Board statement on the LibreOffice 7.0 RC “Personal Edition” labelPosted in Foundation, LibreOffice By Mike Saunders On July 6, 2020
Dear LibreOffice Community, supporters and friends,
Thanks to the hard work put in by many individual and ecosystem contributors, working together as a team in different fields, such as development, QA, design, marketing, localisation, release engineering, infrastructure, just to mention some, in a few weeks’ time we will be welcoming our LibreOffice 7.0 milestone.
At the same time, we are discussing our vision for the next five years, with a starting point being marketing and branding. See our marketing and board-discuss mailing lists.
Due to draft and development work in the area of branding and product naming, some speculation, in particular related to the “Personal Edition” tag shown in a LibreOffice 7.0 RC (Release Candidate), has started on several communication channels. So let us, as The Document Foundation’s Board of Directors, please provide further clarifications:
1. None of the changes being evaluated will affect the license, the availability, the permitted uses and/or the functionality. LibreOffice will always be free software and nothing is changing for end users, developers and Community members.
2. Due to the short time frame we are working with, the tagline appeared on the RC and we apologise if this caused some of you to think we unilaterally implemented the change. Rest assured that the consultation with the Community is still ongoing.
3. This “Personal Edition” tag line is part of a wider 5 year marketing plan that we are preparing, and it has the purpose of differentiating the current, free and community-supported LibreOffice from a LibreOffice Enterprise set of products and services provided by the members of our ecosystem. The marketing plan is still under development and discussion so we are eager to receive and evaluate your feedback!
4. Any feedback (in an appropriate way) to our marketing plan is welcome. There are several ways to send feedback to the Board of Directors: the most preferred way is to subscribe to the “board-discuss” mailing lists (e-mail here to subscribe), in which many of the discussions will take place in public and be archived. Besides the mailing list, we have a regular time slot (around 10-15 minutes maximum) in our Board meeting public section, for which we welcome all the community members to join and raise their questions. The Board meetings are held every two weeks and are announced in a timely fashion on the board-discuss mailing list.
5. We are strongly opposed to any form of harassment, on any medium. Feedback itself is not an harassment, but personal attacks are. Please stay focused on the objective and be polite in your conversations!
6. The team of editors for the marketing plan is weighting all the input, as it is important to get the feedback to define a clear strategy supported by the entire Community. We encourage everybody to support the Board, the marketing team and the Community working out the details; certainly we don’t want to make any decisions that is backed only by a small minority.
7. This is a complex decision involving many overlapping concerns. We encourage people to read the detailed background slide-deck that Italo has produced, so that they can contribute to the current state of the discussion.
Apologies again if misunderstandings arose! We would very much appreciate your feedback and support!
From all of The Document Foundation Board members
By Rudolph Nasrott
Nothing more to say, that’s the way to go.
Dear Mike, dear BoD,
thanks for the clarification on the marketing strategy and “Personal Edition” label. Given the need for substantial discussion (see , , ) on this topic, I strongly encourage you to postpone this after version 7.0 in order to give time for a good and productive discussion. I am sure that there are much better ways to differentiate the vanilla version and the ecosystem/certified developers’ version. Otherwise a discussion under time pressure (before 7.0 beginning of August) may cause harm to the community that really no one wants.
Please don’t use “Personal Edition”, as it can imply “Unprofessional Edition”. It seems to also discourages donations from the community.
Instead of “Personal Edition”, why not brand it as “Community Edition”? But please don’t show it like a saw thumb on the main page. Having “Personal Edition” on the main windows in oversized writing adds clutter and looks like adware.
Perhaps you could provide links to “LibreOffice as a Service” (LOaaS) which would relate to “LibreOffice Enterprise set of products and services provided by the members of our ecosystem”.
What do you think?
I, for one, have ceased all donations after hearing this, they want money they can sell licenses. This has alienated me since they are doing the very thing this very fork was suppose to do away with from OpenOffice. I hope a fork will come and the community at large teaches the libre foundation a well needed lesson, and to teach them where they came from. I hereby call everyone to cease donations as they are now getting their money from “the enterprise”. Make a deal with the devil, and he is your god now. I quit, and I do not support a company who does not have my interests in mind.
