Oracle purging OpenOffice.org community council

Summary:If the meetings of last week's community council meeting, posted by dissident members, is to be believed, OpenOffice.org is no longer a community endeavor, but entirely a corporate project.

Oracle employees are purging the OpenOffice.org community council of people who support the competing LibreOffice and The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice is a fork of Oracle's OpenOffice.org.

In the log of a community council meeting held last Thursday, linked to from member Cor Nouws at UberVu, Oracle community manager Louis Suarez-Potts put the question plainly, describing the problem as a conflict of interest.

"You now represent The Document Foundation (TDF) and LibreOffice," he told TDF steering committee member Christoph Noack. "These are distinct from OpenOffice.org. For you to represent OpenOffice.org (OOo) in the Community Council (CC) is therefore quite confusing."

Brazilian Olivier Hallot, another member of the TDF steering committee, tried to intervene. "Our presence in OpenOffice Community (OOC) is a good opportunity to keep door open to both projects," he wrote.

Later in the transcript, he admitted "I only see Cor Nouws, Christoph Noack and Olivier Hallot as the community members and all other are now Oracle employees so I take it as Oracle wants us to get out."

In the transcript Matthias Huetsch, a former Sun employee now with Oracle, backed up Suarez-Potts. "You have chosen to leave, so we wish you good luck, but please leave; and that has nothing to do with Oracle; that is my personal opinion."

Suarez-Potts then set a deadline of today for an answer to the resignation demand, writing "We are giving the TDF members the time to understand the weight of their action and to act gracefully."

Assuming the community council members comply, and the situation is as Hallot described it in the transcript, then as of today the OpenOffice.org community council is a collection of Oracle employees masquerading as a community.

And if that's the case, then OpenOffice.org is no longer a community endeavor, but entirely a corporate project. Anyone thinking of contributing to the code base should probably keep that in mind.

Topics: Oracle, Collaboration, Open Source, Software

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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