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From J├╝rgen Schmidt <jogischm...@googlemail.com>
Subject Re: [Draft] The Public Service Mission of OpenOffice
Date Wed, 18 Jul 2012 05:47:42 GMT
On 7/17/12 6:03 PM, Rob Weir wrote:
> I'd like to see if we can agree on a statement along these lines.  I
> think it is important that we show how our project aligns with
> Apache's overall mission, which the apache.org home page phrases as:
> "provides support for the Apache community of open-source software
> projects, which provide software products for the public good."
> 
> I think we do and always have been strongly aligned with this goal.
> But still, sometimes, we're questioned about our emphasis on
> distributing binaries, or seeking support for items related to
> distributing binaries.  In some ways we're the oddball at Apache,
> being the only prominent end-user facing project.  So I think it will
> help if we can express in clear terms how what we are doing is in fact
> for the public good, and our aims and achievements are at least as
> noble as what any other Apache project can claim.

I totally agree and that is of course the most annoying point here at
Apache for me. But that is another topic and not for this thread.

> 
> Please, review and suggest improvements.  In the end I'd like to work
> this into a webpage or blog post.
> 

see comments inline

> Regards,
> 
> -Rob
> 
> --------------------------
> =Introduction=
> 
> Along with an email client and a web browser, an office suite is a
> core essential application that almost every computer user requires.
>  Although there is a dominant commercial product in this category, its
> price and limited platform and language support makes it an
> unsatisfactory option for many.   OpenOffice, for over a decade, has
> helped fill this gap.  Our goal is to develop, publish and support
> OpenOffice as a world-class office suite, free for anyone to use, and
> since it is open source, free for anyone to build upon.  Using the
> generally available discounted price of commercial office products,
> the value of OpenOffice downloads over the past decade exceeds USD 10
> billion (10,000,000,000),
> 

I like this example calculation which makes the value of OpenOffice
really visible. The number is so impressive that really everybody can
understand it.


> ==Overcoming the "Digital Divide"==
> 
> More than 40% of the world population lives on less than US$ 2 per
> day, and around 20% live on less than US$ 1 per day.  Against these
> numbers, commercial shrink-wrapped office software is often seen as a
> luxury good.  End-user facing open source software, like OpenOffice,
> brings high-quality software to those who would otherwise have no
> other affordable options.   Within the ICT for Development (ICT4D)
> community, OpenOffice has long been an important part of achieving
> development goals.
> 
> ==Support for Linguistic and Cultural Diversity==
> 
> There are over 6,000 languages in the world, but unless the language
> is associated with a G20 economic superpower, commercial vendors tend
> to ignore it.  The OpenOffice community has a long standing tradition
> of supporting a large number of languages, including languages used by
> smaller populations, minority languages, endangered languages, etc.
> For example, South Africa has 11 official languages.  OpenOffice has
> been translated to all of them.  By supporting languages that would
> not otherwise be supported we help reduce "digital exclusion" and
> promote development, local education and administration.
> 

It shows me again how important it is to work for and with the l10n
community to support all the languages where we had support before. I
will start a campaign right after our 3.4.1 release drive this forward.

> ==Accessibility==
> 
> Persons with disabilities, especially those with visual impairments,
> commonly rely on "assistive technology" to interact with computers.
> Such technologies work well only when applications are designed and
> coded to work well with them.  Additionally, users who create
> documents must do their part to ensure that the documents they create
> work well with assistive technology, for example through the use of
> image captions, consistent list levels, etc.  OpenOffice provides
> strong accessibility support, including broader ecosystem support via
> extensions, for working with Braille printers, exporting to DAISY
> talking books, etc.
> 
> ==Open Standards==
> 
> Open standards are those standards which are created in an open,
> transparent process, where the specifications can be freely accessed
> and implemented without royalties.  Most core web standards are open
> standards.  The default document format in OpenOffice, OpenDocument
> Format (ODF) is also an open standard.   Widespread use of open
> standards promotes interoperability and choice in the market.  But
> this does not come without effort on our part.  We commit to faithful
> implementation of open standards, and to work with standards
> organizations and other vendors to improve these standards and to test
> and improve interoperability.
> 

As Donald mentioned already it might be worse to add a short paragraph
about extensibility and the programability at all that helps to adapt
OpenOffice to special needs, or integrate AOO in other important products.

In general very nice

Juergen


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