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From Fernando Cassia <>
Subject Re: StarOffice (was RE: users Digest 28 Nov 2012 19:50:51 -0000 Issue 232)
Date Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:27:40 GMT
On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM, M Henri Day <> wrote:

> hat «After OO.o had lost half its devs (that´s my
> estimate)... » But of course, I don't expect to be in complete agreement
> with someone who applauds that kindly open source supporter Lawrence Joseph
> Ellison's action in, as you put it, giving TDF the finger.

Hey, I´m an outside observer, just annoyed to see StarOffice disappear, and
I tend to agree with Shuttleworth´s comment wrt "there´s a lot of
ideological claptrap" in the FOSS world, and applaud anyone who puts
development dollars and manpower into FOSS, including Oracle (which is
doing a fine job with OpenJDK, alongside IBM, Apple, Twitter, Red Hat and
others), Netbeans, Glassfish, Virtualbox, and most of the former Sun FOSS

As an end user, I was annoyed, and perhas TDF´s actions were full of good
intentions, but their execution in the process was doomed to failure - as
anyone who thinks he can strong-arm Ellison into a given decision-...
certailinly ´inviting´ a company to "join them" after jumping ship and lots
of press reports telling the firm doesn´t know what it is doing is naive at
best. Imagine a cruise captain facing a third of his crowd saying "OK,
enough, we´re taking the boats and saling away from this ship". Then they
call the press and after it´s been reported worldwide that "the captain
doesn´t know what he is doing", the "rebel crew" invites the captain to
join them back in their sailing... ludicrous... straight from the Saddam
Hussein school of diplomacy.

Of course, if I was paranoid I´d say that what was probably behind was a
mix of 1. a handful upset Sun employees after being fired from Oracle as
their positions were redundant, and 2. some outside force that wanted for a
long time to wrestle control of the project away from ORCL... but I have no
hard proof to say that... just theories.

In any case, like Shuttleworth says, the split did more damage than good. I
know that many corporations didn´t like the idea of using "freeware" (as
the Windows-centered suits see it) like, but would rather be
convinced to buy a "boxed" product with "formal support" like StarOffice
was. All that StarOffice beach head was lost and that market share is
likely now back in the hands of Microsoft...


PS: At one point I managed to download and install the Oracle update from
StarOffice 9.1 to "Oracle Open Office" (based on OO.o 3.3 I believe, or
perhaps 3.2?), it came with a lot of filters for Oracle and third party
products, surely developed at ORCL, that weren´t part of OO.o. That hardly
seems to me like "pretty much nothing was happening".

PS2: I should have said "one third to a half", as I don´t have an exact
timeline, I have only access to outside press reports and a few e-mail
exchanges with former Sun people and a NYT tech hack. What is sure for me
is that many OO devs where still at ORCL when the mainstream IT press -most
notably IDG- was still trumpeting the fork and "exodus".

During times of Universal Deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary
- George Orwell

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