Back from FOSDEM, time for links!

It’s been two busy weeks for me: Releasing LibreOffice 3.3, working on several professional projects, attending FOSDEM, etc. In a word, I got swamped but I’m coming back. Below is a series of links for February:

  • LibreOffice 3.3.1 RC1 is released. You will mostly notice the new icons unless you are the part of the people who were affected by one of the several bugs that got fixed. The Document Foundation is going to come back on a more regular work on its community and project building. Now that the 3.3 release is gone we will have (supposedly) more time to work on the Foundation and further implement our policies, bylaws, etc. Stay tuned for announcements!
  • Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager of the project, employee of Sun Microsystems and Oracle, resigns from Oracle. The formal resignation from its position of community manager of the project is not known yet, but I am expecting news either of his resignation, or else of the election of a new community manager (Louis should run for these). If that’s not the case then two comments are to be made in the light of the situation inside the project: This project is now either deprived of any governance or structure whatsoever, and/or the community manager has no real standing as no charter, text, agreement, structure mandates its existence outside a detailed charter (which has by now probably exploded after the announcement of the Document Foundation). But enough with that for the moment: I have been working with Louis for 10 years and I sincerely wish him good luck for the future.
  • Talking about Free and Open Source projects, I couldn’t resist to submit LibreOffice to Simon Phipps’ benchmark. On a scale going from -10 to +10, Simon gave LibreOffice +5, which is quite good and this number might even go up if we can get one or two things done.
  • Nokia “partners” with Microsoft (some might say that Microsoft just acquired a mobile hardware division) and not many people seem to like it. I will spare you yet one more “Elop resigns from Microsoft, goes to Nokia, sells Nokia to Microsoft, connect the dots” lines that I dented and tweeted to ask two important questions:
      • If I understand the terms of the agreement correctly, Nokia would sell phones with the Microsoft operating system for mobile platforms and in return Nokia would have an “influence” on the development of Windows Mobile.  That’s the part I don’t really understand. Surely Nokia was struggling with a proper strategy for its smartphone operating system(s) but selling out to Microsoft appears as the worst solution possible, as it essentially turns Nokia into another OEM… for Windows Mobile. As for influencing the development of that operating system, perhaps the only words that come out of my mind is: “Open Source anyone?” … and that does not necessarily mean Android.
      • From a pure FOSS perspective, the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft jeopardizes the future and funding of Qt, the KDE project and to a lesser extent MeeGo. There is nothing we can really say, at this stage, except this: That this unfortunate story highlights again the peril of having one and only corporate sponsor behind a FOSS project. This is a weakness several of these projects have and I do hope the thinking around this will evolve.
  • FOSDEM: the FOSDEM was great, our booth was very popular as well as our conference room. It was great to feel this momentum around us. Let me thank all the volunteers who made that event possible and especially Cor, Thorsten, Christoph, Michael… and I’m sure I’m forgetting several others.
  • Last but not least, and for future reference: our page listing the press articles on LibreOffice is here. We will watch that one grow over the time with pride!

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