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Hi, :-)

@Sophie: Me, too, I was a little saddened at your answers.

a) I am not bringing up this issue because of any response to my
proposal about the website management. I said at least a couple of
times that the SC needs to take some kind of decision in order to
ensure it gets managed properly in the future. At this point, I don't
mind at all whether I am involved in the website in the future or not.
;-) My goal of seeing that site operational and looking halfway decent
has been achieved. I already got my satisfaction. So, please may I ask
you all to have the courtesy not to make that accusation again. It
sincerely hurt my feelings. ;-)

b) I am sad that you do not seem to share in *all* those fine ideals
in the Community Bylaws. I am sad that you don't share in the
egalitarian, purely meritocratic principles, and that you see a
multiple-tier membership. I am sad that you do not seem to want that
adventure of democratic and meritocratic community life to begin soon,
and that you use the excuse of complicated legal arrangements to
procrastinate. In reality, the implementation of the bylaws and
community governance is not necessarily linked to the legal formation
of the foundation, and can be conducted on a moral and organizational
level *totally independently*.

@Charles: I just read your reply as I was writing back to Sophie.

David I must admit I am surprised by your reaction, because the reason
our bylaws are not officially implemented at this stage was explained
during one confcall (early September if I recall) and on this mailing
list too. Read this:
http://www.mail-archive.com/steering-discuss@documentfoundation.org/msg00229.html

Yes, I realize the bylaws are largely finalized. I had hoped to see
them implemented with *much* more urgency than September, 9 months
away. You will remember how I assisted you when you were drafting
them. I was excited, enthusiastic very inspired at the prospect of a
truly open, meritocratic and egalitarian Open Source community. I
don't want to see the hopes fade.

Last but not least, your perception of our health as a community is
somewhat pessimistic and does not seem to rest on any clear metrics;
but perhaps you're just expressing your opinion.

Yes, this is purely what I gage through my own observation. But I'm
only saying to *warn* you guys of a possible scenario. Believe me,
friends, I have *also* invested serious work in trying to make sure
such a scenario will not happen. That is why I pushed so hard to get
the libreoffice.org website online.

However, it is true that since nobody's perfect, the SC and its
members did some mistakes and the ones I can point out were that we
haven't been directing the website works enough. I think that we're
entering a stage where the SC and are project is going to rationalize
its own activities as purpose and specific goals will be set and
discussed and teams will be formed.

Then this will be good. Charles, you know very well that I have not
simply ranted about problems on mailing lists. Instead, I have put in
plenty of work to fix them. But this issue of slowness and inertia in
fully implementing the Community Bylaws and governance is something
that only *you* guys can fix. And, as a concerned community member,
all I can do is to raise the issue for discussion and action. I
sincerely believe that it is for the ultimate good of the Community.

But to claim that there are dual
and perhaps triple standards depending on the people is perfectly
wrong. While for specific things we do integrate members of the OOo
community faster than others the door is always open and everyone has
to contribute: there are reserved seats as long as the people sitting
on them fulfill their roles. If they don't, the seat goes to someone
else.

I do *hope* I am wrong. I hope all of the above is true.
For the moment, I have not seen the proof. ;-)
Don't *tell* me I'm wrong, *show* me I'm wrong. ;-)

So to come back on the bylaws: we can start to implement them little by
little but they will only be fully enforced and implemented once we
have a legal entity. Before we can only lay the pillars and set up
whatever can be set up without interfering with the legal entity in
formation.

I think that most of the bylaws can be put into practice absolutely
independently of the existence of any legal entity. They are a moral
form of governance and organization. Very little is keyed on any legal
entity as such. Therefore, may I please enjoin the SC to start with
implementation as soon as possible?

I truly hope that the dream you envisioned in the Community Bylaws you
wrote is not going to slip away. ;-)

David Nelson

P.S. For those who have not yet read my original post, can I invite
you to read it below? ;-)

On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:49, David Nelson <commerce@traduction.biz> wrote:
Hi SC members, :-)

Charles wrote an excellent set of Community Bylaws. I would like to
see them officially adopted and applied. And I would like to see the
various committees and governance systems in the Community Bylaws set
up and become active.

I feel that this is important for the future of LibreOffice. I
strongly support the project, and I want to see it succeed. I think we
need to take action quite quickly.

I have noted how the level of involvement and contribution by "active
community members" has tailed off. I have noticed how few user support
queries there are on the user support list. It is my impression that
the level of contribution to development is also decreasing.

We have a situation in which a key project resource, the
libreoffice.org website, is becoming the center of pushing and pulling
for control over its development. Decisions are needed about the
website's management (editorial team), and about the future direction
of its development (the question of Drupal adoption is becoming
extremely disruptive and divisive in this fledgling project).

I personally have experienced wanting to implement 2 great initiatives
(proactive contact with Linux projects, and organization of interviews
with BBC TV and radio for Charles and/or other SC members) only to
find certain SC members strongly discouraging me to take action,
refusing to give any constructive consideration, or totally ignoring
me and not giving any reaction at all on the subject.

When I have suggested bold initiatives, there have been very
proprietary, "control freak" reactions from some SC members, with talk
of "this is so and so's field of responsibility", and I'm strongly
discouraged from taking the idea further.

These attitudes and some other attitudes I have encountered from
certain SC members are contrary to the
principles of good meritocracy and equality of membership laid down in
the bylaws.

Personally, I sometimes get the impression that there is currently a
three-tier membership in this project: new community members like me:
1 vote. past OOo community members: 1.5 votes. SC members 3 votes (or
simple dictation of decision). I have had this impression a number of
times while contributing work to the project. I know that there are at
least *some* other people who would agree fairly closely with this
assertion. I have an impression that, "All members are equal, but some
are more equal than others". :-D

The SC was a necessary institution when TDF was first launched. But it
was only supposed to be a temporary body. Some SC members now seem to
becoming rooted in their positions of decision-taking power. The
situation is becoming undemocratic and non-meritocratic. IMHO, it
starts to resemble a form of "Communism going wrong". ;-)

I seriously believe that, if you do not take quick action, the
LibreOffice project is in serious danger of imploding within the next
couple of months or before the end of the year. Contributors will
progressively drop away. Less and less work will be contributed.
Ultimately, tensions will arise within the SC itself, and
disagreements will break out; if the SC itself were to fragment, the
LibreOffice project could end up orphaned.

In the present situation, you cannot attract more corporate
contributors/partners to the project, because there is not the
necessary governance. The SC lacks proper legitimacy. If you do not
take action fairly soon, could you perhaps even end-up losing the
corporate contributors you currently have (Novell and Red Hat)?

Even if TDF does not now have the funds to establish itself legally,
there is nothing to stop you implementing the bylaws at a moral and
organizational level right from the present time. You might then
attract more financial contributions to enable you to set up a legal
structure in either Germany or the UK.

I hereby request you to discuss the issue of formal adoption and
implementation of the Community Bylaws during either the next SC
confcall or - at latest - during the next-but-one SC confcall (if you
need time to prepare), and to take some formal decisions in this
respect within a short time frame.

David Nelson

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