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----- Original Message ----

From: Keith Curtis <>
On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 6:55 AM, Jim Jagielski <> wrote:
 On Jun 17, 2011, at 7:44 AM, Michael Meeks wrote:
 >       The overlap between TDF & ASF's goals for an  office product 
enabling 'mixed-source') is a pretty  compelling proof of competition.

I disagree... competition  implies a "winner" and a "loser"...
in FOSS, how do you measure that?  Market Share? Feh. When
you start looking at it that way, then what  makes FOSS FOSS
kinda gets overlooked.

The intent of  FOSS is not to take over but to instead provide
freedom and choices to  end-users. If having 2 "competing" implementations
means that a larger  set of end-users will enjoy those freedoms
and choices than if there was  only 1 implementation, then the
"competition" is most  valid.

It's being complementary, not  competitive.

I think it is a helpful exercise to have a starting  position that forks are
bad. They might be necessary and useful sometimes,  like war, but that
doesn't make them ideal.

And TDF/LO is the real fork in this case. In your opinion it would have been a 
necessary fork, but it is the fork nonetheless. Any argument otherwise is 
revisionist history.

This is not like KOffice  because that codebase is so different and missing
lots of features. No one is  arguing to get rid of KOffice here, or that a
merge would be possible or  makes sense.This is only about very slightly
different versions of a 10M line  codebase.

No it is not. But KOffice does provide a very good example of this.

KOffice recently had a fork - Calligra - that most all of the development team 
moved to as the KOffice proper was not being properly managed. Very similar to 
to the OOo vs TDF/LO situation.

Yet, Calligra and KOffice - which both have very similar codebases - have a much 
healthier relationship, etc. They don't see themselves as competing with each 
other either.
Another way to think about it: what features does Apache want  that
LibreOffice does *not* want? Ubuntu forked Debian because they  wanted
6-month release cycles, proprietary drivers, etc. I see no list. Even  if you
had a list of features LibreOffice didn't want, you could include the  code
in LibreOffice and turn it off by default. OpenOffice could be  LibreOffice
with different defaults. I don't think there is anything like  that either.

The real question is - since TDF/LO is the real fork, what does LibreOffice want 
that Oracle did not, and that Apache does not?
And that is primarily the LGPL+MPL.


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