Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

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Norbert Thiebaud Norbert Thiebaud
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

Ian Lynch wrote
On 5 June 2011 14:10, todd rme <[hidden email]> wrote:

If that means using some licenses that are
less than ideal from a philosophy point of view then so be it.
That argument cut both way... except that apparently in your model, 'philosophies' or more exactly 'principles'
should be dropped for the 'greater good' as long as these are not _your_ principles.

and as a side note...

* I find it extremely arrogant and insulting for a project that hasn't even built anything yet to self-proclaim itself as 'upstream'.

* I find the argument: 'it's not our fault, Oracle made us do it by releasing they code under AL2" very unconvincing.
I feel it is like saying.. well Joe offered me that present wrapped in my favorite color... it was a loaded gun without safety... what else could I do but start shooting ? You're entitled to do as you want... but this attempt to wash your hand of any responsibility for the consequences of your actions... and even better to preemptively point a finger to the group that has been working very hard to get that stick out of the proverbial mud it was in, is - how to I put that nicely - objectionable...

Norbert

PS: when I use 'you' above, I don't mean necessarily _you_ personally, but _you_ as in the group that promote this move.
Mike  Dupont Mike Dupont
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 6:16 AM, Norbert Thiebaud <[hidden email]> wrote:
> * I find it extremely arrogant and insulting for a project that hasn't even
> built anything yet to self-proclaim itself as 'upstream'.

What project is that please? I am confused.
thanks
mike

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Norbert Thiebaud Norbert Thiebaud
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

Mike Dupont wrote
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 6:16 AM, Norbert Thiebaud <[hidden email]> wrote:
> * I find it extremely arrogant and insulting for a project that hasn't even
> built anything yet to self-proclaim itself as 'upstream'.

What project is that please? I am confused.
http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-general/201106.mbox/%3C4DEC4BC8.1020405@oracle.com%3E

https://mail.google.com/mail/#search/upstream/13056acd1bbf2172

http://www.robweir.com/blog/2011/06/apache-openoffice.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+robweir%2Fantic-atom+%28Rob+Weir%3A+An+Antic+Disposition%29#comment-18831

just to give few examples...

Norbert
Greg Stein Greg Stein
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Norbert Thiebaud
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 00:16, Norbert Thiebaud <[hidden email]> wrote:
>...
> * I find it extremely arrogant and insulting for a project that hasn't even
> built anything yet to self-proclaim itself as 'upstream'.

People are trying to find ways to collaborate. Due to restrictions
around code adoption due to licensing, the Apache codebase naturally
becomes an upstream source. It isn't a proclamation, but a hope.

But hey... nobody is *forcing* another into anything. So I find your
attitude strange.

The overall community is going to move forward and develop. I think it
is a great thing to see people trying to look forward to what that
means.

Cheers,
-g

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Gianluca Turconi-4 Gianluca Turconi-4
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RE: Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by André Schnabel
2011/6/5 André Schnabel <[hidden email]>

> Hi,
>
>
> Am 04.06.2011 18:41, schrieb Ian Lynch:
>
>> On 4 June 2011 17:29, Gianluca Turconi<[hidden email]
>> >wrote:
>>
>>> Is it sure there will be a *product*?
>>>
>>>  I think IBM need it for symphony so on those grounds alone I'd say there
>> will be code licensed so that it can be used in that product as a minimum.
>>
>
>
> Let me rephrase to: "Will there be a product named OpenOffice.org?"
>
> I cannot answer, but as Gianluca mentioned Apache is more about a project,
> not a product.  And considering the OOo dependencies to copyleft components,
> it will be quite a lot of work to get something that can be called "product"
> and behaves like OpenOffice.org.
>
> It is obvious that there will be a product called "Symphony" .. but
> "OpenOffice.org"?


This is a core point of this discussion.

I may not contribute to Apache OOo because I don't share their respectful
goals, but I may promote and market a "Apache OpenOffice.org" product as far
as it's open source and a *complete*, good software.

I'm not talking about "philosophies" or "license", but rather about what
approach to the market this Apache project will have.

