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From Donald Harbison <dpharbi...@gmail.com>
Subject Updates: IBM Lotus Symphony, Apache OpenOffice, IBM Docs and other fun stuff
Date Thu, 19 Jan 2012 20:24:44 GMT
(Wearing IBM Hat)  (Warning - long post )

Here's an update on what was communicated this week at the annual
Lotusphere event in Orlando, Florida. I hope this helps clarify
misunderstandings, and resolves lingering concerns regarding IBM plans with
respect to investments that directly support and benefit the overall Apache
OpenOffice project. There are (3) topics to look at.

First, IBM Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 was announced. This is a new release of IBM
Lotus Symphony, based on OpenOffice Technology that was licensed directly
with Sun in 2007, when IBM formally joined the OpenOffice.org community.
Symphony uses an Eclipse RCP framework known as Lotus Expeditor.
 Expeditor, or XPD for short, enables IBM to embed Symphony in the flagship
Lotus Notes offering as a no charge entitlement. IBM does not directly
monetize Symphony. IBM has never sold Symphony. IBM has offered enterprise
support agreements for customers and QuickStart services offerings to help
customers begin to deploy Symphony. With XPD, IBM and IBM partners have
developed widgets, similar to OO extensions, that offer added value; e.g.
Multimedia Libraries for end user support, and so forth. Symphony 3.0.1
will continue to be provided for Lotus Notes 8.5.x customers throughout the
life cycle of this Lotus Notes release family. Fixpacks will provide
ongoing support for this customer set.

Notably, IBM announced it is ending its Symphony fork, the downstream fork
of OpenOffice, if you prefer to think of it that way. With the July 15,
2011 announcement that IBM will contribute its Symphony source code to the
Apache OpenOffice project, it makes no sense to continue a separate
development effort. Instead, the entire Symphony development team will now
be focused on working in the Apache OpenOffice community.

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: *http://s.apache.org/hW   *- As part of the public
discussions at Lotusphere, our product manager announced a proposed 'Apache
OpenOffice 4 the IBM Edition' name. Yes, this is long and cumbersome. It is
intended to describe what will be a future free download of Apache
OpenOffice with extensions bundled in that are of interest to IBM
customers; e.g. an extension to connect Apache OpenOffice to IBM
Connections, a social networking offer (think Facebook for Business).
 Connections offers Profiles, Community, Blogs, Wikis, Files etc. So an
extension will enable users to save their documents directly to the 'Files'
repository for community sharing, etc. Other extensions are being
considered. All extensions will be no charge. There is no monetization play
for Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition as there was never one for IBM Lotus
Symphony. We will need to seek the approval to use this proposed naming
from Apache Trademarks and this PPMC. Look for that request soon.

IBM is enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with the community
in a balanced way. You'll hopefully see that there is no hidden 'puppeteer'
controlling our team member actions. Yes, we have individuals who are very
active in Rob Weir and Juergen Schmidt, but we hope to see other
individuals from our team contributing soon. Working in Apache is
especially a big change of culture for our Chinese team, so I hope
community members will be understanding and welcoming of this as you notice
them begin to more actively participate and contribute as individuals. We
believe there is an unusual and very exciting opportunity to bring new
ideas and innovation to Apache OpenOffice. We also believe that many other
like-minded companies and individuals will share this view, and step
forward to actively participate in the community in the coming months.

Thirdly, IBM announced the open beta for IBM Docs, formerly branded
LotusLive Symphony. LotusLive is now re-branded IBM SmartCloud for Social
Business. Think of IBM Docs as web-based collaborative document editors.
There is no OpenOffice source code in IBM Docs. Instead, IBM Docs consumes
MS-Office documents, and ODF documents produced by OpenOffice, LibreOffice,
Calligra, AbiWord, etc. IBM Docs uses the Apache ODF Toolkit to manage
conversion services from ODF to Web standards needed to perform the editing
capabilities. IBM Docs exports ODF and MS-Office document file formats. IBM
Docs will become generally available later this year with IBM Connections
as the parent offering. The focus is on social document collaboration for
business since IBM Connections is unlikely to be deployed for general
consumer use in the same fashion as you see now with Google Docs.

You can find the charts describing all of this here: *
http://s.apache.org/Tj6*

Sorry about the long post. I do understand why it's easy to get caught up
in the 'blind man and the elephant' game, and miss the whole damn animal in
the process. IBM has often been accused of being an elephant, so I think
this metaphor works here. We are very excited about the future of Apache
OpenOffice, and will do our best to work to build a self-sustaining
community based on diversity and balance. At the same time, you will see
alot of energy and contributions coming forward over the coming months.

As for me, if you forgot about my earlier introduction here is the one I
posted on ooo-marketing in November:
http://markmail.org/message/stejocuxui5aintr You can see I'm not a coder,
but I plan to do alot of the other stuff more in the marketing and
community side of things.  I hope this post helps answer your questions. If
you have more, I'm sure you won't be shy about posting them on this thread.
I am proud to say I have began to know and understand the OpenOffice.org
community beginning in Koper, Slovenia at the 2005 OpenOffice.org
Conference. I drove IBM sponsorship of OpenOffice.org annually since that
time, and participated first hand in 2007 through 2010, where I chaired the
OASIS ODF 1.2 Interop event. Enough about me, I'm offering this short CV to
help you get to know me better. I also chair the OASIS ODF Adoption TC. So
you see I care an awful lot about the success of ODF as well as Apache
OpenOffice.

Onward!

/don


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