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Hi Thorsten,

On 09/01/2022 17:45, Thorsten Behrens wrote:
Hi Paolo,

Paolo Vecchi wrote:
I would wait for an eventual vote until a few weeks after FOSDEM just in
case more questions and/or interest about the future of LOOL come up.

The attic proposal is only incidentally related to LibreOffice

The attic proposal, isn't only incidental, you and Emiliano volunteered to put together such proposal to deal with LibreOffice OnLine issue. The fact that it may then be used for other projects in future is an added bonus.

  Do you have concrete suggestions on changing the actual

Well, yes. That's what the rest of the email you replied to was about.

This agreement, to be drafted by our legal team in collaboration with TDF's
counsel, should be added to the proposal before voting as it should be part
of the on-boarding process for projects we intend to support.

I very strongly suggest to *not* make that mandatory for every kind of
project we'd be interested in adopting. It would otherwise completely
kill the onboarding of that kind of small-but-useful tools we've taken
up in the years past (cppunit, libcmis, odf toolkit etc).

This is not about components but entire projects like LOOL which have been, or will be, hosted and promoted by TDF.

I'm not even suggesting that each individual proposing a project should sign it, only when the project is being proposed by or it becomes controlled mostly by a single company.

Eg. I wouldn't have asked the person that presented a prototype of LOOL in 2011 to sign the agreement but I would have started proposing it when in 2013 that same person incorporated the company that became LOOL's main contributor.

Another example could be LOWA (LibreOffice WebAssembly), which is a promising project developed mostly by Allotropia AFAIK.

That's why months ago I've asked you to lead by example by officially present the project to TDF in a couple of pages stating the objectives and what TDF could expect to deliver to the community while Allotropia pursues, rightly, its commercial interests. If you followed up we would have had already a document on which to base the agreement we need to welcome other projects.

It is great that companies invest in complex projects based on LibreOffice but, if those projects are to be hosted, promoted or even economically sponsored by TDF, we have to set the right expectations for the community and have a mutually beneficial agreement in place.

Failing to do so will lead exactly to the same outcome we have seen with LOOL.

No volunteer in her right mind would sign binding, legal agreements of
that kind.
You may have missed a bit of the email where I say:

"The agreement should not be an extremely long and complex legal document, which in some cases could be very difficult to enforce, but at least should also clarify the expectations from both parties and make it clear to the contributors what TDF's objectives are so that there will be no surprises for anyone."

Once again, as clarified above, this would apply only to companies or when the project previously run by volunteers becomes controlled by a legal entity.

Instead, it can be left to the discretion of the board to ask for more
formal commitments, if it sees a need.

If a rule is in place it will be easier for the board to spot when they have to act.

As a generic rule of thumb we could set a threshold of 50% (?) of the contributions to the project by a single company at which point the board should start negotiations with the company. That would also help TDF understanding if the contributor is really interested in delivering the project following TDF's objectives or it's just interested in benefiting from TDF's infrastructure and LibreOffice's brand.


-- Thorsten


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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