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Sun, Microsoft Pact Viewed As 'Unholy Alliance' Against Linux,

Jim Long wrote:
>>From: Brendan
>>I think you may have it reversed. SO is built from the OO source, not the
>>other way around.
> But there were 5 versions of StarOffice first. The OpenOffice source was
> released to the open source community by Sun as they were redesigning
> StarOffice in preparation for version 6. So you could say that both OO
> and SO 6 (and 7) were built on OO source, but Sun was the one who
> developed the OO source in the first place, and released it to the public
> so that free software developers could do their thing and turn it into a
> nice, free office suite.

I participate loosely in the CD-ROM and Documentation projects of, but I'm no expert.  However, I did want to make the following 
subtle clarification.  As I recall, StarOffice was originally developed 
in Germany (and I believe it was open source??), and SUN bought the 
company so they could have an alternative to MS Office.  A quick check 
of of the site reveals this.  Sun deserves credit for their 
additions to OpenOffice since 1999, their continued financial support of 
the project and for releasing the project under the LGPL

*********  from *********
*Historical background*
StarDivision, the original author of the StarOffice suite of software, 
was founded in Germany in the mid-1980s. It was acquired by Sun 
Microsystems during the summer of 1999 and StarOffice 5.2 was released 
in June of 2000. Future versions of StarOffice software, beginning with 
6.0, have been built using the source, APIs, file 
formats, and reference implementation.

The source code initially includes the technology which 
Sun Microsystems has been developing for the future versions of 
StarOffice(TM) software. The source is written in C++ and delivers 
language-neutral and scriptable functionality, including Java(TM) APIs. 
This source technology introduces the next-stage architecture, allowing 
use of the suite as separate applications or as embedded components in 
other applications. Numerous other features are also present including 
XML-based file formats and other resources.

Foundations of Office Productivity in a Networked Age, a white paper 
from Sun available on this site, presents a general outline for the 
technology roadmap. There you will find outlined the design of the 
source. However, because of the nature of open source, the community at 
large is ultimately responsible for realizing's promises.

A FAQ addresses the changing differences between and 

As for concerns that Sun could suddenly withdraw financial support, 
wreaking havoc on the viability of the project, I flatly dismiss this 
possibility.  I think there are too many other financial interests who 
would step in to fill the void, and I also think there are way too many 
self-interested users/programmers who would fill the void too.  Right 
now, with cozy support from a central sponsor and enough (I could say 
dramatic) progress in the project, those other interests are held in 
check.  Open Source *is* the free market.

Now that Sun is 'friendly' with (paid off) by Microsoft, I could see 
them backing away from, but for the above reasons, I don't think 
that scenario would matter to success.  My (call it paranoid) 
concern is that Microsoft knows that is a powerful threat as an 
open source project period, and thus will attempt to subvert 
through their newfound clout with Sun by controlling it as a 'sponsor'. 
   Microsoft would benefit if they could delay the progress of, 
causing competing projects like KOffice or AbiWord to distract attention 
  and adoption rates away from They've no doubt learned a lesson 
from the Mozilla project about what can happen if you try to let 
something die on the vine.  I do not have good statistics on the market 
share of Mozilla these days, but boy it sure looks like it's kicking 
IE's butt again after it was supposedly completely dead.  Kinda reminds 
me of all those horror movies where the monster is shot dead, and as 
soon as you turn your back, it roars back to life. ;-)

MS Access and MS SQL Server are both awful products.  I can't wait for to spruce up the database GUI frontend so that I can really start 
offering plus MySQL / PostGres as a complete replacement for MS.


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