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


Hi Alex,

thanks for your contribution and see inline my comments.

On 09/07/2020 16:30, Alexander Werner wrote:
Dear board, dear community,

Abstract:
I request the board to:
- provide software in accordance with the statues.
Absolutely, there is no intention of changing that.
- remove parts of the software that are of no use for the intended
audience, hereby meaning the support key "feature" of LOOL.
Thanks for notifying us of that. I personally wasn't aware of it.
- undo the "Personal" edition branding.
That was a temporary placeholder used while the developers implemented a
potential tag line features that may or may not be used depending on the
outcome of this consultation. "Personal" was one of the many options
that came out while we were preparing this consultation.
Nothing has been yet decided about it.

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.
The statutes and their principles are the reason why a vibrant Community
has been able to form around TDF and nobody in the Board has any
intention of doing anything that goes against them.

There has never been any idea of limiting access or the features of
LibreOffice.

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.**
Thanks for notifying us of your concerns.
I'm not up to speed with those bits of code so I'll check with my fellow
members of the Board.

Keep in mind that LibreOffice On-Line derives mostly from development
carried out by Collabora for their On-Line product so there may be parts
in the code that are left from their own development.

I'm sure Michael Meeks will answer back ASAP to correct me if I said
something wrong.

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.
There is no intention of providing another edition at all.
LibreOffice is and will remain LibreOffice. The proposal, as described
in the evolving marketing plan, is to potentially add a tag line which
would help in clarifying to corporate users that TDF does not provide
the enterprise support and consulting services they may require so that
they can realise that there is an ecosystem that can help them.
As above, no tag line has been decided and that's why we are here
discussing it.

**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.
LibreOffice is surely going to be kept, members of the Community like
you are at present expressing their preferences on an eventual
additional tag line. That means there could be a tag line or not at the
end of this consultation.

If there is going to be one my preference would be for "Community
Edition" so that we make the world know that there is a Community behind
LibreOffice.

LibreOffice Enterprise is "just" a brand for the ecosystem, not a new
version of LibreOffice, not a new product or a company.
Members of the ecosystem will use their own names, brand, whatever they
prefer for their products and services and will be allowed to use the
name LibreOffice under certain conditions and through a TM agreement.


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.
We are actually here to discuss with you to avoid side effects while
making the world realise that we are a Community and whoever can should
contribute to the project.

The primary goal of The Document Foundation is to fulfill its statutes,
and the secondary goal is to cater for ecosystem vendors needs.
It seems like we have common goals.

Alex

Paolo

-- 
Paolo Vecchi - Deputy Member of the Board of Directors
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
Legal details: https://www.documentfoundation.org/imprint


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