Dear supporters of OpenOffice.org,

the past days and weeks here in the project were marked by sometimes heated discussions, about how we perceive the cooperation in the project and how we make this more willing and able. Unfortunately, this discussion has not always been objective, problem- and goal-oriented, as it would have been desirable, but sometimes very emotional.


Cause of the discussions was the announcement of the establishment of a foundation, with the goal to further the free office suite and represent the community independent from individual sponsors. This idea is almost as old as the OpenOffice.org project itself and has been repeatedly discussed within recent years.

The OpenOffice.org project has grown considerably in its first decade of existence. This growth was strongly promoted by the support of the main sponsor, Sun and Oracle, by employing developers and also through the provision and maintenance of the technical platform.

However, many voluntary project members and employees of other companies have contributed many hours of work and financial investments to both the product OpenOffice.org as well as the underlying project. As successful example of this collaboration, it is worth to mention the work in the areas of documentation, quality assurance and translation, joint marketing efforts or organizing community events and trade shows.

However it showed more clearly that all the cooperation and the common finding of solutions sometimes faces limitations. These are places where ideas on further development of the working platform, design or marketing do not match the ideas of the main sponsor or have just not been addressed or implemented because the responsible or (legally) capable entity does not make any decision. This has led and still leads to unnecessary misunderstandings and discussions. To break through these limits, project must evolve and requires an independent body - a Foundation.

Oracle's official response to the announcement of The Document Foundation was clear – Oracle will continue OpenOffice.org as usual. The result is now indeed the lately postulated conflict of interest for those community members who are in charge of or representing project, but to whom it is not enough “to continue working as we always did”. Although it has been stressed several times that there will be collaboration on a technical level, and changes are possible – there is no indication from Oracle to change it's mind on the question of the project organization and management. For those who want to achieve such a change, but see no realistic opportunity within the current project and are therefore involved in the TDF, unfortunately this results in an “either / or” question.

The answer for us who sign this letter is clear: We want a change to give the community as well as the software it develops the opportunity to evolve. For this reason, from now on we will support The Document Foundation and will – as a team - develop and promote LibreOffice. We hope that many are going to join us on this path.

We are also aware that every individual has to make his or her own decision freely. We decided to withdraw our previous positions in the germanophone project.

Many thanks to all who made the previous development of OpenOffice.org possible and with whom we share a long path.



Marko Moeller, Co-Lead, contact website
Jacqueline Rahemipour, Co-Lead, board OOo DeV

Eric Christian, contact PrOOo Box
Rene Hermann, contact for new members
Thomas Krumbein, contact marketing, chairman OOo DeV
Volker Merschmann, contact website
Irmhild Rogalla, contact user support
Friedrich Strohmaier, contact PrOOo Box
Wolfgang Uhlig, contact documentation
Simon Wilper, contact documentation

Thorsten Behrens, development
Rainer Bielefeld, quality assurance
Ulf Brekenfelder, translation
Sigrid Carrera, documentation and user support
Florian Effenberger, marketing, board OOo DeV
Gisbert Friege, website education portal, Dmaths
Gerald Geib, translation und quality assurance
Markus Gommel, treasurer OOo DeV and member support
Thomas Hackert, translation and quality assurance
Volker Heggemann, quality assurance
Edgar Kuchelmeister, user support and documentation
Christian Lohmaier, website and quality assurance
Andreas Mantke, development and documentation
Christoph Noack, user experience and artwork
Jens Nürnberger, PrOOo-Box and quality assurance
Wolfgang Pechlaner, quality assurance and translation
Manfred Reiter, former Co-Lead
Uwe Richter, PrOOo-Box
Bernhard Rückgauer, OOo DeV
André Schnabel, translation, supervisory board OOo DeV
Heinz W. Simoneit, marketing
Klaus-Jürgen Weghorn, website
Stefan Weigel, user support and documentation

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