Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OpenIndiana? LibreOffice?

Lots of little bits and pieces of news continue to dribble out about the future of the various Open Source software efforts that Sun Microsystems had initiated:

  • ComputerWorld reports that some OpenOffice.org developers have established a new foundation to distribute the newly-named LibreOffice (formerly OpenOffice).

  • PCWorld reports that some OpenSolaris developers have established a new foundation to distribute the newly-named OpenIndiana (formerly OpenSolaris).

It's all rather confusing, and I don't think I'm the only one who's trying to suss it all out. Here's a short report from Rob Weir, an IBM'er who's much involved with Open Office, who says:

This will be an interesting test of openness in action. This is as close as we have seen to “twins separated at birth”, a rare but key subject for studying the relative contribution of hereditary and environmental factors on the development of personal traits. With LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org we have a similar “experiment”, a separation of identical code bases, with the same license, only varying the openness of the community.

Meanwhile, The Inquirer gives its take on Open Indiana:

If the Open Indiana project wants to provide a viable alternative to Linux and BSD in servers, then the project needs to adopt a low profile, quietly work on producing a stable and complete release, formulate release schedules and support structures, and then come back to beat the drum. Otherwise it will be seen as a rabble of hobbyists playing around with the long since discarded scraps of an industry behemoth, which won't do justice to the talents of the coders involved

Update: Here's an interesting short essay from James Governor with his take on some related issues, as well as some very interesting comments at the end of the essay from several readers.

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