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From Donald Harbison <dpharbi...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Merry Christmas and some private thoughts
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2011 12:49:53 GMT
+1 (!) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

2011/12/23 J├╝rgen Schmidt <jogischmidt@googlemail.com>

> 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 OpenOffice.org 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%
> OpenOffice.org 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
> OpenOffice.org 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
> OpenOffice.org 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
> www.openoffice.org 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
> www.openoffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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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