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From Dirk-Willem van Gulik <di...@webweaving.org>
Subject Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:21:01 GMT
On 6 Jun 2011, at 18:00, Ian Lynch wrote:

> what happens. The fact is the software grant is made. My understanding is
> that if the code goes into the incubator it does not even guarantee it will
> emerge as a marketable product.
...
> OTOH it might thrive and take over the desktop office world (I wish :-)
> ) . At this point there is no way of knowing.

Correct.

> All this incubator process is
> supposed to do is see if ASF members think it has some potential. 

No. It is a lot more nefarious than that :) Its a filter. It ensures that the IPR is in order,
that rights are cleared - and that, should the project make it through, the community has
the ability to be in control of its own destiny (within the limits of local law and government
induced monopolies and interventions). It ensures that people can do releases with well understood
liabilities, can work on the code with well understood rules (and subsequent personal protection).
 It also ensures there is a viable community of peers, selected on merit, who are self-manging
their community and their code base. And who are able to manage the code in such a way that
all this continues to hold true. And it ensures that people and companies alike can pick up
releases and use them in a well defined set of circumstances in the products and services
they use or sell.

>  It might just sit on a shelf in ASF
> gathering dust because no-one really has the resources to do anything with
> it. 

And its (also) the thing which happens to ensure that it won't be sitting on a shelf in the
ASF gathering dust. :) :) As it will get killed and chucked away if it does not make it through
the process.

So I'd just see this as a 'here is a piece of code' - it came in with a well defined legal
situation [2]. Assuming the cross validation of all files check out - it is now over the community
at large to (re)organise and create a merit based group of peers who collectively want to
work on this code[3]. And it is those peers, these people we trust. Companies, while part
of the larger ecosystem, and with occasionally well understood intentions which one could
charecterise as 'trust', are not.

Dw

1: http://incubator.apache.org/guides/graduation.html
2: http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt
3: http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html


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