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Hello Tom,

A few thoughts on the LTS - it's good we are on the users list just for this topic I think.

LTS (Long Term Support) is often misunderstood. Canonical introduced the notion of LTS, but few realize that they were able to do so and are able to maintain this kind of version for the sole reason that there are customers directly funding the LTS. In other words, you can have a LTS of Ubuntu because there are people/companies/governments directly paying for it, usually under the form of support contracts.

While TDF is not a company, it is also not directly funding development (i.e hiring dozens of developers for instance), nor does it provide professional support. It is thus up to the companies providing support and developing LibreOffice that can provide something like a LTS version. In practice that is what you get with Collabora, Canonical, Red Hat, others like Igalia, Itomig (although I could be wrong, maybe their services are more tailored).

Creating a LTS costs money, invested in support and backporting mostly. This money must be found somewhere, and so must the skills necessary for development and support. LTS will never, however magically produce a "better quality release"; but it will produce a set of nice support contracts :-) . I know there is a myth that if a LTS for every major Free Software components was to be released, things would be better and peace would come unto this world, but unfortunately that is not how it works. LTS versions do not imply a better quality and less bugs; they do however imply large upstream contracts and deals.

As a note of interest, my previous experience as a board member of the foundation and my current (educated) guess as a contributor have highlighted an interesting pattern: most of of the donations to the Document Foundation do not come from large corporations. They come from regular people and small businesses. We -I won't hesitate to speak on behalf of the entire foundation here- are very grateful to you and all the people who help this project. But *I* cannot help drawing a few observations from this pattern: if we are to satisfy our benefactors, then we are primarily an end-user project (understand: a consumer oriented project) and we should not be craving heftier donations from large deployments in the entreprise. It is something to keep in mind for the future, I think.



Le 06.08.2014 14:41, Tom Davies a écrit :
Hi :)
Errr, i think the LTS idea works well as long as there is a 6 monthly
release, or at least a much faster-paced release cycle for another branch.

The 6 monthly alone is difficult for many people to keep up with, even for
big fans, but it does do a lot for excitement and energy.  It motivates
people to try to get their improvements or new features in quickly and
rewards them by getting their ideas out their and being used in the real
world extremely quickly.  I agree and think that is a big motivator.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 6 August 2014 13:16, Tom Davies <> wrote:

Hi :)
I really like the rapid development rate. I think it does generate more
interest and not just amongst the devs.

I have probably been sounding really negative in this thread but i have to
say that i think everyone here does a fantastic job and LibreOffice is
really quite amazing as a result of all the hard work people put in.

While there are a few long-running issues and new issues sometimes crop up when new features (and greater compatibility with MS format) are added it seems that most things get sorted out impressively quickly. Joel and the QA team (and the devs, of course) deserve applause for getting the coding
error-rate down to the lowest of any project anywhere.

I do also like the Ubuntu LTS (=long term support) way of having a special release every 2 years that focusses primarily on stability and that for the next 5 years all bug-patches for any release are ported back to it. It also makes a big splash with changes to the UI (UX?) (and under the bonnet
stuff) and as a result gets tons of coverage in the Press with tons of
articles anticipating what the big changes are going to be and arguing as
to which is the most important or the most shocking or whatever.

I think that is the only thing missing from LibreOffice. having something like an LTS might make it far better for both corporate environments and for other people who can't download and install new versions as often as a
LibreOffice fan with unlimited broadband might.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 6 August 2014 12:56, Charles-H. Schulz <> wrote:


Right on target; I could not have said it better. As for the release pace there is a theory that suggests that slowing it to a rearly rythmn would decrease the intetest of developers. But that is obviously a theory, and
cannot be an exact science.



On 6 août 2014 13:50:57 CEST, Nino Novak <> wrote:
>Am 06.08.2014 13:07, schrieb Tom Davies:
>> So again the question has apparently gone back to "What is the
>advantage of
>> the "Still" branch.  Why would people choose it or what circumstances
>> suit "Still" better than "Fresh"?"
>The main advantage is its age: it's more mature; it has been in use for
>longer time; people know it better; more questions have been answered
>in all
>the support forums etc.
>You see, the main problem is not having two branches, it's having two
>branches which do not differ too much - just half a year. Therefore,
>are rather "fresh", there is no "really mature" version, at least not
>in the
>So the thing to really complain about is the lack of a really mature
>years or more) version! Therefore, all the bug fixing etc does not
>improve the stability of the software as branches end their lifetime
>soon after receiving their last bugfix update.
>I'm not sure what the effects would be if there was a Long Time Support
>version. Maybe, everybody would switch to this LTS verison and bug
>would decrease dramatically. But maybe also, that peoples'
>would grow considerably and therefore also commitment and loyalty. Who
>In a first step I'd very much like the community to decrease the
>frequeny to once a year instead of every 6 months.
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Envoyé de mon téléphone avec Kaiten Mail. Excusez la brièveté.
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