OpenOffice.org exodus begins

The problems for Oracle's beleaguered OpenOffice.org project continue, with a mass exodus of staff publicly stating that they are signing up for The Document Foundation and its LibreOffice fork.

In an open letter entitled "Every end is a new beginning", penned by OpenOffice.org's German Language Project lead Jacqueline Rahemipour, the "limitations" imposed by Oracle's ownership of the project are outlined.

"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," she writes. "This has led and still leads to unnecessary misunderstandings and discussions. To break through these limits, the project must evolve and requires an independent body - a Foundation."

Rahemipour goes on to state that Oracle's reaction to the formation of the Foundation - to "continue OpenOffice.org as normal" - is causing a conflict of interest for those who see the Foundation as the only way forward for the project, and gives Oracle a clear message: "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."

Beneath the letter are the electronic signatures of thirty-three members of the OpenOffice.org project, all of whom wish it to be known to Oracle that things cannot continue as they have. While some names, such as co-founder of The Document Foundation Florian Effenberger, won't come as a surprise to anyone, the sheer number of supporters leaving the germanophone project may shock those in power at Oracle.

For the curious, we reproduce the list of leavers in full below.

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