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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [Draft] The Public Service Mission of OpenOffice
Date Wed, 18 Jul 2012 15:30:38 GMT
On Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 1:47 AM, J├╝rgen Schmidt
<> wrote:
> 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 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

I've put the draft up on the wiki and made a few tweaks based on
comments received so far:

I'd encouraged anyone interested to help improve this statement.


> Juergen

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