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2011-06-01
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Does the OpenOffice Debacle Reveal Danger in Open Source

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Tagged As: Business, Open Source, and Software

Roughly two years ago, database giant Oracle purchased Sun and inherited a number of open source projects widely used across the community. Many folks within the community were immediately afraid of what would happen to open source projects like MySQL, Solaris, VirtualBox, OpenOffice and Java. Although Oracle did kill OpenSolaris, the others remained free and continued their development. There were, however, friction points between Oracle and the OpenOffice development community to the point the project was forked into LibreOffice. Apparently, the name OpenOffice will be lost because Oracle wouldn't give the name back until they realized nobody cared about their stale unforked codebase.

It is fortunate for users of free software that LibreOffice filled the gap such that a free and robust office suite still exists. However, the impact of Oracle's actions on OpenOffice reveal an inherent danger to those relying on open source software for their daily needs. How many are still comfortable relying on the community and the availability of software given the possibility of corporate squashing and patent trolling?



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