The Document Foundation Responds To Going To The Apache Foundation

Just a while ago, we reported that Oracle has decided to give to the Apache Foundation instead of The Document Foundation. Well, Italo Vignoli, who is one of the co-founders and a member of the steering committee of The Document Foundation, has responded to Oracle’s decision to ignore them and go to the Apache Foundation instead.

In an email, Italo Vignoli wrote that The Document Foundation welcomes Oracle’s decision to release previously proprietary codes as open source to the Apache Foundation. He also mentioned that open-sourcing the codes makes it possible for them to take up “key user features” and include them in LibreOffice.

The Document Foundation is not however, pleased at Oracle’s move which has resulted in the possibility of reuniting LibreOffice and being ruled out – something which The Document Foundation has wanted right from the beginning. This is what Vignoli wrote:

The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. 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 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

Because The Document Foundation is not involved directly in Oracle’s announcement today, Vigoli described the event as “neutral” for The Document Foundation. He, however, expressed desire to work with the Apache Foundation to co-develop with them to provide better office applications.

There has never been a better time to get involved and advance the state of the art in free software office suites.
TDF is therefore willing to start talking with Apache Software Foundation, following the email from ASF President Jim Jagielski, who is anticipating frequent contacts between the Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation over the next few months.

The reality is that almost all of the previous contributors are with The Document Foundation now. So, the best possible place for Oracle to donate should have been The Document Foundation. Now that it is with the Apache Foundation, a completely new development team will have to take up the project – something which is not very easy to do, as Oracle found out. The best possible course of action for Apache Foundation will be to co-develop with The Document Foundation, as they have suggested. Even if they do not get access to the development, it will not affect The Document Foundation very much as they already have a very active community with great experience to keep working on LibreOffice.

Oracle “Donates” To The Apache Foundation

In a surprising announcement, Oracle has said that they are donating to the Apache Foundation. Luke Kowalski, Vice- President, Oracle Corporate Architecture Group, said that their decision to give away the code to The Apache Foundation is a part of their commitment to the open source communities. and The Apache Foundation

While it is a good thing that the assets are in the hands of the open source community, questions will be asked as to why Oracle choose the Apache Foundation. Regarding that decision, Luke Kowalski had this to say:

Donating to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future. The Apache Software Foundation’s model makes it possible for commercial and individual volunteer contributors to collaborate on open source product development.

Jim Jagielski, president, The Apache Software Foundation, has welcomed Oracle’s move to donate to the Apache Foundation:

We welcome highly-focused, emerging projects from individual contributors, as well as those with robust developer communities, global user bases, and strong corporate backing.

Jagielski also added that OpenOffice will be initially an Apache incubator project. Upon maturing into a Top Level Project, a committee will be formed to guide the project on its day-to-day working.

Why Apache Foundation and not The Document Foundation?

If you recall, after Oracle acquired, many of the leading contributors formed The Document Foundation. The Document Foundation requested Oracle to join them and donate the name “” to the community. Oracle snubbed them and asked them to leave instead.

They left, along with most of the other contributors, and went on to fork to form another office suite LibreOffice. LibreOffice has been very successful and most of the major Linux distributions have switched over to LibreOffice as the default office application suite.

So, considering the history between The Document Foundation and Oracle, it is not surprising that Oracle decided to ignore The Document Foundation and gave to the Apache Foundation.

Licensing Issues

A problem with becoming an Apache project will be the licensing issue. Apache projects uses the Apache Public License while uses the GNU Lesser Public License (LGPL) version 3. The LGPL and Apache Public License are not compatible with each other in matters regarding distribution with software under other license and distribution of derivatives.

The GNU Lesser Public License version 3 allows for the distribution of the software under LGPL with software under other license with certain restrictions. The distributor has to provide the source code of the software under LGPL along with the modifications made to it. The Apache Public License allows the distribution of the software without any such restrictions.

Regarding the derivative works, the LGPL allows their distribution only if the derivative is also under LGPL or GPL. Under the Apache Public License, the derivatives are free to choose any license as long as ‘Apache’ is not included in its name.

