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


I fully support what you wrote.

That's it.



On 10/07/2020 12:12, Florian Effenberger wrote:

first and foremost, thanks a lot to everyone for taking on the
challenging task to work on a marketing plan. I am sure this was not
easy, so thanks to all of you for your work on this - and thanks to
the board for the transparent communication in public!

With all the feedback received, I strongly propose to leave 7.0
without tagging and finalize the plan for a later release.

Let’s use this time to come to a conclusion here in public, hear the
community members and find something that works for everyone. First, I
doubt we will achieve something positive if we rush things through.
Second, adding one tag in 7.0 and then change it to another tag in 7.1
is likely to cause confusion. Third, the demand is to have something
durable (the plan covers 2020-2025), something to rely on that doesn't
change all of the time.


To have a concrete timeline, I would have proposed 7.0.3 for a final
decision, not only because enterprises likely rather deploy .0.3 over
.0.0, but also because it will be published around our annual
LibreOffice Conference in October, and as such provides a good
messaging opportunity. However, I understand UI changes in minor
versions are not a good idea, so 7.1 might be a better choice.

I know there are concerns this would delay things infinitely and
nothing will happen, but I sincerely do hope we have some options
between a rock and a hard place. :-) That means driving forward a
concrete timeline with deadlines, to not let this topic slip out of

Personal vs. Community:

If I absolutely had to decide between “Personal Edition” and
“Community Edition”, I would clearly favor the latter.

The name “Personal” excludes even small educational organizations,
which are a part as per slide 29. It also excludes small NGOs -
thinking of the local street worker office with two volunteers, or the
youth care facility that hosts lots of FLOSS events, or the little
kindergarten in town. Also, thinking of all the other fellow FLOSS
organizations or other smaller foundations who likely prepare their
annual filings (which are also “strategic documents”) with LibreOffice
- would we want to discourage them from using TDF-provided LibreOffice
for their association tasks?

Personal to me means for the individual use only. A personal website,
in   comparison to the website of the NGO I work for. A personal bank
account, in comparison to an association one's. Now I acknowledge we
don't talk about a legal license condition for LibreOffice, but about
the framing and messaging - but still, I think “Personal” sets the
frame too strict.

Also, if we go to universities for the budgeted campus ambassador
program, with the above wording, even using in smaller working groups
(“I show you how to write your final thesis with LibreOffice”) could
sound to be discouraged.

I know the plan is to draw a line somewhere, but the above, at least
for a non-native speaker, feels quite narrow.

Then, I also received feedback that “Community” can be read as an open
core model or there’s no understanding in the general public what an
open source community is, so it might be worth rethinking this as well
- which is why 7.0, to be published in a month from now, is on too
short notice for introducing a tag.

Relevance of Statutes and Regulations:

In course of the discussion, also the statutes were mentioned several
times. Although I know their history and their ideas quite well, I
don’t think the discussion is so much about regulations already at
this point - much more important is the mutual understanding of what
we want. From that point on, let’s see what we can do. We all grow and
learn, regulations change, and more than once TDF has shown it’s will
and ability to fight for good things. I want to contribute that we can
have this discussion in the same positive and creating spirit.

Explanatory Texts:

Next to the tagging, also the various texts need to be agreed on and
translated, like in the start center, the about dialog and the start
center sidebar - and the same thoughts as for the actual tagging
apply, how strict should the frame be set.

Legally, the license permits that organizations can use LibreOffice
without contributing back - in the end, it’s free software. They do
what the license allows them. We can't forbid it.

What we want to do is to very strongly encourage them, convince them,
make things clear to them, because the project can only survive if
there is sufficient funding, and the ecosystem is one of several key
parameters for the success of TDF - we wouldn't be where we are
without all of you, all of the community.

I find it much easier to celebrate things with a positive message than
with a negative. As such, I seriously doubt we will convince people
and bring across a good message if we communicate with too strong
words. Positive wording and directions are always better than
negative. And I think it's also much easier for the community to
communicate that. Maybe we tried with messaging that was not
successful so far, fair enough, so let's improve the message, but I
would like to work on a positive framing, than on a negative one.

TDF is no different in this regard! We ourselves, we use lots of free
software as an organization - be it for web, database, file services,
mail, chat, conferencing and other servers. We have the skills
in-house and we often rely on pre-compiled binaries from free software
projects. We do contribute back e.g. by supporting upstream
development, doing advocacy and working together on a common goal.

We don’t do this because of strong taglines and texts, but because
we’re convinced of doing something good to the benefit of many, making
improvements for us and others, achieving a common goal. Contributing
and being a "good citizen" can be done in various ways.

It’s this message I would like to transport also for LibreOffice.

In the end, I trust the marketing team, I trust the board, I trust the
community - and I’m sure our collective wisdom will bring up what is
best for the project.

I know constructive discussions in public are not trivial and can be
really demanding, especially on such an obviously emotional topic.
Part of the positive progress we do make is also exactly this
discussion - working together constructively, positively and creating
things is what will set, literally, the foundation for the next decade
of our Foundation, and everyone who is part of the ecosystem around it.


Paolo Vecchi - Deputy Member of the Board of Directors
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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