[Libreoffice] [tdf-discuss] Re: Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice

Simon Phipps simon at webmink.com
Sun Jun 5 08:01:54 PDT 2011

There's an important concept in Michael Meeks' e-mail that mustn't get lost:

On 4 Jun 2011, at 17:03, Michael Meeks wrote:
> 	The problem is, that very much of our work is inter-dependent, and we
> want people to be able to work all over the code, cleaning, translating
> and fixing it. It would suck giant rocks (through a straw) to say:
> 	"no copy-left lovers need think of working on X Y or Z
> 	 big pieces of the code - since we want to license
> 	 changes to these on to IBM (via Apache)" :-)
> 	At least - I don't want to just push the division down into the
> code-base, excluding people from lots of it (and of course throwing away
> our changes to those pieces).

The plain fact is that Apache's rules do not allow any section of Apache-maintained code to be licensed under copyleft licenses. That means that groups of people who have made the the equally valid choice to have their work licensed under LGPL will be unable to collaborate within the Apache community. As a consequence, any part of the OOo/LO codebase whose locus of development moves to Apache cannot be co-developed by people preferring copyleft licensing.

The folk who choose non-copyleft licensing simply won't be welcome at Apache. While the folk who choose only Apache licensing will be welcome at LibreOffice (since their Apache-licensed contributions can readily be used in the LibreOffice code), they will probably not be content with a work-product that's not Apache licensed.

Given these plain facts, I believe it is inevitable that there will be two projects. As such, I think it's important to get started on the "rules of engagement" for productive co-operation rather than endlessly arguing about licensing or the "possibility" that every developer with existing preferences will spontaneously change them.


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