Phillip Rhodes wrote:

OK, counter-point to the other thread... let's talk specifically about what needs to happen next, given that some (plenty|most|all|???) of us want this
project to
continue moving forward.

What has to happen next? What is the most important thing/things we could
working on? What could I do *right now* to help move things in a positive

How can we attract more developers?  How do we counter the FUD that is
already being promulgated in response to the "retirement" discussion?


I just want to give you my impression.

For what OpenOffice needs to begin with.

1) rename it to ApacheOffice
2) keep the intellecutal property (of the name) but release it after a while (maybe 10 years in full) 3) Focus on user interface beauty and essential features that don't work right, but should (no feature expansion, only feature improvement)
4) Disallow LibreOffice from taking in improvements and/or commits
5) Appear it as if you are starting a new product (call it a restart)
6) Change the binary names from soffice etc. (the star office remnant) to something more modern (such as openoffice or aoffice or apacheoffice). 7) Focus (again) on user interface improvements to make it 'compete' with e.g. Google Docs (or LO itself) 8) Disregard compatibility issues for a while but focus on only two things: compatibility with the most popular MS Office version to date (or currently) and compability with one office suite on Linux of choice (Calligra and LibreOffice/OpenOffice are not compatible) -- disregard all the rest.

9) Focus on introducing a form of interoperabolity with Google and Microsoft cloud (Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive) that will make *their* (desktop) clients irrelevant in a way.

You cannot use Microsoft Office 365 from the web. You need a client for that. This is either Windows or Mac or Android or iPhone or whatever. If you can provide an alternate client you become something that can in the future expand to its own platform, even if it doesn't feel entirely right.

10) Ensure printing works perfectly, PDF writing works perfectly, and introduce a few more PDF features such as integrating PDF documents into an existing PDF, a little bit of editing. Become that tool. Suppose someone has printed 3 separate PDFs and now wants to combine them into one document. Enable that feature, provide that tool.

11) Again, make sure the interface is attractive (no black border around a page, use shadows).

12) Try to see if any kind of interoperability or co-working or shared goals with Mozilla "BlueGriffon" could exist. BlueGriffon is the only available HTML editor that is to my mind usable enough and also free, in that sense.

Some of these things may seem like you'd be begging for approval or becoming a lesser thing because you submit yourself to the platform of another person or entity.

But I'm just speaking out of a sense of what would be popular.

1) Having your program as a tool that can do stuff no other tools can (such as PDF combining, and subscribing/logging into Microsoft and Google cloud) instantly transforms it into something valuable to have around

2) If your interoperability with the Microsoft and/or Google formats is excellent (Google Docs can export to Microsoft) people will also want to have your tool around because they wouldn't be so dependent on the existing tools (and platforms)

3) This is particularly helpful for non-tablet users. People who still use desktops are often not served or serviced by existing developments on the tablet/android/iphone market.

LibreOffice can continue being that Linux desktop powerhouse for all it wants. Linux is not popular and hard to use no matter how much Ubuntu is trying to get that to change. People are not safe on Linux. I am not safe on Linux and I know almost everything.

I would suggest being a little sneaky and borrowing from the popularity of Microsoft and Google cloud platforms. Become a client and become compatible with either LibreOffice or Calligra in your native format. That means losing your identity as a separate, own thing. You become the glue that ties a lot of things together.

Personally I would suggest using Calligra but its program is rather poor in quality to this day.

Nevertheless it is all ODT and it is the small things that can render a document unusable (such as bulleting completely changing between saves).

So it would mean choosing either LibreOffice or Calligra as your source of what your own document format should be. So you lose your own sense of identity in being a leader in this area.

The moment OpenOffice becomes that tool that people can use to use Microsoft OneDrive or Google Docs, every linux distribution will want to have it on board.

If you change your binary executable names, no one will be offended by its install.

If there is a sense of interoperability between it and BlueGriffon, in terms of a synchronisation of design goals perhaps, and a shared purpose, you have another friend that will help you survive.

So I suggest: look for friends. Calligra is a friend. BlueGriffon is a friend. You don't need their permission, but OneDrive and Google Drive are friends.

So what I suggest is to become more of the sneaky person and more of the underdog even in a sense but the underdog can still be stronger than the master of the competition.

You could try to disregard LibreOffice completely, state in your license terms that they can't use it, seek out ties or relations with Calligra, and then just create a net of applications that may be lesser known but that create a shared experience of sorts.

What I mean is that having supporters might be important, and supporting others likewise. LibreOffice, I don't want to offend anyone or give any ideas.

But when you're strong and powerful you may not think of seeking out friends.

However others who are in your position may welcome you as a comrade and ally.

But I haven't really named the biggest strength of ApacheOffice.

It's the fact that it could become a commercial entity of its own. Because it is only at that point that people will take it serious.

But it would probably require a change of code base or a restructuring of code and at some point to make it semi-closed-source. What I mean is that for people to recognise ApacheOffice as an important player (but this is a long term goal) it must have a bit of a feel of Apple. You could lower your dependence on other people's platforms in due time.

ApacheOffice is a good brand name but you would have to stay away from the tablet markets for a great while. Also no phones then, not in essence. This is a pure desktop/online browser creation.

But it has to start small as well by becoming that glue that borrows other people's platforms and formats.

I am sorry I cannot really finish this message the way I started it. I need someone's support and i cannot reach that person ;-).

What ApacheOffice would become in a sense would be a bit more sexy and a bit more Apple and a bit less Microsoft and a bit less Linux and a bit more Google and in the end perhaps something that has its own cloud or online store for documents that people depend on.

I can't really say what I mean in full here.

But I still wanted to write this anyway.


ps. so what I think would be the biggest selling point in the short term would be being an OneDrive and / or Google Docs client. (I would say OneDrive most).

Why? There is no OneDrive/Office365 client for Linux. Also if people see Microsoft Office as the main alternative, you are now closing the gap. Now you remain an alternative.

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

Reply via email to