Dear Michael,

thanks for the move to Colabora Online.

It's very hard to guarantee sustainable development for the Collabora
employees and as General Manager of Collabora Productivity it's your
job to take care of the staff. I wish you all the best, cause only if the
LibO dev's has a bright future, the project will have it too.

In addition I don't think that much will change between
LibreOffice and Collabora, cause as long as Collabora will find
funding work will be done for LibO.

As Collabora Online will be OSS I hope you make it as easy
as possible for contributors. At the end, the situation can
only improve, cause in the past LOOL was developed
mostly by Collabora and no community outside could be built.
Coming closer to Nextcloud (github) can also improve the situation.

As a LibreOffice contributor I'm happy to close the
private use discussion. But I hope that TDF will find some
sustainable ideas and concepts, cause the private use discussion
show very well, what didn't work. Free use for everybody and
nobody (private, governments, companies) has to pay dev's.

Best wishes

Am Do., 1. Okt. 2020 um 12:12 Uhr schrieb Michael Meeks <>:

> Hi there,
>         This is a detailed mail, so it shows up as a TLDR; then a
> status quo / resolution / benefits triplet, and a link to our FAQ.
> We're excited about this as a way to decisively unwind a number of
> inter-related problems at TDF. We'll keep an up-to-date version of
> this in the FAQ.
> * TLDR;
>         Collabora announces that it will move its work on Online from
> TDF to GitHub, in order to ensure
> future investment in the software development of Collabora Online and
> LibreOffice. This will allow us to deliver on many of the requests
> from the community and we expect that this will resolve the lengthy
> discussions in the TDF Board around a fair strategy for "LibreOffice
> online", thus freeing energy for other constructive topics.
> * status quo / resolution / benefits:
> ** status quo: background & issues
>         + the current status of "Online" at TDF is dis-satisfying to
>         end-users, some community members, Collabora, and it creates
>         strain in the LibreOffice project.
>         + Online has been substantially created, sustained and
>         continues to be developed by Collabora investment:
>                 + Collabora's 20+ committers provided 95%+ of the
>                   commits in the last year
>         + LibreOffice Online has been a source-only project: a place
>         to collaborate around development, with own-branded products
>         versions derived from that. Publicly available products have
>         encouraged people to buy support when under heavy use.
>         + some TDF community, board and staff members have made it
>         clear they don't accept this compromise, and want TDF to use
>         the LibreOffice brand to distribute a competing gratis product
>         in the marketplace driving the price to zero, (perhaps combined
>         with nags for donations to TDF). Others wish to ship gratis
>         LibreOffice branded builds not immediately but in 3-6 months.
>         + still others dislike the idea of telling users that it is
>         essential that they contribute to the project, in proportion
>         to their ability. Others have concerns about even gentle moral
>         suasion here eg. around tags & naming; others around donation
>         requests. Still others recommend proprietary software, or sale
>         of extensions as a solution. Some claim the TDF statues
>         require one course of action, others that they do not.
>         + this combination of uncertain direction, structure and
>         statutes at TDF make it difficult for an investor today to
>         have any confidence in a future return over the years in
>         which that takes when the Online project is hosted by TDF.
>         + TDF has historically avoided explaining clearly how
>         LibreOffice is created even to its own community. It does not
>         give effective credit to the commercial community members
>         doing most of the indispensable work in any way
>         that can drive a proportionate return. There is little
>         confidence in this improving.
>         + The prospect of the Collabora brand having to compete
>         against something we ~95% build ourselves.  ie. with products
>         sold or distributed gratis under the popular "LibreOffice"
>         brand - while Collabora continues to sustain, maintain, and
>         improve the software in an effectively invisible way is deeply
>         problematic.
>                 + imagine trying to explain to larger users why they
>                 should not use LibreOffice Online, but pay for
>                 Collabora Online. Absent significant help from TDF
>                 that is incredibly hard to do in a way that doesn't
>                 damage LibreOffice as a whole.
>                 + For TDF to provide significant support fairly, in a
>                 way that rewards investment, is incredibly challenging
>                 to achieve inside TDF's structures.
>         + There are lots of good people on all sides of this argument
>         who come from different perspectives. Many of them are
>         unhappy; we seem stuck in a worst of all worlds position
>         currently.
>         + There is an ironic tension here between wanting everything
>         to be gratis, and wanting investment. Ultimately by making
>         everything gratis, while not encouraging users to contribute
>         financially, and having no credible plan to reward investment
>         - TDF harms its own FOSS mission, which aligns well with
>         Collabora's: to produce great FLOSS software for everyone.
> * TLDR; resolution: a move.
>         + To sustain Online and to improve it requires substantial and
>         ongoing investment and focus, far beyond what TDF can provide
