Wasting Donation Ressources Because Of Inability To Communicate Appropriate?

The LibreOffice project created a website for extensions and templates more than seven years ago. The site was created and driven by volunteers. There are currently a lot of LibreOffice extensions and templates published on this site and maybe there are some of them waiting in review pipeline for a go.

But about half a year ago the deputy chairman of The Documentation Foundation (TDF), Björn, described this volunteer work on a public mailing list of the The Document Foundation as poor work. He never got in contact with the voluteers that drove the site before. Thus the voluteers were not amused and in consequence stopped their work on the site and their contribution to TDF immediately.

The deputy chairman may not have forseen this volunteer reaction, but he was not able to real appologize for his offense. He thought that he has done everything right in the end.

The current LibreOffice extensions and templates website is unmaintained for this reason for about half a year. Because the deputy chairman (and maybe other members of the board of directors of The Document Foundation) are not able to realize the bad communication style and real appologize for it in public, TDF lost long time contributors. And to coat that, they came up with the concept to create a complete new framework for the LibreOffice extensions and templates website. The reason behind this was not that the current site could not been improved, but only the inability to communicate appropriate with volunteers.

Because of this reason TDF will spend a lot of ressources funded by donation money from people aroud the world. It seemed that not everyone involved or responsible for this task have an oversee of the complete expenses (maybe here the membership committee etc. has a duty to jump in). And there are some other issues with the designated new platform, that are beyond the technical issues especially of the migration.

And it’s nice to get messages in private that people share my view about bad communication style etc., but didn’t speak up in public. This is very disappointing. Such a behavior will not help The Document Foundation to improve the project. It needs more self-confident people in the project which have no issue to discuss issues transparent (not only in the back room). If a project is not able to develop in such direction it will lose its attractivity (or never get such attractivity) and will languish.