Starting 2011 : a progress report on LibreOffice

Now that everyone is back from the Holiday Season the LibreOffice mailing lists and repositories are again bristling with activity. In fact we did progress in several ways and I would like to give a brief update on what we did and what we’re working on now.

  • The Document Foundation has joined the OpenDoc Society. The OpenDoc Society is an international community (based in the Netherlands) that promotes the use of open standards such as ODF and helps various initiatives related to open standards. I think it illustrates our unwaving commitment to ODF -despite what you might have read around the Internet these past weeks- and you should expect more news to come about our commitment to ODF in the coming months.
  • LibreOffice RC3 has been released; will we be releasing the final version soon? Suspense! In any case, give it a shot, and bring us your feedback!
  • By now you may have noticed that we do indeed have a new and beautiful website. I would like to thank everyone who worked hard on it. In fact since the Steering Committee of the Document Foundation wanted to improve the clarity and the organization of the work around the website it has decided to appoint a team of four persons who will effectively further the development of our website, each of these persons being responsible of one specific area: content, site design, user experience and site administration/infrastructure.
  • While we have a final draft of our Community Bylaws we hadn’t implemented them. Part of the reason was a lack of time, and part of the reason was that we felt that until we hadn’t properly incorporated our foundation we might have been led to amend them for legal reasons. Yet some people pointed out that we could at least start to implement them and progressively enact them as to enable a clear governance and leadership of the community. It’s a good point. So we started by appointing the first Membership Committee, while the Engineering Steering Committee will be formalized very soon.  The Membership Committee is in charge of managing our contributors, who in turn have the power to elect the Board of Directors, run as candidates for various roles, etc. It is in fact this process that defines the fabric of our community, and it’s therefore a crucial one, for almost everything else will depend on contributors running our project.
  • Much in the same way we were lacking a trademark policy. We were really missing one, with people coming to us asking for the permission to use our logos and names and also a few people misrepresenting themselves as LibreOffice or the Document Foundation. Here’s the stable draft; we’re waiting for legal reviews on it.
  • We also started to work on the incorporation of the Document Foundation. As we have chosen to incorporate an actual foundation in Germany, the process will take time, effort and money. We will keep you posted on this.
  • We will be present at several shows soon, throughout the world: the FOSDEM in Brussels and the SCALE in southern California: come and visit us!
  • Last but not least we just received the news that the former “OOoAuthors” team who was writing quite a lot of good user documentation for has changed its name to ODFAuthors, working now on manuals and documentation about LibreOffice as well. Congratulations folks, we look forward working with you !

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