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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: Upstream/Downstream (was OpenOffice & LibreOffice)
Date Wed, 08 Jun 2011 13:04:42 GMT
On Wed, Jun 08, 2011 at 09:43:45AM +0200, Jochen Wiedmann wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 6:51 AM, Norbert Thiebaud <> wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM, Noel J. Bergman <> wrote:
> >
> > [...] their downstream code cannot be used.  Hence, the best outcome
> > under the current licensing regime is for all core development to be
> > done here, and for TDF to be a downstream consumer.
> >
> > Just because you choose a particular license that does not make you
> > de-facto 'upstream'.
> Noel is describing a fact: It there is going to be something like
> "upstream", it can only be an ASL licensed OO, not a LGPL'ed LO.  What he
> misses (as quite a few others do, which is possibly why you are reacting
> angry) is a certain amount of sensibility that acknowledges that this fact
> is just as likely to cause a total split between LO and OO.


The split between LO and OOo is reality.

The code bases are already divergent and it would be very difficult to
reconcile them.  To make Apache OOo "upstream" from LO would mean one of two

  1. The LO people throw out everything they've done and start over from
  2. The LO people organize a large collective software grant to Apache for
     their work.  Since there are a lot of people involved, this would be
     a daunting task even if it wasn't politically toxic.

In both scenarios, TDF, after all they've gone through, after all the work
they've done, takes on a reduced role: to use Norbert's analogy, they go from
being the auto factory to being a custom shop.

We're coming off like some know-it-all newbie manager waltzing in after a
hostile takeover and imperiously informing the people closest to the project
that they are being demoted and they should be happy about it 'cause our
organization is so freakin' awesome.

What we ought to be doing instead, if we really want to form good relationships
with the LO community, is not continually repeating abrasive "facts" about
licensing, but showing a modicum of *humility*.

The reason I praised Sam is that he is clearly sensitive to all this.  He has
been an exemplary ambassador, and my hat is off to him.  It is worth repeating
his recommendations in their entirety:

    That indeed would be a wonderful place to end up.

    At the present time, there are people who would rather not participate
    in such an arrangement.  They have something that works just fine for
    them.  Many are skeptical that we can deliver.  The most that we can
    do is (a) enable such collaboration, and (b) execute.  If we do both
    well, we will achieve much more than we could by prior agreement.

    I think it is in our best interests to acknowledge that we don't yet
    have a track record or anything new to offer.  And that in such a
    context it is rather presumptuous at this point for us proclaim that
    we are the core or even are relevant.

I think that passage represents the best of Apache's inclusive traditions, and
I hope we can live up to it -- both the sake of the project and for our own
sake as human beings.

Marvin Humphrey

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