Regards,

Gianluca
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toki toki
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Jim Jagielski
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On 05/06/2011 15:25, Jim Jagielski wrote:

> now options open and available to LOo and OOo that, until
> a week ago did not exist. Maybe some of those long-term

The major, if not only option is that one can now contribute code
directly to IBM, which will use it in a closed source, propriety
product.  And you can do this without being an IBM employee.

_The Apache Foundation_ is simply being set up by IBM as the fall guy,
for when it (IBM) gets tired of supporting Apache OpenOffice.

jonathon
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Simos Xenitellis Simos Xenitellis
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Jim Jagielski
On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 6:00 PM, Jim Jagielski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Jun 5, 2011, at 10:15 AM, Simos Xenitellis wrote:
>
>> What can the Apache Foundation provide to OpenOffice?
>> 1. You start with zero community and you alienate the LibreOffice community.
>
> I would submit that "zero" community is somewhat of an understatement.

You start with a zero "OpenOffice" community. The Apache Foundation had
no prior involvement in the development of OpenOffice.org due to the license
not being permissive.

> As far as alienation, if the LOo community feels alienated, and I'm
> not saying that they don't have every right to, why is it directed to the
> ASF which never sought this donation, and from the get-go has tried to pull
> in the LOo organization?
>

It's actually LibreOffice (LO).
Whether the ASF tried or not to pull in the TDF, or how well it tried,
is something that I do not know.
Apparently, these are private discussions between the two organisations.

From what has been alluded to on the other mailing lists, apparently
Oracle wanted to transfer
the full copyrights of OpenOffice.org to the ASF. For a donation that
the ASF never sought,
it would have been ideal to accept the donation and then transfer the
full copyrights to the TDF.

>> 2. You will start building a community at some point in the future in
>> some unknown way.
>
> Please read the various posts and sites regarding the Apache Incubator
> which describes how this is done, and has been done, quite successfully,
> for loads of projects.
>

You are talking about how to build a smallish group of developers.
This office suite requires a bigger community, including support network,
localisation, usability and testing teams.

>> 3. You are developers and can currently only deal with developer needs.
>
> We are users and developers. Anyone with even a rudimentary awareness
> of the ASF and how ASF projects work should realize that. In fact,
> the very 1st ASF project, the httpd server, should clearly indicate that
> it was as *users* that we used our developer skills to keep the project
> going.
>

The most well-known Apache project has a single user support mailing
that dropped to about 350 mails per month.
The ASF does not do software like office suites that end-users will
use on a daily basis.
Perhaps a library or non-GUI elements of an office suite, but not the GUI.

>> 4. Your infrastructure is based on Subversion (SVN) which will make it
>> difficult
>> for other to share code. Git is not even in the immediate plans.
>
> git is currently being investigated. svn allows others to share code.
>

It was said in the incubator list that it would take several months before
a DVCS is selected, and apparently it's open whether it will be git or
something else.
LibreOffice did the hard work converting into Git and cleaning up.
So, the ASF plans to do the whole work again from scratch, not now
but in several months in the future.
How can you merge patches between the two repositories if you have to deal
with minor changes due to the different cleanup (will ASF cleanup the OOo code)?

An office suite is of great interest to governments around the world.
They would
want to start their clones of the code and contribute. How would they deal with
the ASF version of the code?

What about ASF developer training to start using a DVCS?
Those IBM Lotus Symphony developers, do they use internally a DVCS?
Do they have experience working with the community? Because several Sun/Oracle
engineers did not have such training.

>> 5. You are happy to get going with 20-30 core developers.
>
> And why not?
>

Because an office suite is of great interest to governments and organisations
around the world. You would want to attract developers from around the world.
The IBM Lotus Symphony developers apparently are around or over 20 (is it?).
How is developer diversity going to work?

