FUD - WAS [Re: [users] OpenOffice.org community council - only Oracle employees now??]

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FUD - WAS [Re: [users] OpenOffice.org community council - only Oracle employees now??]

Michael Adams-2
On Thursday 28 October 2010 13:05, [hidden email] wrote:
> In an article from October 19th in ZDnet's online site,
> it states that it looks like Oracle is purging the
> OpenOffice.org community council of anyone that is not
> an employee of Oracle.

Not realy, only asked those working with TDF to leave.

> It raises the point that with the
> only non-employees being forced/asked to leave, is the
> community council actually "community" instead of
> "company".

To me it raises the point that non company members were probably frustrated
with Suns/Oracles direction, the direction being set by a corporate. Oracle
can fairly set any direction they choose as they contribute +/-80% of the
code IIUC. Corporates are typically not the best drivers/practicioners of the
FOSS model however. The three most prominent "working" models for large
projects are arguably LInux, Mozilla, and Apache, each using a different
model.

[speculation]
TDF looked at the success of Mozilla, thought it would be good to emulate it,
and went ahead in the hope that the prevailing winds would start to blow that
way. The jury is still out on if it will work at all without *the* or *any*
major corporate sponsors.

Alternatively a kind man would posit that the community members have already
seen one major corporate sponsor (Sun) go and wish to avoid the uncertainty
of this risk in the future.

Undoubtedly there are other reasons for the split.
[/speculation]

> So I am wondering if OpenOffice.org is now a corporate
> software without non-Oracle personnel part of the community
> council?  Oracle owns the name OpenOffice.org,

Do they? or does the Council? I don't know.

> and now
> it looks like only Oracle employees are involved in the decision
> on what this open source product will be like, look like, and
> everything else.  Do we the user base have any say in the
> product anymore, like it appeared we did when there were people
> on the "community" council that did not work for Oracle/Sun, or
> whoever owned the name then.
>
> Who is now in charge of the code our volunteers contribute?
> Who "owns" the rights to the code that is summited?

Sun asked external developers to joint-share the copyright:
www.openoffice.org/licenses/jca.pdf
These "contributors" are contributing under the GPL, which is a terms of use
licence under which all source code can be freely copied, modified and
redistributed.
Why? How would you like to round up 5000 devs in twenty years time to ask if
you could make a change to GPL V5? If you don't get this permission
some "bits" of the source would stay GPL V2 or V3 until the copyright period
ended. This would result in multiple licences on one code tree. Don't think
this situation wouldn't happen; there have been licence changes in the past
on the OO.o code base.

> With only
> Oracle employees in control of the "open source" code, is it truly
> open or just open with what they want to share, even the code that
> was provided by non-Oracle sources.

Biult on a false premise in the first line; so yes the code is truly open -
even the external contributions.

> Is this why more and more organizations are praising LibraOffice
> in their "independent" model for the future of the OpenOffice.org
> code base?

No, unless they misunderstand the open source model in use, in the same way
you have.

> Will there be a split in the community on who really
> represents the "spirit" of what OpenOffice.org is/was all about?

Your crystal ball or mine. Actually i think that split occurred before TDF was
set up.

> I do hope that Oracle will foster non-employee members as a part
> of the community council.  I do hope there will be a real openness
> in the future of the Oracle's ownership/stewardship of the software
> that has the name of OpenOffice.org.  This software is now 10 years
> old.

OpenOffice.org is ten years old. The software is now 25 or so years old.
Probably not a lot of the original code left in there though as the first
version was written mid 1980's for the Zilog Z80 chip in the Amstrad CPC
running on CP/M.

> I hope that this current issue about community and control of
> OpenOffice.org's future will allow it to survive for another 10 years.
> Microsoft must be laughing.  They do an bashing ad about how bad
> it is for a company to switch to OpenOffice.org.  Now they can bash
> the product again about if it was so good, why is there so many
> different version [forks] of the software all telling the community we
> are the better one to use instead of the original one.

