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Hi Tom,
at some level i agree with you, having 2 branches does not make much sense, specially for desktop 
applications such as libreoffice. It will confuse people who do not read which version is 
applicable for which environment. 

In marketing the way I have seen such situations handled is having 2 different sub-brands, for 
e.g., MS Office Home Edition and MS Office Professional. However having 2 sub-brands has serious 
impact on spending, to increase awareness of different features and increase sales for both brands. 
And product licenses also get impacted (no. of copies allowed, support provided etc) which requires 
approval from legal teams. 

Bottom line, its a business decision to introduce 2 sub-brands, and then let marketing (and all 
other teams) plan to support both of them. It seems TDF board has made the decision to keep one 
brand which is great for many reasons (cost being one of them).

Also, not all software sells through LGPL, so if those companies sell 
software with known bugs, they might have significant liability later, or they may not get paid for 
software maintenance and so on.

With LO, having 2 branches is good for engineering, where you can have regressions fixed in the 
stable branch and code back merged from the features added to the main line at a later date. 
However, this mechanism presupposes that the stable branch is getting more QA cycles, and 
consequently has more stability, which is the "selling point" of the stable branch.
So this message will be very useful for all engineers working on LO who drive the improvements in 
the product.

Unless you have SAAS deployments, product versioning and subsequent upgrades are a de facto 
engineering process, which marketing team must accept and plan for. Quibbling about the "quality" 
of different versions of LO is largely pointless.

You can ping me offline if you need more examples of "why we do things the way we do"


Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2012 23:45:46 +0200
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Stable? Seriously?? Fw: [tdf-announce]   The Document 
Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6.2


Tom Davies wrote (04-10-12 20:28)
Hi :) Seriously.  What is the reason for having 2 branches?

Ah well, who am I to say that you can't understand it. Though the way 
this thread was started, does not show much (will for) understanding, 
IMHO. But OK, brief...

- In each LibreOffice series, over the various minor releases, hundreds 
of bugs are fixed.
Bugs that have their origin in the inherited OOo code (registered alone 
there were many thousands). Bugs that have been introduced by making new 
features. Bugs that have been introduced by improvements in code, 
performance. Bugs that have become visible because other bugs were 
fixed. Bugs from external reasons, bugs from ..
- What is a simple annoyance for the one user, someone knowing ways to 
work around it in ample seconds, can be a serious bug for someone with 
less computer skills.
- Simply having two series, allows people and (smaller) organisations 
that can handle bugs (...) more easily, to use the newer versions and 
benefit from the improvements and new features that it offers.
And it allows them to help with further improvements in that series of 
LibreOffice, so that at a certain time it will be ready for more 
conservative, more careful, users and organisations.

I tend to do nearly all my professional work (quotations, presentations, 
reports, mailings ...) in beta's/ dailies / developer builds. It's rare 
that that gives me too much trouble, or causes lost of work. It does 
cause me spending time on trying reporting carefully written bug-reports 
;-)  But that's only me, and there's of course many functions that I 
only touch seldom or not at all.


  - Cor

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