>> 6. The Apache Foundation hosts over 150 projects and I fail to see
>> any important user-centric software like OpenOffice.
>
> Agreed, if by "user" you mean "desktop end user." And the ASF has
> been quite upfront in saying that this is an area where TDF has
> some clear areas to provide insight/help/guidance, etc...
>
>>
>> The essential need for the Apache Foundation involvement in this appears to be
>> so that IBM can continue to offer a proprietary product, IBM Lotus Symphony,
>> License Agreement at http://pastebin.com/uqbUTRg5
>>
>
> No, the essential need is that Oracle wanted someplace with a
> proven track record to donate the code to so they could then
> be rid of it. The essential need to the community is an open,
> well-established entity that is (hopefully) able to help the
> entire community to cooperate and collaborate on such an important
> piece of FOSS code as OOo.
>

The whole community is behind the TDF and LibreOffice.
Apache OpenOffice is starting from scratch, and has to do lots
of work to catch up, work that has already been done in LibreOffice.
The process to empower new developers has started, and there are
numerous people that did their first commit. This is growth potential.

If I were to speculate, the choice for the ASF would be that
1. it's permissive
2. it's IBM dominated

>> Is IBM is trying to replicate what Sun/Oracle had with StarOffice,
>> putting just enough resources
>> for their own needs in order to ship their product?
>>
>
> One could ask the same of Novell, but in any case that is
> immaterial to the point. By building a healthy community around
> the project, what IBM/Novell/Foobar "tries" to do is moot.
>

LibreOffice is copyleft, so it's only IBM in the picture.

If IBM has no interest in a proprietary, closed-source office suite,
then there is nothing that keeps them from joining the TDF and LibreOffice.
They would get a fully localised package in many languages,
support groups that help users in using the software.
Git repositories are ready, user groups around the world are waiting
to help end-users.

>> The Linux kernel is an amazing piece of software that it used in 92%
>> of Top500 supercomputers,
>> all sort of servers, mobile phones, most TVs and routers.
>> And still, there is a single Linux kernel project thanks to the
>> copyleft license.
>> Everyone works on Linux because they cannot keep away their own contributions;
>> they have to share them with the community.
>> Even the ARM architecture, where each ARM licensee went their own way,
>> is going to get its cleanup.
>> Because the code for all of them is already in the Linux kernel repository.
>
> One could point to the success of AL codebases in the same way.
> Ideological stances on licenses have a tendency to get in the way.
>

The issue of not fragmenting the developer community is a pragmatic one.
With a permissive license, and a huge interest around the world for an
office suite,
it is more likely than not that fragmentation will take place.
IBM Lotus Symphony is one such example.

>>
>> IBM makes money out of Linux by providing services. And IBM is even a
>> top contributor to the Linux kernel.
>> Would IBM hypothetically prefer to have the Linux kernel developed
>> under the Apache Foundation?
>>
>
> immaterial.
>
>> OO/LO are in this critical point where they can repeat the Linux
>> copyleft success story
>> and help ODF dominate the document formats.
>>
>
> Even FSF admits that when there are competing "standards", a AL license
> is the best choice, even compared to a copyleft one.
>

Let's read the document you cite,
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-recommendations.html

A permissive license is recommended/suggested in two cases, when
a. «very small projects»
b. «projects that implement free standards that are competing against
proprietary standards,
such as Ogg Vorbis (which competes against MP3 audio) and WebM (which
competes against MPEG-4 video)»

I cannot fit OpenOffice in any of these criteria.

>> OO/LO is a complicated piece of code and will probably require big
>> architectural changes.
>> Having an Apache OpenOffice and a LibreOffice will slow down progress
>> in major changes.
>
>
> One could also say that having both cooperate would greatly speed up
> progress in major changes.
>

Can you imagine cooperation? The ASF did not want OpenOffice in the first place,
the ASF cannot accept copyleft code even in these extreme circumstances,
the ASF will take time to get a DVCS (hopefully git) and retrain developers,
the ASF will start from the old OpenOffice.org sources not being able to use
the cleaned-up LibreOffice sources.

Why didn't Oracle dump OpenOffice to the FSF instead?

Simos

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toki toki
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Sam Ruby-2
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On 05/06/2011 10:48, Sam Ruby wrote:

> of the code that they are willing to share the burden of maintenance
 with the larger community.

You do realize that IBM will _NOT_ contribute any code to Apache
OpenOffice don't be.

I have to wonder where the incubation proposal imagines coders will be
coming from.  Granted, you have 100 odd "contributors" listed.  How many
of them have contributed a single line of code to OOo, LibO, or any of
the other 500 plus clones/variants/forks out there?

