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The Document Foundation
Board of Directors Meeting 2020-10-09
Meeting Minutes

Date: 2020-10-09
Location: Jitsi

Session chair: Franklin Weng
Keeper of the minutes: Stephan Ficht

In the meeting: Franklin Weng (board), Thorsten Behrens (board)
                Michael Meeks (board), Emiliano Vavassori (board),
                Cor Nouws (board), Italo Vignoli, Ilmari Lauhakangas,
                Heiko Tietze, Sophie Gautier, Stephan Ficht,
                Aron Budea, Marina Latini (MC), Guilhem Moulin,
                Michael Weghorn, Daniel Rodriguez (board),
Paolo Vecchi (board deputy), Uwe Altmann (MC substitute member, from 13:10 on),
                Olivier Hallot (from 13:28 on)

Representation: Paolo Vecchi for Lothar Becker
(See subject "Representation statements")

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

The Board of Directors at 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 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 meeting is quorate and invitation happened in time. 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 13:02 Berlin time.


1. Q&A: Answering Questions from the community (All, max. 10 min)
Rationale: Provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions to the board and about TDF.
     + no questions.

2. Discuss: on the Online situation, and possibly discussion about the MC offer to mediate (All, 20min) Rationale: Answering questions, discuss situation, suggest further steps with it
     + a brief summary (Florian)
        + an announcement Michael sent out last week, wrt. a
          change in the online approach
        + subsequent mail from the MC to offer to mediate.
     + looking forward to meeting with MC (Michael)
        + where we're at, makes sense to talk more-
        + heard enough people, happy to hear further/other feedback
     + quite clear there are some communication issues (Marina)
        + idea is not for MC to tell BoD what to do
        + but to try to be the external mediator that can
          listen to the different opinions, and try to mediate
          the positions
        + and understand how to work in a constructive way.
        + stress: not the MC trying to take over.
     + one thing I like a lot (Thorsten)
        + this is not a BoD problem, but a community problem
        + community needs to get a grip & come to some conclusion
        + so highly valuable to include the MC, as a stake-holder
        + perhaps to get more membership voices?
        + while - love to discuss things in the widest possible venue,
        + this can be a bit of a drag on energy for very large groups
        + perhaps newly elected MC can represent the membership here?
          -> and come to a conclusion people can trust & get behind.
     + like the word trust (Marina)
        + main issue is a general lack of trust - in the
          BoD and elsewhere.
        + good to discuss openly; a smaller circle can help.
        + more open when there are not 1k people listening.
        + not just for discussing, but for clarifying & starting
          to work in a constructive way.
        + this is the goal.
     + what would be the outcome? (Heiko)
        + dropping Online from LibreOffice repository ?
        + people wonder where to submit patches
        + question -> submit icons to LibreOffice repo, or
          directly to Collabora.
        + a decision needs to be made quickly wrt. what to
          do with it in the short term.
        + agreed (Thorsten)
           + don't want to prejudice this decision.
+ need to decide this way or the other - or people get frustrated.
     + plan from TDF side one way or the other - important (Florian)
        + need some conclusions / thoughts.
     + one thought (Franklin)
        + question in the past - where to submit patches
        + not just happening this week, a long-term problem
        + have a decision quickly, make it clear.
     + as with other topics (Florian)
        + perception of trust / issues.
        + these come to the surface, given we discuss more in public
            + which is important.
        + this is just the condensed expression of what has
          been boiling in the past
     + is Heiko's position that of the team ? (Emiliano)
        + not made a statement so far (Heiko)
           + talk about it in the team.
           + don't feel like we have come to a conclusion.
           + people are confused as to how this will develop.
           + design group: move was accepted, but not too much discussed
+ 2-3 comments, nothing saying this will break everything etc.
           + confusion is: split between core app & front-end
              + where do we submit our contribution ?
              + would like a quick response; not after 4 weeks.
           + an easy answer (Thorsten)
              + core repo stays where it is
              + but will we continue to develop an online version? (Heiko)
                 + have an opinion on that (Thorsten)
                    + pragmatic: lets face the facts.
+ or can take a different route: ignore the facts & pretend
                      we still develop it
     + seems to boil down to personal ideas (Emiliano)
         + lets all just state our personal ideas
+ TDF needs an Online version somehow, strategically for next 10 years
             + personal point - not the shared statement from the Board
             + for sure, will be difficult; point is to have a repo at TDF
     + a plan to keep those repos synchronized ? (Uwe)
         + only (easily) works for github (Thorsten)
     + root of this is problem of competing w/ another brand (Michael)
         + need to compete in a way that doesn't harm the LibreOffice brand
         + that is important part of TDF's value
+ TDF has lots of things on his agenda, some intersect - spending money effectively, charitable purpose, app stores, mentor hiring, community development, marketing plan
     + recommend, in the meantime, TDF to shutdown LibreOffice Online
     + meeting at October 14th, maybe breakthrough then?
     + thread to compete with LibreOffice as brand vs. Collabora removed
     + some poision from the discussion removed
    + announcement done in a reply to my mail (Heiko)
        + how to monetize LibreOffice
        + discussed marketing plan, a collective around LibreOffice
        + not going to fly, ...
        + don't like it - want to produce FOSS for the community
            + not talk about business.
        + a clean cut - why not do it ?
            + can stop with the business discussion
            + personal opinion - listened to other opinions
            + saying we need the input / online version.
            + need a plan-B:
                + what happens if C'bra starts to not support LibreOffice
                    + but its own office, and online
                + in this case, can still fork Online repo & bring it back
                    + as our online.
            + hope we have a positive moment right now
                + appreciate stake-holders attributing this
                  move as something positive, we all welcome.
                + turn it into discussions about development
                  rather than annoying issues around the app.
    + trying to say at the beginning (Marina)
        + stop to discuss we against them
        + companies vs. TDF is not helpful
        + TDF can exist because it's a mix of business / ecosystem
          and also community part - volunteers contributing.
        + stop to have this strict view of what we are.
        + finally discuss openly & create / shape in a different
          way this foundation.
        + a way that can work fine for all the parties involved.
        + a foundation that can bring advantages for the ecosystem
          so a RoI - and at the same time something that is not
          completely changing the nature of the foundation.
        + have a manifesto, now 10 years old, now a good moment
          to think what we achieved, to shape all together what
          we want to be in the next 10-20 years.
        + not sure discussing forking it can bring something positive
        + try to have something that can work properly for companies
          and community.
    + love some help - pushing this rock up-hill (Michael)
        + actually understanding the problem and its depth is
          something I've not seen yet
    + six months out - looked at TDF from another angle (Marina)
        + some things to improve needed since ten years.
        + definitely time to do something.
        + being able to create something that works for community,
          companies, investors and others wanting a MS alternative.
        + and get credit on the work done.
    + some team feedback (Florian)
        + had a call last week, the opinions are mixed
        + people are concerned, looking for a plan.
        + Heiko's view is not shared by everyone
        + in BoD & MC - not 100% the same opinion
        + what clearly took - in line with what Marina said
          should find a way to make it work out whatever it
          could look like.
    + like to support Marina's approach (Cor)
        + look at the problem, and build on the next decade
    + including the team into our discussion (Michael)
        + Italo & Mike, particularly.
        + team listening in at least would be helpful.

