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From janI <j...@apache.org>
Subject Re: What does "supported" mean for us?
Date Mon, 07 Jan 2013 21:27:40 GMT
On 7 January 2013 21:15, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:
> > When a commercial software vendor says a configuration is "supported"
> > it means something, typically that to the extent the software license
> > includes an entitlement to support, that the vendor will provide that
> > service for that configuration.  So saying something is "supported" is
> > essentially an obligation.
> >
> > With a volunteer-run, open source project, "supported" cannot mean
> > quite the same thing.   We're not obligated, in any contractual sense,
> > to provide anyone with anything.  That's the nature of a volunteer
> > effort.
> >
>
> For comparison, I came across this page for GNU Octave, where it
> defines "Support Expectations":
> http://www.gnu.org/software/octave/support-expectations.html
>
> Maybe that is a good way to think of it, defining expectations?
>
That is much better than "support", it goes well with what the users think
and does not make the link support = obligation.

The page you refer to it well written, but in my opinion, talks to much
about donations and does not concentrate on the issue..

-Rob
>
> > However, users and organizations considering OpenOffice will naturally
> > think in terms of "support", even if they user that term loosely.  We
> > use that term as well, in our release notes, etc.  But I think we
> > ought to have a more precise definition of what we mean when we say
> > something is "supported", in order to avoid any confusion.   This
> > question has come up recently, with regards to the status of Windows
> > 8, where that OS had not been released at the time AOO 3.4.1 was
> > released.
> >
> > So here's a strawman proposal for what "supported" means for us.
> >
> > 1) "Supported" is a statement we make about a specific version of AOO
> > used with a specific platform, e.g., AOO 3.4.1 with Windows XP SP3 or
> > AOO 3.4 with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
> >
> > 2) "Supported" means we encourage use of AOO in that configuration.
> > We have high confidence that the combination is stable, that it works
> > well and is safe.
> >
> > 3) Our confidence in stating something is supported should have a
> > solid basis in testing.  Something is not "supported" by us guessing
> > it should work.  It is supported only after we have successfully
> > completed testing of that release with that platform.  We probably
> > should define exactly what level of testing is required.
> >
> > 4) "Supported" also implies that the supported configuration is
> > sufficiently available and there is sufficient expertise that we have
> > confidence that users will have a high quality experience seeking
> > support on the forums and user list.
> >
> > 5) "Supported" also implies that we stand behind that release and will
> > take necessary steps to correct *critical* bugs, especially security
> > flaws, via rapidly produced point releases where necessary.
> >
> > Note that these are all expectations that a user might have, though
> > any given user might think that "supported" means only a subset of
> > these.
> >
> > What we probably really need is more of a lifecycle statement,
> > including when support for a configuration ends.
> >
> > -Rob
>

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