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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Re: AOO -> LO or MS O
Date Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:56:31 GMT

> On 03 Sep 15, at 12:33, Kay Schenk <> wrote:
> On 09/03/2015 07:22 AM, Louis Suárez-Potts wrote:
>>> On 03 Sep 15, at 09:54, Rich Bowen <> wrote:
>>> On 09/03/2015 08:33 AM, Fernando Cassia wrote:
>>>> "After LibreOffice came out, Oracle released one version of
>>>> Oracle Open Office before deciding that the project wasn’t worth
>>>> the effort 
>>>> <>.
> It laid off the programmers and gave the code and trademarks to the Apache
>>>> Software Foundation, under Apache’s liberal open source
>>>> license."
>>>> That's one version of events. Another version of events is this. 
>>>> "Shuttleworth has a fairly serious disagreement with how the 
>>>> split came about. He said that Sun
>>>> made a $100 million "gift" to the community when it opened up the
>>>> OpenOffice code. But a "radical faction" made the lives of the
>>>> OpenOffice developers "hell" by refusing to contribute code under
>>>> the Sun agreement. That eventually led to the split, but
>>>> furthermore led Oracle to finally decide to stop OpenOffice 
>>>> development and lay off 100 employees."
>>>> That's different from "deciding it was not worth the effort".
>>>> Why the FUD on a dev list, anyway?
>>> It's not FUD. It's a link to an article.
>>> What would be awesome is if someone would write a counterpoint,
>>> which is non-confrontational, non-rageful, non-hateful, and
>>> non-reactionary, but just calmly presenting the reasons why someone
>>> might want to stay on OpenOffice.
>> Write to the Guardian? I would do it, would love to do it, and clear
>> up issues. But I’m one of the *last* people who could do it, as I was
>> so involved in the project, from its inception to … now.
> I would think this would make you one of the best people to do it!
But I like to believe I’m unbiased, and school myself in ways that hide from myself me.
And I’ld like to think that letters to the editor, esp. to the Guardian, which I rather
admire, ought to be impartial. (Note, impartial is not the same as unbiased.) I’m partial.

But I also have another problem. This one is a particularly deep one. It has to do with the
value of AOO for *users* if not *developers*. 

Bluntly: What is the value of AOO to users? What claim do we have over LO to *users*? 

I’ve been trying out LO now for some time, comparing it to AOO, looking at its UI, seeing
what templates, etc. they have that we don’t. Frankly, both our ecosystems are wanting.
They once were better, they once certainly promised more, they now languish. 

But if I’m a naive user, or even a company wanting support, what options do we offer? And
say that I, as a company, want some special features. What extensions outreach do we have?
What are we doing to make the community interesting? 

My challenges are not coming from a bad mood. It really has to do with looking at it from
a user’s perspective, from that of someone who just wants to write, say, or have a spreadsheet.
Once, we had good answers, good promotions. I think we still could have these. But perhaps
our efforts could be better spent devising ways to collaborate with LO and give users the
best experience we can put together. 

As to the realities of collaboration, including personalities and license? Yes. I know. I
was wounded by the TdF and felt betrayed; nor do I relish the continued journalistic bias
against us, nor the etceteras that one could add. But I think this rather something to put

Or do others on this list have a compelling reason to favour AOO over LO *for the user*? 

If so, what is it?


PS BTW my own tartly bent version of the world is framed by the question, Who benefits from
LO, esp. in Linux? A query which could also be sentenced as, Besides Ubuntu (Canonical) what
other Linux desktop and now enterprise distros are there that have anything like the same
popularity? RH? Implicitly then, collaborating with LO/TDF, putting aside animus, favours
those entities. Is that a problem? 

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