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From "Götz Wohlberg" <>
Subject Re: About Team
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 18:37:15 GMT
Hi Pedro,

Am 20.12.11 22:56, schrieb Pedro Giffuni:
> Hello Götz;
> First of all welcome! Part of the confusion was indeed that we
> had not really hear from TOO and it's goals and future plans.
> I am relatively new to both OpenOffice and Apache but one of
> the things that motivated me to join is that the Apache
> License is very open to business. If you can make some profit
> or even live out of developing your own product based on Apache
> OpenOffice (as we will call it from now on), we are all very
> happy about it. As you said there were some mistakes made by
> TOO and we appreciate that you have been working on them.
> Our development is very open here: we use subversion, the
> builds are pretty stable and we have finished the major
> changes required to license IP review. We still have
> work to do, especially related to rebranding (icons, logos,
> etc), dictionary distributions, and perhaps adding some
> features that were disabled but things are going pretty
> well.
> Keep us informed on what you are working and do let us know
> if you see opportunities for collaboration as we would
> like to avoid duplicated efforts.
Thanks for your welcome and your explanation! My priorities are no 
secret: Find (1) funding, (2) customers or (3) sponsors. Unfortunately 
collaboration on these topics is tricky: (1) Funding through donations 
was planned to give us a starting point, but our donation campaign 
caused serious hiccups. I would love to work on a model that is in the 
best of interest for the ASF and our plans.

(2) Finding service customers at this point in time is also not 
promising as AOO 3.4 is not out yet. So we need to focus on 3.x.x customers. What all customers want is a guarantee 
that has a bright future. We wanted to give the 
long-awaited sign of life and released the requested security update - 
unfortunately under a different name - which caused the next trouble. My 
hope was, we find an arrangement with the ASF and have a joined 
communication. This failed for the Release Candidate. Maybe there is a 
chance for the final version.

But even without the approval to use "" for this one 
#3.3.1 release, it was no option for us not to do it. Customer first! We 
are aware of the fact that this caused again confusion but we are not 
getting a single dollar for doing nothing. If we don't listen to 
customers, we are not allowed to be here.

(3) Finding a new sponsor to continue to work on OOo did work out just 
for some of us. I'm sure that the original developer team would still be 
pretty much intact if a new sponsor would have jumped in. This annoys 
and motivates me at the same time. OOo is such a relevant and important 
product, that more developers should work on it. I had other good job 
offerings but I strongly believe that OOo/AOO is a good place to be - 
with tons of new opportunities and challenges ;-)

I can understand the criticism that we don't communicate enough. But we 
also have to focus and dedicate our time on (1), (2) and (3). All our 
goals have in common that they are based on OOo and AOO. Looks to me 
that there is not much what we can do without making trouble ;-). But 
doing nothing is not an option. So we are still trying to find our way. 
The good news is that I'm receiving a lot of encourage emails with 
"Don't give up!", "Keep going", etc. Let's give it a new start next year.

My best wishes to you and a happy Xmas!
> Welcome again,
> Pedro.
> --- Mar 20/12/11, Götz Wohlberg<>  ha scritto:
>> Da: Götz Wohlberg<>
>> Oggetto: About Team
>> A:
>> Data: Martedì 20 dicembre 2011, 11:55
>> 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.
>> 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
>> 2. We want to make money with support and service for
>>     and Apache OpenOffice
>> 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
>> 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 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.
>> 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! 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.
>> 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.
>> We will not stop telling the world that we were the primary
>> contributors and inventors of 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.
>> 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. 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!
>> Thanks,
>> Goetz

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