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From Pedro Giffuni <>
Subject R: Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 19:46:21 GMT

Well said!

First of all, absolutely Merry Christmas to everyone and
well deserved best wishes for the upcoming year.

I had always been an outsider to the OOo project so it's
rather unexpected to give my impressions but:

1) I am sure everyone agrees this project had about all
   odds against it. The IP clearance was considered by
   many as nearly impossible and a nonsense, the
   community divided, etc.
2) I, like almost everyone in the wide world, grossly
   underestimated the huge effort and the amount of
   resources required to bring to life a project of
   these characteristics.

I think (2) ended up being more difficult than (1), with
(1) being pretty demanding but not at all as unreachable
a target as it was thought to be.

The amazing thing is that ... it's done! And the codebase
is now much cleaner than it was before, and the world will
be so much better because it was done.

There are still some things to do but now we know we will
reach our objective. Thank you all of you guys for the
effort, big or small, in making this project possible. 


--- Ven 23/12/11, J├╝rgen Schmidt ha scritto:

> Hi all,
> before i will leave for a short Christmas break i would
> like to share some thoughts with you about the last months,
> my private expectations, and my wishes for the next year.
> Oracle's announcement to stop their investment in
> was a shock for me. Well the reason is
> obvious, I was paid by Oracle and worked on this project.
> The people who know me from the past know that i am a 100%
> guy and I always appreciated to work on this
> project and with our community. I always felt part of the
> overall community. I know the reasons that were responsible
> for the LibreOffice fork and the split of the community and
> i have to confess that i can understand it. But i didn't
> liked how it was made. If Oracle would have done this step 6
> month earlier I am sure we wouldn't have this fork and this
> split of the community. We would potentially still have the
> go-oo fork which was the foundation for LibreOffice but that
> is something different. Anyway it is as it is at moment and
> we will see how it moves forward in the future.
> The grant to Apache was at least the appropriate signal
> that as a project will never die. The brand
> is to big and to important, the opportunities around the
> product and the overall eco system are great and I was very
> sure that the project will continue.
> But a lot of work was and still is in front of us. We had
> to deal with a lot of things in parallel where other
> derivative projects didn't had to deal with at least not in
> the public. We had to migrate the whole infra
> structure to Apache and had to ensure that it work. I think
> we were very successful here and have migrated nearly
> everything we need from a technical perspective.
> Our mission was to migrate as much as possible of the
> available stuff of and at least save it
> for later use. I think we did it! Thanks to all who made
> this possible. And we can concentrate in the future on some
> structural and conceptual redesign of the main portal page
> to provide the information to our users
> that they need to find the product, to find more information
> like help, discussion forums, to find the way in the
> community if they want to do more etc.
> We couldn't simply use the code as it was and could
> continue with the development as in the past because of the
> different license. A huge challenge that is still ongoing
> and where i had many problems with at the beginning. It is
> not easy to explain why you remove something and replace it
> with something new that provide the same functionality but
> is under a more appropriate license. It's simply boring work
> and no developer really like it. But is a prerequisite for
> Apache and in the end it is better for our eco system
> because the Apache license is much friendlier for business
> usage as any other open source license. As an individual
> developer I don't care too much about all the different open
> source licenses, as along as the work i do is good for the
> project and in the end for our users. But i learned that the
> Apache license can be a door opener for more contributors
> and more engagement of companies. And i think that is
> important and can only help our project.
> And not everything is bad. With the IP cleanup we really
> cleaned up many things and Armin's replacement for svg
> import/export is the best solution we ever had for
> OpenOffice and with the biggest potential for further
> improvements. All this is really motivating for the future!
> Well we had a lot of noise and communication problems on
> our mailing lists and i think we missed to transport the
> message that has found a new home under the
> Apache foundation and we have missed to communicate the
> progress we have made in the pubic. We can do much better in
> the future! And i am looking forward to work with all of you
> on this communication part in the future. We don't have to
> be shy, we work on a great project with a great product and
> we should have enough to communicate and to share in the
> public (not only on our mailing list but on all the modern
> and very useful medias like facebook, Google+, twitter,
> ...)
> For the next year I expect that we find a way to guide and
> control our project a little bit better. I expect our first
> release early next year and hopefully a second one later the
> year where we can show that we are able to drive the project
> forward and that we are able to create and establish a
> vibrant and living community.
> I wish that we can gain trust in the project and in the
> Apache way and that it is a good move forward. Our users
> simply want the best free, open source product and they
> don't care about the different licenses. Enterprise users
> would like to see a huge and working community with the
> participation of a lot of different companies or at least
> their employees working on the project. We all know that
> such a huge and successful project can only work if we have
> individual community members as well as fulltime community
> members. Important is the WE and the TOGETHER that makes
> open source projects successful.
> I heart voices and read emails where people said that
> Apache is not able to manage such a huge end user oriented
> project with all the necessary things. A strong statement,
> isn't it. At the beginning i have to confess that i also had
> doubts and wasn't sure. But as i have mentioned in an
> earlier email that i have seen and got the necessary signals
> over time that Apache is willing to listen and is open for
> changes as well if they make sense for the overall success
> of our project and if these changes are aligned with the
> overall Apache principles. And i think that is fair enough
> for all.
> The move to Apache is a big challenge for all of us. Apache
> had many very successful projects but none of the these
> project has such a hue end-user focus like OpenOffice. And
> it is no small project, no it is one of biggest and most
> successful open source projects ever. And the migration was
> and is not easy. But we the community can do it, we as
> individuals, everybody can help and we together will do it!
> And the Apache way and the Apache license have proven in
> the past and with many successful projects that it is a good
> way and a good license to achieve this.
> Enough from me for now and i will take a break over the
> Christmas days to relax a little bit with family and
> friends. I will read emails from time to time but not too
> much ;-)
> I wish you all merry Christmas, enjoy the days, take your
> own break too, load your batteries for our next challenge in
> 2012.
> Regards
> Juergen

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