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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Off topic
Date Thu, 15 Dec 2011 23:43:30 GMT
Graham makes excellent points. I certainly did not mean to disregard
the amazing things OOo achieved with respect to community. However, I
believe that when my observation remains valid when it is read in the
context of the specific point I was replying to. I was responding to
the the claimed success of the previous "business models".

I was not referring to the health of the community, I was referring to
the health of previous business models.


On 15 December 2011 22:44, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> On Wednesday 14 Dec 2011 06:25:50 Ross Gardler wrote:
>> On 13 December 2011 16:16, Louis Suárez-Potts <> wrote:
>> > This and others are actually viable business models, and we showed as
>> > much with OOo's long tenure. The issue that we had to deal with was that
>> > the owning companies pretty much clipped our wings and prevented us from
>> > becoming what we could.
>> Historically that may or may not be true. From where I stand as a
>> complete newcomer I see the results of the OOo "long tenure" as far
>> from a glowing success. We have a significant fork, burned out
>> relationships and a really unhealthy dose of mistrust as a result. All
>> this seems to be attributable to what you call "the issue that we had
>> to deal with". The Apache process removes that issue. It focuses on
>> creating a level playing field.
> If that's what you see then I would respectfully suggest that you're not
> looking in the right place.
> You say Apache is about building Communities, I would suggest that OOo was
> very good at building communities
> OOo had a community of thousands with over a hundred Native language
> communities.  People all round the globe working on multiple parts of the OOo
> universe, from hackers to QA to translators to artists to marketing folk.
> Then if you count the community of users, OOo is Second in the marketplace
> only to the most dominant proprietary Software company in the world and their
> billion dollar marketing budgets.
> By these measures no other OSS project has built a community the size of OOo,
> save perhaps Mozilla.
> This "unsuccessful" community served up downloads of just shy of 300,000 an
> hour average for around 6 months between the launch of 3.0 and 3.1. and onward
> to 3.2 and that only counts those served off the download site, not the ones
> for instance sold by community distributors or simply copied and passed on by
> our community of users or distributed by magazines.
> Sure we had ownership and control issues with the corporate partner, but the
> community continued.  The "significant fork," just proved the strength of that
> community and it should also be remembered that LO wasn't the first, IBM
> forked it way back in the 1.1.x days.
> As far as the "unhealthy" distrust goes, you would perhaps like us to be
> malleable and totally accepting of everything without question given that  we
> in the community were thrust into the Apache deal without any sort of
> consultation. OK that is perhaps a symptom of what Louis was talking about and
> like the other issues we just deal with it.
> IBM forked OOo back in the days when it had a dual license that included a
> permissive license: SISSL.  They used that as a basis of Symphony and never
> contributed back to the community or became part of the community. So from
> where I stood as a complete newcomer to Apache,  it seemed back room deals had
> been done, not to benefit the OOo community, but, given IBM staffers high
> profile in the new podling, simply to benefit IBM, who under the Apache
> license would have unfettered access to the code they had desired since the
> permissive SISSL license was dropped with OOo 2.0.
> I can therefore vouch for the health of my distrust.  :)
> The question therefore that needs be answered for the OOo community, (or maybe
> just me, it wouldn't be the first time i've occupied a lonely outpost on my
> own)  Does the the move to Apache benefit the community and especially the end
> users.  In the first instance I was cautiously optimistic, with some small
> reservations.  Some reservations became larger   However as you say, the
> corporate partner issue has been removed, although right now the playing field
> still doesn't feel that level.
> There has been a consistent "dissing" of the old project since we got here as
> though it was a huge failure, nothing that we did was ever right, it was
> totally dysfunctional.  Naturally this doesn't serve inspire confidence in
> those of us who have been with OOo for a long time.
> The evidence actually reveals the complete opposite.  A vast vibrant community
> with all the tension and  foibles that brings with it, that produced, marketed
> and distributed a well featured and reliable Office suite to a community of
> probably tens of millions of users.  Could we have done some things better, of
> course, nothing is ever perfect but it was never as bad as you and others have
> been painting it.
> Cheers
> GL

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

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