Hi Andreas, guys, :-)
Thanks for your responses. I'd like to put some viewpoints that some of you
guys don't seem to have thought of.
I would like to see an end to this mindset of some people regarding a
three-tier community: the "new" members, the ex-OOo community members, and
the SC members. (This mindset is not just my imagination: Bernhard
acknowledged and justified it in his post, and Sophie seemed to back him up
Sometimes, when I read some ex-OOo members, the words "complacency" and
"condescension" pop-up in my mind.
I can tell you that it's irritating having to live with this "constant
deference to OOo history".
IMHO, some ex-OOo people need to start thinking forwards, rather than being
rooted in a past that I feel has less relevance than you seem to think.
I feel it's time to say that OOo was the past, LibreOffice and TDF is our
future, and everything started from zero with the TDF launch.
When TDF first launched, there was a *lot* of interest and excitement around
the project. I had the impression that, among others, there were quite a few
intelligent and well-qualified people with fresh ideas and lots of energy to
It would be good if SC members were to remember that there are other people
who want a chance to lead the project and to have an influence in its future
I'd be very keen to see elections, and to see some SC members given a
democratic mandate to continue their valuable work within a 9-member BoD,
but also to see some fresh blood in there, too, with a new outlook.
It would be good because those BoD members will remember that they are
elected for 1 year, and this will be something they will probably bear in
mind in their contact with other community members, and in the work they do
for the project.
Implement the Community Bylaws, and the institutions therein
In addition to organizing elections for the BoD, it would also be very
- quickly start setting-up and operating the institutions mentioned in the
Community Bylaws: the BoD, the ESC, the MC, ...;
- conform to the spirit and letter of the Community Bylaws, and start
officially communicating with the community regularly through announcements;
I really fail to see any justification for waiting 9 months to set up the
BoD (which should be elected by community vote).
For those that speak of their lack of time and their need to attend to
family commitments, I would have to respectfully reply that maybe you should
step aside, because there may well be other people with more time and energy
to devote to the project's work. The project's work should not have to
proceed at the speed of the slowest contributor.
I would like the implementation of the Community Bylaws to be started ASAP,
and I would like BoD elections to be held within 2-3 months *at most*.
IMHO, the price of not doing the above would be a constant decline in work
contributions and involvement, and a loss of credibility in the eyes of
people around the project and outside the project.
Should we see a subtle warning in Ubuntu's apparent possible change of
stance regarding the adoption of LibreOffice as its default productivity
suite in 11.04? (See .)
As I said in previous posts, I don't have any practical and quick means of
procuring contribution statistics but, looking at the number of messages
that arrive in my mailbox and the traffic I see on the #libreoffice IRC
channel, I *seem to observe* a distinct reduction in the number of developer
contributions since the project launch.
I also seem to note a decrease in the number of people that I would qualify
as regular contributors to the team lists. And I seem to note a decline in
the number of people seeking support via the user support list.
I humbly contend that, if you do not show a clear commitment to fully
implementing the Community Bylaws, contribution and involvement will further
I am wondering whether some SC members feel that the real key to attracting
developers is simply in the licensing requirements you do (or don't) impose
on their code contributions.
But I also wonder whether code developers, too, are sensitive to the way
community governance is carried out, in their area of the project and in
other areas, as well. If that is the case, then the SC's apparent
complacency in its justification in occupying the project's seat of
government for the next 9 months is perhaps unwise.
In contrast, I contend that there could be big benefits if you were to show
serious intent and take quick action in officially adopting and applying the
- there could be a strong revival of interest and activity in the project,
which could easily be directed into tangible work contributions and an
augmentation in the number of real project workers;
- it would undoubtedly be perceived positively by outside corporate /
enterprise observers (Ubuntu and many others);
- each announcement of a significant step forward in bylaw / governance
implementation can be turned into very positive publicity and marketing, and
reverberated around the Net (via TDF blog articles, coverage on our social
media, and proactive contact with prominent bloggers and journalists).
I hope you will not perceive everything I have said in this thread as just
negative ranting. Having posted this message, I will spend a large part of
this day doing actual work for the project.
It is all uniquely intended to try and raise your awareness about possible
dangers that I see, and about viewpoints that may not have occurred to you.
I hope only to see the LibreOffice project and TDF survive and succeed.
But I do think the SC needs to take action *urgently*.
On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:49, David Nelson <email@example.com> 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
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.
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