3. Status & further steps in the subgroups in the light of discussions see above with: a) marketing plan d) TM licensing (All 5min)
   Rationale: Discuss and identify the next steps
   Redmine ticket(s):

 a) LibreOffice 7.0/7.1 marketing plan
Status: Paolo, Franklin, Michael, Thorsten, Mike, Italo continue working on this, Follow-on meeting was done, information/what is uncontroversial and could be decided to be done now
    + marketing call yesterday
    + several discussion and action items
    + deadline mid-November
    + discussion on public marketing list, by ~November 15
    + decision amongst TDF members only, by ~end-November
      -> implementation in time for 7.1
+ several bits and pieces independent from release/codefreeze/string freeze
      -> Italo to bring forward to the board for decision
    + yesterday's call notes to be shared in public by Italo

d) from subgroup to work out proposal for handling outrunning TM licenses End of September
    Status: Cor, Paolo, Emiliano
    + thought we agreed in the last call (Cor)
    + proposal was to prolongue them for six more months (Florian)
       + with cancellation period as/when if we're ready
         earlier than expected (Paolo)
    + disabled in the app store on the deadline (Michael)
    + vote on it now ? (Florian)
       + yes: Cor, Paolo
    + vote:
    "Prolong the existing TM agreement for six months, for
     CIB / Collabora"
        + in favour: Emiliano, Daniel, Franklin, Lothar (rep. Paolo)
        + others abstain.

