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From André Schnabel <andre.schna...@gmx.net>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept OpenOffice.org for incubation
Date Sat, 11 Jun 2011 11:28:01 GMT
-1 (non-binding)

Within the discussion several reasons that might support a -1 vote were 
named, many have been addressed or may be addresed by the podling.

I still feel obligated to vote -1 because (even if the podling advances 
to a Apache TLP) this will be the end of "OpenOffice.org as it is seen 
within the market".

Actually OpenOffice.org is an application with a user base  of 50Mio to 
100Mio users. And these users have their "hands on the software" day by 
day - so this is really different from zlib, which hardly any of it's 
users would know by name. Many administrations and companies have 
choosen OpenOffice.org as their office suite (we are speaking of 
installation from 10 up to 50k and more seats). There is a market around 
OpenOffice.org (books, support offerings, trainings, software 
integrations with mid-range ERP systems, even SAP is aware of the fact 
that OOo exists and had to deliver some ways of integration).

All this market is about *OpenOffice.org* it is *not* about derivates. 
Although Rob tried to give the impression that there are "oh so many" 
OOo derivates, the reality is, that the Office marked is ~89% MSO, 10% 
OOo and 1% for all the others. Even the "better known" derivates of OOo 
(StarOffice and Symphony) are far behind the visibility of the 
OpenOffice.org brand.

Rob did also an interesting analysis, that there is no need to come up 
quite fast with a new version of OOo, because there has been almost a 
year between the previous versions. While the fact is true, my resumee 
is different. During the last two years, we already saw the OOo marked 
in an uncertain situation - planned versions had been delayed for 
several reasons, nobody was able to answer, what the future would bring. 
Users and adopters became anxious. OpenOffice.org 3.4 was scheduled for 
May/June 2011 - yet another delay will not help the marked to prosper. 
Instead the OOo marked will go from stagnation to shrink.

Even if the podling will be able to produce a new version quite soon, it 
will be very different from the software we currently know as 
"OpenOffice.org" (at least from what I understand to be Apache's 
guidelines for software distribution). Integration to third party 
components needs to be rewritten or dropped - even simple things like 
preinstalled dictionaries (sounds really a no-brainer to a developer) 
are crucial for the marked that the current OOo addresses.


So to me, there is an extremely high risk that the Apache project will 
not fullfill the expectations of the current OOo user base. Although 
fully in line with the Apache guidelines and philosophy, it might fail, 
because 99.99% of the users are not interested in policy and guidelines 
- they just are interested in "what they get" (and if it is not Coke it 
is no Cola).
I hope, this will not reflect to Apache's reputation after all.


All that said, I perfectly know that the OOo project cannot continue 
like it did the last ten years, so something needs to change.
And although I am opposed to the project here at Apache I owe respect to 
anyone who is going to drive this and will be around to give input if 
needed.


regards,

André

PS.: As I did not yet send an introduction to the list, some information

- Working with Office Suites since 1988
- Joined the OOo project in 2002, starting with user support and 
documentations
- Co-Lead at the Germanophone project (having a great time with Manfred 
and felt very sad when he left)
- later Project lead for Quality assurance (quite active in bug handling 
and one of the first non-Sunnies to work on the scripts for test automation)
- elected Member of the OOo Community Council for several years (e.g. 
reworking the CC's bylaws for it's current version)
- coordinating the German Localization efforts (and doing about 50% of 
the UI translations since OOo 3.0)
- representing OOo and giving talks at at least 4 public events per year 
(like CEBit, LinuxTag, LinuxDay, OOoCon)
- founding member, member of the initial board and now member of the 
supervisory board of FrODev (former OOoDeV)
- founding member of The Document Foundation, member of the interim 
Steering Committe, member of the Membership Committee

Although my premise when entering OOo was that I will do "anything but 
coding" (as I do enough coding during my day job) there are ~20 Lines of 
code in OOo written by me :)




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