Seriously flawed little piece

Story: LibreOffice - What it means to End UsersTotal Replies: 18
Author Content

Sep 29, 2010
11:52 AM EDT
First, Oracle's response to yesterday.s announcement makes clear they will continue developing OOo and that they intend to devote significant resources to the project. The claim that we "don't know" if Oracle will continue OOo in this piece is incorrect at this point and appears to have already been incorrect when this was written.

Mr. Hoogland's dislike for "money hungry companies" irks me. Who do you think pays the salaries of most FOSS developers? It's either corporations or foundations who are funded by corporations. The animosity towards the free market system displayed by some in the FOSS community will, at least in the US, only alienate people from FOSS. Considering who is backing Linux and OOo and even the new Document Foundation it is also incredibly hypocritical.


Sep 29, 2010
2:04 PM EDT
Thanks for the correction that Oracle had posted a response, I edited the post to reflect this.

As for money hungry companies... Well unless they are a non-profit/not for profit most companies are money hungry. This is just a fact, their bottom line is often times the most important thing to them.


Sep 29, 2010
2:06 PM EDT
FOSS lives in seemingly perilous times...with the (largely discounted) patent threats from Microsoft and the seemingly shaky ground of companies like Mandriva, there is plenty of room for pessimistic fears. I think the LibreOffice project is simply a preemptive move. Is it necessary? I can't answer that as my crystal ball is a bit foggy now, but I understand the sentiment and the fear.

While many corporates do hire and employ a great number of FOSS developers, I believe the fear is in the uncertainty. One sour note from the stock holder section of the band and things can change dramatically. I believe the formation of the Document Foundation is simply a way to set up an infrastructure in the event it is needed.

I have been critical of the Enterprise from time to time but only for incidents of their hypocrisy. I still think that many in the corporate structure see the GPL as a nuisance to be endured while they utilize open source code. It's just an arrangement of convenience to my eye anyway. One day HP is our hero, the next they do something that rattles the community thoroughly.

With Oracle's track record, I don't blame the people behind the Document Foundation for doing what they've done, however this may, as many stories have, turn out to be a TIATP.

Time will tell.

Sep 29, 2010
2:58 PM EDT
@Jeff: The bottom line is the be-all and end-all for all public corporations that have to answer to shareholders. Privately held companies are usually, but not always, the same. In that sense both Red Hat, Novell and Oracle certainly put the bottom line first. Statements by Mark Shuttleworth make it pretty clear that Canonical does the same. In that we agree.

In your response to my comment to your original post you referred to the line about "money hungry companies" as a "crack" aimed at Oracle for their suit against Google rather than as general disdain for the capitalist system. It didn't read that way to me hence my comment here. Now that you have put it in context there my accusation of hypocrisy here, at least in your case, is off base. You may be guilty of not communicating as clearly as you intended but you are not guilty of any sort of hypocrisy.

@helios: Ken, I don't disagree with anything you've written. Just color me a bit skeptical about both sides and the likely results at this point.

Sep 29, 2010
6:31 PM EDT
It wouldn't kill OO and Oracle to have a little bit of competition in the office-suite space, dwindling though it is.

Sep 29, 2010
7:18 PM EDT
Non-profts are just as money hungry, only they often get their money from the government who stole it from its rightful owners.

Sep 29, 2010
7:52 PM EDT
Is there something about libertarians and their inability to accept the rights of individuals to impose a TOS? Is LXer actively recruiting anti-government activists? The term "Linux News" should be an indicator of the purpose of this site.

Sep 29, 2010
8:51 PM EDT
{steal/tax} functionally equivalent to the person who foots the bill. However patrokov your simplistic view is so fundamentally inaccurate that it can only be assumed it was tossed out here as flame bait. g'way

Sep 30, 2010
5:06 AM EDT
Back under the bridge, you troll! Be gone!

Sep 30, 2010
8:48 AM EDT
> Non-profts are just as money hungry...

Some are, some aren't.

> ...only they often get their money from the government who stole it from its rightful owners.

Again, some do receive government funding, some don't. It varies widely across the spectrum of non-profit organizations. You're painting with far too broad a brush.

Oct 01, 2010
10:58 AM EDT
Non-profts are just as money hungry, only they often get their money from the government who stole it from its rightful owners

I'm going to challenge your blanket statement. The HeliOS Project, a registered non profit, as of yet has not taken a dime of government grant money, nor private grant money for that matter. Our efforts are largely funded from people right on this forum but largely out of my own pocket, and to date, I have not seen any of them representing a government entity.

That statement is as ignorant as it is incorrect....but most blanket statements are.

As far as being "money hungry", most small non profits fit this category. They are either supported by people who believe in what they do or they are not. Some will fill that void by other means when necessary. It largely depends on the vision of the non profit...either financially starve to death or find a way to do the job.

I'm just sayin....

You might want to think about statements like that before printing them. Dumb statements on the Internet are forever.

Trust me...


