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[board-discuss] Minutes Board of Directors Meeting 2016-10-10

The Document Foundation
Board of Directors Meeting 2016-10-10
Call Minutes

Date: Monday, October 10, 2016
Location: Phone Conference Room

Session chair: Michael Meeks
Keeper of the minutes: Florian Effenberger

In the call: Michael (Deputy Chair), Eike (Board), Osvaldo (Board), Thorsten (Board), Norbert (Deputy), Florian (ED), Olivier, Kendy (Board), Simon (Board)

Representation: Norbert for Marina

Deputy Chairman of the Board is in the call. One of the Chairman or Deputy is required to be present or represented for having a quorate call.

The Board of Directors at the time of the call consists of 7 seat holders without deputies. In order to be quorate, the call needs to have 1/2 of the Board of Directors members, which gives 4. A total of 7 Board of Directors members or their representatives are attending the call.

The board waives all formal statutory requirements, or requirements in the foundations articles, or other requirements regarding form and invitation, time limits, and for the topics discussed in this meeting.

The call is quorate. From now on, motions can be passed with the agreement of a simple majority of those remaining present. The majority threshold is currently 4.

The meeting commences at 17:05 Berlin time.

Public agenda:

1. Discuss: List of priorities and tasks (Florian)

As discussed before, we should identify key priorities for TDF. Florian created a spreadsheet for ranking and discussion ahead of the Brno conference. Possibly private for some parts.

    + would like to get a common understanding of the priorities
    + no point voting if someone does releases eg.
    + should get larger items we should rank: 0-100 - with 100 the highest.
AI: + rank all items before the call in two weeks (Board + Deputies)
    + concern wrt. ranking all of these (Norbert)
        + time is biggest spend - prolly worth doing (Michael)
            + QA meetings though - bit extreme.
    => suggest things can be removed instead of rating perhaps.
    + would like a time associated with them (Norbert)
AI:     + add a time guestimate to each item (Florian)
+ perhaps nice to know without the effort so can do product later (Thorsten)

2. Discuss: A new approach for the documentation project (Simon)

Simon, Olivier and Florian had a phone call on the current situation of the documentation project and identified issues and ideas that we want to present. Possibly private for some parts.

    + Discussed changed vision for documentation with Olivier
        + not sure it's so useful for technology projects in this era
        + nothing purchased has come with a manual > a business card.
        + re-visit why documentation is a good thing.
        + things perhaps of greater value:
            + contextual sensitive help
            + an FAQ - to refer to with their questions answered
        + a printed manual - seems useful:
            + where large corporate entity - contemplating a migration
            + appropriate to have something roughly up-to-date in the
              form of a manual for 'still' release, if we can.
                + a substantial piece of work to update this.
                    + few volunteers here
            + not going to happen etc.
Proposal 1  + if we want it to exist: should pay for it.
                => budget to tender for a manual update every 18 months.
            + consider that as a marketing activity.
        + work on the help system:
            + see what it should look like.
            + want to facilitate contributors.
            + updating the help system: there is scope here.
                + a great introductory task: shadow devs & update help.
                + a viable thing to do.
            + if we have a help system that users can help maintain.
        + lots of users who would benefit from quick-reference cards.
            + would love something re-purpose-able to this.
            + eg. something like a presi-presentation
            + LibreOffice help - contextually take you to there
            + or write a second project to make it so ?
Proposal 2  + brain-storm a revision of the help system, to
              make it easy to update for casual users.
        + gardening the 'Ask' website
            + have a wealth of information in the site
+ when I try to use it - frequently, not given the answer desired + wanting to have things like manual pages for commonly-used features
              on 'ask' pages.
+ got lots of good stuff from Ask, Brazilian community, Ubuntu etc.
Proposal 3  + another layer of content curated above the ask community.

+ backup out-of-date by design manuals, and somewhat thin help documentation,
      and improve things on top of ask.

