The Document Foundation Blog

2012/12/26

TDF in 2012: a summary

Filed under: Awards, Community, Foundation, LibreOffice — Tags: , , — italovignoli @ 18:44
Cumulative Number of LibreOffice New Code Committers

The cumulative number of new hackers attracted by the project since September 2010 (being LibreOffice a true free software project, there are many volunteers who come and go, and many with just one or two commits).

I have tried to summarize in a single text what we – members, developers, volunteers, native language communities, advocates and supporters – have achieved during 2012. Looking back, it has been amazing.

TDF has started 2012 with a hackers community of 379 individuals, mostly volunteers, which has continued to grow steadily – month after month – and has now reached the amazing figure of 567 developers (320 active during the last 12 months, which means that LibreOffice is the third largest open source desktop software project after Chrome and Firefox).

LibreOffice Code Contributors per Month

Monthly contributors during the last two years, with the global 12 month average shown by the green line on the upper right corner).

In early 2012, The Document Foundation – an truly community based independend organization – has been registered in Berlin, under the form of a German Stiftung (supervised by the German authorities). The oldest German Stiftung dates back to 1509, and over 250 of them have existed for over 500 years (so, stability is not an issue).

Once established, The Document Foundation has immediately attracted additional sponsors and supporters. Intel and Lanedo have joined the Advisory Board, while Project LiMux (City of Munich) and MIMO (the French Government organization responsible for the migration to FOSS) are actively supporting the project.

TDF Long Tail 2012

The long tail of LibreOffice development during 2012 (the 320 committers active between January 2012 and December 2012), with a pie explosion of the top 33 hackers with over 100 commits.

The Document Foundation and LibreOffice role inside the free software ecosystem have been recognized by the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in a formal letter to the members of the French government.

In 2012, The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 3.4.5, LibreOffice 3.5, LibreOffice 3.5.1, LibreOffice 3.4.6, LibreOffice 3.5.2, LibreOffice 3.5.3, LibreOffice 3.5.4, LibreOffice 3.5.5, LibreOffice 3.6, LibreOffice 3.5.6, LibreOffice 3.6.1, LibreOffice 3.6.2, LibreOffice 3.5.7 and LibreOffice 3.6.3. LibreOffice 3.4 has been awarded Linux Questions Office Suite of the Year 2011.

Office Suite of the Year 2011

Linux Questions has awarded LibreOffice the title of Office Suite of the Year 2011.

In addition, the hackers community has started working on LibreOffice 4.0, which is already at Beta 2 and will be announced in February 2013. LibreOffice 4.0 will be a milestone release, and the first of a new generation of free office suites.

In order to further improve the quality of LibreOffice 3.5, 3.6 and 4, the QA community has organized several bug hunting sessions during 2012 and a full bug hunting marathon in December 2012 (with almost 500 bugs chased during a full week of tests).

LibreOffice community has met at FOSDEM in Brussels, at LinuxTag in Berlin, at LibreOffice Conference in Berlin, and in Hamburg and Munich for TDF Hackfests. In addition, local hackfests have been organized in the Netherlands and Brazil, and LibreOffice volunteers have attended several local events around the world.

Linux Journal Best Office Suite

Linux Journal has awarded LibreOffice the title of Best office Suite 2012.

In February 2012, TDF has launched LibreOffice Ask page, and the Windows version of LibreOffice has been made available for downloads from the Intel AppUp Center targeted to mobile PC and UltraBook owners.

In September 2012, TDF has joined the OASIS Consortium (Organisation for the Advancement of Standards in Information Society (OASIS). At the end of the same month, the new Membership Committee has been elected by TDF members: five members – Sophie Gautier, Fridrich Štrba (Chairman), Eike Rathke, Cor Nouws and Jean Weber – and two deputies – Simon Phipps and Leif Lodahl.

LibreOffice has been awarded the title of Free Office Suite of the Year 2011 by LinuxQuestions, and Best Office Suite 2012 by Linux Journal (in both cases, getting over 70% of the votes). In Brazil, LibreOffice has received the “Technology For Citizens Award” from Guarulhos City.

LibreOffice Downloads

LibreOffice downloads from unique IPs during 2012. Scale on the left shows daily downloads, scale on the right shows cumulative downloads in 2012.

