I recently saw that Manjaro added FreeOffice to its default builds and I have some genuine questions/concerns. FreeOffice is proprietary and forces users to pay for Pro in order to have access the its full-featured side. LibreOffice is not only free, but a lot better in all regards and without restrictions compared to FreeOffice. This move seems to me to be very predictable when you rely on "trades", when the Manjaro team needs/wants something from its users, in this case their attention, for whatever reasons (maybe profit?).
When I moved from Ubuntu to Manjaro I did so because Ubuntu became more pushy with Amazon or data collection + the snap-store. And I felt like they don't care anymore about the Open Source community since they focused a lot on proprietary software. Manjaro seemed more like a community driven approach. But I was surprised when I saw Manjaro including applications like Steam, MSOffice, or Skype in official builds. Now I see that the slope is slippery as I predicted and Manjaro seem to add more and more proprietary applications by default (also snaps). And I am wondering how slippery will the slope be, before Manjaro becomes more and more like Ubuntu.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the work that goes into Manjaro and the fact that there are so many flavors, including the community flavors, but I am worried a bit about Manjaro itself. Yes, anyone can delete such packages. Yes, anyone can make a custom build. But most won't.
Our decisions, as humans, are always emergent from our environment (the forces that push us to behave the way we do). Probably Manjaro needs money to run this massive project and thus they are prone to compromises. So regardless if they may love the FOSS way, if they need the money-way then they will make compromises. Everyone is subject to such forces.
I wanted to end my "rant" by saying that because of such "moves" from Manjaro's part, I pushed myself to create a Trade-Free spin of Manjaro https://www.tromjaro.com/ and I also posted here on the forum about it TROM-Jaro, a trade-free Manjaro build - because I am now convinced that where there are trades, there are problems. Google swore to not "be evil" in 2000, and look at them now. If you make an operating system and want something from your users: their data, money, attention, whatever, (regardless of your reasons why) then this creates a bad incentive and you'll want more of those at the expense of your users. It is no one's fault really...Manjaro probably needs more finances to keep the project running. But there is the donation-way, where you eliminate the trades. Instead of you doing a partnership with FreeOffice who wants you to get your users' attention about their software (so maybe some may buy it), you (Manjaro) can ask for donations from your users. This way the users support your work and you won't be forced to make compromises (you will not want anything from your users anymore, in return for offering them this great OS). No trades. And then, whatever packages Manjaro adds by default will at least not be influenced by money. In this case, I am sure Manjaro would have chosen LibreOffice over FreeOffice since it is better in all regards and they would not have been motivated to choose otherwise.
Wikipedia asks for donations for a good reason: so to not engage into trades with their users or others. Else Wiki would have put ads on their website or collect users' data. And these lead to a very bad outcome (cough' Facebook).
I hope that the Manjaro-Tools, those that allow us to easily build custom isos, will still be there and supported in the future. This way you give us the ease (freedom) of doing it our way. We will continue with this mentality of trade-free with our Manjaro spin, and we will not add any packages that want something from the users (money, crypto, data, attention, etc.) - and we don't want anything from the users either. We rely on donations. And if anyone wants to help us then that would be great - contribute to gitlab.
I hope Manjaro understands all if this and hopefully they will change their financing model towards a donation-like one. I would donate to them. And I am sure others would too. Else Manjaro will make more and more deals and will become a data collection and attention grabbing OS, and I really hope they will not.
And I still love the overall work that Manjaro team put into this OS. Thanks to them me, my family, my friends, and a lot of other people can use a great Operating System. But we will always use our trade-free spin ;).
EDIT: They do ask for donations https://www.manjaro.org/donate/ - my mistake I apologize. I even donated to them a year or so ago so I forgot. I still wonder what does "Some sponsors are willing to dedicate their time and resources to develop and improve Manjaro." mean. Do they also accept trades with other companies in return for a favor of adding those bits of software in Manjaro default builds?