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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Next steps for Symphony and AOO
Date Tue, 12 Jun 2012 03:24:23 GMT
Predictably, I prefer approach I on first principles: 
Never derail the train that's running.

>From that perspective, there's all of this:
 - All of the developers and many testers and others know 
   how to build AOO 3.4.0 including people who are working 
   from the source tarball and the folks working on LibreOffice 
   and other co-dependents as well
 - the current community includes those who build special 
   distros (of OOo and LO), provide QA that serves all of us, 
 - There is still IP clearance to be done on the Symphony 
   contribution bits and that can be worked through selectively
   as staging of features/fixes before merging to the SVN trunk.
 - Alignment of the symphony code can be done off-trunk with 
   merging of selected features and fixes on an iterative basis 
   accompanied by testing of various kinds and localized attention 
   to build breakers and other potential regressions.
 - There is an abundance of bug reports and analysis based on 
   the current lineage. 
 - All of the documentation, forum contributions, MediaWiki 
   and user lists are currently oriented around the OOo-lineage 
   and they need to be morphed in a progressive way, not a sudden
 - Users and others may like new features but for many sudden 
   switches are unsettling
 - Plan II could end up with us having to maintain OOo-lineage releases
   and Symphony-merged releases concurrently.  That is a frightening 
   prospect.  It is like forking ourselves and maintaining both forks.
 - Then there's the localizations, etc. that would crash against the
   forked support, etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Weir [] 
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 18:08
Subject: Next steps for Symphony and AOO

As we wait [0] for the Symphony [1] code to be loaded into Subversion
I think it would be good to start a discussion on "next steps" of how
we can make best use of this contribution.

Hopefully you've had time to review the list of features on the wiki
[2], install one of the binaries [3] , or maybe even download the
source [4] and try to build it [5].

As will see by your examination, the Symphony code base has co-evolved
with for several years now, and continued to co-evolve
with Apache OpenOffice even recently.  Symphony has many features and
bug fixes that AOO lacks.  And there are areas where Symphony is
missing enhancements or bug fixes that are in OpenOffice.

Our challenge is to find the best way to bring these two code bases
together, to make the best product.

I think there are two main approaches to this problem:

I.  Merge code, from Symphony, feature by feature, into AOO, in a
prioritized order.  This is the "slow" approach, since it would take
(by the estimates I've seen) a couple of years to bring all of the
Symphony enhancements and bug fixes over to AOO.

II.  Use Symphony as the the new base, and merge (over time) AOO (and
OOo) enhancements and bug fixes into the new trunk.  This approach
quickly gives a new UI, something we could fairly call Apache
OpenOffice 4.0.  But this approach would also give us some short-term
pain.   For example, those involved in porting AOO 3.4 would need to
merge their patches into the new trunk.   We'd need to update license
headers again.  Help files and translation are done differently in
Symphony, and so on.

Looked at another way, option I is a slow, but easy path.  Option II
is a leap forward, but will be initially more work and disruption.
Evolution versus Revolution.

So let's discuss.  Please ask questions about the pro's and con's of
each approach.  The code and binaries are all posted, and my IBM
colleagues in Beijing are happy to answer your questions.









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