>  If IBM, for example, has a proprietary value add they should not be
able to block somebody else from contributing substantially similar

_IF_.  What do you mean _IF_?  You know dam well that IBM will do just
that. If you can't see that happening on general@incubator, then you
need to start reading that list, paying attention to what IBM is saying
that they will do.

jonathon
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Ian Lynch Ian Lynch
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Norbert Thiebaud
On 6 June 2011 05:16, Norbert Thiebaud <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Ian Lynch wrote:
> >
> > On 5 June 2011 14:10, todd rme &lt;[hidden email]&gt; wrote:
> >
> > If that means using some licenses that are
> > less than ideal from a philosophy point of view then so be it.
> >
>
> That argument cut both way... except that apparently in your model,
> 'philosophies' or more exactly 'principles'
>

It's not a model, its about how different individuals will look at things in
a complex situation.


> should be dropped for the 'greater good' as long as these are not _your_
> principles.
>

I'm not asking anyone to change their principles or drop anything. Maybe it
is a language thing, I'm saying that this inevitably happens.  It is a
complex situation and some people (not necessarily you) might not be aware
of all the possible consequences of particular actions. I'm not, I like
everyone is making best guesses. Discussion and trying out ideas can help.
It is entirely up to you to decide your own course of action.

and as a side note...
>
> * I find it extremely arrogant and insulting for a project that hasn't even
> built anything yet to self-proclaim itself as 'upstream'.
>

I'm not a member of ASF. I can see that a consequence of their license
compared to the LGPL means they would have to be upstream in a shared code
relationship. Its just a simple practical consequence of the licenses. If
TDF contributors decide they don't want that there will likely end up 2
divergent code bases. That is why I say there is a dilemma. Ok, ASF might
vote no to the code going into the incubator but then there is a risk that
Oracle gives the code to someone else, possibly TDF but I wouldn't bet my
house on that. It may well end up somewhere a lot more damaging to LO.

* I find the argument: 'it's not our fault, Oracle made us do it by
> releasing they code under AL2" very unconvincing.

I feel it is like saying.. well Joe offered me that present wrapped in my
> favorite color... it was a loaded gun without safety... what else could I
> do
> but start shooting ? You're entitled to do as you want... but this attempt
> to wash your hand of any responsibility for the consequences of your
> actions...


I have to reiterate, I'm an OOo community member not an Apache member. I'm
not personally washing my hands of anything, I'm trying to work out the
least bad option in a complicated situation. I might be wrong but it seems
to me that whatever happens there is likely to be an OOo Apache project and
if there isn't, there is high risk of something much more damaging. You and
others might see it differently. That's politics.


> and even better to preemptively point a finger to the group that
> has been working very hard to get that stick out of the proverbial mud it
> was in, is - how to I put that nicely - objectionable...
>
> Norbert
>
> PS: when I use 'you' above, I don't mean necessarily _you_ personally, but
> _you_ as in the group that promote this move.
>

I'm not particularly promoting the move, I think that it is probably
inevitable and given that this is beyond my control what is the best that
can be done to keep a strong FOSS office product. To me that and such a
products support of odf is the most important consideration. Others might
have different priorities.

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toki toki
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Jim Jagielski
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On 05/06/2011 15:00, Jim Jagielski wrote:

> A formal, legal foundation. The ASF is a recognized 501(c)3, non-

TDF might not have 501(c)(3) status, but then consider that it is
incorporated in Germany, not the United States.

More pointedly, the barriers to forming the equivalent to a 501(c)(3)
organization in Germany are somewhat higher than in the United States.

> why is it directed to the ASF which never sought this donation,

The honourable, ethical, and moral thing for the Apache Software
Foundation would have been to tell Oracle that if it wants to donate the
code, it needs to discuss doing so with the OOo community _before_ the fact.

> and from the get-go has tried to pull in the LOo organization?

Very simple, Tell Oracle that The Apache Foudnation is the wrong place,
and that you don't appreciate being bullied by IBM.  Then tell Oracle
that it needs to donate the code to _The Document Foundation_.

> which describes how this is done, and has been done, quite successfully,
for loads of projects.

None of which are for end users that wouldn't know the difference
between a "repeat ... until" loop, and a while loop.