>         via nags & donations. Any returns require a stable
>         environment.
>         + We believe the most elegant way to resolve the strain and
>         uncertainty is to move our existing sub-project & work around
>         Online to a new project at Collabora.
>                 + this accounts for ~1.5% of the size of LibreOffice
>                   core (openhub) and around 1% of the translation
>                   strings.
>         + This project would have continuity of license and FLOSS
>           ethos. However it will be hosted outside TDF's
>           infrastructure and regulation, hopefully as a friendly
>           daughter project, using its own infrastructure. It would
>           end up looking much like Fedora, openSUSE, Nextcloud,
>           ownCloud, Seafile and many others.
>         + Clearly TDF committership would transfer to Collabora Online,
>           and we would welcome and honor all who wish to to contribute.
> * TLDR; benefits:
>         We expect that *iff* this move can be resolved in a
> constructive and positive fashion, with a single clear destination
> project then we would get these benefits:
>         + Collabora will remove the reminder to users to get support
>         for larger deployments (that annoy some) from CODE as part
>         of this move.
>         + By having a single Online project hosted by Collabora, a
>         clear brand story easily establishes an appropriate credit for
>         the origin of the product into every reference to it by those
>         using it for free. Just like the other prominent OSS projects
>         we integrate with.
>         + This would remove the urgency around some elements of the new
>         TDF marketing plans, Personal / Community etc. tags, external
>         entities to offer downloads, difficult algorithms to work out
>         whom TDF gives priority to in a (hoped for) LibreOffice
>         Enterprise ecosystem, challenging trademark agreements etc.
>         + The 'LibreOffice' brand would have a clearer scope: as both
>         a Desktop product, and a core Technology which can be built
>         upon to create amazing things such as Collabora Online.
>         + There would be less aggravation in the board and community,
>         and hopefully a return to positive mutual regard.
>         + It would give confidence to Online investors that they
>         control their destiny; with no-one else to blame.
>         + This would allow investment to be sustained to fix bugs, and
>         to create new FLOSS, meeting TDF's mission. This will continue
>         to have a positive knock-on impact on improving the
>         LibreOffice core: filters, rendering, performance, bug-fixes
>         etc.
>         + This is an opportunity for TDF to focus its positive energy
>         on its important mission.
>         + This will allow Collabora to experiment with GitHub to see
>         if it reduces the barrier to contribution, and increases the
>         pool of available contributors.
>         + Collabora hopes the move will aid in maintaining income to
>         continue investing in LibreOffice: mentoring, contributing
>         code, sponsoring the conference, funding via the Advisory
>         Board, mentoring at hack-fests, helping at the ESC, serving
>         on the board etc.
>         + This would also re-balance contribution to LibreOffice core,
>         making volunteers the largest committers once again, followed
>         by Collabora, RedHat, CIB, NISZ, TDF etc.
> * TLDR; Conclusion
>         This is primarily a change of presentation, that can un-pick a
> big knot of badness in the LibreOffice community. It is primarily
> driven by the need for continued investment in Online, in addition to
> the huge effort that Collabora and our partners have put into the
> product to date.
>         In our view it is the best solution for both LibreOffice and
> Collabora. If the move is handled sensibly we can look forward to a
> bright and co-operative future. We start work on that move today; and
> encourage people to checkout: And
> to get involved.
>         Of course, we would love to see TDF coming up with the right
> mix of structure, entities, stability, branding, appreciation of
> corporate contributions and so on to build confidence that another
> approach is possible. There is time before our next LibreOffice
> release in January for the community to ponder what to do with LOOL,
> and to do their own thing, or support this move to capture the
> benefits outlined above.
> Clearly Collabora participants would want to abstain on any board vote
> to ship competing Online products, but do expect to be included in the
> discussion around that.
> * More questions ?
>         There is an FAQ on-line here:
> * Footnote: LibreOffice rocks
> In case people got confused, it is worth saying that LibreOffice is an
> outstanding piece of software, produced as part of a wonderful, wide
> community by some of the best developers, translators, documentors,
> etc. you're likely to ever meet. We see LibreOffice as having as
> a bright future in two ways:
>         + as a great, rich desktop & laptop product (as now)
>         + as a core LibreOffice technology - provided via LibreOfficeKit
>         and UNO APIs - as a re-usable piece of Office awesomeness that can
>         be built on by other projects and companies like Collabora,
>         CIB, and many others to build new & valuable products.
> We commend it to you, if you’ve not tried before why not:
> Of course, Collabora continues to be committed to supporting and
> improving our whole product mix, including LibreOffice derived bits,
> and contributing back our and our customer's work to the LibreOffice
> core.
> --
> <><, GM Collabora Productivity
> Hangout:, Skype: mmeeks
> (M) +44 7795 666 147 - timezone usually UK / Europe
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