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From dsh <>
Subject Re: Blondie's Parallel Lines...
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2011 20:05:38 GMT

IMHO you should not discuss or question the LO community size
respective its vitality in any way at this place. That's certainly not
the scope of the OpenOffice Apache incubation proposal anyway. The
goal of the proposal as I understand it is to build a vital community
around it at the ASF and that's it. A 2nd goal that has been discussed
as I understand it from the various discussion could be attracting LO
developers to contribute to the incubating OO project as well. From my
experience that means that you will have more than 20 active
committers and a few more contributors in the very beginning
especially if the proposal to be incubated has a certain visibility in
the public. Over time as the project matures the amount of active
committers may decline a bit but if you'll manage to setup a vital
community there will always be a solid core of active committers.

Besides that I am sure you probably did your own community analysis
and pedigree review of the LO community per IBM-internal processes but
as I said that shouldn't be neither the scope of this discussion nor
of the incubator proposal itself.

Final note on commit log analysis - if that's a criterion how to
define an active ASF "participant" my most active times are certainly
pretty dated but of course I would know how to teak commit logs to
make me look more active if I'd ever like to go down that road ;)


On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM,  <> wrote:
> wrote on 06/02/2011 02:42:11 PM:
>> No Rob, I don't question your credentials, have not done that, will
> never
>> done that. Both of us know better than having that kind of talk, both of
> us
>> have worked together for years now, at the OASIS and elsewhere. What I'm
>> questioning is the ability to have two projects, OpenOffice and
> LibreOffice,
>> with so much overlap and only a vaguely defined reason to have two
> distinct
>> projects (the reason being, that some contributors -IBM- might prefer
> the
>> Apache licensing). What I'm concerned is the fuzziness around the
> developers
>> who would contribute to the codebase. For someone who has
>> repeatedly explained that the LibreOffice developers were not that many,
> I
>> think that betting on a sustainable project here is a
> major
>> leap of faith.
> Hi Charles,
> Maybe this will make it a little more plausible.
> As you know IBM develops Lotus Symphony, which is essentially a fork of
> OpenOffice.  IBM has experience in how many developers are required to
> code, test, translate, document, support, etc., a project of this size.
> We've been doing it for several years.  It does not require 400
> developers.  It does not require 200 developers.  It does not require 100
> or even 50 developers.  If you claim to have 200 developers working on LO
> then I suspect this is with a very low level of engagement.
> When I check the commit logs for LibreOffice and apply the Apache criteria
> for what defines an "active" participant (a commit within the last 6
> months), I see only 54 names.  And most of those names are making very
> sporadic, but I'm sure very valuable, contributions.  Notably the top 20
> contributors were making 90% of the commits and of those the majority are
> Novell employees.
> So it is clear that even with LO, a small number of core developers, even
> just 20, do almost all the core coding. This observation is consistent
> with what I know about the development of Symphony.
> So I believe that a reasonable goal for Apache OpenOffice, for graduation
> from incubation, is to have a set of at least 20 active committers.  That
> should be sufficient, as a bare minimum, to be the developer nucleus of a
> respectable project.
> Now is it plausible to get to that number?  I think so.  But let's not set
> some bogus target of 400 developers or whatever.  There is no intent to
> dump the code with no developers.  But I don't think we want to crowd
> source the project either.  I think we want a core group of dedicated
> committers who can facilitate the review and integration of patches from a
> larger number of less-engaged developers.  That is the kind of
> distribution I think we'll want.  But our target metric should be the
> around active committers.
> The "halo" of additional developers is important as well.  But their
> effectiveness is entirely dependent on the ability of the core committers
> to review and integrate their work.  So we need to grow the project from
> the inside out.  That's my opinion, in any case.  But LO is really no
> different.  Its core is developers transplanted from the Novell Edition of
> OpenOffice.  Surely, there is nothing that prevents other companies with
> OpenOffice forks from doing exactly the same thing.
>> I am certainly not going to enter a debate on licensing, and I think
> nobody
>> wants that here. But I just think that there are other ways to cooperate
>> than pretending the elephant in the room (LibreOffice, the Document
>> Foundation) does not exist or does not de facto embody the largest part
> of
>> the OpenOffice community (yes, I know, there are a few exceptions).
> Please, Charles, stop saying that anyone is saying that LibreOffice does
> not exist.  You are here, on the Apache list, at the invitation of Apache.
>  I'm happy to stipulate that you exist, I exist, exists,
> Apache exists and that TDF/LO exists.
> Regards,
> -Rob
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