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From Oliver-Rainer Wittmann <>
Subject Re: Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 15:06:10 GMT

special thanks goes to Jürgen for his great post.

great (really great) thanks goes to everybody for the stuff which we have 
achieved so far - great progress.

It is a great feeling to be part of such a successful open source project. I am 
glad that I survived the retreat of my former employer from the project and got 
the possibility to continue my engagement in this project.
I am looking forward to the next year when we have our first release.

Best wishes, Oliver.

On 23.12.2011 13:35, Jürgen Schmidt wrote:
> 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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