This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
Up early, mail prod, misc. calls. Poked at some encouraging
iogrind related progress. Poked at a packagekit / zypp backend issue.
Interested to see that the widely trailed move of donating
OO.o to the Apache Software Foundation actually happened today. TDF
have a simple, friendly response,
and I have a number of thoughts:
Engaging with community members (IBM), and having a
commitment to the developer and open-source communities (Oracle)
are laudable goals. I can only applaud the sentiment. Unfortunately,
starting that process only after finalizing a license incompatible with
the communities existing work, and at a different home to the one the
developers chose themselves seems an odd way to engage, and commit.
Unfortunately, there is a problem with Free Software developers,
firstly - they often don't wear suits, and (get this) some have beards:
which just shows you the kind of schmucks they are. But worse - they
have odd, meritocratic, collaborative decision making processes, that
don't come up with suitably corporate answers. One example is jurisdiction:
the community (after all is said and done) wanted to found itself in
Germany. Professional, serious, serial, corporate body founders prefer
to go elsewhere (US, UK) - yet, is it really that bad to compromise on the
issue ? Community decision making - but only if you like the outcome
is a tad unfortunate.
Worse - Free Software hackers tend to be free-spirited, and they
often believe in reciprocity: if I give you my work, surely you should
give me yours ? ie. the spirit of the copy-left. Unfortunately, that is
not the Apache way, which has some merits no doubt, but is alien to the
existing developer community that commitment is made to. OpenOffice
has traditionally included plenty of copy-left code, some of which I
before. Coercing developers to do the bidding of big companies is not
something they react well to (usually).
This event highlights some of the great work that has been done
as part of the GPLv3 process, and also the MPLv2
work (done by my friend: Luis Villa). These happy lawyers out there have laboured long
and hard to make their new licenses compatible with Apache 2.0 - such that code under
that license can be re-licensed under their terms. An example of doing this
Without their labours, it would not be possible to integrate the Oracle
code, and the eight months of existing work by the community into a
single beautiful whole. Clearly there is no rush to actually do that work,
perhaps it can be done on schedule for LibreOffice
3.5. By a happy coincidence, we have a slightly longer cycle this time
as we sync. up our six-monthly time-based release schedule with that of
Linux distributions and desktop.
Apparently this is a somewhat divisive attempt by an exiting
Oracle, along with IBM to sideline the existing developer community, their
governance, their aspirations, membership, licensing choice (explicitly
adapted to meet IBM's needs incidentally), bylaws, and so on. All of this
despite a profound, frequently stated open-ness to including new
(particularly large) corporate contributors inside TDF, and taking
their advice seriously.
Thankfully, license compatibility lets us turn this from a closed,
and finished chapter of long, sad story - into the beginning of a happy
one - where everyone, regardless of size and Dilbert-ness can join
together around TDF's code-base and contribute on their own merits. So,
next time you meet a Free Software lawyer, please - shake their hand.
We also have Rob Weir enthusing
about the joys of his preferred outcome. It all sounds wonderful, but sadly is
not what the substantial, existing developer (and marketing, and QA and ...)
community chose. Luckily of course, it is not a final choice as/when the code
is released they are free to choose to join TDF and engage. Still, I look
forward to reading Rob's code - it'd be great to hack with him.
Got around to reading Luke's mail
and associated odf proposal
That document itself has some great quoteable material:
Both Oracle and ASF agree that the
OpenOffice.org development community, previously fragmented, would
re-unite under ASF to ensure a stable and long term future for
or how about
The initial set of committers include people
from the community of OpenOffice.org Technology projects ....
The initial group of developers will be employed by IBM, Linux
distribution companies, and likely public sector agencies.
Localization resources are expected to gravitate to the new
project, as well. Ensuring the long term stability of OpenOffice.org
is a major reason for establishing the project at Apache.
Amazing to see Andrew Rist and Rob Weir as the initial
committers - I'm unaware that they have ever committed a single line
of code to the codebase before: but ... there is always a first
line; a whole new sense of initial committer perhaps. I was
encouraged to read somewhere that: "The first step along the road
leading to committership is to become a developer".
Sean M. Kerner writes a nice piece here on the rational
a Terrible move.
Fun quote from Benson Margulies posting
on the Apache projects list:
Instead of IBM loving and leaving ASF in an attempt to outmaneuver
Oracle, we have IBM, with help from Oracle, proposing to love ASF to
outmaneuver an open source foundation. It all looks like fox-hunting
to me. (The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.)
Call with JP. Pleased to see Christian restoring some Korean comments
from the history whose encoding got mangled - LibreOffice: not just a legacy
of German comments, but some in Korean too - help appreciated translating
them, they're: here
Pleased to see Bradley's thoughtful
piece on the move. Played some violin to relax, nothing like Kreutzer to
free up the hands & mind.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)