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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Status of existing OOo user guides
Date Mon, 05 Sep 2011 13:02:39 GMT
On Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 8:34 AM, Jean Weber <> wrote:
> Just trying to be quite clear on something here, since every time the
> topic turns up, it seems to mutate into a wider discussion without
> actually answering the question of the relationship of the existing
> user guides to AOOo.
> We have established that relicensing the existing OOo user guides
> (which are licensed CC-BY) to the Apache license is not practical.
> Does this mean, as Rob has suggested, that these guides *cannot* be
> part of the "official" documentation for AOOo or only *should not* be
> part of that doco?

It is a question of what we can put into a release,e.g., actually
include in an install image, or source tarball for a release.  Things
that are part of a release must conform to ASF licensing requirements.

However, I don't think that it is necessary for "official"
documentation to be included in a release.  For example, Subversion
points to an external website for its user manual and calls it "the
official Subversion documentation online":

Wearing my IBM hat, the larger issue, one that may not concern
everyone here but does concern me, is the impact the license choice
has on our ability to attract corporate-sponsored contributors to an
effort that is not using a compatible license,  By analogy to the
project source code,under Apache 2.0, it is very easy for IBM
developers to contribute patches, etc., to that code.  We contribute
and know that we improve the product as well as preserve our ability
to bring that code, with our fixes and other's fixes as well, and
include that in Symphony releases.  Once we start mixing copyleft
components into the mix, even documentation components, we make it
much more difficult for risk-averse corporations to contribute.

So this is a matter of "help me help you".  If we can move to a
permissive/compatible license for future documentation work, then I
can seek contributions of Symphony-related documentations, quick
starts, as well help with existing doc.  (In fact I've already started
that discussion internally at IBM, with favorable feedback).  Having a
compatible license helps align our interests.

> I think Rob's suggestions for "boldly going where OOo Docs have not
> gone before" are good ones, but they won't happen immediately. In the
> short term (for the next release of the software), we are most likely
> to have a choice between updated CC-BY-licensed user guides, or no
> user guides at all.

Take a  look at the Subversion home page and the link they have on the
left.  We could do something like that if we wanted.  That is a good
short-term approach.  It could even work longer term, though I think
it is a growth-limiting choice.

> What should I tell the small group that remains from the ODFAuthors
> team that has been working on the user guides?

Feel free to share this note.  You could invite them to discuss here
at ooo-dev, or I'd be happy to answer questions on your list, if you

Long term, the ideal from my perspective is for ODFAuthors to become
part of the AOOo project, have their own ooo-doc/ooo-docs/ooo-infodev
mailing list, agree to move to ALv2 for future contributions, and
produce docs that because of that license choice can be used freely,
by AOOo, by LibreOffice, Symphony, even freely translated for
RedOffice, etc.  Such an arrangement also makes it easier for others
to contribute as well, for the reasons I mentioned above.


> --Jean

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