Oracle Hands Off OpenOffice.org to Apache Software Foundation

Oracle has released a proposal that would transfer open source office suite OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation.

Should this happen, OpenOffice.org will become a part of the Apache Incubator and operate under a permissive license, which means that there will be more flexibility in implementing source code changes, and there will no longer be a need to mandate the publication of such changes.

Oracle got its mitts on OpenOffice.org when it acquired Sun, but didn’t address many of the OpenOffice community’s beefs with the office suite. One of the community’s major gripes was the difficulty in merging code contributions from different sources. That in of itself stymies the open source movement.

A group of developers broke off from Oracle last year to establish the Document Foundation, a group dedicated to continuing the work started with the original OpenOffice.org, and create the new LibreOffice open-source office suite. Then in April, Oracle announced that it would no longer offer a commercial version of the OpenOffice.org software, and that it plans to move the suite to a purely community-based open source project.

“We welcome highly-focused, emerging projects from individual contributors, as well as those with robust developer communities, global user bases, and strong corporate backing,” said Jim Jagielski, president of the Apache Software Foundation. Jagielski is also the proposed podling mentor for the OpenOffice.org community during the incubation process.

The proposal is currently under review by the Apache Incubator Project Management Committee, and no final decision has been made.

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