By Mike Saunders
“if they want money they can sell licenses”
This isn’t about money for TDF. It’s about building a stronger ecosystem around it, so that long-term development is sustainable. Nothing is changing in terms of what TDF offers, not at all. LibreOffice is, and will always be free and open source software backed by a non-profit.
After reading the wording, this feels like a step in the wrong direction. How about renaming it community edition and mentioning that enterprise support is not provided?
Change “Personal Edition” to “Community Edition”, because it would look lame to use a PE in a corporate environment, but I’m sure a lot of users will continue to use LO because it’s free and open source.
I’m supporting TDF since years with a few Euros each month, and I’m happy to be a supporter, but I assume most of the current supporters will cancel their support in case of a change like this assuming the “Community Edition” will lag behind the “Enterprise Edition”.
You can buy a legit MO license for less than 60 Euros – that’s my current support in a year, so let’s not lose your fanbase, folks! Keep up the great work!
This creates the seeming that LibreOffice is now becoming “open core”, meaning some limited functionality is going to be FOSS, the rest needs to be paid (which is OK) and is only available as proprietary software (which isn’t OK). That would be a most unfortunate development.
If this is not intended, then the “personal edition” branding is confusing and devalues the FOSS edition, making it seem it’s not fully functional or usable in corporate environment, which is unfortunate. Another name should be used. Like Freedom edition. Libre edition. Something like that.
Just call it Community Edition and everybody should be fine. This fits the desire to differentiating “the current, free and community supported LibreOffice from a LibreOffice Enterprise set of products and services provided by the members of our ecosystem”
I do believe the name “Personal Edition” is crossly misleading in at least two ways:
1) Personal edition is often used for versions of a software that may not be used commercially.
2) It can look like an open core model.
I think it is not appropriate to call LibreOffice that way. Even “Community Edition” can look like an open core model, but at least it does not imply a limitation in freedom to use it.
I personally would not rename LibreOffice at all. People got used to it being called LibreOffice. If need by enterprise vendors can add something like to indicate it has professional support.
I would agree with a lot of the previous posts. Personal Edition has the ‘history’ in the software world of being cut down version.
It has been hard enough to wean people off Microsoft Office here. Changing the name to Personal Edition will bring up questions like ‘We used Office Professional before now you want us to use a cut down version’. I would add a vote to the post that calls for the current version to stay the same and if you want a supported version call it Corporate
Please, for the sake of the project, drop the idea of labeling entirely. It has caused nothing but confusion, grief, and doubt. This mistake has been repeated again and again, almost always to the detriment of those involved. Microsoft is a classic example.
Just offer an an enterprise support plan as an option. As for enterprise intended products that are not part of the normal LibreOffice codebase, please give them a different name.
One more thing: If a name change requires an explanation – like with this board statement – IMHO it is already a bad idea, except when it would really be required as with the OpenOffice.org => LibreOffice name change. Even that former name change had adverse affects as apparently Windows users often enough still look for OpenOffice.org as that is what they know.
“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”
We really need a differentiation between LibreOffice with proper support and LibreOffice without, personally I’m fine with Personal Edition.
In France we have a problem with current state support, and in this particular case this differentiation is needed and could encourage them to use proper support.
By Paolo Vecchi
Unfortunately there are many providers that offer LibreOffice support without having the competences and/or without giving back to the Community.
But IMHO is not by changing the name tag that all of the sudden business or government users will start demanding a different version. We have to make it clear to all those that deploy LibreOffice, or any other software, in an enterprise environment that if their organisation relies on it they should have a competent partner to support them.
That’s one of the many reasons why we are working on a marketing campaign.
I think is going to be not “Libre” anymore. Just another Office suite (with another word in front). Find something else or MS Office.
The move is clear, board statement is just smoke.
By Mike Saunders
No – LibreOffice will always be free and open source software.
By R S Chakravarti
Please listen to the overwhelming majority of users and drop the “personal edition” name. Perceptions are important. People should believe your assertion.
Gotta be honest, I have zero confidence in that. Clearly poor people aren’t welcome.
By Mike Saunders
Why? LibreOffice is, and will always be free and open source software, for everyone to use. That’s not changing.
