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From Greg Stein <>
Subject Re: OpenOffice and the ASF
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:24:19 GMT
Hey Michael!

Thanks for the detailed response about your position, thoughts,
concerns, and philosophy. It helps greatly to understand where you're
coming from. Rather than debate you on your philosophy ;-) ... I'll
answer a few key points in your email below:

On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 10:07, Michael Meeks <> wrote:
>        To pick off individual contributors from TDF is of course possible.
> There may well be some who have no problem with corporations, that
> apparently have zero respect for the will of the developer community,
> and little desire to play well: taking their work without contributing
> back. To pick off individuals however is a rather unfortunately
> pro-active strategy, I assume you are not proposing that ?

I would hope that we don't start a "sales pitch" towards TDF/LO
committers to stop contributing there. I *do* think it is helpful to
let them know about this proposal, the potential project, and that
they are welcome to contribute.

Yes, I understand that will divide the set of committers. I do not
believe that it will divide the *broader* community. From everything
that I've seen, you guys have been managing multiple divisions for
*years*. One more probably can't be bad :-P, though i believe that our
permissive licensing will help to bring some of those outlying forks
back into the tighter community.

>        I would hope instead, that ASF + IBM can work with TDF's governance to
> try to hammer out some ( I suspect grisly to ASF ) compromise. In my
> view, a key element of that needs to be copy-left licensing[2] to assure
> the project's future as a focus of real community collaboration.

Well... the ASF will never ship anything besides ALv2 code. No dual
licenses. No extra conditions. We would shut down a project rather
than alter that licensing stance. It's been asked a few times over the
years, and the firm stance has remained each time.

>        Regards,
>                Michael.
> [1] - I am un-aware eg. of either Rob or Andy ever contributing any code
> to OO.o (or having any broad / deep knowledge of the code-base). A
> strange choice, given the apparent presence of many articulate,
> competent, experienced developers on the code in each company any of
> whom would have been better.

I can't speak to why IBM has given Rob this task, but I see no reason
to immediately disqualify him. We need people with energy to get the
project off the ground. Then we'll need coders.

> [2] - perhaps we could avoid that by mandating that every participant
> merging a patch to OO.o sign a covenant that requires them to behave in
> an identical fashion to a copy-left license, in perpetuity: but then,
> that would further reward those who don't engage at all I guess, and ...
> well - seems over-complicated to me :-) but perhaps a way out (or in)

Committers to Apache projects own their code. We do not require a
copyright transfer. That means they can apply the patch to the ASF
repository under the terms of the ALv2, then turn around and commit
exactly the same code into the TDF repository under your licensing.

I don't know of the (theoretical) Apache project would want to impose
such conditions (dual-commit on its contributors, but I guess it could
be possible. But then what do you do with the ones who *don't* want to
dual-commit? Tell them they cannot participate? I'd prefer a much more
inclusive process... one that lets everybody join and participate.


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