I have stumbled on free software when I was 50, searching for an alternative to Microsoft Office. I was fed up with Microsoft Outlook, the worst piece of software ever developed. I am now over 60, and after ten years in the free software trenches, I have some ideas to share.

Some food for thought

Just spotted on Rob Weir’s blog:

May 13th, 2013: The Power of Brand and the Power of Product, Part 2 (prepared with another apparently “neutral” post: The Power of Brand and the Power of Product, Part 1)

This is the last post of a long story, going back to June 2011 and reiterated since then:

June 1st, 2011: An Invitation to Apache OpenOffice (comments)

June 3rd, 2011: Apache OpenOffice: How to Get Involved (comments)

June 13, 2011: OpenOffice, LibreOffice and the Scarcity Fallacy (also comments)

April 1st, 2012: Gorilla Free Software Marketing, Chapter 8: Community Metrics (also comments)

October 31st, 2012: LibreOffice’s Dubious Claims: Part I, Download Counts (also comments)

November 3rd, 2012: LibreOffice’s Dubious Claims: Part 2, Community Size (also comments)

November 4th, 2012: LibreOffice’s Dubious Claims: Part 3, Developers (also comments)

There are other random traces of the same statements in comments to several LWN articles (user rweir) and several Slashdot articles (user palestrina).

I think that no one would object that these posts are a coordinated attack against The Document Foundation and LibreOffice, repeated over time. Some of the statements are echoed in several emails and comments by other AOO advocates, in several places, including AOO mailing lists and OpenOffice forums.

Rob Weir is employed by IBM, and is the most vocal “enemy” of The Document Foundation and LibreOffice. Juergen Schmidt is also employed by IBM, and is one of the strongest supporters of Rob Weir’s statements.

The attacks have been reiterated for over two years now, and IBM (the employer of the gentleman attacking The Document Foundation and LibreOffice on a regular basis since June 2011) has done nothing visible to stop the reiterated attacks to a free software foundation and a free software project which have committed one single sin: they are the most successful fork.

I have been a US corporation employee for several years in my life, and I know that US based corporations are not keen about personal statements – although on personal blogs or on independent mailing lists – if they are even slightly different from the corporation’s policy.

I think that everyone can draw his own conclusions after having read all Rob Weir’s posts and comments, and digged AOO mailing lists.

Some, food for thoughts, indeed.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John D June 17, 2013, 10:16 pm

    Mr. Weir’s survey did seem a tad flawed.

    1. Only surveys US net users, despite OO.o/AO/LO being used worldwide. This choice would also give a greater proportion of english-speakers than a wider sample would, which exaggerates the familiarity of the “Open” vs “Libre” prefix difference.

    2. Uses “OpenOffice” for the survey where the actual name of the software he advocates is “Apache OpenOffice” (or “” before the fork). Apache is extremely careful to never use just the more generic “OpenOffice” in their branding, so I’m not sure why he would in his survey, except for the purpose of skewing results.

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