By Aron "StormChild" Somodi
Yeah, LibreOffice will be free and open source, but the Community Edition won’t have the latest updates. If TDF became as greedy as most other software companies, they just want to maximize profit while saying LibreOffice is FOSS – yeah, it is, it just won’t have functionality updates, won’t have quick bugfix releases.
As I wrote above, ‘Personal Edition’ sounds lame and unprofessional for me. MySQL has a Community Edition, and if you don’t need support from Oracle, if you have the needed knowledge to install it and set it up, you can use the CE.
I’m supporting TDF since years with $5/month – I know it’s not a lot, but I’ve paid more for LO in years than I would have paid for a MO license. Let’s keep LibreOffice free, call the Community Edition ‘LibreOffice’ and the Enterprise Edition ‘NextOffice’ or ‘PrOffice’ or something like this, just not ‘LibreOffice’.
LibreOffice Personal: forever free, only from TDF
– Tag: “volunteers supported, not suggested for production environments or strategic documents”
– Message: “you are using the community supported version of LibreOffice, focused on needs of individual users”
Read on the detailed background slide-deck…
I feel sad to understand that individual users should not work on strategic documents.
If as you say the ‘freeness’ of the LibreOffice that we all know & love is not being changed then don’t change the name or the banners. Save the marketing and branding for the new version.
That way we existing users will not be frightened that you are going commercial and your potential clients for the new ‘corporate’ version will get something that is clearly new.
Clearly, promoting a new “Corporate version” is way better than tagging the product “Personal Edition”, which has a clearly negative tone. Please, don’t break the confidence so many place in you.
LibreOffice – Libre Office Pro.
Another vote for: “Just call it Community Edition and everybody should be fine.”
1) A big thank you to TDF and all the developers for Libreoffice;
2) Please, please, please, keep the name for the basic version as it is: LibreOffice;
3) Call the commercially supported version/service LibreOffice Enterprise (or LibreOffice Enterprise Service, or LibreOffice Professional Service).
Aha … es reicht nun also nicht mehr sich mit Spenden zu begnügen. Man möchte also kommerziell werden. Wie gedenkt man soll es werden? Ab welcher Firmen Größe wird man benötigt die Professional Version kaufen zu müssen? Wird die Personal Edition dann mit Werbung voll gefräkst oder nervigen Hinweisen auf die Kauf Version? Schlägt also auch hier jetzt der Kapitalismus richtig zu und man entwickelt sich vom Kern weg? Wurde denn Libre Office nicht genau deshalb entwickelt dass man eben ein Office hat das jeder frei verwenden darf? welcher BWLer hat denn jetzt gemeint dass das Projekt eine PRO Version braucht? Kam der von Google oder Facebook?
By Mike Saunders
Hi Daniel, this blog is in English – please write in English 🙂 And to answer your questions, no, LibreOffice is NOT going commercial. Please read the blog post: LibreOffice is, and always will be, free and open source software. The Document Foundation is a non-profit entity. Nothing is changing. This is about positioning the version from TDF to make it clear that large companies deploying LibreOffice really should (but not must) get it from the ecosystem. That ecosystem in turn develops LibreOffice features and the code comes back to benefit the whole community.
I dislike this decision a lot. I dislike it so much that I’ll evaluate if I cancel my yearly donation to the document foundation if this path continues. This is very sad because I have supported LibreOffice since the beginning but this is not the way free software should be handled! This is a very bad signal!
By Mike Saunders
Hi Martin, sorry to hear that – but your donations would continue to help LibreOffice. TDF isn’t changing at all: it’ll be the same non-profit, releasing LibreOffice as free and open source software for all to benefit from. Donations will help to make that possible. This is just about adding something to the name, to make it clear that large companies that deploy LibreOffice should get it from the ecosystem and contribute back!
By Aron "StormChild" Somodi
‘Personal Edition’ would look lame in a corporate environment.
As some commenters wrote, call the FOSS version LibreOffice and call the Enterprise Edition LibreOffice Pro without marking everyone who doesn’t pay a lot of money to keep using the last real FOSS office suite.
