OpenOffice.org (download for Windows | Mac) has a range of problems: Monolithic architecture, declining interest in fat-client software, etc. But it's primary problem may be its corporate ownership, as Michael Meeks, long-time OpenOffice developer and Novell employee, notes:
I think one of the sad things we see at the moment is the decreasing amount of interest in investing in OpenOffice.org. So we see Sun cutting back their developer count on OpenOffice.org, while we still see them demand ownership for all of the code, which kinda retards other people investing in it....
But the sad thing is [Sun's] failure to build a community around it, getting other people involved. And that's tied to Sun owning OpenOffice.org. It's a Sun project. They own all of the code, they demand ownership rights, and that just really retards developer interest. I mean: [Who] would want to work cleaning someone else's gun?
This isn't just a Sun problem. Michael's comment speaks to a much broader problem as more and more open source goes corporate: How do you encourage development as a corporation?… Read more