IBM responds on OpenOffice contribution question

Summary:The last blog on cell phones and cancer swallowed my day and I didn't get to the interesting and intriguing write up of IBM's Lotus Workplace client technologies that I said yesterday's blog (see Clearing the air on the IBM Workplace-OpenOffice.org connection) that I'd get to today.

The last blog on cell phones and cancer swallowed my day and I didn't get to the interesting and intriguing write up of IBM's Lotus Workplace client technologies that I said yesterday's blog (see Clearing the air on the IBM Workplace-OpenOffice.org connection) that I'd get to today. Truth be told, I'm still waiting for the details from IBM (they're getting back to me).  IBM did however come through with an explanation as to why it is electing not to contribute any changes to OpenOffice.org (OO.o).  Here, via e-mail, is what IBM had to say:

The [word processing, spreadsheet and presentation] editors in our Workplace Client technology were derived from the OpenOffice project, and we componentized them and tried to slim them down a bit, and we also added a whole bunch of fixes and features. We will be (and have been) clear that they are OpenOffice-derived and they will support OpenOffice formats, and we encourage people to use OASIS and OpenOffice doc formats in addition to Office ones. IBM forked from the original OO.o base (and changed the code) so contributing back isn't really viable. We have a different strategy than OO.o, and we believe these editors have more value as components in a server managed client framework, rather than a desktop suite.
Hopefully, by tomorrow, I'll have more deets one what might make IBM's managed client framework so compelling. 

After Matter: Redmonk's Stephen O'Grady has a take on the contribution controversy and his colleague James Governor has some choice words for our Open Source blogger Joe Brockmeier.  Also, after forever admiring Jay Rosen's use of the phrase "After Matter" to indicate when more information is being added to a blog, I've finally given in to temptation.  The idea, tone, style... it's all perfect.  Thanks Jay.   See Rosen's great Pressthink blog on journalism here.

Topics: IBM

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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