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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject [DISCUSS] What Would OpenOffice Retirement Involve? (long)
Date Thu, 01 Sep 2016 23:37:00 GMT
Here is what a careful retirement of Apache OpenOffice could look like.

              A. PERSPECTIVE
                 1. Code Base
                 3. Development Support
                 4. Public-Project Community Interfaces
                 5. Social Media Presence
                 6. Project Management Committee
                 7. Branding


I have regularly observed that the Apache OpenOffice project has limited capacity for sustaining
the project in an energetic manner.  It is also my considered opinion that there is no ready
supply of developers who have the capacity, capability, and will to supplement the roughly
half-dozen volunteers holding the project together.  It doesn't matter what the reasons for
that might be.

The Apache Project Maturity Model,
<>, identifies
the characteristics for which an Apache project is expected to strive. 

Recently, some elements have been brought into serious question:

 QU20: The project puts a very high priority on producing secure software.
 QU50: The project strives to respond to documented bug reports in a timely manner.

There is also a litmus test which is kind of a red line.  That is for the project to have
a PMC capable of producing releases.  That means that there are at least three available PMC
members capable of building a functioning binary from a release-candidate archive, and who
do so in providing binding votes to approve the release of that code.  

In the case of Apache OpenOffice, needing to disclose security vulnerabilities for which there
is no mitigation in an update has become a serious issue.

In responses to concerns raised in June, the PMC is currently tasked by the ASF Board to account
for this inability and to provide a remedy.  An indicator of the seriousness of the Board's
concern is the PMC been requested to report to the Board every month, starting in August,
rather than quarterly, the normal case.  One option for remedy that must be considered is
retirement of the project.  The request is for the PMC's consideration among other possible
options.  The Board has not ordered a solution. 

I cannot prediction how this will all work out.  It is remiss of me not to point out that
retirement of the project is a serious possibility.

There are those who fear that discussing retirement can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 My concern is that the project could end with a bang or a whimper.  My interest is in seeing
any retirement happen gracefully.  That means we need to consider it as a contingency.  For
contingency plans, no time is a good time, but earlier is always better than later.


Here is a provisional list of all elements that would have to be addressed, over a period
of time, as part of any retirement effort.   

In order to understand what would have had to happen in a graceful process, the assumption
below is that the project has already retired.
Requests for additions and adjustments to this compilation are welcome.


    1.1 The Apache OpenOffice Subversion repository where code is maintained has been moved
to "The Attic."  Apache Attic is an actual project, <>.  The
source code would remain
available and could be checked-out from Subversion by anyone interested in making use of it.
 There is no means of committing changes.

    1.2 Apache Externals/Extras consists of external libraries that are relied upon by the
source code but are not part of the source code.  These were housed on SourceForge and elsewhere.
 (a) They might have been archived in conjunction with the SVN (1.1).  (b) They might be identified
in a way that someone attempting to build from source later on would be able to work with
later versions of the external dependencies.  There are additional external dependencies that
might have become obsolete.

    1.3 Build Dependencies/Tool Chains.  The actual construction of the released binaries
depends on particular versions of specific tools that are used for carrying out builds of
binaries from the source.  The dependencies as they last were used are identified in a historical
location.  Some of the tools and their use become obsolete over time.

    1.4 GitHub Mirror.  For the GitHub Mirror of the Apache OpenOffice SVN (a) pull requests
are not accepted.  (b) Continuation of the presence of the GitHub repository might be shut
down at some point depending on GitHub policy and ASF support.


    2.1 The source code releases, patches, and installable binaries are all retained in the
archive system that is already maintained.  There are no further additions.

    2.2 The downloading of full releases is supported on the SourceForge mirroring system.
 There are no new downloads.  How long until SourceForge retires its support for downloads
is not predictable (and see 4.3).  

    2.3 The Apache OpenOffice Extensions and Templates system is an independent arrangement
hosted and curated on SourceForge.  Whether and how long the download service is preserved
by SourceForge is not predictable.

    2.4 The mechanism for announcing updates to installed versions of OpenOffice binaries
is adjusted to indicate that (a) particular versions are no longer supported.  (b) For the
latest distribution(s), there may be advice to users about investigating still-supported alternatives.


    3.1 The Apache OpenOffice Bugzilla is mirrored in The Attic.  The Bugzilla is read-only
and preserved for historical purposes.

    3.2 The Pootle materials used for the development of localizations are exported and archived.

    3.3 The Confluence Wiki operated by the project is preserved in a read-only state:<>.

    3.4 The commits@ and issues@ mailing lists are shut down although archived.


    4.1 All public discussion mailing lists are shut down.  They are all archived and accessible
from The Attic.  

    4.2 The dev@ list was the last to shut down, having been used during orchestration of
the retirement.

    4.3 The site is static and uneditable.  The CMS functions for contribution
to the site are disabled.  Over the course of retirement, key pages of the site were updated
to reflect the retirement activity and to eventually end some of the functions, such as information
on how to contribute, how to obtain the software, how to obtain help, branding requirements,

    4.4 The Wikimedia subsite of is read-only and static.  No contributions
or edits can be made.  At some point, the Wikimedia server will need to be shut down and (a)
the server is shutdown/moved with indicating that the wiki is unavailable.
 (b) Only a static form of the pages is provided. (c) Alternative hosting and rebranding is

    4.5 The OpenOffice Community Forums were semi-autonomous.  (a) The server is retired.
 (b) The site is rehosted and rebranded by agreement with the Apache OpenOffice project and
the ASF.  


    5.1 The Apache Planet OpenOffice Blog is terminated with the announcement that Retirement
is complete.

    5.2 The Twitter account is terminated.

    5.3 Any Facebook page under control of the project is closed.

    5.4 The announce@ list is terminated and archived with the announcement of Retirement


    6.1 With completion of the retirement, the private@ and security@ lists
were shutdown (although archived as are all such lists).

    6.2 The Project Management Committee is disbanded and the Chair is relieved.

    6.3 There is no longer any identified operation for continuation of the project except
as specified for The Attic.


    7.1 With the cessation of releases, it is made widely known that official releases other
than the last ones provided by the project are not the work of Apache OpenOffice and any claimed
association, justification for charge of fees and for carrying of advertising are not in support
of the Apache OpenOffice project.  This notification will also be made to those organizations
that carry offerings to the contrary (e.g., eBay).

    7.2 There is no point of contact, other than branding@, for request to make
use of the brands.

    7.3 There is no active attention to preservation of the trademarks related to Apache OpenOffice.
 (a) Inappropriate use of Apache and its symbols in names of offerings will be defended when
brought to the attention of branding@.  (b) Uses of OpenOffice, Open Office,
and other similarities without attribution to Apache are not addressed.

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