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[libreoffice-marketing] Of "business ready use" and bugs in LibreOffice and a LibreOffice LTS
- Subject: [libreoffice-marketing] Of "business ready use" and bugs in LibreOffice and a LibreOffice LTS
- From: Marc Paré <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:51:10 -0400
- To: email@example.com
Watching some of us discussing these items on our lists is at times a little disconcerting but perhaps a necessary evil. Thanks to all of you for keeping calm over this even when the discussions got a little heated.
I find myself wishing to add my opinion to the discussion. I have no problems with any of the number of bugs/regressions with any versions, as I know that these are actively being worked out by our devs. I understand that we have only been a distinct foundation/group for over a year and that the bug reporting/process is still being refined quite actively by our devs. I also have no problem with having two branches available for users, nor do I have any problems with offering users our newest version on the website on the downloads page. Users can decide themselves if they would like to upgrade to the newest version once they get their notices through the LibreOffice update notices.
We should update our FAQ and perhaps detail the use of the download page as well as our philosophy behind the use of our two branch system. I am sure that this would be enough to clear up any questions regarding this topic.
Re: LibreOffice for business use:
Having taken part on software acquisition committees in the educational field here is what I do know of multiple installation at large institutions. Large organizations DO usually pre-test software before doing large installations both for bugs and for installation compatibility on their systems. For example, at my school board, some school(s) may be designated as test-sites to help with software QA in real-time use before it is accepted board-wide. Deciding to install a suite such as LibreOffice would normally take 1 year before getting the confirmation from our IT staff AND only after being fully tested.
However, one of the most important aspect of software acquisition and installation at large institutions is that of the "long term support" (LTS) of that particular package. One of the drawbacks of our rapid system development, is that the term of support for each version is so short. Although the rapid development does bring on advantages by way of new options to LibreOffice, it also presents disadvantages by forcing these institutions to upgrade on shorter terms that they can manage. My school board will upgrade major software packages every 3-4 years, but, will update this software whenever an update is available (with bugfixes). However, software updates will also go through the normal pre-test before being sent through the networks.
So, if we are to join in on the very competitive wordprocessing market of large institutions/companies, in my opinion, the winner(s) will be those who can develop LTS versions of their software packages. The question remains as to how long a term would have a version of LibreOffice LTS. We would have to consult with our devs who are experienced in large-scale installations at institutions or even consult with various institutions to really get a good grasp as to what would be considered a reasonable LTS-term. Again, I suspect the result will most likely favour a 3-4 year term as being a reasonable term.
Re: branches available to users
If we are to offer users any "official branches", we could offer users a LibreOffice LTS (being used by large-scale institutions) AND our newest branch(es). We would certainly encourage our users to download our newest branch and continue our road to incremental updates rather than full replacement installation updates for the most recent branch(es) (this is what I believe Italo made reference to in a prior email). users would still have the option to download our previous branch(es) if they wished to do so.
This would then require LibreOffice devs to manage the LibreOffice LTS version with a closer eye to bug-fixes or regressions fixes (if any) but also still allow for the rapid development of our newest branches.
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