OpenOffice.org history and community
This is Appendix B of Getting Started with OpenOffice.org 3.x, produced by the OOoAuthors group. A PDF of this chapter is available from this wiki page. The PDFs are up to date for the second edition of the book, but not all of the wiki pages for this chapter have been updated yet.
OpenOffice.org is both a product and an open-source project. If you are new to OOo, its open source development, and the community that produces and supports it, you should read this appendix.
A short history of OpenOffice.org
The OpenOffice.org project began when Sun Microsystems released the source code (“blueprints”) for its StarOffice® software to the open source community on October 13, 2000. This allowed Sun to use the technical expertise and rapid development times of an open-source project in the development of its own software products. All recent versions of Sun’s StarOffice use source code developed by the OpenOffice.org community. However, the products do not provide exactly the same features due to the copyrights of third parties that are not compatible with open-source licensing.
OpenOffice.org 1.0, the product, was released on April 30, 2002.
The OpenOffice.org community
OpenOffice.org's Mission Statement is:
“To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.”
The OpenOffice.org project is primarily sponsored by Sun Microsystems, which is the primary contributor of code to the Project. Our other major corporate contributors include Novell, RedHat, RedFlag CH2000, IBM, and Google. Additonally over 450,000 people from nearly every curve of the globe have joined this Project with the idea of creating the best possible office suite that all can use. This is the essence of an “open source” community!
With its free software licence and active Native Language Confederation, OpenOffice.org is a key player in the drive to eradicate digital exclusion and preserve minority languages threatened by being on the wrong side of the digital divide. For tens of thousands of community members, this makes the OpenOffice.org community their volunteering opportunity of choice.
The OpenOffice.org community invites contributors. Whatever you do best, you can do it for OpenOffice.org. As well as software developers, the Community welcomes translators, artists, technical writers and editors, testers, people offering user support, sales and marketing people, lobbyists, donors... the list is long. The Community operates internationally in all time zones, linked by the internet.
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