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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: Team OpenOffice White Label Office (powered by Apache Open Office)
Date Thu, 22 Dec 2011 02:19:23 GMT
On 2011-12-21 8:28 PM, Thomas Horn wrote:
> Sorry for the formatting, I'll try again if it comes out better now;
> I'm not such a computer expert as all the developers on the list :-).

Thank you, Thomas, for speaking up!  Many of the mentors do realize that 
the ooo-dev@ list can be quite daunting to approach for newcomers - 
especially non-developers, so we certainly appreciate your honest feedback.

There's a lot here, at the moment I only have a few comments.

> as I have only susbcried around a months ago because I found TOOo
> messaging about donations and source code sponsors suspicious, I still
> get the impression that they are somehow not "playing with open
> cards".
> So as TOOo asked for clear feedback in the other thread, I just
> thought I'd throw in my $.02. All of this being my opion -- the
> perspective of a user -- only, of course.
> If I read the annoucement about "White Label Office" and all the
> website, I get the impression that they somehow want to conceive the
> message that they are "the official partner"/"development leader" of
> It isn't expressed explicitly anywhere but it is
> manifested in many small aspects, which are not lies but very near
> too.
> E.g. "first to be published since the withdrawal of the main sponsor
> ORACLE" [1] implies some "official" continuity of versioning, which
> IMHO can only be provided by ASF. On the other hand, as it stands,
> it's just false as "White Label Office" uses the sources granted by
> Oracle under LGPL v3 as LibreOffice does. So there is no difference
> between LibreOffice and "White Label Office", with LibreOffice having
> released versions BEFORE "White Label Office".

I'm not sure I'd use terms like "false" in this context.  But I do agree 
(and am glad to see a specific user experience like this) that the TOO 
messaging and press around the White Label Office, when taken as a 
whole, is clearly confusing to users.

> Another thing is to insist on the "fact that about 95% of the current
> source code is a product of the programming of the engineering team in
> Hamburg" [2], implying some sort of copyright on most of the code of
> OOo/AOO, which is plainly wrong as the engineering team did this as
> part of their duties at Sun/Oracle, with Sun/Oracle and now ASF being
> the copyright owner of any of their work.

The ASF does not require (nor ask for) copyright assignment, so this is 
not necessarily an important point.  Oracle has licensed the bulk of the 
OOo software to the ASF under the permissive Apache License, and as 
such, the ASF is now licensing that software under our license to 
everyone.  Thus people really are free to use the code that they get 
from this podling in just about any way they choose, under the Apache 
License - as long as they respect our trademarks.

I presume (but have not verified) that TOO has taken the original 
GPL\LGPL licensed code from the earlier Sun/Oracle repositories and used 
that for their White Label Office.

> And lastly, I feel a bit alienated by sentences like "die farbigen
> Dokumenten-Icons, die trotz Protest der Anwender unter der Regie von
> Oracle ersetzt wurden" (only in the German version of the page [3], in
> english it is something like: "the colored document icons, which were
> removed under the regime of Oracle despite the protest of the users").
> I understand this as some form of taking revenge on Oracle (but this
> might only be my interpretation), which, I think, anybody in the
> community should avoid at all, given the generous move of Oracle to
> donate to ASF. And of course, it somehow feels funny
> given the fact that the key members of TOOo were originally in favor
> of the change [4].
> While "White Label Office" seems to be on the okay side legally
> (though the use of the logo with the gulls is somehow questionable,
> with [5] suggesting that Oracle saw it as their trademark, too), I do
> not think that I will help very much in bringing AOO forward. I do not
> think that anybody in corporate will switch from to a
> software called "White Label Office", so only home users misguided by
> misleading articles in computer magazines, suggesting "White Label
> Office" as an official release might use it.

Indeed, the use of the gull logos is problematic, since they're a clear 
identifier of the software product itself.

> So I think, the only reasonable thing would be for ASF to release an
> OOo 3.3.1 if there is consesus that such a version (I suspect that it
> is needed, however, given the big progress of AOO and the fact that a
> lot of things will have to change in AOO 3.4 anyhow; but this is just
> my $.02), maybe even provided/compiled by TOOo.
> But - as this directly stoke into my eye when trying "White Label
> Office" - if done so, it will clearly not be allowed to have a
> "Donate..." button on the Welcome Screen as "White Label Office" now
> has (btw: I would advise not to use as PayPal
> account as it negatively adds to the image of trying to be "official"
> and will be away soon anyhow; even more offtopic, it might even be
> good for TOOo to change to a name without OOo in it to have a clear
> cut and avoid any suspicion) or even have any reference to TOOo. Then,
> I think, TOOo would really help to improve the transition.
> Greetings and all the best for Christmas fromThomas

Best wishes for health and happiness on your holidays!

- Shane

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