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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <>
Subject Re: OpenOffice & LibreOffice
Date Sun, 05 Jun 2011 17:47:28 GMT
In general, I'm avoiding the messages which are entirely based on the
"one true license"... but I think there is one interesting point to be
raised here...

On 6/5/2011 3:30 AM, Keith Curtis wrote:
> Why "open source" advocates at IBM would stand up for the "right" of
> software to be made proprietary in the future makes no sense to me. I
> would think the job of an IBM evangelist would be to advocate
> copyleft, not to evangelize lax licenses using IBM's reputation. It is
> the little guys that get screwed by lax licenses. Convincing IBM to
> make GPL their official free license would be useful evangelism. Who
> is working on that?

First, let me correct you, open source predates the FSF.  The OSI has
done a fine job of addressing the meanings in a way all open source
communities appreciate.  There is a specific term used by the FSF and
others, "Free/Libre" software.  Nobody is suggesting that any AL work
is ever "Free/Libre".  There is a multiplicity of Open Source thought,
and we won't go into detail, others have done so better than the two
of us can.

With that said...

> LibreOffice is a success, and way ahead of you guys

As an advocate of the one true license, I make several assumptions;
that you have a disdain for the Microsoft and OS/X ports, as those
operating systems are not Free.  You aren't particularly keen on the
BSD ports either, not because it is not Free, but that it does not
promote the cause of software freedom.  You have a goal of having
the best collection of software possible available on Free Operating
Systems, notably Linux.  Sorry for any mischaracterization, but I
would like to use your strong post to draw out this point;

I see a strong role for license advocacy from LibreOffice, and also
expect LibreOffice to extend OOo (with or without the ASF) in new
and exciting directions.  There are many developers who feel as you
do, some possibly who even refused to play ball with the Sun/Oracle
copyright assignment.  LibreOffice might be expected to remain the
premier Linux distribution of OpenOffice, as some of the best minds
in Linux/Gnome/KDE development believe as you do.

But I don't see any licensing argument for LibreOffice to even try
to be the preeminent Windows or OS/X port of the software, since
by definition improving GPL works for a closed source operating
system is something of an oxymoron.  Not that such a fork can't or
shouldn't continue!  But reactions such as your own are inevitable
and to some extent, an ASF project gives the LibreOffice project
more flexibility to focus on its core ecosystems, the Libre OS's.

None of this is meant to be disingenuous to any open source or
free software people or communities, it's just my reflections on
how those individuals with strongly held licensing beliefs can
(and likely will) collaborate within and across communities.

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