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Hi Simon,

On 17/01/2022 18:15, Simon Phipps wrote:
I suggest being very cautious with making "strong rules" in a volunteer community. While superficially they seem good at the time, our experience at TDF has been that strong rules made under challenging condition turn out to be problematic when conditions have changed, and can then be used disruptively. The more rules there are, the more games can be played with them.

I believe Marco supported my proposal because he read my various emails where I was clarifying that the rules weren't at all directed at the volunteer community in general.


We surely don't want to make life difficult to individual volunteers contributing to LibreOffice and related projects.

For corporate contributors, shouldn't be a big issue as they already need to go through internal reviews to see what they can contribute and how so may as well make things clear for all and protect not only our community but also the corporate contributors that may inadvertently lead the community to believe that the whole project will be available for free and for all to use while they may have also other plans for portions of it.

Then surely once some rules are in place there will always be someone in bad faith that tries to circumvent them if at the time seems more convenient for them but at least we'll have to deal with a case where we know what the community was supposed to get out of it instead of wasting months in fruitless negotiations.

At present I don't have development plans for a new commercial project based on LibreOffice but if I had one I would ask TDF to work together to shape an agreement where I state the objective of the project, my plans to make it commercially sustainable (if that is an end goal as it may not be necessary the case/needed) and what the community could expect out of it under the TDF umbrella. Then it's up to the board and the community to decide if we should invest in the project.

(The above specific example would lead to a special situation as, being a member of TDF's board of directors, it would be even more important for me to present a clear project and let the rest of the board decide about it, without me or my business partners ever intervening, to avoid being perceived as more equal than others)

Wouldn't any company find it not just natural but essential to do that to protect their long term investments and show that it can be trusted by the community?



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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