Some 30 people joined and I explained them about the start of LibreOffice, what we are working on and what is the goal: an open community, where contributing is fun and attractive. And of course creating an excellent piece of open source software.
The audience was enthusiastic about the developments. Which is not surprising, speaking to people that are catched by the idea of open source. Most of them could well understand why the group of volunteers from OpenOffice.org, that started with LibreOffice, wanted to work freer and easier, and do not want to be dependent on the one big sponsor, nowadays Oracle.
During the preparations of the presentation I was digging through nearly all that had happened in the past months, within The Document Foundation, the organization that is responsible for LibreOffice. And that is really a lot. So I my talk I paid short attention to many topics, such as the reason for the split-up, the large number of enthusiastics that started to contribute to the code (currently often with small tasks. But also to all that has not been done or even has to be started...
So I did not give a black-white talk. I realize well enough that there is many good stuff on the OpenOffice.org side, and that with LibreOffice of course not everything is perfect in shape. Ahum ;-) There is a long road ahead and quite some to learn.
However, the first two months of LibreOffice do show that it does work: grow towards an open, enthusiastic group and large community. And that the most important for now – not the extra functions that will be delivered with LibreOffice.
But OK, of course LibreOffice comes from OpenOffice.org. And in the foreseeable future it will integrate the changes that will be made in OOo. If the other way round changes from LibreOffice will also be published in OpenOffice.org, depends on the individual developer, that for doing so has to share the copyright with Oracle.
After my presentation, we had discussion on for example the co-existence of OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. I think many people would not be surprised of they exist side by side, because they are attactive to a different part of the market place.
That fits in the idea that I got, when I was looking back at all that happened with code development for LibreOffice in the past months: the structure around OpenOffice.org and that around LibreOffice differ so fundamentally and therefore the daily work is so different, that they will attract in principle a very different group of people. Well, of course there is some competition for 'thé community'. But let that be an impulse for both projects to be a good house for the community-members.
Still, I do long for the moment that both products will spring from one common source and contribute to that.
Talking about cooperation between the two projects, there is the special position of the people that work on documentation, in OooAuthors/the Documentation-project. One of the people attending teh presentation was Leo Moons, active for years in OOoAuthors with the Dutch documentation. He was so friendly to give explanation about the work for OOo en LibO. And then it always comes out, that some extra help for making the best possible documentation, will be very much appreciated... (hint: the list firstname.lastname@example.org (see the Wiki).
I have the impression that at the end of the meeting, people left with an enthusiasm and full expectations for a bright future.
The presentation (Dutch) can be seen here.