> We are users and developers. Anyone with even a rudimentary awareness

Your current "users" are people in IT.  Not Joe Sixpack that wouldn't
know the difference between a C# wrapper for Java, and something they
drank watching a football game.

> been quite upfront in saying that this is an area where TDF has
some clear areas to provide insight/help/guidance, etc...

First, _The Apache Foundation_ needs to decide what they want to do with
the code.

If it really intends to create a program "Apache OpenOffice.org" that
joe sixpack can run on its desktop, then the Apache Foundation has to
throw away its current modus operandi, and learn how to deliver
pre-compiled binaries on ten different operating systems, running on
roughly twenty different chips.

./configure
make
make compile
make test
make clean
does not constitute delivering a pre-compiled binary.

That works for Apache, because people that setup Apache usually know
basic coding principles. (Indeed, The Apache Foundation prides itself on
not delivering pre-compiled binaries.)

> No, the essential need is that Oracle wanted someplace with a
proven track record to donate the code to so they could then

The Mozilla Foundation would have been a better fit --- except for the
little item that IBM can't grab the code, and incorporate it in their
closed source, proprietary software. And that last point is the _ONLY_
reason why The Apache Foundation is being dumped with it. And both
Oracle and IBM have made The Apache Foundation the patsy.

> The essential need to the community is an open, well-established entity that is (hopefully) able to help the
entire community to cooperate and collaborate on such an important piece
of FOSS code as OOo.

The last count I had, was 110 localizations of OOo. Roughly thirty five
were from Sun/Oracle. The rest from the community. A community that
didn't always work with Sun/Oracle.

Can Apache provide the infrastructure for that? (If The Apache
Foundation is relying on what Oracle provides, then the answer is "NO".)

That is just one trivial, simple thing, Even before one gets into
cultural differences. (Do you know why it is an insult to praise the
vietnamese developers, but not the american developers?)

How about the OOo education project, with two official forks of OOo
(OOOLight, and OOo4Kids), and one or two other unofficial forks?

Or the Japanese Macro? When standard code is simply not good enough.

Then there is the more obscure. Code from Korea, or for Korean needs to
go through legal, before it can be accepted. Do you understand why LibO
does not need that same legal review? Do you know which countries,
languages, and locales require that legal review?

> Even FSF admits that when there are competing "standards", a AL license
 is the best choice, even compared to a copyleft one.

FSF is referring to the glue there. Not the delivered product that is
found on Joe Sixpack's desktop.

jonathon
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Jim Jagielski Jim Jagielski
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice


On Jun 6, 2011, at 5:37 AM, toki wrote:

I am sure that the concept of the ASF being "bullied by" IBM
or being the "pawn" of IBM sounds attractive and makes for
compelling tweets.

The fact is that it's not true, any more so than TDF is a
pawn of Novell for example.

I am not replying in this case to 'jonathon'; it is obvious
that his mind is made up, whether based on reality or not.
My reply is instead offered to those who are really curious
about things, people whose minds are not closed by conspiracies
and fantasies and pure ideological viewpoints.

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toki toki
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
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On 06/06/2011 13:25, Jim Jagielski wrote:
> that his mind is made up, whether based on reality or not.

The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
The Apache Foundation to take the project.

jonathon
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Jim Jagielski Jim Jagielski
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice


On Jun 6, 2011, at 11:56 AM, toki wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On 06/06/2011 13:25, Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> that his mind is made up, whether based on reality or not.
>
> The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
> crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
> The Apache Foundation to take the project.
>

How?

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Italo Vignoli-2 Italo Vignoli-2
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by toki
On 6/6/11 5:56 PM, toki wrote:

> The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
> crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
> The Apache Foundation to take the project.

Wearing my TDF hat, I kindly ask all TDF members and supporters to
refrain from disseminating false perceptions about ASF on TDF mailing
lists and other web properties. We share with ASF many principles about
openness and transparency, and we should cooperate in improving the free
software environment and not in poisoning it.

If someone perceives that IBM employees have made statements that might
be interpreted in a negative way for ASF, I think that he should raise
the issue where it belongs (i.e. on the same mailing list in order to
help ASF management to act, if necessary).

