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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Re: AOO -> LO or MS O
Date Thu, 03 Sep 2015 14:22:15 GMT

> 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.

Besides, Mark S is not entirely bending history. There was a contingent, led by a very talented
developer formerly employed by Novell and still associated with LibreOffice, who *did* make
the lives of the Sun/Hamburg devs—or at least their boss, who was also mine—at times unpleasant.
And one of the bones of contention was Sun’s widely criticised copyright assignment policy,
which it did modify over the years. But that policy did have real consequences, despite Sun’s
choosing to deprecate them. Whether the IP policy is the primary cause of the ultimate split—that
would be a simplification and evaluating it would take more words than would stun an ox, if
printed. But the policy did little to warm the hearts and soothe the nerves of those who felt
that for all the license asserted, OOo tested the limits of what constituted open source development.
(In contrast, AOO really is open source de jure and de facto.)

The history of the radical faction, btw is scripted online and accessible via the Internet
Archives, if one wishes to look for Go-ooo and the blog entries of the primary developer working
on Go-ooo.
> Refuting the article on this list, where we all already know the story, is a good start,
but if you could turn it into an article that's less political, more practical (features,
community, timelines, and so on), that would actually help our cause. The person asking the
original question doesn't care about politics, hurt feelings, and "radical factions", I guarantee.
They want to know which product is better for them, now, and in the long term.

Your last point is the interesting one. These ancient corporate battles and community disputations
have left a torn legacy that has done exactly what any competitor of OOo would want: Divide
and Conquer. The user is left uncertain. If I were counselling any user, would I point to
AOO for its… what? support of users? UI? Templates? updates? Please. We’ve sputtered on
about an incremental release now for over a year and meanwhile, LO is at 5.0.1, which I just
downloaded. Numbers are arbitrary tokens, they mean little, we all know. But they look great.


> Thanks.
> -- 
> Rich Bowen - - @rbowen
> - @apachecon
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