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From Florian Effenberger <flo...@documentfoundation.org>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept OpenOffice.org for incubation
Date Sat, 11 Jun 2011 15:48:20 GMT
Hello,

I've been thinking for quite a while whether I should raise my voice and 
vote or not. I've made my standpoint rather clear the last days, so I 
wanted to abstain from voting, as I've shown all the facts already. 
However, having been in involved with the OpenOffice.org project for 
many years, in the end serving as distribution & marketing lead, and 
with several people encouraging that the LibreOffice folks should also 
speak out, I've decided to vote. This is solely my vote as individual, 
not as TDF spokesperson:

-1 (non-binding)

My reasons:
(For more details on these, refer to my former postings)

* While it was said that the wider community would be involved, I could 
not see any official contact of the proponents with the OpenOffice.org 
project on their lists, before the step was announced.

* Therefore, I do not see this as an initiative of the OpenOffice.org 
project, but rather of other stakeholders. The project has been decided 
upon, it did not decide itself.

* While so far, we had one community with two projects, the step you are 
about to take will now lead to two split communities. As much as 
diversity can be helpful, actively helping to foster the split doesn't 
sound senseful to me.

* The only real difference to TDF that matters to most voters, IMHO, is 
the license. There would have been other options in place of dealing 
with them, and not all of those would - as some presumed - involve 
giving all assets to TDF. Various options have been pointed out already, 
but to no avail.

* The product OpenOffice.org as we know it will not exist anymore. 
Thorsten and André pointed out the licensing issues very well. By the 
step you are about to take, you will simply contribute to market 
irritation and help to make the OpenOffice.org brand vanish.

* All the infrastructure and processes would have to be re-defined, 
while e.g. TDF has them already, exactly fitting to the community.

* The attitude towards TDF brought in place by several supporters of the 
incubation speaks for itself, and by accepting the incubation, you 
indirectly support these efforts, or at least give the sign that these 
do not matter too much.

* "It is the way it is", an argument brought forward very often, does 
just sound desperate, rather than creative and open-minded as I would 
expect it from free software enthusiasts.

* The project proposal is wrong in some parts. Just as an example, for 
over eleven years, one of the project's goals was to have its own 
foundation, rather than joining an existing one. It also states that 
things happen "as a community", while the step taking place now will 
lead to split communities. The proposal also states that the previously 
split community would be united under ASF, however, I cannot see 
reaching this goal.

* Many OpenOffice.org project members who stayed with OpenOffice.org did 
so because they explicitly favored democracy rather than meritocracy. 
Moving to ASF, as far as I know, will not help for these terms, as you 
share a similar governance model as TDF does.

* As far as I understood, the use of the trademark within Apache rules 
might be different, which could heavily affect businesses and thus the 
ecosystem.

* Some initial contributors have shown that the mentioned priority with 
TDF relationship doesn't matter to them, despite its explicit mention in 
the proposal.

* There still seem to be major issues with the exact code grant, plus, 
as far as I know, about the trademark. I would have expected to clarify 
these before acceptance.

That being said - and I explicitly want to underline that -, I am not 
saying that ASF's intentions are bad, neither do I want to say it is a 
bad place for an open source project. I just think there would have been 
better options in place for this particular project, and I am sad they 
have not been considered enough.

I also want to emphasize that I really enjoy the open dialogue with ASF 
"officials", so to speak, and I hope that independent from the results 
of the podling and incubation, this contact will stay and can even be grown.

Again, all of the points above are solely my personal thoughts, speaking 
only for myself, not for TDF.

Florian

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