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From Robert Burrell Donkin <robertburrelldon...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Questions from the cheap seats.
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:18:57 GMT
On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 10:24 PM, Andy Brown <andy@the-martin-byrd.net> wrote:
> Andy Brown wrote:
>>
>> Hi all.

Hi Andy

>> This is my fist post here, been lurking from day one.

And today you've become a contributor :-)

>> As a user I am trying to understand somethings that are going on here.
>>
>> 1: LibreOffice was forked due to the way OOo was being handled by
>> Sun/Oracle.
>>
>> 2: Last month, Oracle stated that OOo would be turned over to a
>> Foundation to run.
>>
>> 3: From indications, there had been some discussions between Oracle and
>> The Document Foundation. Not knowing what was said but it seems that
>> they could not work out the problems.

AIUI most of this history is closed and I wasn't involved. It's hard
to judge the accuracy of any summary, so I won't try...

>> 4: Oracle makes a donation to the Apache Software Foundation.

AIUI this hasn't happened yet, and may or may not happen in the future

Apache insists on an open process. So, here we are all here today
discussing and developing proposals. Later a VOTE may happen which
might be followed by legal paperwork and then perhaps a signoff. Only
once that's all been complete will a donation have actually happened.

>> Now with this comes some questions;

This open process means that nothing will be decided until it's
decided. Apache is a non-profit community-centered Foundation [1]
dedicated to creating and maintaining open source software. So the
honest answer to many "what will" questions is "no one knows". Apache
uses a democratic structure (in the Greek sense) with VOTEs. Our
decision making process is open, uncertain and heavily influenced by
the community at large.

So, hopefully you'll forgive me for not quite answering any of your questions...

>> 1: What will happen to OOo's code and trademark if the podling is not
>> approved?

Anything not accepted by Apache may be disposed of by it's owners as
they see fit

>> 2: What will happen to OOo's code and trademark if the project does not
>> graduate?

Clean IP open source code will remain available from the ASF and mirrors

Apache has a strong brand and a historic preference for it's own marks
(Apache OOo or Apache Office, say). LibreOffice is quickly
establishing a strong brand of it's own.

The trademarks are IMHO a little bit of a hot potato. If the
OpenOffice.org community fails to find a suitable long term solution
then I expect them to gradually fade away.

>> 3: Since the transfer to the ASF is a grant, could the ASF transfer,
>> grant, to TDF?

In theory, yes but I'm willing to hazard a guess that it won't work
out that way...

Code-wise, as soon as the IP has been cleaned and signed off to the
ASF then downstream developers (potentially including the TDF) can
start deriving their works from that sound legal basis. A second
transfer would gain the TDF some liability but few tangible benefits
(I can see).

Trademark-wise, I expect the LibreOffice brand to continue it's rise.
OpenOffice.org is a bit of a PITA to manage and potentially costly to
maintain. I suspect that (on reflection) TDF may be glad if this turns
out to be the ASF's headache. Whilst there is an active community to
sustain the mark, I hope that Apache will do what it can to help by
providing continuity until the community develops a suitable long term
solution...

Robert

[1] http://www.apache.org/foundation/records/

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