Most of the commenters here are monthly or yearly supporters of TDF, just like me, but believe me, calling the FOSS version ‘Personal Edition’ is just lame.
Wanna play with words? Call the PE ‘Lamer Edition’ and the EE/CE ‘1337 Edition’ to mark the users lamers and leets.
I will evaluate my donation based on the actions of the Document Foundation. It seems that they listened to user feedback which is a good thing but I’m still a bit sceptical.
I read the slide deck. It gently touches on what seems to be the big issue: how the core contributors can better monetise their contribution. The solution is apparently to provide a differentiated, “added-value” product. The rebranding of LibreOffice Personal is the far from subtle evidence of this. This is a poor name, since it immediately signals to every user of LibreOffice that the product they use, and probably advocate, is a lesser product. This is daft, it’s a mistake. It would have been more subtle to leave the rebranding for the other editions. As for the mistake of rebranding before ‘consultation’ has finished, that’s rather revealing.
The big issue: the people needing to monetise it apparently feel the need to produce different editions with features designed to attract paying users. It sounds like ‘open core’ (or ‘open Engine’). The core developers are too concentrated, there is not the mutual spread of contributors which avoids this problem. Therefore, LibreOffice is becoming a ‘noblesse oblige open source project’, if you know what I mean: where the powers that be magnanimously grant open source, but this is a fragile version of open source, it is not open source based on mutual economic motivation where contributors are locked in to open source due to importance of other contributions but more or less a reluctant open source project, similar to the projects quoted at the start of the slides.
I wonder if perhaps is it worth calling the bluff of those who want the “freedom” to move to non-free extensions to Libre Office. Where else are they going to go? Maybe the threat is that they will fork it. Well, so be it, I say.
I am one of the casual contributors.
Please remove the “Personal Edition”. This will make MANY institutions drop LibreOffice like a hot potato.
It is against your own legally binding rules to restrict the userbase. And placing such language in your software’s about dialog is directly breaking those rules.
I don’t agree that calling it “Community Edition” will be better in some way. It implies that it doesn’t contain all features or is hampered in other ways. Just keep calling it LibreOffice. If you want to tag the 7.0 release then fine but don’t call it edition anything. How about “WeNeedYourSupport”?
Drop the labelling, please. It violates the open-source spirit for no benefit at all. It is unnecessary and harmful.
I am a huge fan of LibreOffice and am a proponent, but do not contribute.
However, this post has compelled me to my first post/message so state that I concur with the earlier posts where the branding “Personal Edition” creates a negative connotation. Especially, from a historical perspective, that name is given to a watered down/limited version of said software.
There has been suggestions to name it “Community Edition”, which I like since it continues to instill the sense of community as well as the core value of being “libre”.
Alternatively, given the 5-year plan, name the monetised version to “Corporate Edition” or LibreOffice Pro… whichever you prefer.
Thanks and kind regards
The use of Personal Edition is going to set off figurative alarm bells and red flags in every corporate environment that’s ever been bitten by a manager ignoring licensing and allowed their people to use personal edition software for commercial use.
That term in software has a very specific meaning in the collective conscience of IT. It means software that is not allowed to be used for businesses.
It would be great for Google and Microsoft sales teams. By labeling LibreOffice as Personal Edition their sales team’s jobs will be far simpler.
Using the term Personal Edition is going to damage the perception of LibreOffice in corporate environments.
Long-time LibreOffice user here who’s been with the office software family since StarWriter and StarOffice. I viewed the presentation, but it doesn’t help with the crucial point.
This new “LibreOffice Personal” is a food box that comes with a label that reads “POISON, DON’T EAT” for many companies, schools, government agencies. They won’t open it, they won’t even have it on their desks.
And if they do open it just to see what’s inside, and they find the small note saying “tricked you – actually, it’s not poisoned at all and will never be”, they won’t exactly be amused, either And they still won’t have that box on their desks, not for another minute.
And then it is rather naïve to assume that those who thusly have been tricked will happily and immediately go back to the same place, to the same businesspeople, to gladly take them up on their other offer, the other box with that other label that says “no poison here, but you have to pay for it”.
