This could be really big. Over the top big.

OpenOffice has been an effort of Sun to produce the only competitor to end the hegemony of the Microsoft Corporation in every office in America. The set of programs has continuously improved, added features, removed bugs, and strived to remove all the blocks that Microsoft has put in its way.

When Sun sold itself to Oracle, it was hoped that Oracle would continue to support the OpenOffice effort.

It did not happen, and perhaps that is what has fueled this revolt, as the OO supporters are a feisty bunch, and cannot stand being put off by the silence, and then obfuscations of Oracle.

The news came quickly, and I saw it first this AM on slashdot, but later in the day, it was also on reddit. and getting lots of thumbs up.

“The OpenOffice.org Project has unveiled a major restructuring that separates itself from Oracle and that takes responsibility for OpenOffice away from a single company. From now on, OpenOffice’s development and direction will be decided by a steering committee of developers and national language project managers. Driving home the changes, the OpenOffice.org project is now The Document Foundation, while the OpenOffice.org suite has been given the temporary name of LibreOffice.”

I have used OpenOffice over the years, and installed it upon many of my customer’s machines, as it is a great choice and also completely free. The product gets better and works with fewer idiosyncrasies with each release. It also has a plethora of add-ons, many of which have no analogue on the Microsoft Office platform.

The strange thing about this is that nothing has been said about the Go Office fork that was made before the sale of Sun. It would be a great thing if Go developers would come back, and the overall project could be more solid, and move with more rapid results – that has been a complaint of many I know – that the OO.org project was way too slow in developing features.

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Here is a more complete story, from the New York Times. The new Document Foundation has the support of Ubuntu, IBM (Symphony is based on OpenOffice), and some unvoiced others.

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