Chandru chandru.in at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 03:31:03 UTC 2008

Politically, I wonder what is so wrong with JCA.  Apache software foundation
mandates a similar action too.

Technically, Oo.o 3 starts faster than go-oo.  I cannot comment on Excel
formulae.  But I doubt whether switching would really provide any benefit to
Ubuntu, which is worth the effort involved.

On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 7:21 AM, John Moser <john.r.moser at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 7:29 PM, Andrew Sayers
> <andrew-ubuntu-devel at pileofstuff.org> wrote:
> > Speaking as someone with a strictly armchair interest in this topic, I'd
> > like to make a few observations here -
> >
> > The way (non-Sun) people talk about OO.o reminds me of the way people
> > used to talk about the pre-Firefox Mozilla project - worthy and
> > important, but with low developer morale due to an ugly, hostile
> > codebase.  A certain amount of mud will always get slung at a project of
> > OO.o's size, and Sun often have valid excuses for the mud that gets
> > thrown their way, but I've never heard a community member stand up and
> > defend Sun's behaviour, or give examples of how Sun went the extra mile
> > to help them out.  That silence speaks more to me than the noise on the
> > other side.
> Political argument.
> On that field, are you suggesting +1 for sun's side "This has happened
> before, it's not a disaster, it'll iron itself out;" or -1 for sun's
> side "this happens, but they are handling it particularly bad and
> digging their own grave"?
> > Developing a good vocabulary of actions will be important in order to
> > improve the development process without suffering the upheaval that
> > would come from an x.org-style fork.
> If it's going the way of X, the better action once it's clear that
> this either can't be reversed or would take far too much effort to do
> so, would be to fork, and (from the sidelines) to encourage or "push"
> a fork.  It's entirely up to each distribution how they decide to play
> politics in this case (see Debian/Iceweasel vs Ubuntu/Firefox, neither
> is "correct" in how they're handling it, it's just the distro
> maintainers' opinions), but they do have that weight and their visible
> actions cause those kinds of shifts.
> Up until that point, obviously, we either A) expect that things will
> get better; or B) expect such a shift will be more damaging (to
> reputations, to development of the new fork, to the community, etc)
> than helpful right now.
> >
> > Towards the subtle end of the scale, Go-oo makes it possible to start
> > referring to the Sun codebase as "Sun's tree" rather than "upstream",
> > forcing Sun to earn their reputation as the "true" version of OO.o.
> > Towards the drastic end of the scale, Go-oo could request that Sun pull
> > the patches they're interested in, rather than getting patches pushed at
> > them with whatever extra paperwork they request, putting the cost of
> > Sun's bureaucracy back on Sun's balance sheet.
> Interesting strategy; however Sun has shown either A) they don't care
> enough to integrate feature X; or B) they do, but since you won't
> dual-license it and sign an agreement transferring copyright to them,
> they'll just expend their resources writing their own.  Forcing Sun to
> pull would, in essence, be an attempt to force them to abandon their
> practice of having contributors sign a JCA, as anyone dissenting
> against this can contribute to the fork (Go-OO), effectively forcing
> most developers away and creating a bigger community draw to the fork,
> stagnating OOo or forcing them (as I said) to simply abandon the core
> goals of the JCA and pull, pull, pull...
> In other words, the "Pull" strategy WILL hurt Sun, and WILL take OOo
> out of their hands; the workload to reproduce significant features
> submitted to Go-OO would pile up too fast, and the project will become
> more and more feature-complete over time.  With the ability to pull
> from Sun's tree without consequence, Sun simply can't catch up to
> this, and can only shut down open source OOo development.  Eliminating
> their JCA would prevent them from shipping Star Office as-is,
> presumably; although Go-OO is LGPL and Sun could get away with using
> modules without LGPL-ing their code if they integrated such code.
> That, of course, would be the action of Go-OO or such a fork (though
> Go-OO is probably the largest; OxygenOffice and a few others are based
> on it).  If it does happen, be very worried for Sun's continued
> control over OOo, as it'll be in jeopardy as soon as that fork gains
> momentum.
> >
> > So what does this mean for Ubuntu?  Mainly that we need to weigh our
> > actions not only in terms of what produces the best short-term results
> > for users, but also whether the message it sends will improve the
> > process in the long-term.
> True.  Again, my interest is in understanding the current situation
> and figuring out what'll happen in the long term; although I wouldn't
> mind getting there faster...
> >  As Joe said, publicly ditching the upstream
> > OO.o would send far too negative a message right now.
> Depends on what message you want to send.  Again with
> Debian/IceWeasel, if Shuttleworth and friends want to send the
> message, "Abandon ship, Sun sucks," and try to force an X fork, this
> would be the strategy to use; maybe now, maybe later.  If that is NOT
> what Ubuntu wants to do (I'm pretty sure it's not), then they need to
> simply be quiet.
> On an aside, the drama would be academically amusing.  I think Sun
> would actually shit bricks.  Maybe I'll make a Demotivation poster
> satirizing this...
> > If Sun continues
> > to drag its heels, the next move might be to start talking about how
> > Ubuntu adds value over the "basic" OO.o, putting some gentle corporate
> > pressure on Sun to get their act together.
> >
> Talking yourself up is just that--Ubuntu ships everything with patches
> that improve it, every distro does.  We're a little ahead of the curve
> here, good for us, install our software!  It still says "OOo" and
> people aren't going to say to their Windows-using friends, "Install
> OOo Ubuntu Edition, it's better;" nor will Fedora start using Ubuntu's
> OOo.  This would just talk up Ubuntu, and the net impact would be the
> same:  people would use OOo on Ubuntu and install it on their
> non-Ubuntu machines too.
> I had a relationship with a company that did security consulting once.
>  We had a partnership with another product-based company that made
> very poor software.  The software had to be configured basically to
> handle multiple sites if your site was too big-- not a licensing
> restriction, but rather a technical problem with scalability.  It was
> also fairly unintuitive and prone to misbehave anyway.  Our
> relationship was rather interesting:  we could supply Product X, but
> also point out how we could relieve your frustration with Product X by
> helping to configure/improve it.  This is the same sort of
> relationship with pushing OpenOffice.org and advertising that you ship
> some "Improvements":  our business resulted in more sales and
> increased popularity for Product X, and lessened corporate pressure
> because we handled the mess they made by alleviating their clients'
> frustrations with our expertise.
> It's kind of all-or-nothing; "pressure" comes in the form of arguing
> with someone, or publicly criticizing them.  Hints don't work.
> Stepping into that arena makes things rough, because you can't
> maintain good faith; and once you put your foot down on the "it's time
> to fork" or "this fork is simply better than the source" line, you
> can't backpedal, because the whole atmosphere changes.
> It kind of sucks, actually.
> >        - Andrew
> >
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Chandra Sekar.S

Blog: http://tuxychandru.blogspot.com/
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