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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: Apache Incubator Proposal: Splitting the Community?
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 16:52:06 GMT
Hi Florian,

>  I do see with great concern is the need for a second project to be set-up
> at Apache or any other entity.

Thing is that this is done, Oracle didn't and won't now give the IP to any
other foundation.  So we are where we are.

 Let me speak for my self: I do this as a pure volunteer work, I am not
> backed by any corporation, and I invest a lot of time and heart into these
> things. Dedicating myself to be against someone or something, or acting just
> out of envy, is surely not what I plan to use my spare free time for. I am
> also sure that TDF and ASF can cooperate and act like adults.

Yes, given where we are there is room for both. I'd like to see TDF leaders
on the commit list. This would mean that there was a real link for
collaboration. The main differences are the difference in licensing and
TDF's broader support of the odf file format. It doesn't need to detract
from TDF or its work.

I on purpose leave out the discussion about (re-)licensing here, as others
> can comment much better about the impact of the various licenses, and how
> they play together, and what ASF could to with the software grant they
> received, may it be with or without other entities.

I see the licensing as an opportunity. We can have both a permissive and
copyleft development and those philosophically committed to either can find
a good home. Ok, we need to work together to make the two code bases work
together but that is a small price to pay for wider community cohesion.

I'd love to focus much more on the community and project side of things, and
> this is the part of my initial message that I still feel is unreplied: Why
> do we need a second project?

You might not need one, but it is there, it isn't really a choice, its a
situation and we need to make the best of it.

> From all those who propose the project at ASF, I have not heard much
> feedback on why this should happen, or otherwise said, on why TDF would be
> the wrong place to do it.

Its simply what Oracle did. We can't change it so we have to live with it.

> I do not want to juggle with numbers, but I guess nobody can deny that TDF
> has set up a project, processes, infrastructure and an environment to work
> in, that there is a lot of stable basis. And I guess that nobody can doubt
> we have been as open and transparent as possible. And, looking at the
> activity inside the project, I guess nobody can deny either
> that at least the vast majority of the community has moved on
> to TDF. I am not saying 100%, I am not saying 99%, but saying that there was
> a vivid community activity within the last months would be
> wrong, too.

Look, TDF people did and are doing a great job. Probably you guys
precipitated OOo going to a community foundation. Ok, its not 100% perfect
but its better than some of the alternatives. So let's work together to make
it work and we respect what TDF has achieved. We respect TDF if it wants to
continue developing a copyleft distribution of OOo. What we can't change is
what Oracle did, they bought Sun and the put the OOo IP with ASF.

> IBM, as far as I know, did not participate in that, so it is not us to
> blame if for you now certain things are not as you would like to have them.
> Only those who raise their voice can be heard.

I think this works both ways. Probably things are not 100% perfect for
anyone but compromises sometimes have to happen.

So, as I feel my question in the first mail has not been answered yet, I'd
> like to repeat it, and extend it on one further question, to everyone who
> supports the incubator proposal:
> - What is wrong about the TDF that is better at ASF, for being the home of
> a free office suite?

I think this is the wrong question. There is nothing at all wrong with TDF,
its just different in that it is developing code to a different license and
that difference is important to some people. Oracle are not going to change
and put the IP with TDF so we have to accept it and move on. That does not
mean TDF is unimportant. It is just as important as before! Maybe more so as
TDF leaders can become influential with OOo under ASF in a way they could
not be with Oracle.

- Why didn't those who propose this project talk to TDF about the issues
> that mattered to them and tried to change it?
> To me, the current approach feels like denying cooperation with TDF at any
> price,

On the contrary, I see no reason why TDF people can not join the ASF and
have influence beyond what they had with Sun or Oracle. Think of the Apache
and LGPL as complementary rather than competing.

> without giving us even a feedback on what is wrong with the approach we are
> taking. Within any open source community, a very open and transparent
> communication is crucial and key to any vivid development, so not only for
> TDF, but also for those who have to decide on having the project as
> incubator at ASF, it would only be fair to get a reply.
> Again, I very much respect the Apache Foundation and what they do, and I am
> not saying it is a bad home for an open source project. What I am saying is
> that TDF has all the processes running, has stable infrastructure, a working
> release cycle, has support from enterprises, has many volunteers, for
> exactly the project that is being proposed. In a nutshell, many of the
> things an OOo at Apache project would have to find and create already do
> exist. Wouldn't it be better to work together on joining forces, having a
> cooperation inside TDF?

But that isn't an option because of what Oracle did. So why not
complementary projects given the situation we find?

> I simply fear that there is a project set-up in parallel, whereas there
> already exists a wider community, an ecosystem, with processes,
> infrastructure and releases, and many sponsored and volunteer contributors.
> This would mean engagement is spread to two projects, rather than standing
> out united, speaking with one voice. And it would once again confuse users,
> leading to market irritation at large. Especially because no reason is given
> on why this should happen.

I hope I have managed to give the reason.

I hope I replied to all questions asked. If I missed something, this was not
> on purpose, so feel free to ask again, and I will reply to the best of my
> knowledge.
> Again, I am here any happy to hear the problems you see in TDF, why you
> think another home is to be preferred. I am happy to hear and discuss them
> in public.

Summary: No problems with TDF, the problem is that we are where we are not
necessarily where we would like to be.


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