Re: GNOME Office and OpenOffice (fwd)

On Thu, 26 Oct 2000, John B Tunison wrote:

> Dude, emails like this make me unhappy.

I don't like discussing this on abiword-dev so this is just to you and the
gnome office list.
> "Abi will not be a solely Gnome application until Gnome runs on at least 
> Windows, BeOS, QNX and Mac. My personal opinion is that Abi should  
> concentrate on core WP capabilities in its XP framework and pull in other  
> components as needed via a component interface."
> True, Abi was always had XP as a goal.  But so has StarOffice.  Actually,
> in terms of design, StarOffice and AbiSuite are very similar, from the
> 50,000 foot view.  C++ abstractions to cover portability.  

But then they have their own xp GUI rather than our more pragmatic
approach of native widget implementation. Just changing their GUI to gtk
will be a huge job. We have this and 4 other GUI's already.

> I don't think
> Havoc's request is at all unreasonable, and I hope that Abi-post-1.0 and
> OpenOffice merge.  

I'm happy with this provided the merger maintains all our ports.

However there are huge technical and license problems with this. 

I'll restate the major license problem. Abi is GPL'd and Open Office is
dual licensed. Open Office won't accept code that is not dual licensed.
AFAIU this second license (apart from the GPL) allows another company to
take Open Office code and incorporate it into their product without
releasing the source. If I'm correct in my understanding of this license
then it would take a VERY strong argument to convince just me to agree to
this, let alone the >100 contributers to Abi. Please correct me I'm wrong

I'm personally not interested in writing anything other than GPL'd code.

Ok so the question arises will Sun change its dual license policy? Without
such a change there cannot be a merger. We can take code from them but
they can't take code from us.

About "not being a sole gnome project" what I meant was that we should not
compromise our xp capabilities when with a bit of work we can develop a
full featured Gnome Office component and a powerful xp Wordprocessor.

You should not under-estimate the value of being truely cross platform.
99% of Computer users do not run Gnome. I see no reason why Abi should
limit itself to 1% of the Computer Population when with the present
framework we can reach >95% of the computer population.

I write this as massive Gnome enthusiast myself but I get MS Word
documents from people around the world who run Windows or Macs. Installing
Linux on those people is MUCH harder than installing a 4 MB Word Processor
to read the *.abw I send back to them.

Finally we have many *excellent* developers who run on other OS's. Losing
those developers and denying the possibility of new developers 
would really hurt us.

> "Equations are such a useful part of a WP that we may have to fork
> whatever equation editor is used by Gnome and put it into our XP
> framework."
> This is silly.  The right thing to do isn't to fork the equation editor,
> but to create an XP abstraction layer for components (much like OpenOffice
> has already done).

Ah this would be a great help. We can learn from this.

> Again:
> In terms of goals, I don't think that there are any differences between
> Abisuite and OpenOffice.  They both have highly-valued implementations for
> GNOME, as well as other platforms.  OpenOffice has a head start in terms
> of code, but if we can't adopt the best technical solution, then we're
> just letting ego get in the way of the best product. 

I fully agree. We should ask Sun why we should dual license our code.


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