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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Competition (was: Clarifying facts)
Date Tue, 13 Mar 2012 22:28:39 GMT
On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM, Joe Schaefer <joe_schaefer@yahoo.com> wrote:
<snip>
>
> At Apache we aren't in competition with other projects,
> we provide our work for the public benefit and leave
> discretion about adoption to the public.  Please keep
> that in mind, and stick to providing resources that
> benefit general members of the public.
>
>

I disagree.  Or at least I think that there is more nuance to what you
mean than what you wrote.

Competition is the natural outcome of offering choice.  It is
impossible for us to offer a word processor and not to compete against
every other word processor, open source or proprietary, that is
available for users to choose from.  If we offer choice, we are in
competition.  When we implement features that users want, or bugs that
users report, then we are competing against every other market player
who is also trying to satisfy those customers.

So competition is not evil, and I don't see how we avoid it unless we
write software that no one wants or uses.

But what we should not be doing, as a project, is undertaking
competitive marketing campaigns against specific competitors.  For
example, it would be improper for us to publish under the project's
imprimatur a whitepaper listing "10 reasons to ditch AbiWord and use
OpenOffice" or a blog post that says "KOffice has not had a new
release in months, their users should urgently move to OpenOffice".
In fact, we could look at almost any of the LibreOffice marketing
campaigns against OpenOffice and almost all of them would be
inappropriate for this Apache project to engage in, IMHO.

We should, of course, tell the story of Apache OpenOffice, what its
benefits are and why it is good for users.  Every project has the
right to its own messaging on its benefits.  That is a basic part of
community development.  It would be very odd if git developers came
over and decided to write a new project FAQ for Subversion.

-Rob

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