No sooner had I said I missed the good old days when the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement went ballistic over silly things (like too many electronic document standards when there were already a couple of hundred standards for paper documents) , it turns out the good old days are still here. Based on today's statement by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to the effect that
Only Oracle (ORCL) has replaced Microsoft as the bad guy. The thing is that when you have a movement like FOSS (or Occupy Wall Street or "Hope and Change"), you have to have bad guys. Neither your message nor your substance can stand on their own so in order to get attention, you have to attack someone or something else.
openoffice.org is a decade-plus-old, crippled Microsoft Office wannabee, turned over to ASF by Oracle. Oracle had inherited it from its Sun acquisition -- and probably would have preferred to just dump it deservedly into the dustbin of history -- but must have made a promise to the European Union (EU) to keep it alive in return for EU approval of the acquisition. Sun had inherited it from a long-ago acquisition of a miniscule European company.
The ASF is one of the good guys. Its web server is probably the most popular piece of open source software in existence. "The Apache Way" is really a positive, populist and progressive (in terms of information technology) movement unlike anything else in the industry. I'm sure this sort of notoriety is the last thing ASF wanted when it agreed to take over the code. Sorry about that, guys.
-- Dennis Byron