05 May 2005


Day after day I become more convinced that Sun really doesn't really understand Open Source.
Take this message as a sample, is about handling RFEs on OpenOffice.org or more exactly about the RFE system not working and being ignored by Sun.

note: NLC means Native Language Confederation and is composed exclusively by volunteers doing localization, user support in various languages and marketing on local communities.

second note: SVG support in OOo is one of those RFEs having 213 votes in their tracking system, but about a year ago was cosidered not important enough to be a priority.

Here are some extracts:

It was understood by all that as Sun largely determines the shape of SO/OOo (OOo being the same codebase as SO), that we would have to negotiate with Sun marketing directly.
We all want to include more of the community in deciding OOo's shape and roadmap. Equally, we also recognize the need of structure for any such inclusion. Because discussions on OOo affect StarOffice, and vice versa, we must approach the issue of including community input very early on carefully. NDAs may very well be needed for discussions that involve StarOffice marketing. StarOffice is of course a proprietary application and its
roadmap and future is a thing of competitive interest.

Meanwhile, OOo's efforts to systematize community interest in enhancements (RFEs) has stalled, as many are probably aware, though we are trying to get things going again. We made some attempts in this
regard late last year but lack of interest and meaningful progress (and the holidays) arrested that development.
Second, and this proposal can work within #1 above, we discussed a model where representatives of the NLC leads might meet directly with StarOffice marketing and product management leads. The idea is to represent to SO product management the desires of the NLC users. As mentioned above, representative leads may have to sign NDAs with Sun, as they would be discussing proprietary information with the company.

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