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From Sanjiva Weerawarana <>
Subject Re: OpenOffice: were are we now?
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 00:32:27 GMT
Attempting to guess IBM strategy around this ...

IMO the reason this whole thing is happening is because with TDF there no
longer was a place that downstream proprietary aggregators of OO like IBM
could use to build a closed-source solution (no org to do a dual license
with). The Apache license is (one of) the best options for that and
certainly the Apache brand doesn't hurt towards building a credible
alternative to MS Office.

To that extent it wouldn't surprise me at all to see IBM donating whatever
their proprietary add-ons from their Lotus product to this project and
thereby taking a larger role.

My concern from the ASF's point of view is that how do we protect from IBM
"doing a Harmony" on this? I guess one advantage is that there's nothing
else out there and an office work toolset is a necessary feature for many
vendors ... so there's relatively little risk of a TCK or an OpenJDK type
alternative happening. If MSFT decides to open up office (not likely) or
Google decides to open source their corresponding apps bits (again, not
likely at least until OO has a credible Web offering) something could happen
but those are far fetched at this point.

After all that, TDF has unfortunately been left holding the wrong end of the
stick :(. If I was in TDF I'd definitely feel screwed by Oracle .. but
really this is not just Oracle but rather the larger value-add community
around OO saying lets get together. That is not possible without the Apache
license as those guys all want to make proprietary products. ASF is not the
bad guy but rather the one who has all the features to host this project as
a result. To that extent those value-add types are "using" ASF but that's
not necessarily a bad way for this project to get started. Whether it
succeeds long term is a function of it becoming a true ASF project with a
multitude of disparate contributors etc..

The people who will only contribute to a copyleft license (and I know a few
OO contributors like that) will not come over this world .. so to that
extent this is a community fork and we cannot do brand sharing as that'll
confuse end-users.


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 2:29 AM, <> wrote:

> Joe Schaefer <> wrote on 06/05/2011 04:22:35 PM:
> >
> > Sounds great, but so far I count only 2 committers on the
> > project associated with IBM.  IMO you're off by a factor
> > or so, so claims that IBM intends to take this project
> > seriously will be discounted by me until that is rectified.
> >
> Joe, it will be my pleasure to astonish you.  But it will take a few more
> days ;-)
> It is amazing how much paperwork is involved, at a large corporation, to
> enable such things.
> -Rob
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Sanjiva Weerawarana, Ph.D.
Founder, Director & Chief Scientist; Lanka Software Foundation;
Founder, Chairman & CEO; WSO2;
Founder & Director; Thinkcube Systems;
Member; Apache Software Foundation;
Visiting Lecturer; University of Moratuwa;


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