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Subject Re: OpenOffice: were are we now?
Date Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:25:50 GMT
Jochen Wiedmann <> wrote on 06/05/2011 04:49:20 

> On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 9:44 PM,  <> wrote:
> > I am puzzled by the view one open source project should not compete
> > against another.
> And I am puzzled how you don't accept that open source *allows*
> forking and all that stuff, but that doesn't mean that competition is
> necessarily good, or just felt as good. In particular not in a case,
> when the code base is most likely 90% or more identical and there's a
> lot of common history. And, likewise, not in a case like this where
> competition primarily means that a lot of effort (building, mirroring,
> ...) will be spent for simply duplicating things that don't add any
> value to either project.

IMHO, we're not forking anything.  The proposal to to take the existing 
OOo code, trademark and website and migrate it to be an Apache project. We 
have a proposal, we've attracted a good number of proposed committers, 
including many from the OOo community.  This includes among them Oracle 
experts in OOo, the lead architect for Lotus Symphony, leaders of the OOo 
education project, some translators from OO, many individual contributors 
to OOo who never joined TDF/LO, even someone who was left TDF/LO after 
getting grief for wanting to contribute to OOo was well as LO. This 
project has a continuity going back over 10 years.  Some of the 
individuals named on the proposal have been working on OOo for nearly that 

As for "good" competition versus "bad" competition, I suppose I could just 
say that is best left to markets to decide, not committees.  But that 
would be flippant.  But I'll instead make a serious point.  No one wants 
to waste their time.  No one wants to reinvent the wheel.  Everyone wants 
to do something new.  So although we are all starting from the same base 
OOo code, I see no reason why anyone would reasonably expect that Apache 
OpenOffice and LO would conceivably end up pursuing the same feature set. 
Sure, that could happen with extraordinary coordination.  But it is more 
natural that each project will explore the options available to it, based 
on the interests of its developers, the input from its community, the 
feedback from its users, etc., and chart an independent course. 

Of coure, coordination is important.  One strong form of coordination is 
the common standard between these two projects, Open Document Format, 
which will ensure that the end user has the choice to move from one to 
another according to their needs and preferences.  To the extent both 
projects stay involved in the standards process, this will continue.  I 
happen to chair the committee that maintains the ODF standard and I can 
proudly say we have participation and good working relations in that 
committee with representatives from OOo, LO, Symphony, KOffice/Calligra 
Suote, Gnumeric, Abi Word, and others, including notable Microsoft.

In summary, I think the error in your logic is that merely because 90% of 
the code is in common that necessarily 90% of the future work in the 
project will be in common.  That just doesn't logically follow at all.  We 
share 99% of the DNA with an earthworm.  That doesn't make us 




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