Despite publicly voiced reservations about whether OpenOffice.org should become an Apache Incubator project, it has now been accepted with an overwhelming majority voting in its favour.
Oracle's decision to hand over OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation was met with a degree of dismay and dissent that led to some doubts as to whether it would gain quick acceptance as a "podling" – the Apache name for projects in the incubator.
In the event the results of the public vote that took place over three days starting last Friday were conclusive. Of the 48 binding votes cast by Incubator PMC members 41 were in for OO.org's admission and 5 were against. Of the further 57 "non-binding" votes cast 45 were for and 8 were against.
The aspect that seems to have reconciled some the critics, according to The H, is that it can serve as as a reference implementation for other office software. This envisages it being used by other projects, beyond OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice, and help establish the ODF document formats more widely in both open source and proprietary software.
Former Sun open source chief and current board member of the Open Source Initiative, Simon Phipps, who had been critical of Oracle's donation of OpenOffice.org to the foundation on the grounds that it was divisive and ignored the LibreOffice has explained that it was the prospect of the OpenOffice.org project being refactored into a reference implementation of office suite components – including ODF (Open Document Format) importers and exporters – that influenced his "Yes" vote. Writing on his blog he said:
"If a re-usable reference implementation of ODF editors for each ODF sub-format can be created from the code Oracle is relicensing and maintained at Apache, it could be immeasurably positive for everyone".
IBM's Rob Weir, who has consistently argued for this outcome welcomed the yes vote in a blog posting, noting that that 87 developers and 8 Apache mentors have already signed up for the project. He also comments that the ODF standard, which OpenOffice.org implements:
"can and should be the basis for interoperability among competing application suites".
The fate of OpenOffice.org
Oracle hands over OpenOffice to community
If you would like to be informed about new articles on I Programmer you can either follow us on Twitter or Facebook or you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter.