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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:44:36 GMT
What a great post - thank you Jürgen

Can I request that this goes on the AOO blog? I recognise this is your
own thoughts, but you can make that clear (as you did here). You
correctly observe that the AOO project needs to do a better job of
communicating the good - this post does just that so lets give it more


2011/12/23 Jürgen Schmidt <>:
> 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

Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)

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