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Re: [board-discuss] Project vs product (and some comments to product itself)



Op 25-9-2020 om 18:47 schreef Bjoern Michaelsen:
Hi,

On Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 06:10:51PM +0200, Thorsten Behrens wrote:
Telesto wrote:
 From internal perspective (so within the organization of TDF)
LibreOffice is viewed, managed, and functioning as a project.

and

LibreOffice for the end-user is pretty often associated with a
product.

True, that is a good description of the status quo.
Quite. A notable distinction is that the first reflects mostly a reality, while
the second is only a perception that has no base in reality. Therefore one
shouldnt build strategy on or conclusions from the latter, and focus on the former.
And how does this differ from the development teams behind MSO, OnlyOffice?
Those are projects for the people involved too (say developers). They are attached to their project too. Where the developers are proud off in general (there will be more internal struggle) However for marketing/ company boss of the same company the 'product' of the project
will be the product for the company to be sold to the public.

And where is difference with TDF/LibreOffice? Even the eco-system partners are selling a product.
LTS version of LibreOffice? They accents are different..
And somehow the eco-system partners are alive and kicking. Money tree? Found a pot of gold?
Sponsor with very deep pockets?

And yes, the latter might be a hugely _popular_ perception in a specific
audience. That still doesnt make it one bit true.
True and False are binary. I think it's more how you're looking at things.
So both are true in their own way. It depends on how you present it.

Telestro wrote:
If I get beer for free from the brewery ...
Software and beer markets are not acting the same. If I give away one beer for
free, that leaves still a lot of beer of the same quality to be sold even in
the same town. If I give away one specific software for free, nobody will buy
software of the same quality anywhere on the world anymore.

So lets not do beer analogies, please.

Point taken :-). Software isn't a consumable, but a capital good.
However following you're line of argument.. is LibreOffice in such a bad shape?
Based on your assessment I would expect the user base to be larger ;-).

So there must be something preventing that the prediction didn't come true?
Software quality/feature completeness/Marketing?

Software decays; must be maintained (and updated) the keep up with rest of the
hardware/software eco-system. Else it will get unused at some point. Even if free.

LibreOffice 5.3 and down doesn't run on Ubuntu 20.04 (by default); Harfbuzz error
There is a currently a 'work around', but it's a start of a process kicking in.

Also the world might change and require different things (Cloud version) or support for large 
images.
40 megapixel images at home computer 30 year ago? Likely?

But yes, if are shipping outstanding, fully support, fully featured software with regular bug fixes 
for free,
it's likely that everybody would use that.

But this would require someone to bring in the capital to make it free for the rest of the world.
Hardware, Infrastructure aren't free. Software licenses/MacOS are not free either and so on.

Point was more about the whole idea to 'ship LibreOffice for free' (without strings attached).
and only having an extended support as a product for the eco-system partners.

I'm personally don't see this flying. I think the product must necessarily be selling the 'Software' and 
'Services"
But feel free to proof me wrong.

The compromise would be 'fresh' being free. And stable (LTS) being paid. How they paid variant 
would be for retail customers. you can argue about that.
I proposed already something about pay you're price. So prefilled 5 euro (my adjust by income of 
the country); which can be adjusted by the customer.
So we get also an impression what people are willing to pay (for better support/more bug fixes etc).

Only rudimentary notion :P. Different directions are possible of course.

Thorsten wrote:
I cannot speak for Bjoern, but what resonated well with me is the
"project over product" (or also called "community over code"
elsewhere) line.

Which says, to be successful in the long term, the advise is to
generally favour community needs over user needs (and as a corollary,
also focus marketing on attracting more contributors, rather than more
users).
Traction.. more users; more publicity; more potential contributors?
And they development (code) is mostly done by commercial party's.
I don't see this changing soon. So revenue question kicks in.
Where LibreOffice more obviously becomes a product.

And one thing I wanted to point out that this will affect they project/community. Attitude of the user changed (becoming customer) and attitude of developer changes (focusing on end user experience with different priority's. And less 'open' to enthusiasts or 'random' contributions. In a project you're allowed to break things and keep it that way for a while, this bad for reputation for commercial product.


Best,
Bjoern



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