Free Software Snubs Oracle

Tuesday, January 25 2011 @ 05:24 PM UTC

Contributed by: ph0bia

During last weeks Ubuntu developers conference in Dallas, TX USA, it was decided that LibreOffice will replace OpenOffice in future releases the popular Debian-based Linux distribution.
...."This comes as no surprise to Ubuntu watchers. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth told me back when LibreOffice developers were forking away from Oracle’s OpenOffice had told me that, “The Ubuntu Project will be pleased to ship LibreOffice from The Document Foundation in future releases of Ubuntu.” It wasn’t a sure thing though that Ubuntu 11.04, aka Natty Narwhal, due out on April 28th, would have LibreOffice. It is now."

The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.3, which comes only four months after the formation of the foundation by leading members of the community, demonstrating their commitment to a free and open office productivity suite.

Free and Open Source Software have decidedly spoken out against Oracle since the acquisiton of Sun Microsystems was first announced. MySQL, Apache, Java and other projects and technologies now lie in the wake of Larry Ellison's latest big move, leaving an uncertain future for the industry to contemplate. The MySQL community was also not suprised in February 2009 when the popular database's creator Michael Widenius announced that he was leaving Sun Microsystems as he was unhappy with the direction Sun had taken MySQL in since the acquisition a year prior. Keeping this in mind along with the Apache Software Foundation's rocky past in the Java Community Process, it could be argued that there were problems with Sun's FOSS relationship long before the Oracle acquisiton.

Immediately following the takeover however, 33 OpenOffice developers announced their departure from the company, not happy with Oracle's ideas about the project and open source philosophy in general.

Shortly thereafter, the Apache Software Foundation announced that Apache was divorcing the JCP over irreconcilable differences regarding the specifcations for Java. ASF and the JCP had been fighting over these for some time so when Oracle decided to uphold Sun's position on the issue it was clear that the party was over. In a recent Computerworld article Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols postulates that It's not Apache vs. Oracle; it's Oracle vs. Open Source, and that ultimately we can expect to see a Java fork, much turmoil and even some lawsuits.

Interesting times in the technology industry, to be sure. What are your thoughts on all of this, and the future of such critical projects as Apache?

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