openoffice-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Another introduction
Date Sun, 03 Jul 2011 13:21:59 GMT
On Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Graham Lauder <> wrote:
> Greetings all,
> My name is Graham Lauder AKA Yorick or Yo.  I've been involved with OOo
> for a number of years mainly in the marketing project but also in the
> website project.  I am somewhat responsible (some would say to blame)
> for the look of the present front page, (although I was just responsible
> for the conceptual elements, Maarten, Kay, Ivan and others did the real
> work and improved vastly on my original idea).

Welcome aboard, Graham!

> I am MarCon (Marketing Contact) for New Zealand
> and have been since 2004
> or so, (I'm not good with specific dates).
> I am a software trainer to Enterprise specialising in OOo and OSS on the
> desktop for Front Office End Users   I would like to be able to say that
> this keeps me fully occupied but unfortunately that would be a
> garnishing of the truth that would stand little scrutiny and so one must
> whore oneself at other less meaningful work in order to do the real work
> when the opportunity arises.
> Previous to OOo I was CEO/MD of my own company for 15 years, retiring in
> 2003. (I should add: a retirement which only managed to last 4 years!)
> I was ambivalent at the beginning of the the Oracle gift to Apache
> process.  I remained with OOo post the LibreOffice fork because I
> believe that the fork in the initial stages was done more for control
> than anything else and that was born out of frustration in the community
> and a distrust of Oracle's motives with regard to the future of OOo.
> Distrust that would at first, seem to have a reasonable basis given
> later actions and statements.  Then reinforced with the gift in concert
> with IBM. I also didn't think that all the avenues within the existing
> project had been exhausted sufficiently to warrant dividing the
> community.  Having said that I was not involved at the heart of the
> decision making process that led to LO so I may be incorrect in my
> assumptions and it is true that now the LO community feels they are the
> authors of their own destiny, something that they have never felt in the
> past, even under Suns time.
> However I am committed to the long term existence of OOo, thus the
> reason I put my hand up early here.
> My hope is that the reasons that the LibreOffice fork happened don't
> rear their ugly heads here.  I noted an earlier email exchange with Rob
> Weir where he was denying IBM corporate power in the project.  I would
> point out that this is a meritocracy and the currency in a meritocracy
> is time.  If IBM (or any Corporate) allows employees to contribute on
> company time then that, in a meritocracy, gifts power to the corporate
> employees and therefore to that corporate because they are unlikely to
> step off the corporate line on Company time and certainly are not going
> to do anything that could be construed as against the companies
> interests.

I'd compare the situation with OOo under Sun/Oracle, where there the
copyright was assigned to Sun, where there were reserved seats on the
Committee Council for Sun staff, where the project leads on the dev
side were almost all Sun employees.  You will not see things like this
in Apache.  Apache projects are run by a meritocracy, not by a
corporate-dominated hierarchy.  We're not going to have "leads" who
control the destiny of a component by power that has been assigned to
them by a central authority.  Power is not centralized.

Yes, time + merit does give a form of power.  But time comes in many
ways.  By employment, but also by retirement or by avocation.   I know
we have some retired engineers contributing to the project as well.
Should we deny them the ability to do so because they have a luxury of
time that we don't all have?  I don't think so.  There is competition
for an open source developer's time and attention as fierce as any
other competition in the marketplace.   I think we should be grateful
for any contribution of time we receive, big or small.

> So the question is: Will decisions be made at IBM that will translate
> into fait accompli in OOo simply because the IBM members of the
> community have been given the time to contribute to Apache, above and
> beyond those of us who can afford only a number of hours outside of work
> time?

To correct a error in your question:  IBM (or any other company) does
not make "decisions" in this project.  Employees of IBM (or any other
company) do not make "decisions" in this project.  However,
individuals of IBM (and other companies) will make contributions to
this project, and these contributions will be reviewed and accepted or
rejected, like any other contributions.

I hope that any contributions by IBM engineers will be judged purely
on their merit and not given special advantages, or disadvantages.  I
would hope that is the same is true in any Apache project, or indeed
for other open source projects like LibreOffice, where a dozen
Novell/SUSE employees do the bulk of the programming.

> Time equals power in a meritocracy.

To some extent yes.  But I would not understate the impact of quality,
innovation, experience, knowledge and even enthusiasm.

> Now having said all that, Corporate contribution is the reason I
> remained with OOo.  I have always held the belief that a project the
> size of OOo is best held in a corporate/community partnership.  SUN's
> stewardship wasn't perfect but it had a hell of a lot going for it and I
> believe it was developing further and further to more community based
> decision-making, so it's good to see the old SUN name's popping up on
> the lists.
> For the future I would like to see a reconnection with the LO people.
> LibreOffice however, will continue to grow because the community feels
> it has control and there are trust issues with IBM.  As someone remarked
> on an LO maillist:  Who stands to benefit the most from an OOo with an
> Apache License, and who stood up first waving a carefully crafted press
> release. (They took previously, under the old SISSL and contributed
> nothing back.).... so I can understand the suspicion.
> We in the OOo community have swallowed the bitter pill where a
> benevolent organisation is corrupted by a corporate to their own ends,
> all within that organisations rules. I hope it doesn't happen here.
> However I view the future with a positive outlook and I look forward to
> this new iteration of OOo and will do everything possible to aid in it's
> growth.

You have quite a list of concerns, Graham.  I hope you will agree that
debating them will achieve nothing, and that the best way to allay
these concerns is to move forward and demonstrate good acts and even
better results.


> Cheers
> GL
> --
> Graham Lauder,
> MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ
> Migration and training Consultant.
> .

View raw message