[conspire] OpenOffice.org -> LibreOffice, round two

jim jim at systemateka.com
Tue Oct 19 23:02:41 PDT 2010

   Someone recently made the claim that the Open Office 
Suite was _THE_ largest class hierarchy in the world. 
   'zat true? 

On Tue, 2010-10-19 at 22:04 -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> For many years, I've been trying to avoid taking too seriously the
> notion of Oracle Corporation being a pervasively evil institution.  It
> seems just so facile, and some of the people promoting that viewpoint 
> in public (there was a particularly egregious example on BayLISA's
> mailing lists for some years), that it seemed worthwhile distancing
> one's self from them through an act of will.
> There were a long list of things this required ignoring, including many
> pronouncements and attitudes form Larry Ellison himself, their treatment
> of customers, stories about their treatment of companies they acquired
> (e.g., Peoplesoft, Sun Microsystems, MySQL AB), and rumours about
> goings-on at Oracle headquarters.  (It's said that employees are
> forbidden from bringing personally owned cellular telephones into the
> building.  I don't know if this rumour has any merit at all, but the
> creepy reputation of the firm is such that it's easy to believe.)
> Let me put it this way:  In general, Oracle's characteristic conduct and
> attitude keeps reminding me of Dennis Miller's joke about Bill Gates --
> that he's only a monocle and a Persian cat away from being a Bond
> villain.
> (I do know good people who work at Oracle.  I hope they aren't offended.)
> I've commented previously on the company's unpleasant recent track
> record with OpenSolaris, Java, MySQL, and OpenOffice.org, and recent
> litigation in which it's difficult to sympathise with Oracle.
> I've mentioned the gradual forking of all of the open-source projects
> under Oracle's thumb, with the LibreOffice fork under new community
> non-profit umbrella The Document Foundation = TDF being the most recent.
> (It may be worth noting also that Sun Microsystems promised the numerous
> outside developers who contributed code to OO.o and signed over to Sun
> the copyright owner to their work that Sun would place OO.o under an
> independent non-profit foundation -- but then failed to do so.  So, 
> in a way, TDF is now delivering on Sun's broken promise.)
> Today, another small log got piled onto that smouldering fire.
> http://lwn.net/Articles/410597/
>   Ars technica reports that Oracle has asked some TDF (The Document
>   Foundation) founders to resign from the OpenOffice.org community
>   council. "During an OOo community council meeting last week, council
>   chair Louis Saurez-Potts told the TDF members who also sit on the OOo
>   community council that their participation in both organizations
>   constituted a conflict of interest and that their involvement in the new
>   LibreOffice fork should preclude them from holding leadership roles in
>   the OOo community. Saurez-Potts is Oracle's OpenOffice.org community
>   manager, a role that he also held at Sun prior to the acquisition. His
>   position suggests that Oracle views LibreOffice as a hostile fork and
>   will not join TDF as some had hoped."
> The first two reader comments seem to say it all:
> donbarry wrote:
>   This unfortunately will be a black mark on Mr. Suarez-Potts's name.
>   He has seemed to be an accommodating and pliable man, operating
>   primarily in the service of, and therefore under the morality of,
>   his superiors in an variety of positions over the years.
>   And in this case, following Oracle's clear instruction, or more
>   likely, expectation, he simply becomes an exemplar of Upton Sinclair's
>   all too familiar maxim, that: "It is difficult to get a man to 
>   understand something, when his salary depends upon his not 
>   understanding it!" 
> Bruce Perens replied:
>   About two years ago, I asked Louis "Isn't it time to fork OpenOffice
>   away from Sun?". His answer was "no, because it would destroy my
>   livelihood and I don't do things like that."
> Maybe it's just me, but the whole thing does seem yet another small
> manifestation of typical Oracle creepiness and control-freakery.
> Fortunately, it probably doesn't matter, as I predict (and also
> encourage) massive and rapid transfer of mindshare to LibreOffice.
> E.g. Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and probably a bunch of other distributions have
> already announced that they're going to give OO.o the heave-ho and adopt 
> LibreOffice, instead.
> So, if you feel likewise, don't forget to help get the word out that
> LibreOffice is the _successor_ to OpenOffice.org.  I'm going to be so
> annotating the relevant entries in my linuxmafia.com knowledgebase, for
> example.
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