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Florian Effenberger Florian Effenberger
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Jim Jagielski
Hi Jim,

Jim Jagielski wrote on 2011-06-06 18.06:
>> The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
>> >  crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
>> >  The Apache Foundation to take the project.
>> >
> How?

I am *not* saying you would be influenced or forced - I'd never doubt
that you are deciding independent. However, what people may give the
feeling that something's wrong are statements like these:

http://www.sutor.com/c/2011/06/some-remarks-on-openoffice-going-to-apache/comment-page-1/#comment-5309

"it is a done deal"

That might create wrong impressions...

Florian

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Greg Stein Greg Stein
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:17, Florian Effenberger
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Jim,
>
> Jim Jagielski wrote on 2011-06-06 18.06:
>>>
>>> The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
>>> >  crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
>>> >  The Apache Foundation to take the project.
>>> >
>>
>> How?
>
> I am *not* saying you would be influenced or forced - I'd never doubt that
> you are deciding independent. However, what people may give the feeling that
> something's wrong are statements like these:
>
> http://www.sutor.com/c/2011/06/some-remarks-on-openoffice-going-to-apache/comment-page-1/#comment-5309
>
> "it is a done deal"
>
> That might create wrong impressions...

I'll repeat what Jim said: how do you think IBM can force us to take
the project? Bob can say whatever he'd like on his blog.

The software grant is a "done deal". I happen to believe the proposal
will be accepted, but it is not a "done deal".

In any case... stop assuming that what *one* person says is
representative of the entire (ASF) community. That simply isn't true.

Cheers,
-g

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Florian Effenberger Florian Effenberger
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

Hi Greg,

Greg Stein wrote on 2011-06-06 18.36:
> I'll repeat what Jim said: how do you think IBM can force us to take
> the project? Bob can say whatever he'd like on his blog.

it wasn't me who stated that, so don't ask me. :-)

I stated with my previous mail that I do *not* think you are forced.
What I wanted to say is that statements like these *might* lead to
assumptions, and that's (IMHO) the reason why people make statements you
could be influenced.

> The software grant is a "done deal". I happen to believe the proposal
> will be accepted, but it is not a "done deal".

Ah, okay - so the software grant exists independent from the incubation
result?

> In any case... stop assuming that what*one*  person says is
> representative of the entire (ASF) community. That simply isn't true.

No, that wasn't my intention - sorry if it looked like that. I just
wanted to make help understand why people state things they do.

Again, I do *not* believe you are influenced. Never did so.

Florian

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Davanum Srinivas Davanum Srinivas
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Greg Stein
fwiw, Bob Sutor is not a committer or on the incubator PMC or a member
of the ASF [1]. Here's the list of folks on the incubator PMC who will
vote on the proposal [2]

[1] http://people.apache.org/committer-index.html
[2] http://people.apache.org/committers-by-project.html#incubator-pmc

On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:36 PM, Greg Stein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:17, Florian Effenberger
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Hi Jim,
>>
>> Jim Jagielski wrote on 2011-06-06 18.06:
>>>>
>>>> The reality is that IBM employees wearing their IBM hats, have made it
>>>> >  crystal clear on the general@incubator list that IBM is going to force
>>>> >  The Apache Foundation to take the project.
>>>> >
>>>
>>> How?
>>
>> I am *not* saying you would be influenced or forced - I'd never doubt that
>> you are deciding independent. However, what people may give the feeling that
>> something's wrong are statements like these:
>>
>> http://www.sutor.com/c/2011/06/some-remarks-on-openoffice-going-to-apache/comment-page-1/#comment-5309
>>
>> "it is a done deal"
>>
>> That might create wrong impressions...
>
> I'll repeat what Jim said: how do you think IBM can force us to take
> the project? Bob can say whatever he'd like on his blog.
>
> The software grant is a "done deal". I happen to believe the proposal
> will be accepted, but it is not a "done deal".
>
> In any case... stop assuming that what *one* person says is
> representative of the entire (ASF) community. That simply isn't true.
>
> Cheers,
> -g
>
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Greg Stein Greg Stein
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Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Florian Effenberger
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 12:46, Florian Effenberger
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greg Stein wrote on 2011-06-06 18.36:
>...
>> The software grant is a "done deal". I happen to believe the proposal
>> will be accepted, but it is not a "done deal".
>
> Ah, okay - so the software grant exists independent from the incubation
> result?

