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From Sally Khudairi ...@apache.org>
Subject The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org
Date Fri, 14 Oct 2011 12:00:41 GMT
[this statement is available online at http://s.apache.org/XCP]

The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache OpenOffice.org

On 1 June 2011, Oracle Corporation submitted the OpenOffice.org code base to The Apache Software
Foundation. That submission was accepted, and the project is now being developed as a podling
in the Apache Incubator under the ASF's meritocratic process informally dubbed "The Apache

OpenOffice.org is now officially part of the Apache family. 

The project is known as Apache OpenOffice.org (incubating).

Over its 12-year history, the ASF has welcomed contributions from individuals and organizations
alike, but, as a policy, does not solicit code donations. The OpenOffice.org code base was
not pursued by the ASF prior to its acceptance into the Apache Incubator. 

The Apache OpenOffice.org Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) and Committer list are
nearly 10 times greater than those of other projects in the Apache Incubator, demonstrating
the tremendous interest in this project.

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.

Whilst the ASF operates in the open –our code and project mailing lists are publicly accessible–
ASF governance permits for projects to make information and code freely available when the
project deems them ready to be released. Apache OpenOffice.org is not at risk.

As an end-user-facing product, OpenOffice.org is unique in comparison to the other nearly
170 products currently being developed, incubated, and shepherded at the ASF. Considered to
be "ingredient brands", countless competing Web server, Cloud computing, data handling, and
other solutions behind the products serving millions of users worldwide are, unbeknown to
most, "Powered by Apache".

And we're OK with that.

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. There is ample room for multiple
solutions in the marketplace that are Powered by Apache. We welcome differences of opinion:
a requirement at Apache is that a healthy project be supported by an open, diverse community
comprising multiple organizations and individual contributors.

We congratulate the LibreOffice community on their success over their inaugural year and wish
them luck in their future endeavors. We look forward to opening up the dialogue between Open
Document Format-oriented communities to deepen understanding and cease the unwarranted spread
of misinformation.

We welcome input and participation in the form of constructive contributions to Apache OpenOffice.org.
There are myriad ways to help, from code development and documentation to community relations
and "help desk" forums support to licensing and localization, and more. 

The way to move this forward is via the ASF, which owns the OpenOffice.org trademark and official
code base. This is our chance to be able to pull together our talents towards a cohesive goal
and protect the project's ecosystem.

At a minimum, we owe that to the hundreds of millions of users of OpenOffice.org.

-- the ASF Press team and Apache OpenOffice.org incubating mentors

- Join the Apache OpenOffice.org project MeetUp at ApacheCon, 7-11 November 2011 in Vancouver,
BC, Canada. For more information, visit http://apachecon.com/

- For more on Apache OpenOffice.org see http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/
- For more information on the Apache Incubator see http://incubator.apache.org/
- The ASF trademark policy can found at http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/

"Apache", "OpenOffice.org", and "ApacheCon" are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation.
All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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