Really, would you eat a can of SPAM that is past its expiration date? Well, I would possibly in an emergency, but not as a regular exercise. Why, because expiration dates on food are predictions and most often nothing really bad happened. It is a safety net that the producer is required to provide so that the consumer and the distributer can check a product for freshness and avoid old and potentially dangerous food.
But what have food expiration dates to do with software. There is no software expiration date, or is there? Well, basically every new release of an application should expire the older version. And in case of a new installation you won’t install the older version, if you can have access to the latest and greatest, or would you?
Some bloggers have tried IBM’s new Lotus Symphony office suite that is based on Open Office. Well, they found out LotusSymphony is based on a rather outdated release 1.X of OOo.
I can’t imagine how a company like IBM thinks it can be at all competitive with a product based on three year old code that has many known bugs and performance problems.
This discovery really begs the question what are the 35 developers that IBM assigned to work on the Open Office open source project are going to do? Have they been involved in repackaging and rebranding this OOo distribution? Are they trained in the technology of 2004/2005? What will be their contribution, if they are not up to date with the latest OOo release?