OpenOffice.org: Novell MIA from Conference

Why isn't Novell a sponsor at the upcoming OpenOffice.org Conference?

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If you're waiting for information on OpenOffice.org from Oracle, you may need to wait a little bit longer.

That's because Oracle has entered the quarterly SEC-mandated quiet period that comes the month before the quarterly results are announced. Oracle is planning to release the results for the first quarter of its 2011 fiscal year in mid-September, so it will be all quiet until then.

Sources inside the company cite that as the main reason why they are not willing to discuss business issues, such as OpenOffice.org, at this time.

Or, maybe they're just trying not to hurt my feelings.

The community, analysts, and media have several questions for Oracle regarding their reasoning behind dropping OpenSolaris, and the quiet period would explain why no answers on that topic have been forthcoming. Recall, if you will, that it was a leaked memo, not an official announcement that let the world at large know about Oracle's plans for Solaris moving forward--and that OpenSolaris would no longer be a part of those plans.

There may be some glimmer of information coming on the horizon, though.

On August 31-September 3, the OpenOffice.org Conference 2010 will take place in Budapest, Hungary. This may be a great chance to find out more about Oracle's plans for yet another of the open source projects it picked up when it bought Sun. Oracle is listed as one of the event's platinum sponsors (along with IBM and Multiracio, a prominent Hungarian commercial development firm active in the OpenOffice.org project.

Since Oracle will have employees in attendance, here's hoping they'll be able to share more information about the future of the project.

When checking out the conference sponsors, I noted that Novell was nowhere to be seen on the list. I did dig into the conference program, and found that Novell has a presence in the participations, so they will be there.

This is notable to me, at least, because lately Novell has been sending out little hints that they've been less than thrilled with how collaborative the OpenOffice.org community has been. This is nothing new, mind you: they were complaining about the same thing when Sun was the big OpenOffice.org backer.

There is no taking away that fact that Novell is a big contributor to OpenOffice.org, but their absence from financially sponsoring the major OpenOffice.org event of the year is something to note. Is Novell about to take their ball and go home? Were there more transparent ways Novell was involved in this particular conference? Or is Novell worried about the future direction of OpenOffice.org, too?

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