During 2012, many private and public organization have announced the migration of their desktop office suite to LibreOffice: several French ministries (500,000 desktops), city of Munich in Germany (15,000 desktops), the Capital Region of Denmark, Vieira do Minho in Portugal, Limerick in Ireland, Grygov in the Czech Republic, Las Palmas in Spain, the City of Largo in Florida, the municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis in Greece, Regione Umbria, Provincia di Milano and Provincia di Bolzano in Italy, and the Public Library System of Chicago.

This growth is reflected in the downloads of the Windows and MacOS X versions during 2012. The number of unique IPs who have downloaded LibreOffice has grown from just over 200,000 per week in January to well over 600,000 in December, for a total of 15 million unique IPs in 2012. Linux users, with very few exceptions, do not download LibreOffice as they can get the software from the repository of their distribution of choice.

The Document Foundation has also announced the Certification Program for LibreOffice, and the first group of certified developers. In 2013, the program will be extended to professionals active in migrations and trainings, and later to L1 and L2 support.

Florian Effenberger

Florian Effenberger

The last, and in my opinion the best news of 2012, waits TDF under the Xmas tree: in fact, just a few days before Xmas TDF has hired the first employee, to manage the infrastructure and take care of administrative tasks (which, thanks to the extremely fast growth of the project, are now a full time task): Florian Effenberger, who is already popular inside the project for his volunteer work.

The Board of Directors – with the obvious exception of Florian – has unanimously chosen him for infrastructure and administrative tasks, as he is already familiar with both, being the architect behind the entire infrastructure and the person who has been talking with the authorities during the process of putting in place The Document Foundation.

Florian Effenberger has been active inside the OOo project from 2004 to 2010, as infrastructure and then marketing lead, and has been a founder of TDF. During all these years he has put an incredible amount of hours – of his personal time – behind free software, OOo and LibreOffice.

From now on, Florian will devote his working hours to TDF, and will add the usual amount of volunteer hours for his BoD duties (which must be volunteer based, according to our statutes).

Florian Effenberger is going to be a tremendous asset for TDF, because he knows perfectly our ecosystem, he is a true free software advocate, and he is knowledgeable not only on administration and infrastructure but also on marketing.

Looking at 2013 and beyond, The Document Foundation is ready to face every challenge, and win over the competition not only by providing a better product but also by creating a different and better ecosystem for free office suites.

So far, TDF has been an exciting journey, and I am sure that what has happened is just the first chapter of a long and successful history.

2012/11/16

Open letter to the City of Freiburg

Filed under: Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 10:36

The following is an open letter The Document Foundation has sent to the City of Freiburg, Germany, as a statement regarding the current discussion about Freiburg’s IT strategy. The letter in its original format is available at http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:OffenerBriefFreiburg.pdf

At the same time, The Document Foundation has signed the open letter of the Open Source Business Alliance at http://www.osb-alliance.de/fileadmin/Themen_News/121116_B_Stadt_Freiburg.pdf

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

als Herausgeber der freien Office-Suite LibreOffice bedauern wir die Überlegungen der Stadt Freiburg außerordentlich, sowohl einen Rückschritt hin zu proprietärer, geschlossener Software, als auch eine Abkehr vom offenen OpenDocument-Standard durchzuführen. Mehrere Thesen des Gutachtens erscheinen bereits im Ansatz falsch.

Nach unserer Kenntnis wurde kein Experte für freie Software und Open Source zu Rate gezogen. So ist in Fachkreisen anerkannt, dass die Gründung von LibreOffice gerade nicht zu einer Schwächung der Entwicklergemeinschaft geführt hat. Vielmehr wurde erst durch die Gründung des wirtschaftlich unabhängigen LibreOffice-Projekts die Zahl der Entwickler deutlich gesteigert. [1]

Die Document Foundation, eine gemeinnützige, rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts mit Sitz in Berlin, garantiert die dauerhafte und kontinuierliche Weiterentwicklung von LibreOffice, unabhängig von den wirtschaftlichen Interessen einzelner Hersteller. So konnten neben großen, internationalen Unterstützern wie Intel, Google, Red Hat und SUSE auch immer mehr deutschsprachige Unternehmen in die Mitarbeit eingebunden werden. Diese bieten kompetent Migrationsberatung, Anwendungsentwicklung und professionellen Support an, was zudem neue Arbeitsplätze gerade auch in Deutschland geschaffen hat. Die im Gutachten aufgestellte Behauptung, der Support für freie Software sei nur eingeschränkt gewährleistet, erscheint deshalb nicht haltbar.