Yes. The software grant was recorded by the ASF Secretary last week.

Cheers,
-g

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Dirk-Willem van Gulik Dirk-Willem van Gulik
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Commerce and open-soure (Was) Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

In reply to this post by Florian Effenberger
Having finally caught up with most of the discussion so far - I am wondering if there is a fundamental disconnect between how the various communities model commercial interests and open source.

Perhaps it is fair to surmise that Apache rules of engagement matured during the start of the dot-com boom. And where virtually each and every person involved was there for what I would almost call very 'selfish' reasons[0]. Fierce competitors (on content) easily conceded to collaboration (on technology and open standards). Driven by clear tradeoffs around time-to-market, interoperability or cost. Driven by clear 'win's for the contributors (and not necessarily considering a win-win at both contributor and nascent ASF) as the amplifying force.

Now above is probably too stark of a caricature - and a lot of people where motivated by a lot more (cool technology, the joy of collaborating and learning, access to smarter people, the challenge) and generally well attuned to the 'lets make the world a slightly better' place of internet engineering dominant in that period.

However I'd still argue that the fact that a lot of people then (and now) were driven by powerful commercial forces became part of the ASF its fabric. And then since then - the  apache community has learned how to work with that.

You may have noticed that above mentions 'people' far more often than companies.

And that is part of that lesson - Apache tends to work with individuals - who get their 'commit bit' based on merit, based on the opinion of their peers and their visible contributes. As opposed to corporate access or dealing with companies[1].  We trust people.

And unless they specifically state otherwise (and this is rare!), when an Apache member or committer posts on any mailing list - they do it as themselves. It is their personal point-of-view, wearing their personal hat and not as a mouthpiece for whatever company happens to be signing their paying their salary at that point. Likewise - VP's and ASF directors very rarely use their 'hat' - and if they do so - will identify themselves clearly. . And we do see a lot of ASF committers move from company to company - over periods of decades even - loyal to the codebase and apache[2] . Some have even managed to make a full circle.

But none of this makes the ASF a counter balance or a shield for- or from- corporate interests. It just makes it a place where individuals can safely contribute to code, release that code, get the benefit of proven processes and know that they shielded form the usual liabilities. And it makes it a place where anyone, individuals and companies alike - can pick up release - and where they know that their exposure is as it says of the tin.

So this is somewhat in contrast with other possible community structures. Where the collaboration structure _itself_ is there to protect, to shape; or where the contributors and interest sitting at the coding table are companies, rather than people. And where the collaboration structure needs to be strong enough to keep this in check.  Or where strong licenses, like the GPL, are needed to keep certain undesired commercial land grabs at bay.

The ASF its structure, culture and bylaws are simply not conductive to the latter. All it is, can do, is considering to accept a donation (software grant[3]) under very specific terms and then allow a self managing[2] group of individuals who are peers, work on that code within a fairly narrow set of processes[4] following a defined path[5].  And the ASF will only do this when that group of individuals is there. People. Willing to do work.  Only during that first bootstrapping phase is there some help[6] - but beyond that - projects are self manage, self select their PMCs, self propose individuals for commit access and so on.

And I think that this difference in expectation is at the heart of some of the current debates.

I'd personally expect that the Open Office world - which its sizeable impact on a very commercial enterprise world with expensive demands will need to garner a solid and balanced support ecosystem which is far beyond the ASF - where the free and strong ideological chops of, say, LibreOffice balance commercial product and support companies.

Hope this helps,

Dw.
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0: I'll be the first to admit that - though arguably in my case it was research money and getting satellite pictures distributed by other means than faxed request forms and large boxes of tape.
1: In all fairness - we do have Company Contributor License Agreements - partly as to make things easier on the process side for individuals which work in (large) companies. Companies do not contribute code - people do.
2: http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
3: http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt
4: http://incubator.apache.org/guides/graduation.html#releases
5: http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Process_Description.html
6: http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Roles_and_Responsibilities.html


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