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From Nick Kew <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept OpenOffice.org for incubation
Date Mon, 13 Jun 2011 15:57:01 GMT
On Fri, 10 Jun 2011 12:02:44 -0400
Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:

-1 (non-binding)

I've agonised long and hard about this.  Wouldn't it be fantastic
to see Apache take on such a great trophy project?  And of course
we'll be best-of-friends with TDF despite perhaps a few vocal
individuals?  And in the worst case, incubation will show up
weaknesses and rifts and the project will be reevaluated, either
re-homed or pensioned off for TDF to pick over the bones.

But against that, why have we been offered it in the first place?
If this had happened before the split then I'd say great, but
now it smells of politics.

* Noone has explained why they want to donate to us in preference
  to TDF (the license issue doesn't wash given the history), only
  vague words about failing to reach agreement.
* It feels like we're being handed a fait accomplit: take this
  project, or the kitty dies.  Erm, excuse me?  I expect that
  kind of railroading from someone who's paying for my time
  and effort, not from someone who expects it for free.
  Granted it's not easy to explain to the press that "it's not
  a done deal", but they could at least have made the effort.
* Who benefits?
  - Oracle and IBM have evidently decided it's in their interests.
    Fine.  That's their business, not ours.
  - The competition?  MS has no direct interest.  Could go either
    way for them, as for us.
  - TDF?  They get to cannibalise our work if they so choose.
    But by the same token, that's work that wasn't contributed
    to them in the first place.
  - The smaller companies?  I don't hear a unified voice.
  - The public?  More choice for the elite, confusion for the
    many.  Too much kerfuffle in FOSS-land, better stick to MS.
  - ASF?  That's the only one that matters to us, isn't it?

* Well, we get a big trophy project, lots of attention.
  Good press if we make a success of it, bad press if we
  fail.  But that's asymmetric: the good press benefits
  us little (we don't need it), while the bad could seriously
  damage the brand.
* We also get a new project so big it's  sure to rock the boat,
  bring in a new culture.  Once it's in the incubator it has
  momentum: regardless of what happens, failure to graduate becomes
  an epic fail for us.
* We have a huge community to absorb: we don't know that their
  values match ours.  We do know that a number of them with
  Apache-like values of *community* and *open development*
  split off and formed TDF.  So perhaps those who *don't* share
  such values are overrepresented in the non-TDF community?
  We may be faced with individuals who are absolutely key to OOO
  yet incompatible with ASF, so we can neither take them on
  nor exclude them.
* It's outside our core competence.  This kind of takeover has
  been damaging for many ambitious corporations.


Having said all that, if we do accept it for incubation then
I'll be actively doing my best to make it a success.


-- 
Nick Kew

Available for work, contract or permanent.
http://www.webthing.com/~nick/cv.html

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