If it was me, the next thing I’d rather do would be to have a good, long look around to thoroughly check out what the other providers have to offer, even if they demand money, perhaps even more than what the “no poison” box was supposed to cost. And I’d feel all the more motivated because the trickery is obviously being done on purpose, with the specific aim of bullying users into paying for something which actually is still free. I, for one, tend to stop trusting people who try to trick and bully me into doing something I might not do out of my free, own volition.
Other open source projects with commercial versions, but without a strategy that includes manipulating users, usually label, if they must, their free versions “community version”, and most importantly do not suggest within the software that it would be good or licenced only for “indiviual use”.
I think if companies do not currently pay for professional support, it is because there is something wrong with that professional support. Big corporations might use LibreOffice here and there without wanting/needing professional support. But if LibreOffice is their main office suite, I am sure they are willing to pay for professional support. If they don’t do it yet, then either it is because they don’t think they need it (then the changes won’t help anyway) or because they don’t think they get a good service.
I can totally understand that LibreOffice wants companies to contribute. I get it. I help out in another open source project and when I see how many companies use the software for their business and save good money on commercial software, I sometimes get angry. Because I know that many of them don’t give back in any way.
But we can’t give software away for free and then get angry of people don’t pay. We need to find a good way to provide an added value that companies are willing to pay for, but that doesn’t make usage of Libre Office without it cumbersome.
The phrase “not suggested for production environments or strategic documents” suggests that the so called Personal edition has less functionality than the Professional edition.
How about calling the enterprise services and add-ons LibreOffice Commercial Package as a package that is bought separately. The LibreOffice software itself would always be free but if you need deployment, upgrading, user support, integration into the enterprise computer environment, customising, etc. that would be charged by licensed vendors with a commission to the TDF/LibreOffice FOSS operation. The Commercial Package would also indicate TDF/LibreOffice endorsement of the vendor which can be withdrawn if the vendor behaves unethically. The commission would provide income for the TDF but also pay for the licensee vetting. Be aware that this would provide a perverse incentive for the TDF not to be too careful about licensees capabilities in order to increase revenue. It would be mining LO’s reputation and could lead to the downfall of the FOSS model.
It would seem the biggest area of confusion is just what would be different between the various “flavors” of the product. The slide deck is a good overview, but alas, does not explain exactly what would be in a “corporate” version vs “community”.
Drop any mention of “editions” from the splash page. Instead, say something like “Powered by the Libre Engine”
Clarify that there is only one version of LibreOffice, that it is free to acquire and use, and that over time, features have only been added, not removed. Geared toward corporate use, however, are available many additional paid support packs and add-ons, some provided by community, some by the Foundation itself. Stress that the average individual or SOHO user would not need any of these addons, as they would only be helpful in a business environment, though they would certainly be available, at a price, to anyone who may desire them. Give examples (say, an add-on providing the ability to get Calc to open out of QuickBooks on an MS server platform – a Win10 machine could still do it, just not a server – instead of saving as a CSV. This would be very helpful in an RDS environment where the cost of MS Office licenses on top of an already expensive MS server is often prohibitive).
If this has not already been done, develop a method for vetting community supporters so that corporate users would trust they are getting value for their financial contribution.
For non-corporate users, the splash page should have a link saying “Want to help?” – this would NOT go to the internet! Just bake it into the app. It would detail and expound on the info in the clarification point above, give links to forum, mailing lists, etc. Provide a link in that extra info for “latest from the Document Foundation” which would go to an online resource. It’s important to have an offline way to show your base info, as not all machines are always connected to the intertubes.
Having read a lot of the comments and the statement, I cannot conclude anything other than that this is a move away from the FLOSS spirit of the LibreOffice project. Even if all the code remains under the current license, just the different labeling and the talk of monetizing the project is a clear red flag for any open source endeavor.
I’m not against people finding ways to make money using open source software, but I’m concerned that the project itself is being tainted to facilitate this monetizing.
Please remove all marketing related tagging from the LibreOffice project, find another way to market added value on top of a completely free and open source LibreOffice.
As a followup comment after reading the slides about the marketing.
