Dear candidates to the board of directors of the Document Foundation,
I would first like to thank you for running as candidates for the board
of directors. At this time, not every candidate has declared his or her
candidacy. However, I would like to ask a few questions about your views
and intentions regarding the Document Foundation and your plans as
potential directors of the entity. I hope they will be helpful in
englightening our membership and hopefully, all of you will be able to
1. Do you commit yourself to have enough time and the necessary
technological tools in order to participate to the regularly scheduled
Yes. In all transparency members should know that I very likely will not
be at LiboCon 2016 due to work obligations. Looking at my record this
term (minutes) you can see that I was very consistent with attending
meetings and was always an active participant.
2. Do you commit yourself to follow up and work on (at least) the main
items and actions you have volunteered to oversee or that have been
attributed to you by the board?
3. What are your views on the foundation's budget? How should the money
be spent, besides our fixed costs?
Our budget should be used to assist the "doers" of the project. This
means investing in the tools, travel, and other things needed by those
who want to contribute to LibreOffice. I believe in our new grant
program where individuals can request funds and hope that it will gain
wider recognition over the next term. Finally, I believe that paying for
team mentors is a wise use of funds in some cases, although I much
prefer volunteers being given as much responsibility as they are
able/willing to take on.
4. Should we work towards broadening our pool of contributors, both
technical and non-technical?
5. Should the Foundation -as an entity distinct from the LibreOffice
project or the Document Liberation project- engage into growing its
influence and promoting and defending Free Software and Digital Freedom?
It is, after all, an integral part of its mission per its very Statutes.
If yes, do you have ideas on what should be done about this?
Yes. As others have said, I agree that the most important thing we can
do is continue to put out a great product that uses open standards and
is built on open principles. I think that there is room to continue
improving our place in public entities and that this will be
tremendously advantageous for Free Software and Digital Freedom.
Furthermore, I think that the Document Liberation Project fits well
within our mission and answers this question as well.
Outside of our project I think that others are in a much better position
(and have much more specific statutes/missions) to defend FSDF. If those
organizations reach out to us to support a particular stance, I'm more
than happy to review and give a +1 where appropriate. I believe that
generally our donors donate money to be used on maintaining our core
software and the communities surrounding that software.
6. How do you view your (potential) role as a member of the board of
directors, given that this position does not give you any specific
functional role inside the LibreOffice or Document Liberation projects?
My primary job on the board (and what makes the Board distinct from any
other position, whether volunteer or paid) is to oversee that our funds
are used in a responsible manner. For me this goes back to a principle
previously said, to remove barriers for the "doers" to do and to provide
tools for those same people to do the incredible work that they
accomplish daily. Finally, this also means that we are responsible for
balancing a lot of demands on our budget.
Outside of this primary job, I currently, and anticipate it would be a
similar situation if elected again, oversee several teams within the
project. Overseeing does not mean dictating, or even actively getting
involved (although I am very involved with QA still to this day), it
means instead, making sure that the teams have what they need to succeed.
7. What is the biggest problem of the foundation in your opinion? What
is its biggest opportunity?
I wouldn't call it a problem but I'd say that the largest challenge has
been explaining some decisions to the wider community. I believe this is
entirely normal for any organization as Boards are responsible for
making some important decisions (sometimes based on difficult choices)
and we can't just say yes to everything.
The way to resolve this is to encourage more people to join
board-discuss and actively ask questions, to join the public board call
(no one does which makes me sad as it's really a great time to interact
with the Board and ask questions) and lastly, to blog a bit more after
decisions are made.
Joel Madero, Member of the Board of Directors
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