Coming of age

Apache news roundup: OpenOffice and Cordova graduate, Helix enters

Elliot Bentley
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Two high-profile projects graduate incubation as top-level projects as a donation from LinkedIn becomes a new podling.

OpenOffice and Cordova have both graduated as top-level projects after approval from the Apache Software Foundation governing board, as a donation from LinkedIn becomes a new podling.

As we reported was likely last week, OpenOffice (no longer with the ‘.org’) has graduated as a top-level project, along with open-source PhoneGap codebase, Cordova. OpenOffice is an unusual project for the Foundation, since unlike most Apache software, its users are mostly average consumers rather than developers. However, it brings with it an already-established community, which should help it compete with successful fork LibreOffice.

Cordova, in contrast, is definitely developer-focused – allowing native mobile apps to be produced using just HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Originally donated by Adobe, it’s already been used in a large number of apps, including the official Wikipedia app and the BBC’s Olympics app, and with Apache’s backing will likely only get bigger. Those interested in actually using Cordova, rather than developing it, may be better off checking out PhoneGap, the app developer-facing side of the project.

Only just entering the Apache incubation system is Helix, a cluster management system originally developed by LinkedIn. From the proposal:

Helix was developed at LinkedIn to manage large clusters for several diverse applications, including a distributed, partitioned, replicated, highly available document store with a master-slave model, a search service with multiple replicas that are updated atomically and in near real-time, and a change data capture service for reliably transporting database changes to caches, other dependent databases and indexes.

Helix has a long road ahead of it, especially in attracting a community beyond the LinkedIn developers currently working on it. Still, if it can successfully follow the Apache Way, it could be a promising little project.

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