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Hi :)
Apparently i now get counted as a supporter of Rob Weir because of the comment i posted to his 
stupid article :(   Errr, i mean the one we keep talking about despite it clearly being carefully 
engineered FUD.  

Regards from
Tom :)  

From: Jay Lozier <>
Sent: Thursday, 8 November 2012, 14:50
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Re: Dubious claims

On 11/08/2012 06:24 AM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
I have always thought LO seriously underestimates it's number of users.  I grumbled about it 
years ago.  On the other hand (as people pointed out to me at the time) at least TDF only counts 
numbers that we can be reasonably confident of.

Tim downloads the latest release and builds up a Dvd with a couple of other OpenSource programs 
that people might want in an office, some dictionaries, some fonts and bits&bobs and then gives 
away the Dvds at local events and to people and organisations locally.  He then supplies User 
Support occasionally asking the lists here if they ask something weird.  As they get more 
knowledgeable about LO they can help each other.  The entire infrastructure he has been building 
up counts as 1 user.  Rob Weir would spin that into being a dubious figure and say it's just 1 
user being wrongly re-counted for each release.

My boss uses LO nowadays when i send him a document but when he starts to write  document he 
uses MSO, similarly for the manager and my colleagues.  When they have a bunch of images such as 
logos that don't line-up or space out well enough or any of the many and varied problems that 
MSO creates they get me to fix it (if there is time) with LO.  Obviously they don't get counted 
as users either despite the fact that they do rely on LO.

Regards from
Tom :)

Marketing and usage data for many products is often imprecise not just 
for LO or FOSS. You raise implicitly the question: how do you define a 
user of any software package (or product)? The definition of 
user/consumer of a product would determine who gets counted such as 
primary users, part-time users, and occasional users - and the 
definition of each group is nebulous.

In marketing, according to the experts I know, trends are often more 
important than absolute numbers or arguing over precise definitions. 
Most business analysts are more worried about market/company sales 
trends than which group a purchaser/user belongs. Increases are 
generally good while decreases raise concerns. Rob Weir appears to be 
trying to argue over precise definitions of something that is inherently 
imprecise and probably not that critical.

From: Italo Vignoli <>
Sent: Thursday, 8 November 2012, 8:43
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-marketing] Re: Dubious claims

Il 08/11/2012 07:08, Alex Thurgood ha scritto:

In other words, at least for download/user stats, the answer is "no",
and for the other points Rob mentions, obtaining raw data of any
significance is for the git expert.
Downloads are extracted from the mirrors, and there is a script for that. GIT is for 
development related figures.

Thanks, I'll check it out, but basically what you are saying, if I
understand correctly, is that the data in question is provided in a
format which is not necessarily comparable to that which Rob has used
for AOO, and thus a certain amount of internal interpretations,
assumptions, etc are made by the LO project to arrive at its view of the
data. Are these methods/assumptions, as used by the LO project,
publicly documented on the LO wiki ?
Our data are in a simple format (sum of units), while Mr Rob Weir is using complicated 
interpretations to hide the truth, which is that the developers and the community are with LO 
and not with Apache OO.

There is no interpretation and assumptions in our data: the number of developers is a sum of 
individual developers, the number of commits is a sum of single commits, and so on.

The number of community members has never been calculated using wiki subscribers (in this case 
we estimate around 1,000 contributors), and Mr Rob Weir has just got that number because it 
could be argued.

The number of community members is estimated using global + local mailing lists (many people 
are subscribed only to mailing lists in their native language) + wiki contributors + developer 
numbers, etcetera.

So, being the method that we use a simple sum of data (and this should be easy to understand by 
looking at the charts published on a monthly basis), I do not think that we have to document 
such a methodology.

The number of users is estimated (and the term "estimated" has always been associated to it). 
Of course, any estimate might be right or might be wrong, according to the point of view.

Apache OO has a higher number of downloads, of course, but I wonder - for instance - if users 
who were previously used to get the software in their native language are as happy as in the 
past when have discovered - after having downloaded the software - that the software is not 
available in their language).

By using this metrics, for instance, it would be possible to reduce Apache OO download numbers 
at least by one third (but maybe even more), because you could easily cut downloads in 
countries where the software is not available in the native language (version 3.4 was not even 
available in British English).

Bus, as we are not Mr Rob Weir - and having him as an opponent is a blessing (please ask 
Microsoft) - we are not going to embark in such a useless calculation.

Apache OO is available in 20 languages, and they are currently adding Danish and Norwegian (but 
many major languages are missing).

LibreOffice is available in over 100 languages (over 95% of the world population), and the 
community is now working at Filipino/Tagalog or other minor languages.

Number of languages available is a simple measure of community numbers (although estimated, 
because many people involved in localization do not show up in maling lists) but of course Mr 
Rob Weir is not looking for simple measures because they can be understood by everyone, and by 
using obscure measurements he does try to obfuscate the reality.

Best regards, Italo

-- Italo Vignoli -
mob +39.348.5653829 - VoIP
skype italovignoli - gtalk

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Jay Lozier

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