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From Graham Lauder <>
Subject Re: Off topic
Date Thu, 15 Dec 2011 22:44:21 GMT
On Wednesday 14 Dec 2011 06:25:50 Ross Gardler wrote:
> On 13 December 2011 16:16, Louis Suárez-Potts <> wrote:

> > This and others are actually viable business models, and we showed as
> > much with OOo's long tenure. The issue that we had to deal with was that
> > the owning companies pretty much clipped our wings and prevented us from
> > becoming what we could.
> Historically that may or may not be true. From where I stand as a
> complete newcomer I see the results of the OOo "long tenure" as far
> from a glowing success. We have a significant fork, burned out
> relationships and a really unhealthy dose of mistrust as a result. All
> this seems to be attributable to what you call "the issue that we had
> to deal with". The Apache process removes that issue. It focuses on
> creating a level playing field.

If that's what you see then I would respectfully suggest that you're not 
looking in the right place.

You say Apache is about building Communities, I would suggest that OOo was 
very good at building communities

OOo had a community of thousands with over a hundred Native language 
communities.  People all round the globe working on multiple parts of the OOo 
universe, from hackers to QA to translators to artists to marketing folk.

Then if you count the community of users, OOo is Second in the marketplace 
only to the most dominant proprietary Software company in the world and their 
billion dollar marketing budgets.  

By these measures no other OSS project has built a community the size of OOo, 
save perhaps Mozilla.

This "unsuccessful" community served up downloads of just shy of 300,000 an 
hour average for around 6 months between the launch of 3.0 and 3.1. and onward 
to 3.2 and that only counts those served off the download site, not the ones 
for instance sold by community distributors or simply copied and passed on by 
our community of users or distributed by magazines.  
Sure we had ownership and control issues with the corporate partner, but the 
community continued.  The "significant fork," just proved the strength of that 
community and it should also be remembered that LO wasn't the first, IBM 
forked it way back in the 1.1.x days. 

As far as the "unhealthy" distrust goes, you would perhaps like us to be  
malleable and totally accepting of everything without question given that  we 
in the community were thrust into the Apache deal without any sort of 
consultation. OK that is perhaps a symptom of what Louis was talking about and 
like the other issues we just deal with it.

IBM forked OOo back in the days when it had a dual license that included a 
permissive license: SISSL.  They used that as a basis of Symphony and never 
contributed back to the community or became part of the community. So from 
where I stood as a complete newcomer to Apache,  it seemed back room deals had 
been done, not to benefit the OOo community, but, given IBM staffers high 
profile in the new podling, simply to benefit IBM, who under the Apache 
license would have unfettered access to the code they had desired since the 
permissive SISSL license was dropped with OOo 2.0.  
I can therefore vouch for the health of my distrust.  :)  

The question therefore that needs be answered for the OOo community, (or maybe 
just me, it wouldn't be the first time i've occupied a lonely outpost on my 
own)  Does the the move to Apache benefit the community and especially the end 
users.  In the first instance I was cautiously optimistic, with some small 
reservations.  Some reservations became larger   However as you say, the 
corporate partner issue has been removed, although right now the playing field 
still doesn't feel that level.  

There has been a consistent "dissing" of the old project since we got here as 
though it was a huge failure, nothing that we did was ever right, it was 
totally dysfunctional.  Naturally this doesn't serve inspire confidence in 
those of us who have been with OOo for a long time.  

The evidence actually reveals the complete opposite.  A vast vibrant community 
with all the tension and  foibles that brings with it, that produced, marketed 
and distributed a well featured and reliable Office suite to a community of 
probably tens of millions of users.  Could we have done some things better, of 
course, nothing is ever perfect but it was never as bad as you and others have 
been painting it.


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