The Oracle community management folks have continued their astoundingly poor record since the database behemoth took over Sun Microsystems this week with the announcement that they are going to hand control of OpenOffice.org, formerly Sun’s open-source office productivity suite, back to the community – or what little community is left.
The whole Oracle community debacle kicked off back in August last year when Oracle started suing Google for code copyright violations in Android’s Dalvik virtual machine for Java. In September the JDK 7 release slipped potentially 18 months, swiftly followed by the Java Community Process getting extremely annoyed at the way Oracle were running the show. Earlier this year, Oracle forced the Hudson project to change its name (to “Jenkins”) because the person who came up with the name originally was working for Sun at the time.
So what have they done this time?
Well it all started some months ago, when the OpenOffice.org developers got a bit too frustrated with the way Oracle were running things and forked the OpenOffice.org codebase. They created an organisation called “The Document Foundation” to manage the new fork, entitled “LibreOffice”, and even invited Oracle on board to help out (they declined).
LibreOffice now has most of the original OpenOffice.org developers, and Oracle have handed the management of OpenOffice.org back to the empty shell of its former community.
It’s hard to see OpenOffice.org continuing with any real prominence in the future. LibreOffice is already well advanced in the months it has been separated, and is now even the default office suite to come with the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release.