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Hi everyone,

        Let me try to provide a simpler proposal that combines several
ideas from the thread and focuses on clarifying the management
aspect. Hopefully as an E-mail it is easier to interact with the
content.

* Rationale

        A selection of points from Paolo's discussion on the list:

        * As shown by Italo's slides at FOSDEM again and by others,
          TDF is not contributing code as much as it could

        * Members of the ecosystem and others also suggested that we
          should spend more money to grow development

        * certain topics such Target Areas as accessibility and
          RTL/CTL can be harder to taken care of by volunteers without
          help, and are not always addressed by the ecosystem

        * We need to build up skills and development capabilities to
          speed up innovation and diversify the LibreOffice community.

* So I propose:

* Hire a Targeted Developer, with primary focus on mentoring

        Why is it important to major on mentoring: TDF has an
educational mission -and- we want to grow and diversify our volunteer
community. Training existing and new contributors in specific areas
can accelerate our mission, grow capability in these Target Areas,
while also addressing functional gaps in LibreOffice.

        It is also expected that while the mentor is unable to
actively contribute to public and professional education for whatever
reason (eg. absence of volunteers) that they will be researching and
increasing their experience by contributing to new ways to advance the
free software and standards in their particular Target Areas.

        In addition to direct mentoring they can document related
code, publish and speak at related conferences in these spaces and
educate the public on the relevance, capabilities and mission of
LibreOffice to encourage cooperation with other organizations that
pursue, at least partially, the same goals.

* Selecting Target Areas

        The process of selecting Target Areas to apply additional
development resource to is one that is potentially highly
contentious. It is vital that we have a clear, transparent and capable
process to do this. It is important that TDF stewards its limited
resources well, and does not invest in areas that are already well
resourced, or to crowd out 3rd party funding. So:

        * Any TDF member can identify a suitable high-level Target
          Area such as RTL, complex-text, or accessibility.

        * The ESC will rank such areas as an addendum to the existing
          budget ranking process, and exceptionally during
          bootstrapping. The full ranking and votes will be published

        * The Board (who bear the ultimate decision) will select
          suitable areas for Targeted Developer(s). Such mentors to
          be in addition to existing generalised mentors.

* Day to day management

        Targeted Developer(s) (as normal dev-mentors) shall attend
the ESC call, and report on their progress weekly in the normal way.

        To maximise benefit to LibreOffice ESC members can privately
disclose any live / credible overlaps with their work in sub-areas
without having to disclose full details of potential or pending
business in this area. Such specific sub-areas will be avoided for a
time.

        The Executive Director shall direct day to day management for
the Targeted Developers to ensure they effectively focus on the
Target Areas.

* Bootstrapping

        The ESC should be encouraged to identify and rank some
suitable Target Areas rapidly. This shall allow the Board to agree
them, and a hiring process with skills targeted at these areas to
commence post haste.

        TDF should start with hiring a single Targeted Developer
initially, with the option to expand this to two if multiple suitable
candidates present at the interview stage - and evaluate the process
after a year.

        It is expected that it will be hard to find a senior developer
with all the needed skills from the day one.  The tendering group
inside the Board should tender for a suitable amount of mentoring
hours from several senior certified developers, to help to get the
newly hired Targeted Developer(s) up-to-speed.

--
michael.meeks@collabora.com <><, Pseudo Engineer, itinerant idiot

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