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From robert_w...@us.ibm.com
Subject Re: Proposal for OpenOffice Incubator strategy
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 01:26:00 GMT
Simon Phipps <simon@webmink.com> wrote on 06/02/2011 08:12:40 PM:


> 2.  This incubator project, which sets out to be the "Firefox of 
> OpenOffice", should proceed pretty much as described, but under a 
> name other than OpenOffice (just as Firefox got a different name). 
> Something like "Apache ODF Suite" that describes the intent to be 
> the core code of a fresh start. Picking an alternative name will 
> help avoid those millions of current users getting confused, and I 
> suspect will cool down some of the emotions in this discussion. I'm 
> sure Rob and the others behind the proposal will be able to populate
> a podling to get this started.
> 

I could certainly see at some future time, if we did a generational 
rewrite or refactoring  of the code, that we could call it "OpenOffice2". 
There is precedent for doing that at Apache, e.g., Xalan2, Xerces2, etc. 
But that is branding discussion best left to the project in conjunction 
with ASF branding experts.  But initially the proposal, as it has been 
made, is for the continuation of the existing OpenOffice code base under 
the existing OpenOffice trademark.

> 3. Given that a substantial part of the effort that the LibreOffice 
> project has committed has been the creation of an open repository 
> and build system coupled with an effective international 
> distribution system, I suggest that we collectively ask LibreOffice 
> to take on the task of "business-as-usual" for OpenOffice, so that 
> the Incubator project can focus on rebirth and not get swamped in 
> the minutiae of "business as usual".
> 

If existing LibreOffice developers should wish to join in support of the 
Apache OpenOffice project proposal [1], and work, within Apache, under the 
Apache 2.0 license, and then wish to specialize on tasks that support the 
needs of existing OpenOffice users, then I would warmly extend my hand to 
them.  But I don't think anyone can can carve out an exclusive domain for 
them in Apache and say only they can work on that release.  Every member 
will identify what tasks they wish to work on.

But in my experience, you want the version N and version N+1 to occur in 
the same project, with the same PMC, but in different components.  Often 
there will be an wide overlap of developers, but also of users, test 
cases, and certainly bug reports. 

This supports backwards compatibility as well, which you know if critical 
in this product category. 

So I would not support splitting this across Apache projects.

[1] http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/OpenOfficeProposal

Finally, I think we're exaggerating the difficulty of getting out a 
release of OpenOfice.  LibreOffice did it very quickly.  And so did IBM 
with Symphony.  This is not rocket science. 

As for infrastructure, we are blessed with an amazing Apache 
Infrastructure Team.  I have full confidence in their capabilities.

As for continuity of OpenOffice releases, there was a full stable release 
of OpenOffice in January and a preview 3.4.0 release in April.  It is very 
reasonable for the new ApacheOffice project to start up, and even while in 
incubation produce a release.  Will there be a longer-than-user delay 
between releases as we produce our first release?  Of course. But I'm not 
particularly troubled by this.

Regards,

-Rob

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