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From J├╝rgen Schmidt <jogischm...@googlemail.com>
Subject Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:35:45 GMT
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 OpenOffice.org 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% OpenOffice.org 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 
OpenOffice.org 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 
OpenOffice.org 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 
www.openoffice.org 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 www.openoffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 
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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