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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Competition (was: Clarifying facts)
Date Wed, 14 Mar 2012 00:17:07 GMT
On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM, Joe Schaefer <joe_schaefer@yahoo.com> wrote:
> You're entitled to a dissenting opinion as an individual,
> but shaping the marketplace is not part of what we do
> as a public charity.  Just look at how the subversion
> project has handled contributions related to git migration tools
>

I think you are reading too much into "public charity".  501(c)(3) is
primarily a tax classification.  it limits our activities somewhat,
but it does not prevent us from having a point of view or from
advocacy.

In any case, you don't see the Subversion project making official
recommendations on its website on when git or Mercurial would be
better for the user.  That is not the purpose of an Apache project.
We're not clearing houses of information in a wide spectrum of
software applications.  We have projects that each develop, pubish and
promote very specific applications for their communities.  I think we
get into all sorts of mischief if we say that the Subversion PMC is
now responsible for offering neutral advice to all comers on the
merits of all version control systems.

> for instance (yes you chose an apt example but just don't know
> the true history)- our role organizationally is to facilitate user
> satisfactionno matter where they may ultimately find it.
>

I disagree.  We're not a clearinghouse for information on every open
source editor in existence, their merits, tradeoff's and specialties.

> Friendly internal competition in terms of overall community is fine,
> but respect for other open source projects should not be sacrificed
> as a result.  LibreOffice is part of the landscape now, like it or not,
> and failing to mention them simply to avoid elevating any attention
> towards them is not what I'd call friendly internal competition.
>

Most PMC's are happy to list ports and downstream consumers of their
code.  But I'm not seeing Subversion point users to where they can
download git and Mercurial.  Am I missing it?

-Rob

>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org>
>> To: ooo-dev@incubator.apache.org
>> Cc:
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:28 PM
>> Subject: Competition (was: Clarifying facts)
>>
>> 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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