for your code. Would you care (as much) if they ignored the code? They'd have the right by having purchased it. But having spent money on it, they'd probably be less likely to discard it, and to start from scratch. Money makes a difference.

    Jeez, this post is the typical complaint seen in charity work: "Oh, they didn't value my work, and I have no sense of self-worth, so now I'm all upset!" "The people running the charity are all in a clique and don't pay attention to the contributions of the other charity workers. They're destroying the spirit of the organization. Lets go create another organization that cares!" And then the cycle continues. The basic mistake is in thinking that other people have to value your work. They don't. Only you do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JohnFluxx (413620)
      I also look after my wife and children in my own time. Is this an implicit admission that they are worth little as well?

       
  • Sad to read this. Seems Open Office have two huge barriers to contributing - messy, crufty, monolithic code, and a bureaucratic development process.

    Luckily my own experiences with contributing to the OpenJDK have been much better. Hopefully the experiences Sun learned in open sourcing Java can be applied to improving the Open Office project.
  • 'Formal Fork' ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mmeeks (1166463)
    So - fork is rather a pejorative term; it has always been the case (for one reason and another), that there are lots of different versions and derivatives of OO.o out there. Most obviously Sun ships a version of OO.o under a proprietary license, and many other vendors and small companies likewise - with different internationalizations, and (most often) some proprietary value add. http://go-oo.org/ [go-oo.org] has existed for many years as has ooo-build, and has been used rather widely as a place to share improvements a
    • by albalbo (33890)
      I guess the question then becomes, "at what point do Novell (or whoever) decide that doing the spec-writing dance, the bug tracker hustle, etc., is actually a waste of resources?".

      While Sun were the primary developers of OOo, and few people were coming on board, it doesn't make sense to try and work outside of their framework for anything non-trivial. At some point, Sun will be much less important, and (more importantly) much less efficient with their current processes - other people could decide to stop bo
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:22AM (#20835941)
    That is the question I asked myself. What lies beyond the issue addressed by the fork. I hope the fork will be able to solve the following issues I have with OpenOffice.org.

    1: The "non-starter" speed. Even with the quickstarter, OpenOffice.org does not start that fast enough for me.

    2: Absence of a full email client. I suggest they grab Mozilla's Thunderbird. I have no trouble with it at all.

    3: Beauty. Heck, the [ugly and huge] icons on Linux can be made better looking.

    4: Make its database offering comparable to Microsoft's Access. Right now, a lot of work has to be done.

    Those are my US$0.02.

    Did you know the the Canadian Dollar is now worth more than the US dollar? I just found out this morning!

    • by dominator (61418)
      There's more than one issue addressed by this fork. http://go-oo.org/discover/ [go-oo.org] for more info.

      1: The "non-starter" speed. Even with the quickstarter, OpenOffice.org does not start that fast enough for me.

      From go-oo.org/discover: "Go-oo starts faster"

      3: Beauty. Heck, the [ugly and huge] icons on Linux can be made better looking.

      One of the major projects that Novell's team has been doing is improving OOo's look and feel. This includes better GTK+ widget theme integration, icon-theme integration, use of native

    • 2: Absence of a full email client. I suggest they grab Mozilla's Thunderbird. I have no trouble with it at all.

      I'm not sure why an e-mail client has to be integrated into the office suite. In fact, I'm not sure why we have to have our slideshow program integrated with our word processor.

      However, among the free e-mail clients, it seems to me that Evolution is the most complete replacement for Outlook. And Evolution is already a Novell program. If only they'd get Windows/OSX ports built.

  • I have written code for PHP, and they require it be owned by the PHP group for inclusion. This is no different.
    nt part of
    There are some facts, Sun is a business and as such they have to make sure their business is viable. The solver is an important part, and since sun does use OpenOffice.org as the basis of StarOffice, they will want to make sure they are in proper legal standing to do so. If they make mods to the module, then all their mods must be published and there may be instances where this is not som
  • by speaker of the truth (1112181) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:32AM (#20836093)
    Only in open sourced code could a fork like this be made. If it had been Excel he had written this code for he'd probably be getting sued for breeching some patents.
  • FSF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:34AM (#20836121) Journal
    How is Sun's policy any different than the FSF's policy for GNU projects they manage?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AceJohnny (253840)
      well, Sun is a corporate entity with a final motive of making money.

      The FSF is a non-profit organization with a final motive of keeping software free.

      That said, it has been argued that Sun are nice guys regarding open-source today, but you never know how they'll act tomorrow (if SCO taught us anything).
    • How is Sun's policy any different than the FSF's policy for GNU projects they manage?

      I'm curious about this myself. When I assigned some of my copyrights to the FSF I got a contract that says amongst other things that even though the FSF holds the copyright, they won't use all of their rights to the code, by guaranteeing that they will only distribute it under the terms of free software licenses (this is defined in some way, I could look the specifics up if anybody is interested).

      If Sun doesn't have a clause like this, I don't see why anybody, especially any commercial entity would ever s

  • Your OpenOffice.org

    As the homepage of the fork prominently states "Your OpenOffice.org" I have a few questions:

    1) Is it ethical to use the name or domain name of the forked software? ("Your Mozilla.org" anyone?)

