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Greg Stein wrote:
On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 13:40, Pieter E. Zanstra <> wrote:
As an interested user I see a lot of noise passing by on this topic. I must
say I am totally unimpressed. What counts for me is reality, not dreaming in
the cloud. I was used to getting no response from Microsoft on my bug
reports. I did join in a bug report in OOo about table autoformats not being
saved properly. I did approach Sun and Oracle directly about this silly bug
that has been sitting untouched since 2008 in the OpenOffice bug repository.
I did not get any answers from Sun/Oracle either.

I resubmitted the original bug report to the new TDF bug repository. There,
within a quarter of a year, it has been evaluated and elevated to the
"Easyhack" status. I would not be surprised if that problem would be solved
by the end of this year. They have already done quite a pile of cleaning
code and bug fixing. My confidence as a user is with them. The indians have
to prove as yet. That is what matters at the end of the day.

Absolutely that is what matters. Whether the caretakers place *you* at
the forefront. Big faceless corporations generally don't, while
smaller communities usually do.

I believe the (recent) discussion stemmed from whether end-users care
about the *license*. They mostly want a great product and a responsive
caretaker. That's it. I can guarantee you that my mother, father,
brother, sister, and the rest of my extended family would give me a
blank stare if I told them they needed to use Free Software rather
than proprietary. Crickets would echo in the room.

There *are* end-users who want Free Software. Many of you care
strongly about it, and seek out Free Software. Granted. But when you
look at the tens of millions (hundreds?) of OOo and LO users, they
simply don't care.

Building and providing LibreOffice is a fabulous thing for people who
really care about Free Software. LO has an important place in our
software ecosystem. I just don't think projecting that philosophy onto
the "typical end-user" makes sense, however.

This is exactly how I feel about this, and why I think that TDF forking the OOo code is the best thing that could have happened. I suspect that in the first 1 to three months not much code development happened, naturally it takes time for things to get started. So it would be my best guess that there has been about six months of software development under TDF. That being the case, it seems like the LO software package has been evolving and improving at from 4 to 8 times the pace that it was under Sun/Oracle.

I have been on the OOo discuss list since 2001 perhaps even 2000, its hard to remember, anyway, from all the various comments and complaints over the years it seems like the real show-stoppers got fixed and the nuisance problems just got ignored for the most part. Now it seems like with an all volunteer group rather than developers being assigned chores by corporate management, all the bugs are being addressed in a more impartial way. Not having done any programming since college and BASIC, I don't know how to read C++ source code, but I have read here that there has been more work at cleaning up the source code, removing remarked out lines of code, and such during the last 6 months than during the previous 6 years.

An example of M$ work, Vista was well over a year late in being released, and even then it was a horrible mess! Over the years one theme on the OOo Discuss List was a sort of competition between OOo and M$ Office. I think the only way to judge the relative merits of two such software suites is by relative user satisfaction. By that metric it always seemed that OOo was about 2 to 3 years behind M$ Office, judging by the talk on the list. Now if M$ continues at their current rate of progress, and if LO does likewise, then sometime during the next year LO would pass M$ Office in user satisfaction. What could be better than that!?

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