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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: Off topic
Date Thu, 15 Dec 2011 23:35:35 GMT
On 15 December 2011 23:03, Rob Weir <> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Graham Lauder <>
> wrote:
> <snip>
> > 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.
> >
> OOo was a failure

No, overall I agree with Graham OOo has been a great success. Without OOo
there would be no odf and not even a debate about interoperability and the
appropriateness of proprietary formats in government. We can speculate
whether the corporate charity was a restriction or a benefit - there is no
control to test that against.

because it only worked as a recipient of corporate
> charity.

It did work of value well beyond that. It was arguably over-dependent on
corporate charity so always vulnerable to that collapsing but to say it
only worked as a recipient of that is really to misunderstand the entire
community of volunteers that added far more value than Sun's money.

>  It was entirely a money hole for Sun and Oracle.

But not IBM?

 It is
> amazing what kind of crazy organization you can have if sustainability
> of the ecosystem is not an issue because you have access to some magic
> external source of funds.

I think that is pretty insulting to a lot of people here most of whom have
worked unpaid for many years to promote OOo well before Apache took over
and often despite rather than because of the corporates. Why do you think
LibreOffice exists?

Well, that corporate subsidy is gone.

Not really, the corporate ownership is gone which is not the same thing.
Many of the people working on the code will be corporately subsidised.

> The question is how we can
> create a sustainable model for this project.  What worked before,
> based on corporate charity, is not really relevant anymore.

Or maybe you mean what didn't work before based on corporate charity. Yo
can't have it both ways,

>  The question is, what works now?

What will work is getting the same or more development commitment and
realistically that will still depend to an extent on corporate sponsorship
one way or another. That is probably the easy bit. Building and sustaining
the wider global community efforts in NLs, marketing, education,
documentation and all those other value added services through a committed
community of 10s of thousands of volunteers as enjoyed by OOo at its height
is going to be more of a challenge and something ASF seems to have less
experience. Alienating the people who have stayed loyal to the project is
hardly a good strategy.


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