Vernachlässigt wurde aus unserer Sicht auch der Aufwand für die Migration und Schulung auf aktuellere Microsoft-Produkte, die sich insbesondere in der Bedienerführung, als auch in zahlreichen technischen Details von ihren Vorgängern unterscheiden, und somit teure Anpassungen an Fachanwendungen erforderlich machen.

Die Migration auf freie Software ist dabei keine bloße Theorie, wie unter anderem das positive Beispiel der Stadt München zeigt, die durch ihr professionelles Migrationskonzept schon mittelfristig Vorteile erzielen konnte. Aktuelle LibreOffice-Migrationsprojekte finden beispielsweise in den Kopenhagener Krankenhäusern, der Region Umbrien, den Provinzen Mailand und Bozen, den Städten Las Palmas (Spanien), Limerick (Irland) und Largo (Florida) statt. Unsere jüngst durchgeführte LibreOffice Conference in Berlin, mit 200 Teilnehmern aus über 30 Ländern, wurde sowohl vom Bundeswirtschafts- als auch vom Bundesinnenministerium unterstützt, die sich über die Bedeutung freier Software im Klaren sind und offene Dokumentformate und freie Software dadurch bewusst fördern wollen.

Viele Aufgabenstellungen sind aus unserer Praxiserfahrung durchaus lösbar. Zu bedenken ist, dass eine Rückmigration hin zu proprietärer Software die Bindung an und Abhängigkeit von einer einzelnen Lösung einer einzigen Firma zementiert und Investitionen für Lizenzkosten erforderlich macht, anstatt in ein existierendes Ökosystem einheimischer Firmen zu investieren, welche bei der Migration kompetente Hilfestellung leisten können.

Zudem bedeutet eine Rückmigration mitnichten, dass die Aufgaben kleiner werden – im Gegenteil, eine solche Entscheidung macht einen zusätzlichen enormen personellen, finanziellen und zeitlichen Aufwand erforderlich, der im Interesse aller Beteiligten, insbesondere auch im Interesse der Steuerzahler, vermieden werden sollte.

Die Rückmigration hin zu proprietärer Software ist aus unserer Sicht eine falsche Entscheidung, opfert die Stadt Freiburg dadurch doch Freiheit und Unabhängigkeit. Würde sie die gleichen Mittel in die Umsetzung des ursprünglichen Beschlusses investieren, so wären die angesprochenen Probleme sicherlich lösbar.

Als gemeinnützige Stiftung The Document Foundation bieten und vermitteln wir Ihnen gerne fachliche Unterstützung in allen Fragestellungen rund um offene Dokumentenaustauschformate und den Einsatz unserer freien Office-Suite LibreOffice an.

Hochachtungsvoll

Florian Effenberger
Vorstandsvorsitzender
The Document Foundation

Thorsten Behrens
Stellvertretender Vorstandsvorsitzender
The Document Foundation

[1] http://conference.libreoffice.org/talks/content/sessions/003/files/berlin-achievements.pdf

2012/09/27

The Document Foundation celebrates its second anniversary and starts fundraising campaign to reach the next stage

Filed under: Announcements, Community, Foundation — Tags: , , — italovignoli @ 22:19

Fourth quarter’s donors define the communities budget for the next year

Berlin, September 28, 2012 – The Document Foundation celebrates its second anniversary since the announcement of the project on September 28, 2010. During the last 12 months, the foundation was legally established in Berlin, the Board of Directors and the Membership Committee were elected by TDF members, where membership is based on meritocracy and not on invitation, Intel became a supporter, and LibreOffice 3.5 and 3.6 families were announced. In addition, TDF has shown the prototypes of a cloud and a tablet version of LibreOffice, which will be available sometime in late 2013 or early 2014.

