atom feed31 messages in contribution
FromSent OnAttachments
Rob WeirJul 13, 2011 3:00 pm 
Roberto SalomonJul 13, 2011 3:55 pm 
Ross GardlerJul 13, 2011 4:29 pm 
Marcus (OOo)Jul 13, 2011 4:47 pm 
Simon PhippsJul 13, 2011 5:06 pm 
Donald HarbisonJul 13, 2011 6:43 pm 
Carl MarcumJul 13, 2011 7:28 pm 
Dave FisherJul 13, 2011 7:31 pm 
Yong Lin MaJul 13, 2011 8:09 pm 
Arthur BuijsJul 13, 2011 10:33 pm 
Rob WeirJul 13, 2011 10:46 pm 
Marcus (OOo)Jul 13, 2011 11:37 pm 
Rolf EderJul 14, 2011 12:11 am 
Graham LauderJul 14, 2011 12:30 am 
Ian LynchJul 14, 2011 1:18 am 
Malte TimmermannJul 14, 2011 2:54 am 
Malte TimmermannJul 14, 2011 4:20 am 
Eike RathkeJul 14, 2011 5:00 am 
Eike RathkeJul 14, 2011 5:13 am 
eric bJul 14, 2011 5:31 am 
Donald HarbisonJul 14, 2011 5:38 am 
imacatJul 14, 2011 6:59 pm 
Wolf HaltonJul 14, 2011 7:27 pm 
Rob WeirJul 18, 2011 4:53 pm 
Rob WeirJul 18, 2011 7:07 pm 
Andy BrownJul 18, 2011 7:19 pm 
Steve LeeJul 19, 2011 8:45 am 
Malte TimmermannJul 20, 2011 10:06 am 
Jean Hollis WeberJul 22, 2011 12:06 pm 
Jean Hollis WeberJul 22, 2011 12:23 pm 
Rob WeirJul 22, 2011 12:34 pm 
Subject:Symphony contribution
From:Rob Weir (
Date:Jul 13, 2011 3:00:34 pm

I'm sending this with my IBM "hat".

I'm going to be speaking at the ODF Plugfest in Berlin Friday afternoon, and will be making some announcements. I wanted you to hear this first, before anyone else knows.

You know about IBM Lotus Symphony, our free (as in beer) product which is based on OOo. We're doing well with it, I think. Along with various numerous interop, performance enhancements and functional/bug fixes, we've done some significant work in the accessibility and user interface in general. If you saw recently, PC Magazine gave Symphony 3.0 its "Editors' Choice Award" [1]. In the review they praised the "interface that's been tweaked by IBM to make it by far the user-friendliest no-cost productivity suite, and one's that's friendly enough to rival the spacious and informative interface that Microsoft created for Office 2010 and that Apple created for iWork '09." So the UI enhancements are getting some notice.

However, we at IBM have not been exemplary community members when it came to This wasn't necessarily by design, but for various reasons, that was the effect. Yes, we participated in various community councils, and sponsored conferences and worked together on standards. But when it came down to the code, we maintained Symphony essentially as a fork, and although we occasionally contributed code back, we did not do this well, or often.

We'd like to make some changes in how we do things, and the fresh start at Apache is a good opportunity for this.

We will be doing the following:

First, we're going to contribute the standalone version of Lotus Symphony to the Apache project, under the Apache 2.0 license. We'll also work with project members to prioritize which pieces make sense to integrate into OpenOffice. For example, we've already done a lot of work with replacing GPL/LPGL dependencies. Using the Symphony code could help accelerate that work and get us to an AOOo release faster. We've already converted the help files to DITA, which could help accelerate that work, if we chose to go in that direction.

Aside from the work that would help accelerate getting AOOo to our first release, we've also added other features that I think we should consider merging in. For example, the IAccessible2 work which helps Symphony work better with assistive technology. I know an older version of this work sits in an OOo CWS someplace, but it will be easier to integrate that work if we start with our latest code. We've also added VBA macro support, which is great for MS Office interop.

Also, as the PC Magazine review notes, we've done some really good UI work. I invite you to download Symphony [2] and take a closer look at this. Yes, it is different from what OOo has today. And a move of that magnitude has an impact on documentation and translations as well. But the feedback we've received from customers and reviewers is very positive. Do we integrate parts of the Symphony UI? That is something for the project to discuss and decide on.

Finally, we will be proposing [3] a new incubation project at Apache, for the ODF Toolkit. These Java libraries enable new kinds of lightweight document processing applications. We think this would work well as an Apache project, and we look forward to moving that into incubation and developing that complementary project forward.

So that's essentially what I'll be announcing on Friday. The above contributions will occur over the next couple of months, starting with the ODF Toolkit. I hope you see the exciting possibilities as much as I do.