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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [email] RE: [Discuss] ASF hosted email service [Was: Re: [Discussion]]
Date Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:02:07 GMT
On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 11:25 AM, Terry Ellison <> wrote:
> On 21/08/11 15:18, Rob Weir wrote:
>> On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 5:21 AM, Terry Ellison <> wrote:
>>> On 20/08/11 21:00, Rob Weir wrote:
>>>> On Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 3:47 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>>>>>  1. One has to do with where this is a personal
>>>>> forwarding set up for some user (or entity) and it forwards to another
>>>>> e-mail address.  If these are preserved, forwarding them to some other
>>>>> email
>>>>> address to then be forwarded to the original entity does not make a lot
>>>>> of
>>>>> sense.  The issue here is that the entity is known by that email
>>>>> address and
>>>>> has connections that access that entity by that email address.
>>>>>  It is a good idea to preserve that service so that the entities that
>>>>> have use of the individual ones can somehow manage their forwarding.
>>>>> would not want to figure out how to retire it until later, and with
>>>>> considerable warning.  Having an individual's e-mail address disappear
>>>>> is
>>>>> not a pleasant experience.
>>>> ... How does this help us develop and publish open source software? ...
>>> There seems little point in developing any FLOSS package which doesn't
>>> meet
>>> the needs of its user population, as we will end up with an unused
>>> product.
>> Sure. But we do see other open source end user productivity
>> applications produced without the use a wide-open email forwarding
>> service, e.g., KOffice, AbiWord, LibreOffice. I'd even included
>> end-user oriented Linux distros and other apps like Firefox,
>> Thunderbird, etc. So the email forwarder is not essential to
>> success.
>> In some cases, email addresses were made selectively available. For
>> example, KDE makes them available to only core contributors, as
>> explained here:
>> "I am sorry but in the past, people misused their KDE email address to
>> tell
>> nonsence about KDE and of course people thought that it was the official
>> KDE
>> position, as they had a address. Unfortunately, it has not only
>> happened once. That is why there is now the restrictive policy about KDE
>> email addresses."
>> Apache has a similar policy, and makes the email address available
>> only to project committers.
>>>  I repeat that targets the general PC-owning population
>>> as
>>> its user-base.  This is very different to Apache Server, Traffic Server,
>>> Subversion and the other Apache projects that typically have a niche IT
>>> proficient and often IT professional user population.  Clearly, the
>>> success
>>> of any FLOSS package depends on the support of a committed core of able
>>> developers.  However, the success of OOo also depends on a wide community
>>> of
>>> contributors, documentation and tutorial developers, community supporter
>>> and
>>> even just power-users who can evangelise the product.
>> Every person and every project wants to think that it is special, that
>> it is different from all others. OK. That's fine. But let's not
>> overstate the differences.
>> Remember, Subversion has an awesome book [1], Apache has great
>> tutorials [2], etc. They manage, somehow, even lacking thousands of
>> evangelists with email addresses.
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> OOo is not special because it has documentation and tutorials.
>>> We have historically encouraged this community to use their oo.o
>>> mailboxes
>>> to foster a sense of identity.  I know that I used to use my
>>> address a lot: answering end-user emails and as my
>>> email address for a range of forums, wikis and similar services.  I was
>>> and
>> As I understand it, these addresses were given out freely to those who
>> registered for Bugzilla. But I also see hundreds of Viagra spam notes
>> in OOo Bugzilla. Do you see even the slightest risk here? The self
>> identity of the volunteers is important. But so is the identity of
>> the project, including the integrity of the trademark. It should
>> never be ambiguous whether someone is speaking on behalf of the
>> project. "Hats" at Apache are very important. We should not be
>> giving out thousands of hats that suggest someone is an official
>> representative of the project.
>> If we're looking for ways to indicate support and promotion of the
>> project, this can be done in many ways, from banners people can put on
>> their websites and blogs, to email signature blocks.
>> (IMHO, we also should all start being proud about being an Apache
>> project and having an Apache email address. )
>>> am proud to be associated with this project.  However, because I realise
>>> that the address might go away, I had to trawl through my emails to work
>>> out
>>> which services I had subscribed to using TerryE@oo.o and rehook them to
>>> another mailbox: a real pain -- but less painful than suddenly finding
>>> out
>>> that I had become disconnected from them.  So my answer is that
>>> alienating
>>> our extended community of supporters would not be something that we
>>> should
>>> do lightly.  OOo depends on their support.
>> If we just pulled the plug, that would certainly be alienating. I
>> agree with you there. But I still don't see these forwarding
>> addresses as being beneficial to the project. Aside from avoiding
>> offending the volunteers, you haven't shown why they are a benefit to
>> the project.
>> If Sun had sent a fruitcake to every volunteer at Christmas before,
>> I'm sure we'd have people offended if we stopped doing that. But that
>> does not make a fruitcake delivery service an essential part of the
>> project administration.
>> Ideally we never need to migrate the forwarding service. We keep it
>> running on Oracle's servers as long as we can, and when they are shut
>> down, the forwarding is shut down. But we need a good sense of how
>> long that will be so we can give the users fair notice that the
>> service will be ended.
>> We also should figure out which addresses were used as official
>> project addresses, for requesting or reporting information, like
>> security vulnerabilities, etc. The set of official addresses should
>> be treated specially and likely will require forwarding longer term,
>> either to ooo-dev, ooo-private or ooo-security, as appropriate.
> Your svn and Apache (server) response just emphasises our disconnect.  OOo
> is aimed at normal mortals who don't even know what a command prompt is.
>  Could you imagine you grandfather, mother or young child wanting to use
> either of these?  Fruitcakes and viagra spam on a website are irrelevant to
> the continuance of a mail forwarding service.  Your last point is that we
> need a migration / mitigation plan.  On that point +1

I agree it there is a disconnect.  But I still think you are making a
false distinction.  The difference between end-user and developer or
admin software is in *what* is created.  It is not necessarily a
difference in *how* it is created.  I've worked over 20 years on both
kinds of software, open source and proprietary, end user, developer
and admin, and they are not developed differently.  A quicksort is a
quicksort, regardless of whether it is on your iPhone on your server
or on the International Space Station.  Usability testing is the same
whether you are are testing an enterprise system monitoring product or
a children's game.  Technical writing is the same everywhere.  You
make assumptions about your audience and you target that background
and skill level.

I acknowledge that the OpenOffice software is different than
Subversion or Apache server. (At least parts of it -- but we do have
developer modules, UNO API, etc.)   But I think that difference has
few implications for how the project is run. In other words, the
argument "OpenOffice is different so we need to do it the same way we
always did it", is not really a well-founded argument at all.
Prefacing an assertion with "The Community will be offended if we
change" is similarly not an argument.  Obviously a significant part of
"the Community" was offended by not changing enough,
and they went to LibreOffice.  I think in both cases we need to be
forward-looking and ask what will best grow the community growing
forward, preferably a community that is comfortable working at Apache
and ideally is not quite so easily offended.

> I think this issue of the extended OOo community merits a thread in its own
> right.  Regards Terry

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