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Hi :)
Ubuntu LTS lasts for 3 years (for desktops) but are released every 2 years.  

This gives orgs the 1 year of testing they need before migrating from the previous LTS and moving 
to the new one.  If they gave 3 years support and released every 3 years then orgs would have a 1 
year gap running an unsupported LTS while they were still testing the new one.  Now i understand 
why the 1 year overlap is so important to Ubuntu.  

Regards from
Tom :)  

--- On Tue, 5/6/12, Marc Paré <> wrote:

From: Marc Paré <>
Subject: [libreoffice-marketing] Re: Of "business ready use" and bugs in LibreOffice and a 
LibreOffice LTS
Date: Tuesday, 5 June, 2012, 21:23

Hi Charles,

Le 2012-06-05 09:12, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
Thank you for bringing that up, it's an interesting discussion. Here's
what I think reading your message. You're asking in fact two questions.
One of which might already have been answered by a few of our corporate
* LTS obviously means long term support. Both "support" and "long term"
    deserve careful consideration. I will in this email first focus on
    the term "support". If we speak of support, we must think of a
    support provider. In this case, does this mean we should think -as
    TDF, as a project- of providing professional support to users
    (obviously for a fee)? I don't think it's your idea, but I thought I
    would highlight the implications of such a matter.
* Have we studied what some of the existing support/service providers
    on LibreOffice already offer? I am not so sure but I'm under the
    impression that you can order support (and in this case a "LTS" kind
    of support) from Suse and Canonical (there are others) on one
    specific version of LibreOffice. That is, these vendors have one
    reference version of LibreOffice, say the 3.4.5, and they provide
    support and services on it making it their de facto LTS version.

Yes, this is fine as they will guarantee that LibreOffice will work on their systems and they will 
take care of any dependencies and network-ability. But I don't think they would undertake any code 
revision and code features into their LTS versions, not unless they have a large team of coders, 
which in this case would make them "competitors" to our work/product (read "fork"). This would take 
us back to the days of the many different versions of OOo -- the same situation that drew all of 
these different groups into one LibreOffice community.

Leaving support/service providers to develop an LTS version, in my opinion, is not the right 
strategy to adopt.

Back to your suggestion: do you mean we should relabel the older branch
"LTS", knowing that each of our releases in one branch really works
like a "service pack"? If we had the ability to provide incremental
updates (we will one day) we would have the feelings we have two
versions, and sometimes "maintenance updates". So at some point, say
the 3.5.4, we label it LTS, because we're close to open a new branch,
the 3.6, and we can suggest service providers to base their support
offers on this one for the time being. Did I get you right?

No. I suggest that at some point, the TDF/LibreOffice should designate an LTS version for 
large/small organizations/businesses. These would have developers oversee the fixing of bugs for a 
fixed term (let's say a 3 year period) after which time another LTS version would be designated. 
The LTS maintenance would NOT introduce any new functions to the distro but only service bug 
correction. IMO, if any business entity would like to add any new functionality, then this is where 
a support/service provider would step in and, hopefully, contribute any development of code back to 
the community.

I don't really think this is a new concept as even Mozilla-Firefox offers its own "Extended Support 
Release (ESR)" version for corporate users[1]. When critical software packages are installed in 
large corporations, a lot of energy in investment of time, training and documentation is expended 
in order to get employees up to speed. LibreOffice certainly falls into this category (critical 
software -- wordprocessing software). While Firefox ESR is being released initially for a period of 
approximately 1 year, IMO, I believe they will ultimately find that a longer term will be necessary 
for these large organizations. As for a version of LibreOffice LTS (or ESR), the impact of change 
for large organizations is even larger due to the amount of training of staff of new features (even 
more so in the educational field with the training of younger students).

If we are looking to supplant MSO in the office place, we need to realize and accept the simple 
fact that the amount of software/network testing as well as (and even more importantly) the 
training of staff for large orgainizations is considerable. I sincerely doubt that a "one 
year"-term LTS for LibreOffice would suffice; one year is just about enough time to test out the 
suite before it is even installed; most organizations simply do not have the manpower to move any 

If we wish to compete in the large business market place we need to plan and develop more 
strategically with our releases. Developing an LTS version will fix this. Otherwise, the choice 
will remain MSO for office use, where MSO has a longer term of support with incremental changes for 
bugfixes and where LibreOffice will remain marginalized as an office suite.


-- Charles-H. Schulz Co-founder & Director, The Document Foundation,
Zimmerstr. 69, 10117 Berlin, Germany Rechtsfähige Stiftung des
bürgerlichen Rechts Legal details: Mobile Number: +33 (0)6 98 65
54 24.




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