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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: Putting Windows First ( was RE: null)
Date Wed, 13 Jul 2016 17:38:41 GMT


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Damjan Jovanovic [mailto:damjan@apache.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 00:31
> To: Apache OO <dev@openoffice.apache.org>; Dennis Hamilton
> <dennis.hamilton@acm.org>
> Subject: Re: Putting Windows First ( was RE: null)
> 
> On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 4:17 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
> <dennis.hamilton@acm.org
> > wrote:
> 
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Hammam Alyamani [mailto:hammam@fastmail.com]
> > > Sent: Monday, July 11, 2016 00:36
> > > To: dev@openoffice.apache.org
> > > Subject: Spam (11.853):null
> > >
> > > Hello There
> > >
> > > How is everyone is doing? I hope you are all good.
> > >
> > > I have a suggestion, since there is a dedicated Mac OS version of
> > > OpenOffuce called NeoOffice, and since everyone is just switching to
> > > LibreOffice because it's where everyone is at now, why not you
> dedicate
> > > Apache OpenOffice fo work on windows exclusivley?!
> > [orcmid]
> >
> > I assume you were referring to the fact that LibreOffice has very
> > successful take-up as part of Linux distributions.
> >
> > With regard to where Apache OpenOffice appeals, the following recent
> > report is useful for consideration:
> >
> >    For the eight months since release of AOO 4.1.2 through 2016-06-30,
> >    there are 29 million downloads, averaging about 850,000 per week
> down
> >    to about 600,000 as we enter North American Summer in the last
> week.
> >    Platform take-up is relatively constant:
> >
> >    87.5% for Windows,
> >     7.8% for Macintosh, and
> >     4.7% for all other distributions
> >
> > So, if one gave priority to the community where AOO has the most
> reach,
> > your suggestion is not out of line.
> >
> > There is a conflict with the allegiance, interests, and skills of the
> AOO
> > developers though.  That essentially turns the above list on its head.
> The
> > way AOO is constructed reflects that emphasis.
> >
> > Suppose (1) There are enough developers having the capacity,
> capability,
> > availability, and will to pair the Apache OpenOffice code base down to
> one
> > devoted to modern Windows operation.  Then (2) that would probably
> have to
> > happen outside of the Apache OpenOffice project.  The same goes for
> making
> > an Apache OpenOffice that is completely a Java application.
> >
> >
> Can't we drop support for any operating system though a vote?
[orcmid] 

Yes, the Apache OpenOffice Project could resolve a couple of 
things, such as

 1. To stop providing binaries for particular platforms

 2. To stop providing binaries and language tools for 
    particular localizations

This could be done by [PROPOSAL] on this list with adequate 
time to determine lazy consensus.

I suspect it would be difficult to achieve consensus.  There
could be a subsequent [VOTE] if it appeared that there could be
sufficient agreement in the community.  Even though only PMC
votes would be binding, the nature and extent of -1 votes has
to be given serious consideration.

> 
> Also how would this generalize to a Java version?
[orcmid] 

There can certainly be (2) a fork that morphs the codebase of the fork into a Java version.
 There would still be the issues of (1) above.  I think that would in essence be a new product.
 It might better serve multiple platforms but it is a significant effort and I don't think
it can be a drop-in replacement for Apache OpenOffice in any practical time frame, if ever.
 So it would have to mature separately.  That also separates the risk of barriers to successful
creation of something like an AOO4Java.  (I have difficulty imagining that we could successfully
suspend releases for the current binaries and move to Java directly and agreement to do that
is likely even more difficult than dropping support for a popular platform.)

> 
> By the way, AOO code and build process are very *nix-centric, leading to
> Windows being such a pain to develop for, that we would gain more by
> dropping Windows support, than by dropping all other platforms ;-).
[orcmid] 

Yes.  I already made the point that, from the perspective of developers, development of Windows
is very contorted and development for Linux is a pleasure.  It was done that way for the convenience
of Linux-oriented developers.  It creates an awful on-ramp for cultivation of new developers.

The question: How does ceasing support for Windows serve the 87% of our current user base?
 The technical act is within the power of the PMC to determine, and release managers could
force the outcome. In my estimation, the consequences would be quite terrible.

We may be "stuck between a rock and a hard place."
> 
> Damjan


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