Read "The cathedral and the Bazaar"[1]. I'm not asking you to believe it, just
read it. This will help explain. By the way Linux is available in 300+
distributions[2], but is still running on 91% of the top 500
supercomputers[3]. Microsoft are not laughing at that, or at Apache's
popularity as the web server to the internet.

> Looks like Ubuntu will be supporting LibreOffice over Go-oo in future
> releases of Ubuntu.  Why Go-oo instead of OOo/Debian, and now
> LibreOffice.  As I said Microsoft must be laughing at the users of
> OpenOffice.org and its forked versions.

This type of FUD comes about through lack of understanding of the model in
use. Please do some research before you spread any more misinformation. I
must admit, it equates reasonably with the misinformation that some shonky
reporters put out, and they are paid to do research.

[1] http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/
or
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.120.4974&rep=rep1&type=pdf

[2] http://distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=popularity
[3] http://www.top500.org/stats/list/35/osfam

--
Michael
* Not affiliated with Oracle or TDF other than as a long term user / mailing
list contributor.

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Re: FUD - WAS [Re: [users] OpenOffice.org community council - only Oracle employees now??]

Robert Derman-2
Michael Adams wrote:

> On Thursday 28 October 2010 13:05, [hidden email] wrote:
>> In an article from October 19th in ZDnet's online site,
>> it states that it looks like Oracle is purging the
>> OpenOffice.org community council of anyone that is not
>> an employee of Oracle.
>
> To me it raises the point that non company members were probably frustrated
> with Suns/Oracles direction, the direction being set by a corporate. Oracle
> can fairly set any direction they choose as they contribute +/-80% of the
> code IIUC. Corporates are typically not the best drivers/practicioners of the
> FOSS model however. The three most prominent "working" models for large
> projects are arguably LInux, Mozilla, and Apache, each using a different
> model.
I am not at all surprised at the fork of OOo, only that it took so
long.  I am surprised that it didn't happen 5 to 7 years ago.  For all
the talk about a big tent sheltering all, there is a very basic
difference in philosophy between the corporate world and FOSS.  In the
corporate world no one is going to fund something that they do not have
complete control over.  This concept is anathema to the basic philosophy
of the FOSS world.  I feel that it was about time and then some for it
to happen, and it is a good thing that it did.  There are many good
developer/programmers who would never have worked on a project that was
under corporate control, or even that had the perception of that.  Now
they can feel free to work with TDF and LO.  At the same time the
corporate branch OOo will not be constrained by the philosophy of Foss
and the tastes of the Free Software zealots.

If I had to guess, I would say that sooner or later OOo will contain an
Outlook clone, and will get major work done on Impress, perhaps also on
Base, Writer will get the tools that lawyers want, and the spreadsheet
will be tailored to the tastes of professional accountants.   LO on the
other hand will receive nuanced improvements to Writer and perhaps also
to Draw to turn them into the software of choice for all novelists and
screenwriters and of Draw to all music composers.  In short OOo will
become the everyday tool of the corporate world and LO will become the
darling of all artists.

>
> [speculation]
> TDF looked at the success of Mozilla, thought it would be good to emulate it,
> and went ahead in the hope that the prevailing winds would start to blow that
> way. The jury is still out on if it will work at all without *the* or *any*
> major corporate sponsors.
>
> Alternatively a kind man would posit that the community members have already
> seen one major corporate sponsor (Sun) go and wish to avoid the uncertainty
> of this risk in the future.
>> Is this why more and more organizations are praising LibraOffice
>> in their "independent" model for the future of the OpenOffice.org
>> code base?
>
> No, unless they misunderstand the open source model in use, in the same way
> you have.
>
>> Will there be a split in the community on who really
>> represents the "spirit" of what OpenOffice.org is/was all about?
>
> Your crystal ball or mine. Actually i think that split occurred before TDF was
> set up.

>> OpenOffice.org is ten years old. The software is now 25 or so years old.
>> Probably not a lot of the original code left in there though as the first
>> version was written mid 1980's for the Zilog Z80 chip in the Amstrad CPC
>> running on CP/M.
>>
The information in the last above paragraph was interesting.  I learned
word processing using Wordstar for CP/M on an Osborne 1.

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