Unfortunately the answer is not easy but acknowleding this fact is a great step to put down the values of hacking, freedom, ownership, innovation.As a member and leader of the OpenOffice.org community I can assure you that OOo inspire people, people are always commenting:
– I want a OOo Project Management
– I want a Outlook-like for OOo
– I need this bug corrected
– We want a weboffice
– I want a Palm version of OOo This comments definetly have 2 things:
– 1 they use our product and valued it
– They are inspired to keep using it and expand to other areas It would be interesting to see if we can float those thoughts and raise funds for the development of it such as make a stock flotation on ‘creating a OOo Outlook’. People buy an IPO of $5 bucks per stock and then a 2nd offering at 50, another at 500 and so on. You end up with $100,000 which will pay 5 developers to work on the Outlook module connecting to the OpenOffice.org suite. That sounds great, however at this moment there are not enough people hacking in the UNO project which means that the public knowledge of the OOo API so the cost might be larger than simply hacking on top of the API but also learning the API which can get up to 100,000 alone to learn it and become good at it. Same thing goes for GTK, Mono, Qt, XUL and other frameworks out there. However that’s beyond the original point but this flotation might give that method to vote with their wallets, and the community raise fund to hire developer houses.