Apache Elevates Open Source OpenOffice – So What?

apache open officeFrom the ‘Yeaah, I’m a LibreOffice User – ‘ files:

There was a time when OpenOffice was where I spent a good chunk of my work day. Those days are now in the past, as I’ve moved on and so has every single major Linux distribution. We’ve all moved to a faster more agile open source office suite. We have moved to LibreOffice.

Today the Apache Foundation announced that OpenOffice has been elevated to Top Level Project status. Big whoop. The project had been incubation but come on?! Seriously this was just a process issue.

Projects go to incubation as part of the process and to also gain support and broader base of contribution. Sure, the process takes time, but can anyone tell me if the base of participation has actually expanded at Apache? Please?

This is what I got out of the official Apache press release:

“The graduation of OpenOffice is testament to The Apache Way successfully scaling from incubating ‘ingredient brands’ to a highly-established end-user product,” said ASF Executive Vice President and Apache OpenOffice mentor Ross Gardler in a statement “The incubation process allowed experienced Apache contributors to mentor the project, helping both new and established OpenOffice contributors build an Apache-style community that is both open and diverse.”

I know…IBM has lots of users and is a big backer. That’s a good thing. Yes the Apache Way is a brilliant process too.Don’t get me wrong either, if given the choice between Microsoft Office or OpenOffice on a Windoze box, there is no choice what I would choose.

In any event, truth is that not all project move to Top Level status, moving code is not an easy thing either. Kudos certainly are due to Oracle for moving this forward too, instead of simply letting it die.

There is still a base of OpenOffice users that cannot or will not move to LibreOffice – for them (not for me), the move to Top Level Project status is reassurance that they will have a home for some time to come.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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