IBM responds on OpenOffice contribution question

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.

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TOPICS: IBM
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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.

Topic: IBM

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  • Please note, however

    that in accord with the LGPL IBM makes source for their modified components available to all recipients of the binary packages.

    If the OO.o people want to study IBM's work and adopt it, they are free to do so. Of course, they won't be able to assign copyright to Sun, but that's not IBM's problem.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • I could be reading their (IBM) post wrong

      But I think they sad they will not contribute to OO.o. With their work. Its for me they will make changes so they can make money of it but those changes will not end up on our desktops.
      computer_man
      • Perhaps you should re-read the IBM response

        My interpretation of their response is they've componentized the code to make it workable in their server-based delivery model, rendering it unusable for the traditional desktop office suite. Ergo, regardless of their commercial interests, there's no benefit to the desktop community to have access to it anyway. The only benefit would be for those who wish to deliver it using a server-based model, but then that would compete directly with IBM, and I don't see IBM making it easier for their direct competition.
        IT Makes Sense
  • so ibm is going to act like a bully and improve an open source project for

    their own use and not give the improvements back to the original source monitors to decide what can and cannot be used. sounds like a violation to me. let's sue!

    don't be fooled by this programming doublespeak. they just don't want to give back. so much for embracing open source. all take and no give.

    yo.
    wessonjoe
  • IBM should open-source Workplace

    It seems the most fair and logical choice for a company that forks an existing open source project is to make the forked code open source as well, as they can under the conditions of the original code's license.

    Ideally, the licenses would allow sharing between the original project and the forked project as deemed appropriate.

    That way, IBM does not have to contribute the code back to the original new project, but if somebody else out there finds a way to use the code to improve the original project, they can.

    Of course, it is pretty interesting that IBM has an office suite but instead of using its code as the basis for Workplace, they chose OpenOffice.
    meh130@...