OpenOffice.org Extensions: Are Two Repositories Better than One?

The Free Software Foundation announced an alternative OpenOffice.org extensions repository, which will list only extensions released under free software licenses. Before that the FSF asked the OpenOffice.org Community Council to list only free software extensions or to provide a second independent listing, but the OOo council responded negatively.

Are two better than one?

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4 thoughts on “OpenOffice.org Extensions: Are Two Repositories Better than One?

  1. I think putting Free Software-only extensions in their own repository makes perfect sense. While I don’t completely agree with The Free Software Foundation’s position that proprietary software is evil, there is a practical matter to consider. As it stands, it is becoming more and more difficult for end-users to distinguish between Free Software and various forms of “freeware” that isn’t open source and in many cases has serious usage restrictions. In order for the Free Software / Open Source movement to make any serious impact long term, it must solidify the benefits with consumers appropriately. This can only be done if the distinction between truly Free software and simply “free as in beer” software becomes more mainstream. The most straightforward and simple way of doing this is by keeping them apart — that way a person can tell at a glance what rights they have when they install an extension, rather than having to research it first (which they almost certainly won’t bother to do, in most cases).

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