Boost to revitalise OpenOffice

IBM gets Symphony OpenOffice contribution underway

Chris Mayer
lotus-symphony

As promised, IBM donate their office automation suite direct to the Apache OpenOffice project

Little than a week on from
Apache OpenOffice getting a reboot
, following a period in which
they irked many and lost many to LibreOffice, IBM have put their
weight behind the Apache vehicle through the submission of office
automation suite IBM Lotus Symphony.

It’s a welcome boost for the ailing giant looking to regain
ground with the Apache Foundation’s first version OpenOffice 3.4,
with the addition of Lotus Symphony, which was originally based
on a combination of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform and
OpenOffice.org code. Due to the Java wrapper being based on
Eclipse, this doesn’t form part of the submission, due to clashing
with a rival open source foundation.

Donald Harbison detailed in an
email
 that he had submitted the IBM Software Grant
Agreement and Corporate Contributor License Agreement for the
IBM Lotus Symphony contribution, having originally suggested
doing this in January 2011. He also noted that ‘the successful
delivery of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 has now made it possible to move
forward’ with this submission and went on in further
email
to elaborate:

This is about envisioning a future for Apache
OpenOffice that builds on the best code we can offer
together with the best developers who have mastered it. This
is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. It’s
something we’ve looked forward to doing for a very long
time. 

We invite you to think about this code as providing
a rich set of features with the potential to significantly
improve user productivity, performance and stability of Apache
OpenOffice. Additionally, there is excellent work in Microsoft
Office file format support, globalization, and last but not
least, accessibility support.

We hope everyone is as excited about this
contribution as we are. IBM will continue to maintain and
support Symphony for our customers until we are able to offer
Apache OpenOffice with what we hope will be most of the
value we are contributing today. How we get to this goal will
depend on all of usworking together here. We have our ideas, but
recognize that we are all equal in the project and are
dedicated to working in the Apache Way.

A Wiki
page, detailing all the possible features that can come out of
Symphony has been created for contributions. Some features mooted
include UI design upgrades, new sidebars, templates and Visual
Basic APIs. IBM intend to continue their Symphony
product until these proposed features are fully implemented within
a future Apache OpenOffice. What happens after this is as of yet
unknown.

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