thanks for your engagement. Just a few notes as I've been directly involved in proposing to get the community to be more involved with LOOL and to enjoy it's use while trying to agree with the major code contributor a mutually beneficial way to do it.
We need not only a security warning, but clear information that the
recommended versions of LOOL are still CODE and Collabora Online (LibreOffice Technology (TM)).
I respectfully disagree.
We can surely promote the fact that there are members of the ecosystem that provide support and other services that TDF does not provide for LibreOffice Community on the desktop but then that's it.
As we are not, yet, delivering to our community LOOL Community we don't have a supported edition to recommend. CODE and Collabora Online are just other products from a member of the ecosystem that at present have no TDF's hosted community version to refer to.
So at the end we cannot recommend an enterprise version of something we do not publish.
A few months ago my corporate client wasted time and money because they didn't notice on the
TDF site that LOOL is not actively developed.
It was a very unfortunate outcome and but it's a long time that we promote the fact that corporate clients should seek adequate support services.
LOOL has been frozen, by a split board vote, due to the unilateral decision of the major code contributor to fork and not contribute back.
You will find in the board-discuss archives several threads that try to explain how hard the board worked to provide more support to members of the ecosystem and to find a mutually beneficial agreement but once we made good our side the agreement the other side just walked out.
Thanks to the helpfulness of employees of
Collabora Productivity, now they can test its fork with an up-to-date LibreOffice in their intranet, and
started to contribute back to CODE (they have already been one of the biggest contributors
of LibreOffice Desktop).
It is good that your corporate client can enjoy the benefits of the combined efforts in terms of code and lots of contributions from TDF and the wider community.
Your corporate client made anyway the right choice as, unless they have a very capable team able to fix bugs and contribute back to a community project as LOOL was, then they should get support from other parties.
Why do we need to emphasize that CODE/Collabora Online are the recommended versions (by TDF, too:
Thank you for pointing to that page that has been heavily edited since last time I looked at it.
It now seems to be an advertising page for products for which TDF doesn't have a community counterpart so I wonder if those changes shouldn't be reverted.
Not only because LOOL was the idea and for the most part, product of Collabora Productivity,
but because the original core LOOL developers still work for Collabora in the spirit of the
free software: CODE is the only actively developed version of LOOL, and this is the only maintained
version which contributes back to LibreOffice actively.
LOOL has been "temporarily" frozen for a long time so or we take a decision to bring it back to life, following suggestions that arrived in the past few days, or there is no LOOL and as a consequence no alternatives to point to.
OSSII seems to show that it is possible to have both a commercial and a community version, a bit of a shame that we couldn't find an agreement with a major contributor of LOOL. If it will be possible to create clear rules for cooperation, which might also include synergies to improve CJK handling, then that could be a commercial offering available for enterprise users. Needs more investigation.
Andreas options also requires investigation as it seems to involve backporting of an Open Source project managed by a commercial provider. It would be great to see if that commercial provider is also willing to cooperate under clear rules so that we can refer back to their products for enterprise users.
If after 12 months we don't see much activity then we could be certain
that the community is not really interested in working on LOOL.
It would be great to know if others have other
takes/options/alternatives on this subject.
I'm sure, the potential corporate contributors will prefer CODE/Collabora Online, so it's really important to inform them (and every LibreOffice users) correctly, like in https://collaboraonline.github.io/post/faq/.
Corporate contributors surely prefer to have their projects/products/services promoted, which TDF does for version that it hosts, but CODE/COOL do not relate to LOOL any more so it should be up to them to market their own products and services.
Until we revive LOOL and we (re)create a community around it we should not point to commercial versions of it.
As CODE/Collabora Online are LibreOffice Technology (TM), and for the healthy long-term LibreOffice development, I would like to see more contribution with Collabora Productivity.
We should actually evaluate if those product should use the "LibreOffice Technology" branding.
When Collabora Productivity moved LOOL's code from TDF's repositories to GitHub the first thing that it has done was to remove the header "This file is part of the LibreOffice project" from all the files.
Subsequently even the variables names have been renamed from LOOL to COOL.
This, and other changes, show the intention of removing any indication that the product COOL actually originated from LOOL and every indication that the project was a result of a common effort which included TDF and the wider community.
In my opinion, as LOOL was, CODE is still the key for the survival of LibreOffice.
CODE is now a product fully managed by a commercial contributor that decided to sever all links from TDF in regards to that product so unless they finally agree to join forces again and backport the code to LOOL there is nothing much we can do about their product.
On-line drafting tools are surely useful for many uses and users but there are still billions of people that cannot/do not want to rely on Cloud services to edit their documents so LibreOffice desktop with lots more features and better usability will still be very much relevant for many years to come.
LOOL, and products based on it, is just one of the ways to offer on-line collaborative editing so we may also want to investigate other ways to make LibreOffice available on-line.
In the spirit of a successful free software contribution, respecting the decision of Collabora Productivity, TDF must help CODE development, as much as possible, for the sake of LibreOffice!
Respect is a two way street, TDF kept its promises but the other party decided to fork regardless.
TDF invests in other Open Source software as it's the right thing to do and we could evaluate joint investments if we had a LOOL to give to our community but this time the rules of engagement should be very clear so that the third party does not walk away after having benefited from TDF's and our community's investments.
As a first step, we shouldn't hijack future CODE users and as described above, future (and recent) LibreOffice users and contributors with false hopes and misleading information.
When I accused people of creating false hopes and providing misleading information in regards to LOOL, that pushed me to propose to have a properly structured offering in collaboration with the major code contributor, I have done it with lots of supporting evidence.
You will find all the evidence in the board-discuss archives, in public board meeting minutes and, as now you are a board member and you should take decisions based on objective data, in board email exchanges that I'm very happy to share with you.
I do understand that you are a new member of the board and if you check your emails you will notice that one of my first recommendations was not to limit your choices on what you have been told but to verify things by looking for the relevant objective data or you risk being mislead by narratives that could be slightly biased.