OpenOffice.org community conflict leads to fragmentation

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In a blog entry posted yesterday, developer Kohei Yoshida expresses his frustration with Sun's excessively bureaucratic specification process and unwillingness to compromise and communicate with members of the community.

Yoshida invested a tremendous amount of personal time developing a sophisticated optimization solver module for the OpenOffice.org Calc program. Although Yoshida is making his code available under the suitably permissive LGPL license, Sun is now attempting to reimplement it from scratch because Yoshida refuses to assign the copyright to Sun, and the company is reluctant to permit inclusion of code that it does not own itself.

"If Sun insists on rewriting all the work I've already done just to ensure that they own all the code in OO.o, even though it is legally permissible to integrate my code under a pure LGPL license as an external component, then perhaps I need to re-think my relationship with the project," wrote Yoshida.

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