Link roundup to December 23

Comments:

Looks like Toshiba wants to die with Sun :-)

Posted by Jeebus Christh on December 23, 2008 at 09:46 PM PST #

Toshiba also sells preloded GNU/Linux. Nice to see them do OpenSolaris too...

Posted by Roy Schestowitz on December 29, 2008 at 09:09 AM PST #

Did you see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10129764-16.html ?

Matt Asay of Alfresco argues that OpenOffice should be turned into a foundation like Eclipse because Sun's contributions are decreasing and it's overly complex. It's an interesting argument.

Posted by Kevin Hutchinson on December 30, 2008 at 09:43 AM PST #

Kevin: I agree that would be a great endpoint (and in fact it was declared as such at the launch in 2000). But Meeks' calculations are flawed and spun to reach the conclusion he wants to reach, and Asay is wrong to base recommendations on them, even if it makes for great tabloid-style headlines. The idea solves far less than it exacerbates.

The Eclipse comparison is an especially bad one. Eclipse was pure marketing when IBM launched it - no community, no history, just a technology lifted from the lab at OTI in Ottawa. IBM used heavy partner program muscle to set a course and direction that fitted their business goals. Only once it was on track to meet their goals did they begin to slip the reins and hand them to people with a track record of thinking and acting the way IBM liked, to develop a community to accompany the partner activity. It's come a long way since then and people tend to forget the origins.

None of that describes OpenOffice.org. The competitive landscape is not conducive to agreement, especially with Novell constantly needling and stirring; the user community is enormous (25 million downloads of OO.o 3 since October just from the official site); the code is a hairball that's in the early stages of remediation; and Sun's business model around funding involvement is changing.

A Foundation is a tempting idea if you don't dig too deeply, though. Sun's competitors are keen to spin bad-will for Sun by calling for it, knowing full-well what a bad idea it is to actually do it now and hence that Sun, as a responsible steward, will just say no. Once a stable state is established, a foundation would be a fine way to crystalise and evolve it and I'd like to see it happen - at that point. Just not yet.

Posted by Simon Phipps on December 30, 2008 at 10:18 AM PST #

Many thanks for the detailed response. Can you explain more about your point "Sun's business model around funding involvement is changing"? Good luck for 2009, especially with xVM Server. That really could be a game-changer if it achieved widespread adoption.

Posted by Kevin Hutchinson on December 30, 2008 at 12:41 PM PST #

Kevin: The direction is to provide quality support services to large deployers of OpenOffice.org (of whom there are now many) rather than trying to sell StarOffice. The results are still emerging, hence my caution above. FWIW, understanding that change gives a huge clue as to why Novell has forked the codebase and doesn't want Linux users to have "real" OpenOffice.org code - they want to undermine a competitor's revenue stream.

Posted by Simon Phipps on January 01, 2009 at 04:20 AM PST #

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