Re: [board-discuss] the importance of shepherding this list & TDF

2022-12-01 Thread Cor Nouws

Hi all,

FYI: The mail below contains parts of confidential communication. Of 
course selective, causing an unfair unbalanced picture of reality.
I make a strong call for an end to this show. Please let's move this to 
a board meeting. Failing, to protect TDF, we'll consider moderating this 
list again..?

At this stage, a significant board majority considers it very wise that 
TDF will not pay people to compete with contributing ecosystem parties. 
And there is no need for it: TDF's goals provide an huge amount of 
opportunities in multiple directions that are far from realized and all 
need time and attention.
It's a sane thing, that obviously may evolve, as everything changes over 
time. But trying to put such a policy in a proposal, easily leads to 
legal, communication and personal struggles - as we've seen. So the 
proposal up now is simple and positive: a strong need; a whole load of 
clear tasks; hiring makes sense; and lets execute.
As with all hiring proposals we had so far, legal advice seems simply 


Paolo Vecchi wrote on 30/11/2022 22:42:

Hi Michael and all,

On 30/11/2022 11:55, Michael Meeks wrote:

Hi there,

On 29/11/2022 23:38, Franklin Weng wrote:
> Believe me or not.

Let me try to provide a quick counter-balance in this thread.

Cor Nouws, member Board of Directors
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Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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Re: [board-discuss] the importance of shepherding this list & TDF

2022-11-30 Thread Paolo Vecchi

Hi Michael and all,

On 30/11/2022 11:55, Michael Meeks wrote:

Hi there,

On 29/11/2022 23:38, Franklin Weng wrote:
> Believe me or not.

Let me try to provide a quick counter-balance in this thread.

It seems to me extraordinary to criticize Thorsten like this for 
doing his job -

I have no doubt that Thorsten is very good at his job as a developer. I 
surely don't have an adequate level of experience to criticise his 
coding skills so I never put in doubt that he has been doing great 
things for the advancement of LibreOffice as a volunteer and as a 
contracted party through tendering.

In relation to his skills as a director and as a chairman for TDF I've 
expressed my opinions in public in a very diplomatic way and concerning 
only a small subset of the criticisms that IMHO he deserves which, for 
the moment, I'm holding off hoping that he will improve his attitude and 
help settling a number of issues.

We have a board director claiming in public that other directors 
support his proposal,

That seems to me like a false statement.

I brought the proposal to a vote as that's the process that has been 
agreed with Jan and the rest of the board:

We elect a board to hammer out compromises

That's what we have done with the proposal for months.

All the versions of the proposal have been available for anyone to 
comment on:

I pretended to have all of this done in public so that everyone could 
see who was involved and how the proposal was being shaped.

- ideally these arrive well formed and in a way that commands support 
or acquiescence of the whole board. In cases where that is impossible 
then some split vote and ideally a principled objection E-mail, and 
closing the topic seems wise.

In a normal board with a shared vision for TDF that would be quite easy 
to achieve.

In TDF's board it seems clear that for years there have been also other 
dynamics at play.

We don't elect a board to amplify division & to escalate even 
uncontroversial topics (such as hiring two staff members) into some 
apparent existential nightmare of posturing to try to 'win' at all 
costs. It is good to decide topics and move on.

The decision was taken in regards to a process that has been brought 
forward as agreed.

Jan resigned with peculiar motivations and doubled down on that with the 
last email:

Someone apparently told him that "Paolo claims that I have signed off 
the latest version of the Developers proposal" and he was so upset about 
it that he had to explicitly distance himself from the proposal he has 
worked on for months.

He continues: "That is not true. That version is not balanced, and 
Paolo’s unwillingness to find balance there was one of the main reasons 
to my resignation."

I consider also that comment quite problematic as the various versions 
of the proposal, the public and private comments clearly demonstrate 
that Jan is wilfully posting false statements.

(As he's one of your contractors I would have thought that you would 
have asked him to be careful with what he's posting on a public list as 
it could have a negative impact also for your company reputation as a 
contractor, very well known to all, posting false statements even with a 
non corporate address still doesn't look good at all.)

I've actually tried to convince him not to include statements in the 
proposal that would show Collabora Productivity as imposing limitations.
That would not look good for both organisations and on top of it anyone 
with a minimum of experience on legal matters would have known that it 
shouldn't have been added.

This was the sentence in question:

" TDF in-house developers will not compete with commercial contributors 
and will not develop alternative implementations of Open Source projects 
actively maintained by LibreOffice volunteer or corporate contributors – 
like Collabora Online, mdds, or cppunit"

He tried to get the same "gist" with other formulations that made the 
situation even worse and then when told we already agreed on the 
solution months ago he resigned.

This is the sentence that easily fixes the issue:

"Eventual limitations related to tasks, areas, projects or bugs on which 
the in-house developers should not work, eg. third parties are already 
engaged with them, shall be regulated through separate agreements and 
relevant communications between TDF and the third parties."

Someone surely wants to come up with "it's not just that is also 
something else" but no, that's all we had left to discuss.

Then another director provided his point of view: