John Moser john.r.moser at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 23:07:03 UTC 2008

On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM, Joe Terranova <joeterranova at gmail.com> wrote:
> I wouldn't suggest such a change right now for a few reasons:
> a) Open Office (and its derivatives I assume) is a bear to package.
> Transition packages between releases open up more points of failure.

Aye, I'm not sure why I mentioned the possibility of replacing OOo
with it; the nebulous thought path I was trying to put forth was
something akin to "put Go-OO in Universe, as a 'replaces OOo' or
'supplies OOo'" with the possibility that if A) it's more favored, or
B) Sun sinks, it can be promoted to replace OOo in Main some time in
one possible future.  It's too early to make a push for replacing OOo,
just I'm curious on the advantages of Go-OO as a base package versus

> b) Ubuntu's garnered quite a bit of favor from Sun. The recent
> releases include much better integration with Java, and we're starting
> to see collaborative efforts like Nexenta. Kicking out Open Office
> might be considered as telling Sun to shove off.

I see your point; however, consider the political atmosphere for a
second:  the current purported situation is that Sun basically gets
open source code (solver, MacOSX interface, etc) submitted to it,
tells the developers to shove off, then writes their own.  If that
-is- the behavior of Sun, and the community is only begrudgingly
accepting it, and a particular fork can provide a healthier package,
what then?

I am not taking sides here (yet); the above is what I've heard, it may
be surrounded by hyperbole propaganda, typical for any political
issue.  What I will say is this:  at the point where a vendor
partnership starts costing you technically, I favor technical
improvement over vendor favor and marketing BS.  Use OOo if OOo is
good; if it really starts to fall to pieces, jump ship.

> c) Open Office has name recognition. Not as much as Firefox, but
> enough for losing it to hurt.

Ubuntu has name recognition.  Shipping Go-OO with "OpenOffice.org" and
no reference to Sun on the splash screen will look rather status-quo
to most; flat out branding it as "Go-OO" with a link to Go-OO.org on
the splash screen will make a few people go "huh?" and drive up
popularity of Go-OO, with the icons, UI, and names of the components
being familiar enough (since they're, you know, the same application)
that people will likely barely actually notice.

That, of course, makes this a political topic as much as a technical
one; Ubuntu is as much an 800 pound gorilla as Dell.  Imagine Dell
advertising that -any- Dell Dimension Desktop comes with either
Windows Vista or Ubuntu Linux -on TV-!  Actually shipping Go-OO in the
default install would have to be a very carefully considered decision,
both for the reason you gave, and for the reason I gave.

By the by, here's the default Go-OO splash screen:


> d) We're already using some of Go-Ooo.org's patches. If there's more
> features you want, more patches can be used. Eventually this won't be
> maintainable, but for now I think it makes sense to patch in the
> features while keeping Open Office.

Ah ok, that clears up some confusion for me (I found evidence that
Ubuntu's OOo is Go-OO, but it's still branded as Sun OOo).  Or creates
some.  I've heard both ways and it's been pointed out here that Ubuntu
uses go-oo (in whole or in part is nebulous to me).

openoffice.org (1:2.4.1-8) unstable; urgency=high

  * debian/control.in:
    - Homepage: http://www.go-oo.org, thanks Renato Yamane

The long-term eventual decision is going to be either A) stick with
OOo, with as minimal patches as possible (likely); or B) pick a fork
(like Go-OO), and apply as minimal patches as possible (unlikely).
I've been hearing that Sun sucks and they're destroying OpenOffice.org
and the community hates them and there's severe defects in the whole
thing and everyone needs to have their own OOo fork about every 2 or 3
months for the past year and a half at least, so I'm thinking it might
be a little out of proportion but then again there may be some truth
to it....

> That said, I think that Open Office is slowing taking on water, and
> I'll be giving Go-Ooo.org a try.

See above comment.  Emphasis on "slowly" but yeah, that's what I hear.

> Their site claims that their
> spreadsheet formulas are more compatible with Excel, which was my
> mother's biggest complaint about Open Office. I'm intrigued, but I
> think it should be put up for consideration for Jaunty+1, or at the
> most packaged beside Open Office for Jaunty. Are any other distros
> jumping ship on Open Office?

I'm with Universe, just because I personally want to play with and
compare.  Replacing OOo with a fork in main in Jaunty+1 would probably
be too fast unless Sun goes from "getting community criticism" to
"blatant major asshole mode" somehow, or unless we wake up one day to
see Shuttleworth has written a 5 page blog entry about how awesome
Go-OO/OxygenOffice/whatever is.

Debian seems to use the same as Ubuntu almost, although they seem to
favor IceWeasel and stuff (possibly due to its awesome looking icon).
The Firefox playing with the IceWeasel's globe would be kind of

This is turning into a "What exactly IS ubuntu using?" issue to me
more than anything.  I'm not sure if they're using OOo + some patches;
Go-OO + some patches; or something entirely different at this stage.
This is relevant to me because I'm interested in both the technical
and political atmosphere here (i.e. trying to predict the future... it
helps to know everything about the present).
> Joe Terranova

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