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Le 2012-06-06 06:12, Charles-H. Schulz a écrit :
Interesting ideas here... I wonder how we could plot this with respect to
our existing resources.  The key issue here is resources . LTS only makes
sense if you derive revenue from it.I think we could  relabel one branch as
LTS, the older one if it brings more clarity. It will work for one year. I
don' think working on a branch for 5 years makes sense for a FOSS project,
as -again- the examples pointed out stem from commercial offerings (even
Mozilla with all its resources only provide a one year support and
Canonical or Red Hat offer paid-for support for customers paying each year))

Not necessarily. An LTS version is by name only that: "a long term support version" and does not in itself bring on any connotation of any revenue generation for LibreOffice nor any other software company.

Imagine all of our large-scale installations that are now occurring in the EU and BR. When they find out that they will have to change on a more frequent basis to keep up with bug fixes (our present model will only bug-fix for only the previous version and not any versions prior to this); at some point, there will be some sort of rationalization of their use of their large-scale LibreOffice installation and their TCO (total cost of ownership). If there are any other office suites (MSO, AOO) that offer any product with LTS (you may call it whatever you wish, ESR-extended support release ...), then, the cost related to continual update/upgrade-testing will put LibreOffice at a clear disadvantage over any LTS-version-office-suite. I cannot imagine a government entity or large institution/business opting for costly installation/retraining costs ad infinitum ... there will eventually be a breaking point and the loss will be ours to bear.

The proof of this bears out when you examine the shift in development with Mozilla-Firefox ESR version, Canonical's 3 and now 5 year LTS version. Large-scale installations are costly, affect too many departments/people and put undue stress on their systems. This then leaves a large hole for any other office suite that is more sensitive to large-scale installations to move in and fill the void.

LibreOffice is simply trying to put the rapid-development-circle-model into the square-business-model which does not fit. Ignoring this, and developing for, what is now essentially an individual's personal office suite, is, in my opinion, not going to work for large-scale or even medium-size-scale installation.

Getting LibreOffice into the workplace as well as on individual's desktops should be our approach. I don't believe that any large/medium sized company would leave the update of any of its software packages up to the software-developer's whim. Updates need to be tested by the IT staff before installation.

A good example of why this is necessary: my school board's software titles that are supported by its IT staff must even be installed in a set order, as doing it in any other order will break the system (software A installed before software B installed before software C ...); updates to any of these titles may or may not break the installation order and then the whole software installation stack must be re-tested - quite a large investment in IT-time. Imagine the havoc this would cause (read cost) if this were to happen a couple times in one year, inconveniencing/disrupting work for our 3,000 staff/30,000 students with an organization that is also expected to show balanced budgets. The reality is, if the software breaks or costs (whether in $$$ or loss in IT-hours), then it is not worth having. An LTS version would at the very least offer some comfort to IT concerns and may allow for closer and more conciliatory cooperation with corporate/institutional organizations and TDF/LibreOffice. (Notice that even when institutional installation of LibreOffice is done on a large scale, even then, these same institutions find it difficult to re-invest into LibreOffice, this, despite considerable savings on their part. This is also another aspect of large scale installation we need to work on -- re-investment of "some revenue" from our large-scale installations who reap considerable savings of LibreOffice's development. -- another topic of discussion).

Office suites, despite what people are saying, are here to stay for quite a while longer, and, in all cases of large scale installations, are considered critical in their operations. Having any potential problems in installation or costly update/upgrades are taken seriously. We should not ignore this if we are serious of competing in this market.

IMO, I do not believe that the "rapid development model" for software packages such as ours, will work as well as we think for business/institutional use. If we plan for both, a rapid development model alongside a modified model allowing for LTS versioning, then we will have covered all the necessary market possibilities for LibreOffice.

It just means a re-thinking of our development team and development plan. I know it is nice to work on the newest and brightest of up-and-coming Android UX etc. but if we truly wish to compete and establish our product ... I also don't believe a 5-year LTS version would be necessary, but certainly a 3-year LTS (with overlap) would most likely work. It would be nice if we were able to poll some organizations to get a more sober idea on this.

BTW, as some people were wondering what an unstable release might look
like: you are all aware of course, that we released an Alpha version of
LibreOffice 3.6, that you can download it and test it? :-)

Yup, however, I believe at this time there are problems installing on some Linux systems? I usually try to install the latest versions.


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