My suggestion would be to keep the LibreOffice community together by not differentiating the users community at all. To make money, ecosystem companies are in an ideal position to provide custimised versions of LibreOffice with either branding or long term stability support or productivity enhancements for a particular use case. The marketing for the LibreOffice product(s) should focus on maintaining ODF format compatibility between all products (even outside of the LibreOffice scope, if possible). I am especially concerned that the “Personal Edition” would not be fit to work on official documents, suggesting that the Personal Edition would break an official document when saved. This will split the community and destroy trust in the ODF standard. All versions of LibreOffice must be safe to work with all ODF standard documents.
How about Stable edition for the latest versions released and Super Stable version for the Corporate version?
When it comes to the naming system, I’d suggest taking cues from other office suites, like for example Microsoft Office. Rather than ‘Personal’, call it ‘Home Edition’ or like others have suggested, call it it ‘Community Edition’. For the commercial version, similar to MSO, you can call it ‘Business Edition’ or ‘Enterprise Edition’, so its clear this is intending to be used by businesses who will be paying commercial support.
I agree wholeheartedly with many of the comments here and elsewhere. The first time I saw “Personal Edition” I was thinking Wow this will cause confusion. Because like other have said, it sounds like an edition that is limited to non-commercial use. This label is surely problematic. On top of that it’s cluttering the view, it shouldn’t even be mentioned anywhere apart from the splash-screen or somewhere where it’s not too noticeable. It’s annoying to have to always be reminded that I’m using the “Personal Edition”.
If normal LibreOffice need a label to be separated from a new potential “Enterprise” edition then it would be better, like others have said, to call it “Community Edition”. This would not imply “non-commercial use only” but would still help with the separation between normal LibreOffice and enterprise LibreOffice.
Although I’m not against LibreOffice having an Enterprise edition, I am against LibreOffice turning into a limited demo version, I hope this will never happen as LibreOffice is a beautiful software that has freed many of us from Windows and Office, and that has a bigger purpose and benefit to the world than just being any open source software. Please remember that.
If we have to pay for our office suite, we might as well just buy Microsoft Office. That is the sentiment most corporate people will have. So now you want a “libre” FREE office that isn’t FREE! (Stupid idea). Keep it “Libre Office” period. Add a link and information on how to purchase support (period). Those who want to purchase support, whether corporate or not can then do so. That will eliminate confusion and prevent driving people away from it.
All you really need is an information campaign offering paid support for those who want more than IRC channel community support for the product. Otherwise, people will get the idea, and probably be correct, that the personal/community version is the ok version, but to get the good version you have to pay for it. This will ruin the brand.
By Mike Saunders
“Add a link and information on how to purchase support (period).”
We al ready do that. It’s not working. That’s why this whole discussion is taking place!
Maybe people want LIBRE FREE office because it is, uh… FREE. I wanted it in a corporate environment because of the following:
2.) Licensing is a pain–keeping up with it, punching in those keys or never ending subscriptions
3.) Growing dislike of Microsoft
4.) Hate the ribbon interface and tired of having to relearn an interface over and over.
The truth is there is very little that an office suite needs to do differently now other that be compatible with MS docs (unfortunately the world standardized on those). Current LibreOffice, except for some bugs and a few things that could use improvement, already does everything I could want it to now.
We learned to live with some annoyances in using the product, and frustrations in dealing with MS docs from other people because of the zero cost, and no needing to keep up with licensing.
I really believe following this proposal will greatly harm the success of the project.
One thing that might be good is to offer the ability for corporations or individuals to pay an amount for someone to add a feature or fix/improve something they really need.
I know things do take money, but just being honest. What is really needed are some large grants from a few corporations, put into a trust that bears much interest and can always keep programmers funded.
By Sebastiaan Veld
“because of the zero cost, and no needing to keep up with licensing”
I think you confuse FREE here with free as in beer and and free as in freedom; without those few core contributors LO would be pretty much on the same page as like OpenOffice is today. Non-commercial contributions to LO are just marginally compared to what the core developers achieve.
” What is really needed are some large grants from a few corporations, put into a trust that bears much interest and can always keep programmers funded.”
One of the problems is that few lager organizations donate less in money and resources then they did so before, so this means the development speed/quality/fixing bugs/… of LO is inevitably slowing down. The “marketing proposal” is about what can or needs to be done to make sure LO has a future.
