The Legacy of OpenOffice.org

“When I hear the word “fork”, I reach for my gun. OK. Maybe it
is not that bad. But in the open source world, “fork” is a loaded
term. It can, of course, be an expression of a basic open source
freedom. But it can also represent “fighting words”. It is like the
way we use the term “regime” for a government we don’t like, or
“cult” for a religion we disapprove of. Calling something a “fork”
is rarely intended as a compliment.

“So I’ll avoid the term “fork” for the remainder of this post
and instead talk about the legacy of one notable open source
project, OpenOffice.org, which has over the last decade spawned
numerous derivative products, some open source, some proprietary,
some which fully coordinate with the main project, others which
have diverged, some which have prospered and endured for many
years, others which did not, some which tried to offer more than
OpenOffice, and others which attempted, intentionally, to offer
less, some which changed the core code and other which simply added

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