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Re: [board-discuss] 'Free Beer' Office?



Op 3-8-2020 om 15:57 schreef Michael Meeks:
Hi Telesto,

On 28/07/2020 21:35, Telesto wrote:
I'm still getting a little annoyed by the 'free beer' matter.
        =)

While at GNU they state "We sometimes call it “libre software,”
borrowing the French or Spanish word for “free” as in freedom, to
show we do not mean the software is gratis."
        Imagine the ensuing terminological confusion if the Libre-Office
project builds a self-defeating over-emphasis on gratis ;-)


About terminology: 'gratis' is a normal/regular Dutch/German word; used when you get something for 
free. Surely not with a negative connotation as here presented. And 'gratis' has - in surely in 
Dutch, but also in German I think - they same issue with possibility of 'strings attached'. A 
gratis product sample (to convince you to buy). Gratis software (bundled with spyware) Is this some 
kind of regular expression in English country's? Or who came up with they 'gratis' as alternative 
for 'free'?
So please communicate this properly. You can't expect people to know
what is meant.
        I think there has been a long term attempt to encourage marketing that
emphasizes the project and our values, and the goodness of those over
the gratis nature of the software. This is often stated as Project over
Product - though of course there needs to be a balance here.

Will post something related to 'Project' 'Product'.
Especially in context of commercial context. As a 'Project' will become/ be seen as a 'Product"  in 
commercial enduser context. Low level (individuals) as High level (Enterprises/Goverments).
For them a Office Suite a tool to realize their objective. They Office Suite only means to an end. 
They are not interested in (reporting) flaws or project progress. It needs to do what they expect 
of it, reliably and conformtabily.
And kind of things allowed in a Project perspective (say unpolished - marketed standard - features) 
are commercial far more problematic. Especially if the competitor delivering a more polished 
version out of the box.
We end up in an chicken and egg situation. With more revenue features can be more polished, but 
more polished features you get more customers and can ask a higher price (IMHO). And I personally 
prefer stuff working out of the box. Or what you see is what you get. Instead of a service contract 
or a promise it (might) will be better in the future. Of not say service contracts or 
consultantency, customer modifications can be part of the package. But prefer paying an initial 
higher price (even if this means double, triple quadrupple of basis fee) for full fletched program 
compared to servicing contract to solve issues. Solving productivy issues means (end) customer time 
being wasted (as didn't function as expected) and cause all kinds of (hidden) costs. Servicing 
contracts L3 are last resort. Customer specific (integration) customizations; that's something 
which is worth selling. If it are extensions, modifications to core, or if building templates with 
certain functionality. If they pay, they can get it. And as smaller company you're by far more 
flexible to adapt and include services big company's dropped as beyond them (why serve small fish 
in niches, if you have money making big fish)

I think LibreOffice has to grow from bottom up. So from Individuals, to SMB, to Enterprise. Of 
course if you can get a Enterprise/Goverment/University  or what ever on board, fine. But with I 
would also tap into to large market with lesser requirements to functionality (where the acceptance 
for unpolished stuff bit higher). So easier to meet expectations. And at the same time have far 
larger market to cather.

I'm tending to a (paid) LTS for individuals too (deliver by eco-partner of TDF subsidairy or 
whatever legal contruction needed to makes this happen in an exactable way); TDF for free being 
more 'fresh' (un)stable builds; that's the price for being for free :-). So TDF not advertising a 
'stable' build. And the revenue generated should currently be used to get stuff bit more polished. 
There is lots of low hanging fruits; they small annoyances; details, which a rather inexpensive to 
solve, but influence to product experience. Kind of a 100 paper cuts.

Not only sold at some creapy store (sorry, dislike Windows Store, Apple Store. Yes, of course get 
be ignored.. but not my prefered.. and doens't fit to nicely in open source ideology either). I 
would like to be able to buy at LibreOffice.org itself. Their where some (rundimental) idea's 
already (including voting for fixes?). Wich blown apart for various reason. However must be revived 
in one way or another; in my opinion. I don't think the idea itself was the problem. More they 
participation, communication, method of implementation. However not sure if there was business plan 
(including marketing plan, marketing communication plan) in that case. Or only some hunch of need 
of selling in a Store.

About pricing. Sometimes a thing about flexibily pricing for LTS. So people may enter a they amount 
they are willing to pay. With a default set (nudge). Britain Goverment did have special departement 
for it, IIRC? And maybe a bottom price, if experience learns people tend to set it to 0. Still like 
possibity set it to 0; as people are free to do what they which (and make it accessible to even 
they poor). And if this become abuse, you have they statistic to proof. With they argument we tried 
hard to even allow using LTS without payment, but.. And you can get out of the discussion of you 
made me pay X, and now I want problem X, Y, Z fixed asap. As it is their own doing ;-).
LibreOffice being free of charge is an result of  the philosophy/ideals.
It's not something needing extra attention or emphasis. It's merely a
fact; at state of being
         Hopefully we are going in a good direction there - I think people just
being aware, and starting to notice / call-out the more gratuitous
"discover why no-one is paying anything for Office" type stuff when they
see it. I think largely this is a lack of awareness of the impact of the
gratis framing.

They framing doesn't help; true. However, bit persimistic about human kind (or culture we live in).
So if it we be enough. Everbody is using Wikipedia, and nearly nobody cares about how it financed. 
Or even interested in it. And I'm quite often seeing banner asking me to donate; so surely 
obviously clear they need money.

They whole 'open source' model is equivalent for free (of charge). From perspective Linux distro's; 
desktop enviroments etc. So even if TDF marketing 'gratis' stops, you still have an issue. And 
that's a message of the open source community as a whole. And the IT writing about open source 
projects being free of charge.

I can assure you, I never paid much attention about how it has made; not interested/ other 
priority's. And if I have to pay for software, I'm still looking for a nice bargain. So my support 
for developers of paid software isn't that great either. Even being happy long term user.
You need to create a story around LibreOffice; mission, vision, goals.
Making interest/vivid to read.
...
This is part of the business plan/ marketing plan/ marketing
communication plan from TDF.  The ideals should be compatible with they
vision of the eco-system partners
        I agree,

        Thanks,

                Michael.




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