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Re: [board-discuss] Discussion about options available with marketing plan draft and timetable


I second the opinion of Alex (alex@documentfoundation.org).

The moment any kind of restriction is imposed or proposed to be imposed on the user (be it 
individual, be it an NGO, be it a community, be it an enterprise) is no more a Freedom Software. As 
such the proposed LibreOffice Community Edition / Personal Edition cannot be a free software and it 
cannot be called "libre".

LibreOffice has reached this stage following the free software principles. There is no reason to 
commercialize the project for want of more contributions by 'demand'.

I also noticed (from Slide 16) that 68% of the contributions are from eco-system companies. They 
contributed their code without any enterprise edition. LibreOffice had evolved to this stage and 
can continue to evolve without any need of enterprise edition.

If at all TDF wants to focus on an enterprise edition, it is appropriate if they do it on a 
separate brand name, but not on LibreOffice. The draft marketing plan makes it clear that the 
eco-system companies' focus in future might be on the enterprise edition, leaving the 'actual' 
LibreOffice behind.

LibreOffice has been an outstanding freedom software suite till date. The proposed marketing plan 
may kill the positive direction in which the office suite had been heading. I feel that the board 
has already decided the matter since the Development Branch already has the personal edition tag 
without any sound discussion before the community.

- Aravind Palla


‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Thursday, July 9, 2020 8:00 PM, Alexander Werner <alex@documentfoundation.org> wrote:

Dear board, dear community,

Abstract:
I request the board to:

-   provide software in accordance with the statues.
-   remove parts of the software that are of no use for the intended
    audience, hereby meaning the support key "feature" of LOOL.

-   undo the "Personal" edition branding.

    I am very concerned about the recent developments regarding the
    strategic future of LibreOffice and The Document Foundation. As this
    concern is shared by many no quick decision should be taken.

    I want to remind all of you what The Document Foundation is all about,
    as stated in the unalterable statutes
    (https://www.documentfoundation.org/foundation/statutes/):

    "The objective of  the foundation is the promotion and development of
    office software available for use by anyone free of charge." - this does
    not restrict the target audience.

    "This software will be openly available for free use by anyone for their
    own files, including companies and public authorities, ensuring full
    participation in a digital society and without detriment to intellectual
    property."

    I would like to remind all members of the board of directors that first
    and foremost you are obliged to pursue these statutes. As a consequence
    you must not restrict the target audience of LibreOffice to a specific
    user group in any way.

    But this already happens for quite some time and is now getting worse:


1.  LibreOffice Online - Unsupported Warning

    The website for LibreOffice Online states: "The Document Foundation will
    not be maintaining binaries for enterprise use". This is clearly in
    violation of the statutes.
    (https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-online/)

    The website also includes a picture of a warning message that often
    appears
    (https://www.libreoffice.org/assets/Uploads/LibreOffice-Online-limit.png),
    and it is also stated: "... is designed for personal and/or development
    use ..." This is not only in violation of the statues, but also very
    questionable behaviour for Free/Libre and Open Source Software.

    I hereby request the board to take action to provide the software in
    accordance with the statutes.

2.  LibreOffice Online - Containing Support Keys

    Looking through the source code of LibreOffice Online, it can be easily
    found, that there is a build option for support keys, this makes
    absolutely no sense in our software product.
    (https://git.libreoffice.org/online/+/refs/heads/master/wsd/LOOLWSD.cpp#1259)

    I hereby request the board to take action to remove parts of the
    software that are of no use for the intended audience.

3.  LibreOffice "Personal Edition"

    As I have already mentionend in my comment to the Bug Report
    (https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=134486#c23), I see
    any restriction or even suggested restriction of the intended audience
    in violation of the statutes.

    I would also like to remind, that there are still and fresh versions
    existing right now (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleasePlan),
    and that the still versions are intended for "conservative, corporate
    deployments". Will the "still" "Personal Edition" then be recommended
    for "corporate deployments"? I don't believe that this is understood by
    our audience in any way.

    Also: I don't see the reason for the "Personal Edition" tag, as this
    means that TDF must also provide another edition that is then targeted
    for all other use cases.

    I hereby request the board to take action that this change be undone
    to gain time for the community to find a consensus.

    My personal opinion is to keep the Brand LibreOffice as a name, and
    certified vendors are able to provide support and services as
    "LibreOffice Enterprise" partners. If you change the product, the name
    is to be changed.

    As this topic already gained significant public interest, it is now the
    time for the board to re-evaluate the Marketing Plan and its hopefully
    unintended side-effects.

    The primary goal of The Document Foundation is to fulfill its statutes,
    and the secondary goal is to cater for ecosystem vendors needs.

    Alex

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