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Re: [tdf-discuss] Two questions about course of LO

Hello Aqualung, please read my answers below.

2011/3/31 aqualung <>

Got a couple of questions.

(1) I heard that OpenOffice is restricted from re-using code from
LibreOffice because Oracle insists on broader licenses than LO developers
are willing to give, but the reverse is not true. So, from this aspect LO
can only get stronger while OOo stagnates. Is this accurate?

It is not accurate in the sense that in order to contribute to OpenOffice
developers should assign their copyright to Oracle, while there's no such
thing for LibreOffice. Since The Document Foundation has not submitted its
copyright (or the ones of its contributors) to Oracle, Oracle cannot get our
contributions but we can get theirs. I don't know whether that makes LO get
stronger while OOo stagnates, as I feel we have other reasons to explain
that pattern, but it could be a possible outcome of this situation.

(2) According to what I've read so far, most of the work to create and
maintain OpenOffice was done by a team of developers originally working for
StarOffice, later bought by Sun, in turn bought by Oracle. Outside
volunteers working without pay contributed only a small portion of the

This is true for two completely different reasons: 1) the code is complex
and was never made really easier for outside contributors to participate
2)Oracle had an habit of exercising tight control over patches and took time
to integrate them. However that has changed in LibreOffice, see below.

Other companies, notably Novell, are said to be stepping in for LO. Will
they dedicate comparable resources to maintaining and expanding LO as
StarOffice/Sun/Oracle did for OO? If not, will volunteers (enthusiastic
about being free of Oracle) be picking up the slack for LO, or is it too
early to tell?

Well this has already happened six months ago and is happening as we speak
:-) One of the greatest success of LibreOffice so far is to have aggregated
the Novell/Suse developers, the Red Hat ones and the Ubuntu/Canonical around
this project. But even they are only a tiny fraction of our developers'
community. Enthusiasm, as you wrote, and much more open development process
have achieved what was never achieved in 10 years of in 6
months we moved from around 15 developers to around 160 developers, not
counting the localizers. So we're pretty confident that we will continue to
expand because of these trends :-)


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