4. Discuss & Organize: BoD meeting Agenda proposals and Agenda joined meetings on 14th at LibO Con with MC and team (Florian, all 10 min)
   Rationale: Discuss and get a joined plan for the joined meeting

#1) Wednesday, 14 October 13:00 to 16:00 - Board of Directors - moderation: Lothar and Franklin
    public from 13:00-13:30, private from 13:30-16:00

#2) Wednesday, 14 October 14:00 to 16:00 - Membership Committee - moderation: Marina
    no public part

#3) Wednesday, 14 October 17:00 to 18:00 - Board, Membership Committee and Team - moderation: Lothar, Marina, Florian
    no public part

* need to find meeting slot for MC and BoD only - not enough time during that day, and filling in the empty hour likely isn't an option either

* meetings will take place on Jitsi
* agenda for #2 done by the MC
* agenda for #3 will be handled by Lothar, Marina and Florian - Florian already mailed team and MC with some ideas. One hour only, so need to focus. * agenda for #1 drafted by Lothar, Franklin and Florian. Idea is to showcase what's going on in the public part. Invitation to next public board meeting for discussion with the community, so just few minutes for questions. For the private part, we really should focus on the main topics and about working together, instead of a long list of topics. Virtual meeting, less time than usual.

Public part for October 14:

1. Welcome, introduction, invitation, representation and quorum (Lothar/Franklin, 5 minutes) Presentation of the agenda, confirmation of proper invitation, handle representation statements and determine quorum.
   Includes a welcome to the members of the new Membership Committee.

2. Update on key goals and focal points (Florian, 15 minutes)
An update on various key goals and focal points, where we stand and what the next steps are.

   1. Key goals
1. Streamline tendering process, sign two tenders and get them delivered (Nicolas, Lothar, Florian) 2. Hire development mentor, grow pool of code committers (board excl. Michael)
      3. Grow non-coding community (Ilmari, Mike)
4. (Virtual) Hackfests where coders and non-coders meet (Mike, Ilmari) 5. Marketing plan, younger contributors, OpenOffice users (Italo, Mike) 6. Evaluating tooling, e.g. Discourse for AskBot, incl. tools for participation improvement (Sophie, Ilmari)
      7. Campus program for student ambassadors (Italo)
      8. Business entity (Paolo, Thorsten, Michael)
Draft for German entity (needs ACK from Uwe pre-publishing):

   2. Focal points and budget items
      1. Scholarship (Lothar, Florian, Stephan)
2. Donor management, CiviCRM, fundraising and campaigns (Italo, Mike, Florian)
      3. New website (Heiko, Ilmari)
      4. Weblate (Sophie, Christian)
      5. Extensions and templates page (Christian)
6. Update on tenders - WebDAV, Xray-built-in debugger, Text layout, Automated ODF filter regression testing, Cleanup & further improve ODF conformance
      7. Weblate Dashboard integration for Membership Committee
      8. ODF 1.3 conformance and ODF 1.3 delta tender
      9. FOSDEM 2021 and virtual meetings
      10. Google Season of Docs (Olivier)
      11. Google Summer of Code (Ilmari, Heiko)

3. Overview on downloads, budget and donations (Florian, Mike, Italo, 5 minutes)
   Update on our budget, download numbers and the status of donations.
   Incl. status of recurring donations and diversifying income stream.

4. Various, quick questions and answers, closing of the public part, and invitation to next public board meeting (5 minutes) A few minutes for questions and answers. Everyone is invited to continue the discussion in the next public board meeting on October 23.

Public meeting ends at 13:47 Berlin time.

Agenda items of private part:

5. Private part for October 14 / Thoughts on next week's meeting agenda (shared with the public in the meantime)

6. if needed Discuss: on the Online situation (All 15min)
Reason why in private: private exchange of board members about the situation and its handling inside the board
   Rationale: trust building for future work in TDF

Private meeting ends at 13:53 Berlin time.

Franklin Weng (Session chair)
Stephan Ficht (Keeper of the minutes)

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