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Apache insists OpenOffice is alive, well, and flush

Keep calm and carry on

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The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has sought to downplay fears over the future of OpenOffice, following a rather dramatic statement from original members of the team, begging for donations.

Shane Curcuru, one of the mentors on the Apache OpenOffice podling, told The Register that the ASF was continuing development of the OpenOffice code after receiving both the software and full international trademarking rights from Oracle. In addition, the number of contributors is rising, and the code is still receiving additions from Oracle employees on an unofficial basis.

“The OpenOffice podling is doing fine. We have plenty of commiters and project management committee members working on OpenOffice and have voted on new committee members,” he said.

He commented that some within the ASF were quite surprised by the nature of the discussion on OpenOffice, and that is was a disappointment that members of the OpenOffice team had not been in contact with the ASF before making their plaintive announcement.

In an extended statement, the ASF said that the OpenOffice code would be developed in “The Apache Way”, and that work was ongoing. The team has already put out some of the most successful open source code in the technology industry and would be working on OpenOffice in the same way, it said.

The statement also, rather pointedly, wished the rival LibreOffice development program, run by The Document Foundation, good luck in their coding, and looked forward to opening a dialogue between the two groups to “deepen understanding and cease the unwarranted spread of misinformation.”

In an interview with The Register two weeks ago, The Document Foundation did claim that, while OpenOffice had the installed base of users, LibreOffice was attracting more development interest. But the stimulus for today’s kerfuffle seems to have come not from the open source rival, but from members of the original OpenOffice team.

The ASF called for an end to the FUD over OpenOffice, and said that it would continue to develop the code, that there was no need for additional donations, and that additions would be made to the applications when they were ready.

“The ASF is a public charity, with a mission to produce high-quality code for the public good,” Curcuru said. “We will put out code when it’s ready to ship.” ®

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