Oct 01, 2010
1:06 PM EDT
The last month or so has been my time for agreeing with helios. There are a lot of non-profits out there that are small and entirely privately funded and do really good work that helps the communities they are in.

I thinking of one ferret shelter owner: she has spent a huge part of her family income on maintaining that shelter and is constantly spending her time (her life, really) taking care of sick, abandoned and abused ferrets. All her funding comes from contributions from ferret lovers and animal lovers in general. Much of the work is done by volunteers.

Is the shelter money hungry? You bet. The more funds they have the better they can do for the animals in their care. In addition, the number of ferrets she ends up caring for goes up and up every year. During economic hard times more people can't take proper care of their pets. Some surrender to the shelter and others just dump their animals who, if they are very lucky and survive, arrive at the shelter needing vet care, sometimes very costly vet care. You know what? They get the care they need. AFAIK this is one of two functioning ferret shelters for the entire state of North Carolina.

Oh, and no, the ASPCA and other shelters that take care of dogs and cats do not take in ferrets. The shelter I am writing about, The Ferret Guardian Rescue Haven, is a no-kill shelter.

There is no government aid or assistance involved.

Oct 01, 2010
8:34 PM EDT
The fact that a bunch of people is "money hungry" can only lead to the conclusion somebody is profiting.

Oct 02, 2010
12:08 AM EDT
@Hans: I completely disagree and I point to the example of the shelter again. Nobody is profiting. It loses money every year and the goal never was to make any money.

Oct 02, 2010
3:57 PM EDT
> The HeliOS Project...

I considered offering you as a counter-example, Ken, but decided it would be a waste of time. If he can't see the difference between multi-national non-profits which work hand in glove with governments and organizations like yours, there's little point in discussing the matter with him.

Oct 02, 2010
4:01 PM EDT
> It loses money every year and the goal never was to make any money.

Cailyn, there is a difference between needing money to achieve a goal and wanting money for it's own sake. The latter is what is normally meant by the phrase "money hungry".

Oct 03, 2010
12:15 PM EDT
The fact that a bunch of people is "money hungry" can only lead to the conclusion somebody is profiting

I'm sure you are referring to the statement made by the parent commenter so I won't get defensive. Let me give a a bit of background here for those that don't know any better.

Our non profit has averaged less than 8000.00 a year in financial donations for the past 5 years. The calendar year of 2009 shows our expenditures at 14,087 in expenditures. Neither me or any of our directors are paid for their work and many of them spend their own money for fuel and parts we need. Our director of system engineering alone racked up fuel costs in excess of 1900.00 in the calendar year 2009, and that's not even considering what he paid for parts or a minimum of 20 hours a week he spends helping us do what we do. The majority of that has not been reimbursed and probably won't be. That's just one of the people who help us.

Personally, I went from a 90K+ annual salary in 2004 to this year's whopping 12,412.00 obscene rake-in. I choose to do what I do because I believe it needs to be done, so no sad and soaring violin solos here...I'm just putting the numbers out there for those that might think we "profit" from what we do. I live in a 400 square foot efficiency duplex and drive a 16 year old vehicle. I have hulu in place of cable and since we've recently lost our donated space, we will be working out of a rented uncooled and unheated garage to do our job.

Yeah...we're livin' the high life here on this end.

But you know what...?

I invite anyone that thinks non profits like us are profiting to come work with us for a 3 day period. For as financially "poor" as we might be, the people we serve would think themselves wealthy should they ever step into our shoes. I choose to spend the last X years of my life doing what I do so if this is a wound...please. It's self inflicted and not in line for any pity.

It's all relative I guess.

Uninformed opinions not withstanding.


Oct 03, 2010
12:40 PM EDT
And just as a reminder of the obvious:

400 square feet, is 20 feet on a side. 610 centimeters, for the ISO types in our audience.

Oct 03, 2010
6:56 PM EDT
Quoting:@Hans: I completely disagree

No you almost certainly don't, you just misunderstood. I was being too cryptic, my bad, and I'm sorry.

"Non profit being money hungry" is a paradox, that's what I attempted to say. Preferably without too much "overhead" of a long explanation, not wanting to feed any trolls too much. But seems I failed, so here's an attempt:

If there's a "non-profit", then as a logical result the management of the NGO is not profiting in an outrageous way. If the management of the NGO is profiting in an outrageous way, then I'd say their organization doesn't qualify as a "non profit".

Of course I'm a big fan of the work Ken does, and I'm darn sure he didn't profit in an outrageous way from the NGO.

However, in my country, some "bosses" of NGO's earn $100,000 a year, and lots of people say "charity today is an industry". This is a hot topic currently (at least in my country), and that's what I was referring to. That's why I haven't donated money for Pakistan recently, even if I wanted to help the poor people. Some of the money I donated after the tsunami seems "lost forever", meaning nobody knows where it is - but I'm pretty good at guessing. And that's why I did donate to the Indy500-car, a national Firefox-add, the MirOS project and the FSF: Because I'm pretty sure the people running the thing (sometimes there isn't an official organization involved) are not becoming rich with the money meant to further the goal.

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