Oracle ‘donates’ to Apache foundation

Oracle has done what Sun should have done a long time ago: put code into the hand of an independent foundation. The good news is that now a wider participation from corporations and individuals is possible. Hell, even Microsoft can now participate into development. I hope that soon the fork can be reconciled, too.

My first thoughts is that Apache Foundation is a good home for Open Document Format, ODF. If the license will also change to Apache there will be more opportunities to create an ecosystem on top of the standardized format.The free software movement needs a thriving ecosystem around ODF so that we can edit and exchange office documents between computers, mobile and other devices without sacrifices. So far this ecosystem has failed to materialize and as a tool has many flaws (bad/old GUI, heavy and in areas like presentation is just bad).

I personally welcome the change as I never believed that The Document Foundation had enough steam in its engine to radically improve the product. But I believe it can still maintain and improve LibreOffice until Apache’s community will start rolling the next generation of desktop productivity tools.

Oracle ‘donates’ to Apache foundation | ZDNet UK.

Comments from Rob Weir and Novell’s Michael Meeks.




  1. Thanks for the analysis. I agree that the ODF support side is critical. Although some have criticized the he move to Apache 2.0 license from the previous copyleft LGPLv4, the Free Software Foundation actually recommends this:

    “There are only a couple of kinds of projects that we think should not have any copyleft at all. The first is very small projects.
    The second is projects that implement free standards that are competing against proprietary standards, such as Ogg Vorbis (which competes against MP3 audio) and WebM (which competes against MPEG-4 video). For these projects, widespread use of the code is vital for advancing the cause of free software, and does more good than a copyleft on the project’s code would do.”

    As the leading application supporting ODF, I think this is a good argument for using a permissive license for OpenOffice, to make this ODF support ubiquitous.

    • I agree with you Rob: the ASL is a good license to build a framework that supports ODF. LibreOffice may well continue to exist and be licensed under LGPL and keep existing, even thriving, as a desktop tool. I think there is space for both, as long as RedHat, Novell, Canonical and co. keep investing in The Document Foundation.