On October 1st, The Document Foundation will start a fundraising campaign with the objective of supporting the next wave of the growth. “So far, volunteers have provided most of the work necessary to sustain the project, but after two years it is is mandatory to start thinking really big”, says Italo Vignoli, the dean of the Board of Directors. “We had a dream, and now that thousands around the world made that dream come true we want to get to the major league of software development and advocacy. By donating during the fourth quarter of 2012, donors will define the budget we have available for 2013″.

Community members have set up a dedicated donation page – with several options including PayPal and credit cards – at http://donate.libreoffice.org, to support the fundraising campaign. The page will be updated on the fly, to show current achievements, and concrete goals achieved with the donations.

“In just 24 months, we have achieved what many people thought was impossible when the project was launched”, says Thorsten Behrens, SUSE developer, Deputy Chairman of the Board. “We have managed to aggregate a large number of people around the idea that an independent foundation was the only reasonable choice to provide a sustainable future to the legacy OOo code. According to Ohloh, in just two years we managed to become the third largest free software project focused on the development of a desktop application with 325 active committers over the last 12 months, after Firefox and Chrome”.

LibreOffice is the result of the combined activity of 540 contributors – including former OpenOffice.org developers – having made more than 40,000 commits. The program is faster and more reliable, and has a richer feature set than predecessors and competitors thanks to a growing hacker community where more experienced developers are mentoring newbies in order to bring them up to speed. Today, the group is well balanced between people looking after infrastructure, new features and patches.

Downloads since January 25, 2011, the date of the first stable release, have just exceeded 18 million, and amount to over 20 million when you add external sites offering the same package. In addition, millions of users install LibreOffice from CDs burned from the ISO images available online or bundled with magazines in many geographies. Around 90% of installations are on Windows, with another 10% on MacOS.

Linux users, in contrast, get LibreOffice from their distribution repository. Based on IDC reckonings for new or updated Linux installations in 2012, TDF estimates a subtotal of 30 million Linux users, as LibreOffice is the office suite of choice for all Linux distributions.

The community around TDF will gather in Berlin from October 16 to October 19, 2012, for the second LibreOffice Conference (http://conference.libreoffice.org/). Interested people need to register at http://conference.libreoffice.org/registration/ by October 8th.

LibreOffice can be downloaded from http://www.libreoffice.org/.

2012/09/22

Meet the Membership Committee

Filed under: Announcements, Community, Foundation — Tags: , , , — italovignoli @ 18:03

The Members of The Document Foundation have just elected the new Membership Committee, with five members – Sophie Gautier, Fridrich Štrba, Eike Rathke, Cor Nouws and Jean Weber – and two deputies – Simon Phipps and Leif Lodahl.

I think that there are a couple of significant facts to underline here: the number of the original TDF founders is lower than the number of new TDF members (although several of them have been active in the project for a long time), and the number of independent members is higher than the number of people affiliated with companies sponsoring TDF.

I suppose that people are curious about the activity of these seven people, inside TDF and outside TDF.

I think that the best way to meet them is to link their web presence, as everyone has at least a blog. Of course, it will be soon possible to find them on the Membership Committee page on TDF website, and meet them at LibreOffice Conference in Berlin.

Sophie Gautier does not need any introduction: she is the history of the project, a TDF founder and a pillar of several projects: French localization, QA and certification. She has a website, a blog and a Google+ page.

Fridrich Štrba is a SUSE developer, with a passion for hacking filters (Visio and Corel Draw), who speaks a large number of languages including Italian. He has a website and a Google+ page.

Eike Rathke is a RedHat developer, and a longtime Calc hacker living in Hamburg where he has breathed the OOo code for the last twenty years. He has a website and a blog, while here you can learn about his erAck programmer name.

Cor Nouws is a TDF founder and a long time member of the project, active in several projects: Dutch localization, QA and certification. Together with Sophie, he brings a huge amount of wisdom and sense of community to TDF. He has a website and a blog.

Jean Weber is the leader of the documentation project, and the representative of the southern emisphere inside the Membership Committee (she lives in Australia). She has a blog and a Google+ page.

Simon Phipps is the President of the Open Source Initiative, and has been the engine behind Sun’s open source efferts for 10 years. He has a website and a Google+ page, and is featured on Wikipedia.

Leif Lodahl is a TDF founder, and has been instrumental in the first large migration to LibreOffice at Copenhagen Hospitals. He has a blog and a Google+ page.