It will be interesting to see how this gets sorted out.


Foss Friday: OpenGL 4.0, BBC DRM on Broadcasts, Oracle’s Java Love And More

This week has seen a lot of activity in FOSS. In this post, I will present a weekly roundup of some key events that will determine the shape of things to come.


  • Oracle focuses on Java

Oracle has now become the world’s largest Open Source Company in terms of market share and enterprise solution expertise. Whatever Oracle does determines a lot of other sectors and fields. Oracle announced that Java will be focused upon by the company owing to its potential and current giant share in the development sector. Also, the JDK version 7 will sport many nifty features and easy integration with newer technologies. Read more at itWorldCanada.

  • BBC is planning on introducing DRM for its broadcast content

If this plan gets through, Open Source users of UK will not be able to watch the BBC television programs. What a shame it is to see that this feature is not present in the receivers, and this move is not made by BBC itself. BBC is being pressurized by copyright holders to do this and they threaten to withdraw the rights to air their shows. What is even more insane is that they wish to implement this throughout all devices. These devices include the Television, the Recorders, Burners, basically everything that can store the program. Follow up at OMG! UBUNTU.

  • AMD releases support for OpenGL 4.0 on Linux

AMD has released support for OpenGL 4.0, the newest Linux Graphics API. This new driver is a preview and lacks official support but promises that AMD is at least living up to the new OpenGL standards. Phoronix tells us more on this development.

Tips and Features

  • Ubiquity slideshow in Ubuntu installation

Ubuntu Linux has just released its first public beta. This beta gives a peek into the latest features and visual enhancements which will appear in the next version of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. One of them is the Ubiquity slideshow during the installation.

  • Install 3.2 on Ubuntu 9.10 is the best office suite in Ubuntu Linux. This is an easy guide on how to install in Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Karmic Koala. 3.2 Released

At the start of it’s tenth anniversary 3.2.0 was officially relased today, a week after the 5th Release Candidate (RC 5) had been released.

For those who don’t know, is   the leading open source, cross-platform software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It can be used as an alternative to Microsoft’s Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.

Since the release of 3.0, just about a year ago,   there have been more than 100 million downloads and it remains one of the largest open source application projects out there.

Apart from fixing a number of bugs and numerous potential security vulnerabilities, the following are some of the features of the new 3.2 :

  • Upto 40% faster startup time
  • Support for open standards like ODF
  • Support for Propreitary formats and better compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007
  • Support for Postscript based commercial and free OpenType fonts for formatting, printing and display.

A few weeks before the Release of 3.2, the Community   had formally announced the “End-Of-Life” (EOL) status for the legacy version 2.x series of it’s productivity suite. This meant that support with patches, bugfixes and security updates is no longer available from the Community for these or before releases. It thus becomes imperative for the user to upgrade to version 3.x

You can download 3.2 from here and read about it’s new features in detail here .

At the dawn of 2010, 3.2 seems to be the first and only complete Office application suite out of the kilns which has made an official release. It would be interesting to see how other Office suites compare to this release.

OOoCon: Conference 2011

The first OOoCon was held way back in 2003 at Germany and since then, it has made a huge impact on the growth and promotion of This time too, the conference is to be held at Hungary. The conference mark a milestone of another year for the and its success in a world of MS Office.

The OOoCon describes the conference as,

Hosting OOoCon is challenging, rewarding, exhilarating, exhausting, and can provide a huge publicity boost for in your country. There is no fixed date for OOoCon, although we prefer an autumn date.

The next venue for the conference needs to be decided and there is a open proposal system just for that. The proposal needs to be sent  before midnight UTC on Sunday February 21st 2010 and should include some mandatory informations like date which is preferably in Autumn, the availability of conference technologies, transportation etc.

All proposals need to be sent to [email protected] before the above mentioned deadline. You can check some data on previous OOoCon and review some sample proposals.

Budapest is already gearing up for the next conference. If you want to host the next OOoCon at your city, send in your proposal and help OO flourish.