    + Are there any cost numbers ? (Norbert)
+ Do we know doc download vs. help page-views ? vs. printed books (Michael)
        + no specific numbers (Olivier)

    + v. steep barrier to enter into documentation (Olivier)
        + creating a book is hard.
        + Jean has done an amazing job of how to create a book on S/W.
+ just to write a chapter in a book; have to read a 200 page document
            + best practice in the area.
        + lots of legacy content in the books.
            + agree - not the best form the end-user
        + content should be available for the user.
    + for complex S/W we have documentation on-line (Olivier)
+ need to have that for LibreOffice, and need to make it easy to update,
          no styles, pagination, PDF print-outs, styles of bullets etc.
    + Software not so close to the help system (Olivier)
        + have to download a 2nd or 3rd package.
    + F1 / help
        + needs evolution and extension.
+ part of it - community addressed; many more graphics in help in the
          near future with screenshot tender from CIB, can evolve to a more
          dynamic & easy to read help-content.
        + but - also, collateral, book, ask-bot, wiki etc.
        + user has an issue: google search, tons of pages etc.
    + UX people - connect documentation bits to the help menu (Olivier)

    + agree with Simon's proposal (Olivier)
+ want to preserve existing content, and use it in a more dynamic form.
            + eg. editing a wiki vs. a chapter in a book.

    + agree with non-importance of printed documentation (Thorsten)
        + something for large corp. deployments if that
            => agree de-emphasise for community project.
        + some market to write that, and sell it perhaps
            + so some reason not to invest too heavily here.
        + askbot etc. HOWTOs in very focused areas (Simon)
            + can deliver more value in these areas.
            + want a 1000 word article on bullets eg. from Mike ?

    + may be useful to have a better system & some tenders (Osvaldo)

    + why pay to drag around the manuals ? (Michael)
        + can we chop them up and put them into the help ?
            + partially agree, but like it for writer & calc (Simon)

+ love to extend the help to have markup so we can generate a book (Kendy) + with attributes and longer articles, we should be able to do this.
        + need to preserve the help (Olivier)

    + would like some meetings to sync. on technical side of this (Kendy)

    + Is it achievable ? (Olivier)
        + point is to bring the information on the suite into 2016.
        + yes - it is absolutely achievable.
            + can be implemented in the current situation.

    + IBM recently did this to their docs (Norbert)
        + used to be book oriented.
        + now all google-like, keyword, get a page,
          ~impossible to navigate to see the bigger context.
        + hard when you want to learn a topic.
            + much less usable to learn thing.
        + need overview documentation for deeper learning
        + like zoomable / overview / context bits (Simon)
            + need to be able to have hierarchical information.
            + like it to translate into a wall-chart / cheat-card.

    + want a number (Norbert)
        + lots of things that are low-hanging (Kendy)
        + want to make it easier for people to contribute (Norbert)
        + also want the rough download numbers (Thorsten)
            + relative popularity of various help items we have.
            + PDF manual, askbot, and online help content pages.
        + askbot - 60k Q's in English, 1.2k in Portugese, others lower

    => Come up with a rough technical plan along these
       + lines with ball-park numbers tender (Kendy + Olivier)
           + re-discuss in two weeks.

3. Question: Dashboard (Florian)

Especially to Björn: Are there any pending questions beyond the
affiliation setup question raised by Thorsten? Are you happy with
what they delivered and the documentation?

(Cloph currently adding additional disk space to make the VM run again)

Query around affiliation of git commits ?
    + gitdm-config/ re-use strongly preferred (Michael)
        + big database of aliases, rather complex affiliation bits.
AI Florian: raise that with Bitergia/verify we use it
+ skip -> no Bjoern.

Public call ends at 1750 Berlin time.

Private agenda, made public now in accordance with our statutes:

4. Vote: Sysadmin contract (Florian)

Vote: Michael to sign contract as is
        + unanimous agreement.

Michael Meeks (Session chair)
Florian Effenberger (Keeper of the minutes)

Florian Effenberger, Executive Director (Geschäftsführer)
Tel: +49 30 5557992-50 | IRC: floeff on Freenode
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
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