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From "Götz Wohlberg" <>
Subject Re: About Team
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2011 22:50:06 GMT

Am 20.12.11 19:39, schrieb Donald Harbison:
> Götz,
> Thank you very much for this information. We wish we had heard from you
> much sooner.
Thank you! I hope it's not too late!
> Some additional comments and questions inline.
> 2011/12/20 Götz Wohlberg<>
>> Hi all,
>> May I introduce myself? My name is Goetz Wohlberg and I spent the last 16+
>> years working on and it's commercial derivatives like
>> StarOffice or Oracle Open Office. At the moment I'm helping Martin and
>> Stefan from Team e.V. to setup a team with full-time
>> developers to join the Apache
> OpenOffice podling. My focus is to create value for customers and to build a
>> successful commercial business.
>>   Pleased to meet you.
> I have not read all of the posting here and I'm not a native English
>> speaker. So I might have missed some topics or discussions. But my
>> impression is that there is a major disconnect between the ASF and Team
>> I guess it's time to be more direct and blunt about our
>> situation. Please let me try to explain what our ideas are with Team
>>, what we did, what we learned and what our next steps are.
>> First off, we are not evil! We don't want to mislead consumers (although I
>> admit we did)! We are not collecting donations for our own coffers! We
>> don't have a business model that is just based on donations! What we plan
>> to do can be summarized in the following three goals:
>> 1. We want to help existing Oracle customers that they continue to use
> Great!
>> 2. We want to make money with support and service for
>>    and Apache OpenOffice
> Go for it!
>> 3. We want to be able to sponsor developers working full-time on
>> and save as much developer know-how as possible from
>>    the primary contributor Sun/Oracle
> Do you mean full-time on Apache OpenOffice?
Yes, that's the plan but we are not there yet.

>> To 1:
>> I'm in contact with a number of customers and I can assure you, that they
>> are desperately looking for a sign of life and new releases for
> Would you like to help us communicate directly to these customers from the
> Apache OpenOffice project team as well?
Sure! Let me know, what you have in mind.
>> Keep in mind that we released products every 3 month. Customers haven't
>> seen an OOo release since nearly a year now. I understand that AOO 3.4 is
>> in preparation and on the horizon, but how reliable is this? The ASF does
>> not have a track record yet for AOO. Customers and consumers are also
>> asking for support for their current version -- and this is
>> 3.3.0 and earlier. That's the reason why we strongly believe, AOO 3.4 is
>> important, but OOo 3.3.1 is also important. We think that a maintenance
>> releases for OOo 3.3.0 can help to create trust in the project and help
>> customers to wait for AOO 3.4.
> We encourage you to follow our progress on AOO 3.4 and beyond. You may be
> surprised to see how things are coming along.
I'm seeing some good things from your team!
>> To 2:
>> Important part of our business model is to sell support and service
>> contracts to and -- in the future -- Apache OpenOffice
>> customers. With the withdrawal of the main sponsor Oracle there are not
>> many companies on this planet doing so. We believe that this is quite a
>> cool unique selling point (USP). Unfortunately decision-making in the
>> Enterprise about OOo support contracts normally takes around 6 to 9 month.
>> We don't have that reach. So we need to close this gap until we see service
>> revenue coming in.
>> To 3:
>> Here is a quote from a kind user who is trying to help us to make our
>> case. I think this is a pretty good explanation of our situation: "Oracle
>> used to pay our salaries to work on OpenOffice,org, but since Oracle turned
>> over to the Apache Foundation, it no longer pays us. We were
>> primary contributors to, we love it, and we want to be able
>> to work on it full-time. Unless a large company or government hires us to
>> do this (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), we are trying to support ourselves via
>> donations -- until we are ready to sell service contracts. Donations to the
>> Apache Foundation, while a nice thing to do, can not be used for this
>> purpose, so you will need to donate to Team as a separate
>> entity."
>> And collecting donations is something -- as you know -- Team
>> always did!
> Yes, but in the past the donations were disbursed for a different purpose,
> AFAIK; e.g. support to individuals to travel and attend
> conferences, education, etc., but not salaries for development purposes.
Other things were the summer of code, advertisement, give aways, 
exhibition stand, conference fees and a lot more. The purpose was always 
the same: the development and dissemination of

