I like this assertiveness by the Apache Software Foundation -- taking what seems to be a pretty emotional discussion around where OpenOffice is going and puts it into plain and simple terms.

As with many highly-visible products, there has been speculation and conjecture about the future of OpenOffice.org at Apache. More recently, destructive statements have been published by both members of the greater FOSS community and former contributors to the original OpenOffice.org product, suggesting that the project has failed during the 18 weeks since its acceptance into the Apache Incubator. ...

More than 70 project Committers are actively collaborating to ensure that the future of the OpenOffice.org code base and community are in alignment with The Apache Way. The project's extensive plans include assessing the elements necessary to update a product that hasn't had an official release in nearly a year; parts of the product's functionality encumbered by non-Apache-Licensed components; and a code base that has been forked and maintained by a community pursuing market dominance. As such, it is critical that we remain pragmatic about the project's next steps during this transition phase.

We understand that stakeholders of a project with a 10+ year history –be they former product managers or casual users– may be unfamiliar with The Apache Way and question its methods. Those following the project's migration to process and culture unique to the Apache community may challenge the future sustainability of the project.

Such concerns are not atypical with the incubation of Open Source projects with well-established communities – the successful graduation of Apache Subversion and Apache SpamAssassin, among others, are proof that The Apache Way works.

As an all-volunteer organization, we do not compensate any contributors to develop Apache code. We do, however, support those individuals with relevant expertise to pursue consulting/remuneration opportunities with interested parties, but must reiterate that they are barred from doing so on behalf of the ASF or any Apache initiatives – be they Top-level Projects (TLPs) or emerging products in the Apache Incubator and Labs. Otherwise, they would be in violation of the Apache trademark policy, which the ASF strongly defends in order to protect its communities.

At the ASF, the answer is openness, not further fragmentation.
Sounds like a great project to get involved with, as many of my staff, IBM colleagues and others are already.

Link: The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org >

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