Oracle has done what Sun should have done a long time ago: put OO.org 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 OO.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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’ OpenOffice.org to Apache foundation | ZDNet UK.

Comments from Rob Weir and Novell’s Michael Meeks.

I was very concerned when DG Competition announced that they needed to take more time to investigate the merger of Oracle and Sun because of MySQL. The deal for me seemed not only natural for business reasons, but also naturally neutral towards consumers.Β  MySQL is safe also in Oracle’s hands because the project, with so many big companies knowing its internals, is basically too big to fail now. Even if Oracle should decide not to finance its development (which makes absolutely no business sense for them) there should be enough providers out there capable of offering support to users and further its development (software patents threat excluded).

I’m very happy that Funambol has sent a letter to European Commissioner Neelie Kroes asking her to approve rapidly the Oracle + Sun merger. I totally agree with Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol’ CEO, put all his

The database market is highly dynamic, and the software on which these enterprises are built can neither be owned nor their development paths easily controlled or curtailed.

And the damage for this wait is huge, not just for the companies, but for the employee. With Sun loosing $100Million per month, there is not much time to waste. Says Fabrizio:

The alternative to a full merger is likely to be the exit of SUN Microsystems from the database market. […] Their likely exit from the market will harm the open source software market and further entrench the position of proprietary software providers.

I hope that Commissioner Kroes listens and that Funambol’s letter can help clear her doubts.