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From Graham Lauder <>
Subject Re: Updates: IBM Lotus Symphony, Apache OpenOffice, IBM Docs and other fun stuff
Date Mon, 30 Jan 2012 03:06:13 GMT
On Friday 27 Jan 2012 04:53:29 Rob Weir wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 3:35 PM, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> > On Thursday 26 Jan 2012 02:50:20 Rob Weir wrote:
> >> On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 7:08 AM, Graham Lauder <>

> >> >> Second, new features and function, worthy of consideration by this
> >> >> community as a 'Apache OpenOffice 4.0' release will be the primary
> >> >> focus for the IBM volunteers working in the project at Apache, after
> >> >> the project successfully completes the Apache 3.4 release.  See the
> >> >> AOO 4.0 Feature Planning wiki page here: **
> >> > 
> >> > IBM "volunteers?"  _I_  volunteer.  I don't get paid to be here, I
> >> > come here only on my own time.  That's what volunteers do, if someone
> >> > is picking up a salary to work on AOO code that's hardly
> >> > volunteering, except maybe in "doublespeak". Tsk!   However, whatever
> >> > they're called, it will be good to see them pushing along 4.0, we are
> >> > at a point now, having been out of the market for such a lengthy
> >> > time, that with the new release there needs to be a substantially
> >> > different product.
> >> 
> >> Let me challenge your views on this.  Anyone who participates in this
> >> project does so because they get more out of it than they put into it.
> >>  Further, they would be insane to participate in the project under any
> >> other conditions.  What they put in is obvious:  their time, their
> >> skills, their experience, their care, their overly long emails, etc.
> >> What they get out is less tangible, but it still exists.  In some
> >> cases it is a salary, in other cases it is enjoyment, or experience,
> >> reputation, etc.  Cash payments are they only form of reward.  Even
> >> those who think they are participating for purely altruistic reasons
> >> are doing so to enhance their self-image, imagining themselves to do
> >> altruistic deeds.  This is just basic balance of energy.  An animal
> >> will not survive long if it chases down and kills prey where the
> >> returned calories are less then those expended in the hunt.  Since no
> >> one has a gun to our heads, forcing them to work on this project,
> >> everyone here is a volunteer.  Everyone is free to go or remain, or
> >> participate to whatever level they feel gives them a sufficient reward
> >> (of any form) for their investment in the project.   Even those who
> >> are employed had and have a choice of jobs they could take.  Maybe
> >> they took their current job because it gave them the opportunity to
> >> continue participation in the project?  Any illusion about this basic
> >> fact, such as the the project has self-less martyrs and course
> >> mercenaries,  is just sentimentality and does not really promote clear
> >> thinking.  The form of your personal reward for working in the project
> >> has zero impact on your rights, abilities, prerogatives, status or (to
> >> me at least) the weight of your arguments in this project.
> > 
> > Challenge away, I never said: people that volunteer, do it for altruistic
> > reasons, not sure where you read that. I will clarify:
> > 
> > I simply stated that IBM's motives were certainly not altruistic I just
> > have no idea what they are, and given that a corporation is a
> > sociopathic beast I would really like to know what they are, but in the
> > absence of an OOo related mission statement, I have to try deduction.
> I remind you that the Apache Software Foundation is also a
> corporation. 

ASF does not fill one critical measure of Corporations:  Freely transferrable 
shares.  Apache is an Incorporated Charity.  The Profit Motive doesn't  come 
into the equation.   

> So wild generalities of corporations being "sociopathic
> beasts" are not going to get you very far.

It is a fairly well known tenet, well researched and presented by behavioural 
psychologists, business analysts and philosophers.  It's not a criticism, just 
a statement that has a considerable measure of accuracy.  Certainly it is a 
generalisation and I know of a number of corporations that now rate Ethical 
Performance as high as Profit and Share holder return on their KPIs to avoid 
the Sociopathic trait.  Perhaps IBM is becoming one of those, I don't know.  
You yourself have said that in the past that IBM was a less than ideal member 
of the OSS community.  I dare say that you and your colleagues would have 
known how IBM was perceived in the community, but that was simply brushed off 
and ignored because that affected neither profit nor shareholder return.  
Ignoring the groups wishes is a Sociopathic trait.  It is also a well known 
fact that sociopathic personalities do well in the corporate environment. 

In your exchanges with a number of people on the list, you have demonstrated a 
low level of empathy   

> > I also stated that someone paid by a corporate member to participate in
> > this community cannot be called a volunteer.  Take your argument to the
> > extreme and you could say that every one _lives_ voluntarily because
> > they decided not to top themselves this morning.  A ridiculous argument.
> >   Volunteer = someone who has to sacrifice personal time outside of
> > their daily mortgage paying work, to contribute.
> I never said that someone with corporate sponsorship is a volunteer.
> What I did is challenge you on your belief that this distinction --
> the form of reward a participant receives --  makes any difference
> whatsoever in terms of how we work on the project. Some members might
> be Irishmen, Lutherans or fans of Real Madrid.  These affiliations, as
> well as employment status,  are just some of the many attributes of
> our personhood.  We should be dealing with each other as persons,
> looking at individual actions, rather than drawing wild stereotypes
> based on speculated group characteristics.  I would have thought the
> 20th century would have thought us something about the dangers of such
> demagoguery?

Tsk, a trait of the internet debate and American politics is the tendencty to 
lean toward hyperboly and grand over statement.

Ireland, the Lutheran Church, the Real Madrid Football club are not going to 
profit from the activities of this project, not that it would worry me if they 
did.  What would concern me however is how much loyalty would any of the above 
show to the project and so I would question their motives as well and in 
particular the loyalty prioritisation of the individuals from those 
communities with roles that could lead to a conflict of interest.  Not a big 
ask and not demagoguery  

> > Everyone participates in an Open Source project for various reasons, some
> > may be their own and some may be employers and all do it for some form
> > of reward whether it be cash or something more esoteric.  There are a
> > lot of people who do this as part of their 9 to 5 who are not what I
> > would call volunteers.  How do I know this?  Easy, this list dies over
> > the weekend.
> Maybe that is because we volunteer for other things on the weekend?
> Or spend time with family, based on their schedule?  In the end, it is
> really not your concern.  Instead of questioning others motivations,
> I'd recommend simply asking yourself what you want to accomplish in
> the project.

Oh, I know exactly what I want to achieve in the project, the point is the 
goal is ONLY about OOo, there is no divided loyalty.  

> Of course, there is the distinct possibility that part of the joy you
> experience by your participation in this project is engaging in length
> off-topic debates with me.  I'll let your next response confirm or
> deny that theory ;-)

Well my first response is  that, this discussion was with Don originally.

Secondly, for you this might be off topic, for a marketing guy this is right 
on topic. 

I made an announcement on the NZ Open Source Society List, nothing huge just a 
quick summary of where things were headed with a small amount of cheerleading.

The response from the immediate Past President: 

That's a marketing issue, I need to be able to answer it, because no matter 
what  "We are just individuals"  spin you put on it, at the end of the day I 
have to answer the above responses because the appearance is that IBM drove 
this.  IBM funds it by paying you to be here and has hired devs from the old 
OOo team and so on.  

Now I and Shane and Joe and Ross and Jurgen and Dave and so on either know or 
are at the least, pretty darn sure that this is much more than the Rob 
Weir/IBM show, but as I alluded to Don earlier in this thread, perception is 
everything and while it might be easy to just ignore it, If however we want to 
spread the brand and have the wider user community view it in a positive light 
then it has to be addressed. 


> Regards,
> -Rob
> > Cheers
> > GL

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