So, while us you have some fair points why to choose for LO vs other solutions, the FREE argument is free as in “freedom & beer” here is IMO intended for home users/education/NGO’s (to get a great open standards document editor in the hands of anyone on this planet, avoiding (long term) vendor lock in). On the other hand for a commercial company looking to avoid vendor locking so looking for free as in freedom (as in freedom of choise, open standards, access to code, ability to fund features and fixes, choose a ecosystem partner, etc etc) you cannot neglect the fact you create a strategic dependency on this solution from which you have to make sure they still do exist in the next 5-10 years, can uphold quality and support (for whatever that means to your company) and keep developing (new) features you may need going forward (that may be compatibility, platform support, etc). The only way for a company to get these kind of guarantees is to have some form of subscription. Why should just a few “large” companies need to pay for the development? And you would think they would do such without getting something in return? It’s not going to happen for the exact reason the LO board is having this discussion today. Commercial companies need to acknowledge the world is not free as in beer; I’m pretty sure if you ask your boss he agrees with such. I think the problem is mostly the company “admin” tries to sneak in LO as a “FREE” (as in beer) alternative for MS Office but without a plan. If one would really give a company a choise then explain what the options are and the consequences of using a Community vs a Business/Enterprise/Pro edition of LO are. This the the area TDF is looking into. You just cannot, as a company, depend on a solution and hope others pay for it’s maintenance. That is not where FOSS is about. So, why not fund this trust you mention and call this a “subscription”?
If you are so willing to attach a tagline, consider the following options:
— Standard Edition
— Freelance Edition
— SOHO Edition
— Professional Edition (vs. Corporate [or Enterprise] Edition)
But, please, please, no ‘Personal Edition’. It does sound like ‘Non-professional, feature-limited edition’.
If you want a tagline, consider:
— Standard Edition
— Freelance Edition
— SOHO Edition
— Professional Edition (yes, Professional, vs. Corporate or Enterprise)
But, please, please, no ‘Personal Edition’!
I fully understand the motivation behind this discussion and, indeed, I think the financing of LibreOffice is a topic that deserves a more profound discussion to ensure their sustainability… but for that it is not necessary to tarnish its name.
As Franz Rogar suggested above, you can achieve the same goal by tagging/modifying the name of the supported/corporate version, but PLEASE do not sully the name of LibreOffice.
I’m a fervent advocate of free (as in freedom) software and I’ve been using this office suite continuously since StarOffice 5.0, so I’ve witnessed all the changes it has undergone since then (most of them positive, but also some others not so much) and, over 25 years of using free software, every time a software package was renamed with arguments similar to this one, after a few years and almost without exception, I have always been unpleasantly surprised, regardless of the promises made at the time by those responsible for the change.
Changing the name of LibreOffice as it is intended to do is really an unfortunate decision, to the point that if there were no other option, I think a “Red Hat / Fedora” approach would be preferable.
Sorry for the gloomy outlook… time will tell.
After having read more of the comments here, I can’t help but still think this is a bad idea. I sympathize with the developers who need to make a living, I truly do. I am a developer also. My advice to them is to not damage the LibreOffice name and reputation by avoiding the problem.
Name the enterprise version something else entirely, but perhaps “powered by LibreOffice.” There has already been one fork of the project with the OpenOffice debacle. While forks are not a bad thing in themselves, they split developer communities, delaying development, if not ending it entirely.
I’d hate to see LibreOffice become a casualty of the kind of controversy that plagues some projects, especially at this critical time. We are at a time when people are willing to move away from Microsoft.
I get emails from Inkscape users, who are concerned that the work they make with our Free Software is, in some way, restricted. This is not even the software, it’s stuff they are making. Because users get confused, and they get worried about things that are free from cost. I can’t imagine the heart ache rebranding Inkscape to “Inkscape Personal Edition” would create.
We too are trying to work out how to fund development, it’s seriously hard for Free Software projects when users are trained by the market to expect supply side development. And here we come in with our GPL demand side development models mucking up all the expectations users have about how “products” are made. How do you get users to /pay/ for the future? That which does not exist. Not out of charity, but out of responsibility?
