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Hi Kendy,

On 10/02/2022 10:49, Jan Holesovsky wrote:
Hi Paolo,

Paolo Vecchi píše v St 09. 02. 2022 v 19:56 +0100:

He asked himself quite a few interesting questions:
"Without sharing too much, there are some moral questions popping up
me. Who owns the community? Who owns ownCloud itself? And what
more, short term money or long term responsibility and growth? Is
ownCloud just another company or do we also have to answer to the
hundreds of volunteers who contribute and make it what it is today?"

Shouldn't we all ask ourselves the same questions?
Awesome - so now you finally understand how hard a decision it was for
us (Free Software lovers & contributors for decades) to move the LOOL
development to GitHub - because it was the result of asking & pondering
the same questions.  Thank you for that!

I'm not sure it's as awesome as you may think.

What NextCloud seems to have done is practically the contrary to what Collabora did.

I never talked with Frank about it, and even if it happened I wouldn't share it without his permission, but his own published thoughts seem to indicate that for him his Open Source ethos wasn't fully respected in a company that was going "too commercial" that's why I wondered "Was Frank feeling that the commercial drive was clashing with his Open Source ethos?"

I don't think I ever heard Frank saying that NextCloud users were not part of the community or complaining that there were too many freeloaders like others do.

We have any a couple of public threads that you may find useful to view the LOOL issue from both sides.
They are linked here:

The clear summary anyway is that LOOL, conceived as a project that should have been delivered to the community, has been forked as commercial interests prevailed regardless of the agreements in place, the negotiations that were still ongoing and the marketing plan, which included LOOL, being developed.


* TDF does not own the community, TDF is an organization designed to
   make the community (let me repeat, "community" = "group of
   contributors") strong & flourishing.
I reported verbatim Frank's questions.
He probably was wondering if a community should be "owned" by a commercial organisation.

Then see my previous email in regards to the definition of "community":

* TDF does not own LibreOffice itself; it owns the brand, but the code,
   translations, etc. is owned by the particular contributors (ie. by
   the community) - to the level of lines of code, strings of
   translations, icons painted, test cases provided, etc.

Also NextCloud GmbH doesn't own the code it produced or the code, translations, etc. produced by contributors.
It doesn't even own its brand as a foundation owns it.

TDF has been created as the home of LibreOffice and its community.

See the rest of the email you omitted, towards the end:
* Long term responsibility & growth matter more - and when the LOOL's
   (sub-)community didn't grow under TDF, it was time to move on.  The
   decisions shouldn't be about donation money.

When in the early days a SUSE employee proposed to TDF the LOOL project he was developing more contributors came along.

It seems like at some point contributions stopped. We may need to investigate to help us understanding what went wrong and avoid similar mistakes in future.

Did some contributions stop because some thought that they were contributing to a company instead of a community? Did the contributors get employed by Collabora so it looked like nobody else was interested in contributing?
Was the project too complex for many individual contributors to deal with?
Other factors at play?

And regarding the last one: "Is TDF just another foundation or do we
also have to answer to the hundreds of volunteers who contribute and
make it what it is today?" is for us, the new board, to improve -
Well, removing the name of a commercial organisation that Frank was leaving behind and replacing it with the non for profit and independent TDF frames things in a very different way.

Anyway of course we have to focus on the millions of users and hundreds of contributors that form our community and support us in various ways with code, localization, marketing, infrastructure, QA, design, word of mouth, events and activities, donations and in many more ways.

because from what I can see, TDF was not listening to the contributors
the last 2 years too much.

As Lothar said members of the board listened and had to work very hard to fix many issues and to get the relevant information showing that TDF can do much more that it has been thought including investing in developers.

Let's improve it together!

Yes but let's keep in mind that members of TDF's board of directors, while performing their duties, need put first the interests of TDF and its wider community and not focus mostly on "subsets".

All the best,



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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