DevX.com: StarOffice Chief [Marco Boerries] Offers Insights on Going Open Source

Stefan Grünwedel: I’m curious about the decision to create OpenOffice.org and to move StarOffice that way. Was it a vital step to make StarOffice viable as a competitor to Microsoft Office?

Marco Boerries: Well, first of all, I think StarOffice is viable today big time. … We created OpenOffice.org when Sun acquired Star Division, and when I joined Sun, not only to make StarOffice viable and ubiquitous by releasing the source code under the GPL license, but also to specify and define XML-based Office document formats and open language-independent programming APIs. …”

SG: Is there much interest now among developers to start working on improving and extending StarOffice through OpenOffice.org?

MB: Yes, there is. I mean, we announced that the source code will not be out until October 13th [2000]. But if you look at the mailing lists so far, there are over 100 people who have already introduced themselves on the mailing list, saying they want to work with StarOffice and [do so] at OpenOffice.org to make it better. That’s major. I didn’t expect that until the source code was out. … And the announcement from the GNOME Foundation about their adoption of OpenOffice.org will just fuel that growth. …”

SG: Can you tell me a little bit about StarPortal and how it fits into the picture?

MB: StarPortal is based on the same experience and technology with which we created StarOffice but it’s actually a different implementation. The goal is to drive productivity services through the Web. Even though they won’t share the same source code, StarPortal will feature the same XML file formats and APIs that are defined by OpenOffice.org.”

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