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From Thomas Horn <>
Subject Re: Team OpenOffice White Label Office (powered by Apache Open Office)
Date Thu, 22 Dec 2011 01:28:30 GMT
Sorry for the formatting, I'll try again if it comes out better now;
I'm not such a computer expert as all the developers on the list :-).


Hi all,

as I have only susbcried around a months ago because I found TOOo
messaging about donations and source code sponsors suspicious, I still
get the impression that they are somehow not "playing with open

So as TOOo asked for clear feedback in the other thread, I just
thought I'd throw in my $.02. All of this being my opion -- the
perspective of a user -- only, of course.

If I read the annoucement about "White Label Office" and all the
website, I get the impression that they somehow want to conceive the
message that they are "the official partner"/"development leader" of It isn't expressed explicitly anywhere but it is
manifested in many small aspects, which are not lies but very near

E.g. "first to be published since the withdrawal of the main sponsor
ORACLE" [1] implies some "official" continuity of versioning, which
IMHO can only be provided by ASF. On the other hand, as it stands,
it's just false as "White Label Office" uses the sources granted by
Oracle under LGPL v3 as LibreOffice does. So there is no difference
between LibreOffice and "White Label Office", with LibreOffice having
released versions BEFORE "White Label Office".

Another thing is to insist on the "fact that about 95% of the current
source code is a product of the programming of the engineering team in
Hamburg" [2], implying some sort of copyright on most of the code of
OOo/AOO, which is plainly wrong as the engineering team did this as
part of their duties at Sun/Oracle, with Sun/Oracle and now ASF being
the copyright owner of any of their work.

And lastly, I feel a bit alienated by sentences like "die farbigen
Dokumenten-Icons, die trotz Protest der Anwender unter der Regie von
Oracle ersetzt wurden" (only in the German version of the page [3], in
english it is something like: "the colored document icons, which were
removed under the regime of Oracle despite the protest of the users").
I understand this as some form of taking revenge on Oracle (but this
might only be my interpretation), which, I think, anybody in the
community should avoid at all, given the generous move of Oracle to
donate to ASF. And of course, it somehow feels funny
given the fact that the key members of TOOo were originally in favor
of the change [4].

While "White Label Office" seems to be on the okay side legally
(though the use of the logo with the gulls is somehow questionable,
with [5] suggesting that Oracle saw it as their trademark, too), I do
not think that I will help very much in bringing AOO forward. I do not
think that anybody in corporate will switch from to a
software called "White Label Office", so only home users misguided by
misleading articles in computer magazines, suggesting "White Label
Office" as an official release might use it.

So I think, the only reasonable thing would be for ASF to release an
OOo 3.3.1 if there is consesus that such a version (I suspect that it
is needed, however, given the big progress of AOO and the fact that a
lot of things will have to change in AOO 3.4 anyhow; but this is just
my $.02), maybe even provided/compiled by TOOo.

But - as this directly stoke into my eye when trying "White Label
Office" - if done so, it will clearly not be allowed to have a
"Donate..." button on the Welcome Screen as "White Label Office" now
has (btw: I would advise not to use as PayPal
account as it negatively adds to the image of trying to be "official"
and will be away soon anyhow; even more offtopic, it might even be
good for TOOo to change to a name without OOo in it to have a clear
cut and avoid any suspicion) or even have any reference to TOOo. Then,
I think, TOOo would really help to improve the transition.

Greetings and all the best for Christmas fromThomas


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