An independent organization called "The Document Foundation" has been formed by volunteers from the community developing and promoting OpenOffice.org to drive further growth of the free, open source office suite. A press release issued by the newly formed group states that Oracle, who acquired OpenOffice.org assets as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has been invited to become a member of the new Foundation, and donate the brand OpenOffice.org. In the meantime, the brand "LibreOffice" has been chosen for the software.
The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the former OpenOffice.org community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council. Current members leading the creation of the Document Foundation are accessible on the group's Web site. The expectation is for the Foundation to coordinate and oversee the development of LibreOffice, which is available in beta version at the placeholder site: http://www.libreoffice.org.
The aim of the Foundation is to lower the barrier to adoption for both users and developers and make LibreOffice a truly accessible office suite. The stated mission: "is to facilitate the evolution of the OpenOffice.org Community into a new open, independent, and meritocratic organizational structure within the next few months. An independent Foundation is a better match to the values of our contributors, users, and supporters, and will enable a more effective, efficient, transparent, and inclusive Community. We will protect past investments by building on the solid achievements of our first decade, encourage wide participation in the Community, and co-ordinate activity across the Community."
Described as an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation, the group relates it was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent Foundation brings out the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for users.
"We believe that the Foundation is a key step for the evolution of the free office suite, as it liberates the development of the code and the evolution of the project from the constraints represented by the commercial interests of a single company," commented Sophie Gautier, an OpenOffice.org community veteran and the former maintainer of the French speaking language project, who was deemed speaker for the group of OpenOffice.org volunteers spearheading the project.
Open to any individual who agrees with the Foundation's core values and contributes to its activities, developers are invited to join the project and contribute to the code in what is termed "the new friendly and open environment, to shape the future of office productivity suites alongside contributors who translate, test, document, support, and promote the software."
Simon Phipps, former Sun Microsystems chief open-source officer and now director of the Open Source Initiative, said there seems to be a trend toward open collaborative communities for open source software, and he embraced the Foundation's move. "We welcome The Document Foundation initiative and look forward to the innovation it is able to drive with a truly open community gathered around a free software commons, in the spirit of the best of open source software," he said.
The Open Document Format is supported by the organization, which has a stated interested in working with OASIS to bring about the next evolution of the ISO standard, noted Charles Schulz, member of the Community Council and lead of the Native Language Confederation. "The Document Foundation brings to the table the point of view of developers, supporters and users," Schulz said, "and this might accelerate the adoption process of ODF at government and enterprise level."
The Document Foundation
OpenOffice.org Community announces The Document Foundation - press release
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