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From Peter Kovacs <>
Subject Re: How our project recently works
Date Fri, 07 Feb 2020 12:06:00 GMT

we have been asked by the board to sync dev-de and dev.

We need to sum up the other parts of the german discussion too.

all the best


On 07.02.20 13:02, Jörg Schmidt wrote:
> Hello, 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Dr. Michael Stehmann [] 
>> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2020 1:25 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: How our project recently works
>> Hello,
>> I would like to tell you (just as an example) about a few things
>> in which I was and am at best peripherally involved:
>> The primary purpose of the described acts was to provide 
>> developers and
>> other commiters to make the work of contributors easier:
>> 1. We moved our version control system from subversion to git. This is
>> seen by all developers as a great improvement even by those who were
>> initially skeptical.
>> 2. The pootle server for the translations was fixed and a
>> technical process developed to provide the translators 
>> continuously with
>> strings to be translated and to integrate continuously 
>> translations into
>> the code.
>> 3. Building Apache OpenOffice is anything but trivial. Matthias
>> currently has the Windows build under control and accompanied in close
>> contact with the maintainer the OS/2 port. Jim takes 
>> currently care the
>> Mac and Linux builds Pedro finally covers the BSD area.
>> Mechtilde successfully tries to support AOO also under Debian 
>> GNU/Linux
>> to build with younger compiler and library versions (just as a
>> precaution: building according to Debian guidelines is currently not
>> possible). This work is also seminal for other distributions.
>> Mechtilde also needs this instance for her work in
>> technical support for the translation process (see 2.).
> thank you, for this information
>> All this work was "spontaneously" was done by interested volunteers
>> without a project manager, a steering committee, a Scrum master or a
>> project planning. There waere also neither Sprints, nor deadlines. One
>> person started a task and then others collaborated and 
>> continued the work.
>> The coordination among the participants is usually informal. If
>> Andrea, Matthias, Mechtilde and Peter are sitting at FOSDEM in the
>> cafeteria at a table, they don't talk about the weather or 
>> the qualities
>> Belgian beers, but of course about what they are currently doing and
>> plan to do.
> fine. 
> but please let us always remember to inform the community sufficiently about such informal
> In the de-community we had already, at your request, agreed to do so.
> (I am not asking for a rule for this, only that we observe it voluntarily, just as it
works in the de-community.)
>> Organizing meetings with physical presence would be difficult and
>> expensive. In fact, the people involved are  spread over three
>> continents (North and South America once as separate continents
>> considered). Coordination is done over channels of the internet (which
>> is difficult enough because of the time zones). The European ones, in
>> particular the German participants also meet frequently the various
>> events. And when Mechtilde and I are in Hamburg of course Markus and
>> Matthias and mostly others are informed.
>> The only exception to the rule of informal cooperation in the above
>> examples was the changeover to git (see 1.). Here a vote of 
>> the PMC was
>> needed because involving Apache Infra and because it was a migration
>> away from software of another Apache project.
>> Apache OpenOffice has the advantage that the vast majority of 
>> developers
>> use software themselves and mostly are in contact with other users.
>> Of course we also think iintensively (and talk) about, how we can
>> broaden the developer base in a sustainable way. The IMO most 
>> promising
>> suggestion has recently come from Patricia, who suggested, with very
>> good reason, to draw attention of C++ developers to our project. But
>> until the seed of this idea can bring fruits, it inevitably 
>> takes time.
>> Those who are active in the project receive no remuneration and work
>> voluntary. Usually they spend money to commit. They are enthusiastics
>> and this is IMO the best prerequisite to inspire others.
> That's a fact, but it's only a rule from the formal perspective of the project. It is
not a rule that we would only accept code (or other contributions to the project) if they
came from unpaid people. Already in the past, paid programmers were also involved in the project.
> In addition, there were and are considerations how we could possibly accelerate the further
development of AOO by our own efforts through money (in the form of donations, possibly also
in other ways).
> It is clear that we as a project do not pay developers, but it is not excluded that paid
developers may work in the interest of the project.
>> Our "bus factor" [0] is unfortunately, as everyone is aware, small.
>> Therefore newcomers are "welcomed with open arms" by all.
> I had already contradicted you on de-dev and unfortunately I have to do the same here.
> Newcomers to our team are often not programmers, but mostly people who want to help with
other things (e.g. the website, documentation, support...), and most of these people are connected
by the fact that they have no project experience in foss-projects.
> The mistake I observe is that we drive many of these people away because we force them
to adopt our values from the beginning. 
> Many of these people rather expect democracy and don't understand  meritocracy at first.
> For example, we have to be willing to give these people work _if they ask for it_, and
not force them to find work for themselves, otherwise our rigid attitude will lead many of
them to leave us.
> Everything just said I refer ONLY to foss-project _in_experienced people and of course
not to foss-experienced people.
> Overall, we should see meritocracy as our way, but not as our religion. 
> greetings.
> Jörg
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