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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Apache cTAKES 3.0.0-incubating RC5 release
Date Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:56:19 GMT
On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 4:23 AM, Andrea Pescetti <pescetti@apache.org> wrote:
> On 25/01/2013 Benson Margulies wrote:
>>
>> On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 3:04 AM, Mattmann, Chris A (388J)
>>>
>>> What about Apache OpenOffice?
>>
>> I asked this question about Open Office, and I got, more or less, what
>> I typed in above. I was puzzled, but there you have it. As I recall,
>> Roy made a remark like 'our real users are people who will take the
>> source of Open Office ...'.
>
>
> This is not exactly the way the OpenOffice project sees this. We are voting
> on a release right now, and of course we put great care in ensuring that the
> source code is clean and that it can be used by our downstream projects to
> build upon; but we also make extensive tests on the "convenience" binaries,
> since we know that our largest group of users is the 35 millions and
> counting who already downloaded the approved binaries.
>

Who the "real users" are is an empirical question, and it does a
disservice to introduce a false dichotomy between end users of the
convenience binaries and developers who work on the core C++ code.
We have in OpenOffice a large group of developers who use the SDK to
develop extensions 3rd party extensions to OpenOffice.  They've
created around 700 such extensions.  The most popular ones have
thousands of downloads per week.   That is a thriving part of the
ecosystem.

This might not fit a 1999 view of how open source is consumed by an
ecosystem, but in 2013 any product that can only be enhanced by
modifying 20 year old C++ code is stunting its own ecosystem  The fact
that 3rd party value is created more in extensions than core C++ code
modifications is a very good thing from an engineering perspective.
For example it allows end-users to mix and match extensions from
different vendors.  This did not happen by accident.  This was a
design goal.  In any case, I think it is deserving of more recognition
at Apache that ecosystems do not always require compiled code and core
code modifications to exist, and there are indeed "real users" in this
ecosystem who thrive on such extensions.

Regards,

-Rob


> Regards,
>   Andrea.
>
>
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