>> Donations are very important for us in this phase to close the gap until
>> we see service revenue coming in. And there are also very successful
>> companies like the Wikimedia Foundation that are based on donations.
>> Therefore I authorized the donation campaign "Save" - and I
>> want to apologize for that! It was a mistake because I didn't realize that
>> at the same time this implies that is not doing well at the
>> ASF. Believe me or not, it was not my intend to bring discredit upon the
>> Apache OpenOffice project.
> OK, let's move on. We have too much work to do than worry about this.
Thank you!
>> What are our next steps though? We are of course accepting the ASF
>> ownership of the trademark. As we worked since 2003 smoothly
>> together with Sun and Oracle, we were surprised to see that non-commercial
>> Apache is seeing us as a troublemaker. Btw, Team is also
>> non-commercial.
>> We will not stop asking for donations to sponsor developers! Please take
>> your time to understand what we are asking for. We are asking for money to
>> help developing OOo! We are not asking to donate for the ASF or OOo! If our
>> communication on this topic is not clear enough, we'll fix it! Do you see
>> the difference? Again, we want full-time developers working on the project
>> and contributing their work to the Apache OpenOffice podling -- something
>> the ASF can't do! How bad is this? Without full-time developers our
>> business model won't fly.
> So long as your campaign for fund raising does not mislead donors through a
> misappropriation of the trademark there is no problem here.
We reviewed our material very carefully from this perspective. If we 
missed something, let me know. It's not an easy task to talk about what 
we want to do and at the same time avoid mentioning 
wherever this could cause confusion.
>> We will not stop telling the world that we were the primary contributors
>> and inventors of
> Yes, but there are other primary contributors working for SuSE. Canonical,
> Red Hat, and IBM, so you have good company.
Yes, you are right and I don't see this as a "but". We are trying to 
make this point. Sponsors and companies have changed over the course of 
time but there is a team that has remained the same since the beginning. 
I guess you will make the point, that the project will benefit from the 
new situation under the ASF - and I agree with this as well. I'm not 
living in the past.
>> The development team in Hamburg created it -- with the help of the
>> community -- and is happy to continue developing it. I don't
>> think that this is confusing users. It's the truth. The ASF should use this
>> as a weapon not as a threat. We will also defend ourselves against
>> malicious gossip or suspicion -- same like the ASF does. So please stop the
>> own-coffers-thing.
> Perhaps you might consider creating something like a  'Hamburg Hanse
> Association of OpenOffice Developers' to bring your 'primary contributor
> team members. I don't know if this makes sense, but it may be useful to
> represent the talent base accordingly to everyone's user communities
> whether or not they are consuming LibreOffice, 3.x or Apache
> OpenOffice....just a thought.
>> As service and support is part of our business model, we are listening to
>> Enterprise users and customers. They asked us for a
>> maintenance release for 3.3.0 due to the security issues --
>> and we will deliver! This release will carry a name that does not conflict
>> with the trademark. Using another name is clearly not the
>> best solution for all of us: users and customers, the ASF and Team
>> This should be motivation enough to work on a better
>> solution.
>> Just one more paragraph with my personal thoughts: We recognized our
>> mistakes! Reason for the mistake was to get donations to hire full-time
>> developers. We are also working hard on other ideas to get funding but we
>> are not there yet! We want to be a committer to the Apache OpenOffice
>> podling and we basically share the same goals.
> Great! Jump right in. Martin and Stefan joined as Initial Committers. We
> are hoping they begin to become more active in the community here. You are
> also most welcome to help out on the marketing side. I think that would be
> win-win for you and your goals with Team
I'm happy to do that!
> We inserted a very prominent link to the ASF on our website (see the box
>> "Home of the Development Project" on I hope that
>> this email does not have a negative impact on our chance to establish a
>> cooperative relationship between Team and the Apache
>> OpenOffice project. Does it? We are not evil!
> This is a very constructive email. Thank you very much.
Thanks again!

>> Thanks,
>> Goetz

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