Thursday, April 21, 2005

Lack of developers delays - Computerworld

Lack of developers delays - Computerworld: "Open-source productivity suite may be touted as a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, but there are claims its pace of development and adoption of new features is being stifled by a 'monolithic' code base and a developer community still largely controlled by Sun Microsystems Inc.
Project contributors speaking at the annual miniconference in Canberra this week raised numerous issues, including a lack of independent contributors. developer Ken Foskey said the biggest problem with the project is a lack of developers and a code base that is 'just too big'.
'It's 10 million lines of code and takes serious commitment just to compile the thing,' Foskey said. 'I'm interested in [having] more community developers [involved],' he said, adding they shouldn't 'just say 'I want to work on OpenOffice' but focus on a particular part of the project.'
Sun is still the largest contributor to the project with some 50 developers in Germany, followed by Novell with about 10 contributors, and only four active community developers.
Foskey recommends developers start with the Ximian distribution which is more 'opensource-ish' than the original code base.
'The code base ranges from good to code that is 20 years old,' he said. 'You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work on OpenOffice, but it bloody well helps.' "

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