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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 20:07:36 GMT
Happy Holidays to all.


On Dec 23, 2011, at 4:35 AM, J├╝rgen 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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