    2) Is it not a trademark infringement? Note: even unregistered trademarks are protected to a certain extent (at least under US trademark law).

    3) Is it not unfair business practices?

    What people don't realize is that copyright licenses (e.g. GPL) cover only the softweare. Names and brands are not "copy
  • by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @10:20AM (#20836833) Journal
    Copyright assignment to those in control of the project is a good thing. It consolidates interest, makes it possible to make licensing decisions and changes in the future, and allows the project to be defended legally.

    It is also probably time for an OO fork. Forking is not evil or bad, forking is powerful and must be used with caution but it is the ultimate power the community has. I'm not especially surprised that Sun spent all that time previously talking about the evils of forks, it is only fitting since Sun intends to control anything they contribute with an iron fist. The project is stagnant, not because people don't contribute but because Sun doesn't accept changes or only wants certain features in StarOffice.

    There should probably be a fork if we want to see something useful arise from OO but it shouldn't be run by Novell or Sun or IBM or any other corporation. A fork should be run by the community, for the community. A community run foundation or non-profit should be at its head with a no sale of the codebase clause in its charter. If Novell wants to donate the bandwidth then so be it.

  • When forking something that's trademarked, you could do what Longs and Walgreens do. Their copies of out-of-patent medications are labelled with "compare to the ingredients in <proprietary name>". So something like "BetterOffice - compare to the components in OpenOffice" would probably work.

  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @11:02AM (#20837449) Homepage
    The FSF requires assignment of ownership for "core" components such a GCC. There are two reasons for this:

    1) It is (legally) easier defend the license if ownership is clearly defined (and before you comment: The law is rarely Boolean).

    2) To make it possible to re-release under different licenses.

    The GPL2 to GPL3 is a poor example of #2 as they usually add a "any later version" for their GPL'ed source. But ownership gives them the right to give permission for other free software projects to use FSF code in projects that use other licenses, they are quite pragmatic with regard to such licenses.

    Both should paply to Sun as well, plus the added ability to make proprietary versions (like StarOffice) which may link to other peoples non-LGPL compatible code.
  • by soullessbastard (596494) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @11:05AM (#20837491) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: I am a founder of the NeoOffice [neooffice.org] project.

    ooo-build has long been much more than build fixes. For many years it has been the public face of the work Ximian and Novell have poured into the OpenOffice.org source base. It has a long history of features that Ximian/Novell have helped develop, including (but not limited to):

    • OpenXML import/export support via odf-converter
    • Kohei's solver optimization extension
    • Native widget framework and GNOME integration (from back in 1.1.x)
    • Visual Basic suport for Calc
    • Alpha-blending and enhanced alpha blended icons
    • A redesigned GNOME-like icon set
    • Microsoft Works importer
    • Evolution integration
    • And more...

    ooo-build is about functionality and features. Despite the name, it has never been about "build fixes" as indicated in the article. The additional functionality is so awesome that, at NeoOffice, we have been using ooo-build in NeoOffice [neooffice.org] since March and have been donating back bug fixes and Mac-specific support patches to the ooo-build project. Years ago the Ximian work on OOo 1.0.3 was so promising that I put together a Mac OS X port back in 2003 [neooffice.org] which folks used for a long time. OxygenOffice [sourceforge.net] also is based off of the ooo-build project (although I do not know if the OOOP team coordinates with ooo-build).

    The ooo-build team has done amazing work. It is sad to see their work go unrecognized by so many and be outright rejected or stalled by Sun. NeoOffice users have loved having the functionality ooo-build brings currently and continues to bring in the future, and much of the work pioneered by ooo-build is critical to maintaining the Mac platform as a viable office solution (read VBA). Sun's lack of acknowledgement and incorporation of ooo-build features does nothing but hurt users. Having received a "you're welcome to join us" response similar to Kohei [kohei.us], I am glad I do not consider myself part of OOo any longer. The freedom of forking has allowed NeoOffice to incorporate all good code without all of these politics and marketing games. Forking has allowed NeoOffice to deliver to Mac users the features they wanted yesterday regardless of where those features came from. Sun has a history of a "not invented here" syndrome at times when it comes to code within their "open" source projects.

    I'm glad to see that ooo-build is getting some recognition. I hope more users start seeing some of the great functionality they can get today on Windows and Linux, and once again I thank ooo-build, Ximian, and Novell for their continued dedication to improving OOo.

    ed

  • take notice: Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m2943 (1140797) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @01:46PM (#20840193)
    Now would be a terrible time to stop developing parallel languages, because the problem is just now coming to the forefront with the limits of single-core performance pushing back and multi-cores taking over.

    This is one of the reasons dual-licensing is bad. Big projects with this problem are OpenOffice, Java, and Qt.

    ooo-build (previously just for build fixes) is now a formal fork of OpenOffice [CC] to be located at http://go-oo.org/ [go-oo.org] [CC]

    And this is the proper response: to fork the code and make an open-source only version, leaving the company and all its legal shenanigans in the dust.

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