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On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 4:30 PM, Allen Pulsifer <>wrote:

Forking makes cooperation more expensive.
Your intentions are less important than your consequences.

Hello Keith,

As long as you are hung up on forks, you might want to get your facts
Sun created the "official" OOo distribution when they open sourced
StarOffice.  Sun maintained control of the name, and made it
clear from the beginning that any contributions to the official OOo
distribution would only be accepted if they were accompanied by a copyright
assignment.  That system chugged along for many years, with varying levels
of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

I agree with you that fork has been created.  The seeds of that fork were
germinated in the Go-Oo project, which created patches and enhancements
were not contributed back to the official OOo distribution.  That became a
full fork when the LibreOffice project was started by importing all of the
OOo source code into a new repository.  It was therefore TdF that created a
fork, by creating a new version of the source code and making changes that
they did not contribute back to the official distribution.  I make that
statement completely without making a value judgment whether that is a good
thing or a bad thing.  But if you are going to talk about the history of
project and start saying "all forks are bad", you should at least get your
facts straight about who actually created the fork.  Also, if you are going
to talk about a split in the community, you should mention that TdF and
LibreOffice were created in secret, without any public discussions or
community input.  I say that again completely without making a value
judgment whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, but again, when you
recount the history, you should do so honestly.

I have followed somewhat the history of this codebase for the past 5 years,
but thank you for explaining it.

Yes, TDF might have been done in secret initially, but everything starts out
as an idea in someone's head and therefore a secret. Today, they are very

It isn't that I am "hung up" on forks. I spent years writing code in line
layout and text editing and know that is but a tiny piece of this codebase.
Thousands of people could get lost in this technology. This codebase is 10M
lines which means this fork is 100x times more expensive than typical. (And
no one inside LibreOffice was requesting one.) It is the size that inspires
me to get involved.

I also make more posts because I'm amazed that some "leaders" in our
movement with the pedigree of IBM are actually hindrances. I see a story
worthy of the New York Times. In fact, I have a connection ;-) I also want
this technology to get better and I imagine what would happen if LibreOffice
got a bunch of new contributors as of yesterday. This was an alternative


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