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Hi Thorsten!

Thanks for your positive contribution which I agree with completely
(although I do have a comment, see below).

On Thu, Feb 10, 2022 at 5:09 PM Thorsten Behrens <>

Hi *,

with the lively discussion ensuing here, it is perhaps worth sharing
my position ahead of the board call tomorrow:

Paolo Vecchi wrote:
Enable TDF to contribute more code to LibreOffice with in-house
to address our donors specific needs

I think it is worth considering, whether TDF should employ dedicated
developers. I'm not in general against it.

It is putting the cart in front of the horse though, to start with:

* we want TDF to contribute more code to LibreOffice

and then follow with

* therefore we must employ two developers

I believe it is more productive to start thinking about what we want
to achieve, in order to fulfill our mission. It is therefore
encouraging to read some good thoughts about that (RTL/CTL, a11y, and
other under-developed areas with little ecosystem contributions).

The board can then ponder what is the best way to achieve those goals,
relative to other demands. It is possible, but by no means certain,
that actually hiring specialised staff is indeed the most economic way
forward (e.g. for an area like a11y).

For Accessibility, my preference would be to tender for a specialist
organisation to either triage accessibility bugs or implement capabilities
for a fixed period followed by a performance review and re-tendering
(possibly for a longer period). By doing that we would avoid having to also
develop in-house engineering management and product accessibility
expertise. This is beyond the current tendering practice in that we would
ask the successful applicant to also direct and design their work.

It should be noted though, also to manage expectations, that mastering
even a small area in LibreOffice takes many years to learn. So hiring
for a role has long-term implications then on which kind of tasks,
features or bugfixes can be done in-house.


-- Thorsten

*Simon Phipps*
*TDF Trustee*


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