Anyway, come talk. We’d love to hear from LibreOffice about gaining more funding for projects like ours.
I ceased my donations at once, I suggest to everyone do the same. Calling it anything other than LibreOffice 7 is an insult. I have donated thousands of dollars personally. I guess you want to get your money elsewhere, because you want to alienate me and call me less than as a “personal” user. Enjoy competing with Microsoft for your “Enterprise” market, you should get to work on making it more compatible with Office documents and Excel spreadsheets. Good luck out there with all those Enterprise businesses who have 30-120 year contracts with Microsoft, but I am sure you will do fine right?
Having read the “2020/2025 Marketing plan” in detail for the second time, I can only confirm the feelings I expressed in a previous post.
Sooner or later, LibreOffice will be screwed up and the only long-term winners will be the participants of the new “ecosystem” and those who cannot (or do not want to) use the “enterprise” or “professionally supported” versions will have to settle for the second-class “Personal edition”.
I never thought that the release of version 7 will be remembered as a sad day in the history of LibreOffice. It seems that this software cannot go through a ten-year cycle without suffering the consequences of poor business decisions.
I too am disappointed and saddened, the notice personal edition and comments in the presentation has now almost certainly cost adoption in a large German school, a project which has cost many days of my life, all at no charge..
“Personal Edition” would not be fit to work on official documents, is interpreted to mean it will also not be fit for research papers, thesis or other work in higher education.
Until the direction becomes clear I and many others are no longer be prepared to donate to a project which seemingly wants to leave us with a choice. Pay or get a reduced in function and probably quality version.
Softmaker Office is Free for the School and gives good support, same goes in many ways for MS
office 365. Have to buy Libreofice Version XXX, I do not see that happening.
By Mike Saunders
“Pay or get a reduced in function and probably quality version.”
No, that’s totally incorrect. LibreOffice is, and will always be a fully-featured office suite, backed by The Document Foundation, a non-profit. Nothing is changing with the software. This is entirely about positioning it to build an ecosystem around it.
I am glad that the branding change to Personal Edition is suspended for now. However, it seems to me that, if the goal is to promote ecosystem partners as a way of ensuring that LibreOffice development continues, it will be necessary to figure out what the product segments are and make users aware of which product they are using.
There are a few desired behaviors:
1. Any LibreOffice user should know that “LibreOffice is, and will always be a fully-featured office suite, backed by The Document Foundation, a non-profit,” (excellent wording).
2. Users of the community-supported edition (whomever they are) should know that help from the community is limited, in a way that does not detract from their perception of LibreOffice as a high-quality, stable product.
3. Users of the community-supported edition in environments which are traditionally supplied/supported by ecosystem vendors should be aware that there is a better solution for their market segment: an ecosystem product.
The example that’s been going through my head is that if you are an independent author, you should be comfortable writing your magnum opus in the community-supported edition. If you are an IT manager for a publisher you should be thinking “our business is built on this, we really should be using an ecosystem product.” However, if the publisher is comfortable self-supporting, they should not be discouraged from using the community-supported edition.
Additionally, we know that the current links to ecosystem products are not working — they are not providing the conversions to ecosystem software to keep LibreOffice development sustainable. For what it’s worth, I could not find said links in my version of 6.4. I do think that they need to be front and center (e.g. in the start center). Additionally, the branding needs to support the market segment investigating ecosystem products — an IT manager using the software should be cognizant of the lack of enterprise support.
The language is really tough. I don’t claim to have an actual answer, but here’s my stab at it:
Branding: “LibreOffice Community Edition”
In the app, on certain non-document screens such as the start center: “Community support is limited. Enterprise LibreOffice products and support are available, click here for more information.”
In the Help menu: “Need Enterprise Support?”
It doesn’t provide a ton of motivation to up-sell users in the same way as “personal edition” and “not for important documents” does. The “enterprise” language seems to imply that small/medium-sized businesses won’t be able to afford support, which is not the goal, but I didn’t want to imply that the community edition was not for business use. In later editions, the language can get stronger.
I suggest using “the other way”-around. Instead of tagging the “personal edition”, tag the “corporate edition” and keep the name clear for most of your users.