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It was the hope of many of the Apache OpenOffice.org project which will now become truth: Rob Weir (IBM) will announce tomorrow on the ODF Plugfest that IBM Lotus Symphony will merge to the Apache OpenOffice.org project.
IBM Lotus Symphony has been awarded to be the user-friendliest user interface of the non-cost office suites back in 2009. As Lotus Symphony is based on OpenOffice.org, the new Apache project might benefit from the merge. Rob said, in the past Lotus Symphony has been treated as a fork to OpenOffice.org and they want to change this now, as OpenOffice.org has become an Apache project.
Lotus Symphony has already done some work on replacing GPL/LGPL licenses with AL2 compatbie licenses. This helps to get a new release of OpenOffice.org faster. Of course other features might be merged into the OpenOffice.org code, the community will decide.
Besides this great news, IBM will propose the ODFToolkit to be a new Apache Incubator project.
Yong Lin Ma from IBM made clear in a follow up post, IBM will not give up Symphony development. He made clear that they are committed to their customers.
With this IBM is getting closer to Apache OpenOffice.org. This will for sure stabilize the project itself. The community feedback so far is very good. Apache Symphony - fantastic to see this happening. A great step forward and good see the community is merging here too.