Of course, the best way to meet the entire Membership Committee and discuss with them will be the LibreOffice Conference in Berlin.

2012/09/13

LibreOffice Localization Program in Saudi Arabia announced to enhance Arabic language related features

Filed under: Announcements, Foundation, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — italovignoli @ 11:51

The Document Foundation and the National Program for Free and Open Source Software Technologies (Motah) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia work at the further enhancement of LibreOffice

Berlin, September 13, 2012 – The Document Foundation and the National Program for Free and Open Source Software Technologies (Motah: http://www.motah.org.sa) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia announce a Localization Program to enhance the Arabic language support in LibreOffice and solve related bugs, and contribute to the improvement and development of LibreOffice.

liberoffice_imageMotah LibreOffice Project (http://motah.org.sa/en/?q=node/94) is one of the activities of Motah program at KACST, where several software products in various fields are studied to explore the extent of Arabic support and their suitability to the needs of Arab users. Thereafter, Motah team will work at improving the selected software products to meet those needs and requirements. LibreOffice was selected to be the first localization project because of its importance as an office suite whose functions are needed by all computer users.

The main objectives of the project are the following:

  1. Study LibreOffice and identify the bugs related to Arabic language, and validate that the software correctly supports languages written from right to left in all its functions and operations.
  2. Work to solve these bugs and improve the LibreOffice support to languages written from right to left. The bugs are either discovered by Motah team members or posted in the LibreOffice Bugzilla website.
  3. Work on simplifying and enhancing LibreOffice graphical user interface, to enhance the usability of the software.
  4. Work on improving the Arabic Documentation as well as improving the Arabization of the graphical user interface, by reviewing and enhancing the existing translation.

arab-language“As the first leading project in the Arabic region to support LibreOffice, Motah program is committed to support Arabic language and its use in modern technologies. Through local software engineers, young and open source enthusiasts, Motah has made its first contribution to LibreOffice 3.6.1 solving several bugs related to Arabic language and RTL format support. Motah will continue solving related bugs as well as improving the Arabic help and documentation as part of its contribution to the Arabic speaking ICT community. It is fascinating to see The Document Foundation combining people from different cultures, languages and geographical locations around the development of LibreOffice, the best free office suite ever”, says Abdulrahman Alarifi, Motah Program Director.

“Motah key contributions to LibreOffice are a demonstration of the unique advantages of TDF as an independent body, capable of pushing forward the free office suite and raising the bar of interoperability”, comments Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board of The Document Foundation. “Only the balanced mix between organization and volunteer activities within TDF can guarantee the global reach of LibreOffice, and offer users a free office suite in their native language independently from their geography or language”.

Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of 26 states (Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen), and is spoken by as many as 440 million native speakers.

The modern written language is derived from the language of the Quran (known as Classical Arabic or Quranic Arabic) and is widely taught in schools, universities, and used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media.

LibreOffice is available in their native language to over 95% of the world’s population, thanks to a global volunteer community spanning over the five continents

LibreOffice can be downloaded at http://www.libreoffice.org/download.

About The Document Foundation (TDF)

The Document Foundation is an open, independent, self-governing, meritocratic organization, which builds on ten years of dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community. TDF was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent foundation brings out the best in corporate and volunteer contributors, and will deliver the best free office suite. TDF is open to any individual who agrees with its core values and contributes to its activities, and warmly welcomes corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community. As of August 30, 2012, TDF has over 140 members and over 2,000 volunteers and contributors worldwide.

Media Contact Motah

Abdulrahman Alarifi – Motah Program Director
Mobile: 00 966 561939678 – Email: aarifi@kacst.edu.sa

Media Contacts TDF

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880 – Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: floeff@documentfoundation.org – Skype: floeff
Charles H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail: charles.schulz@documentfoundation.org
Eliane Domingos de Sousa (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
E-mail: elianedomingos@documentfoundation.org – Skype: elianedomingos
Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
Mobile: +39 348 5653829 – E-mail: italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org
Skype: italovignoli – GTalk: italo.vignoli@gmail.com

2012/09/04

The Document Foundation joins the OASIS Consortium

Filed under: Announcements, Foundation — Tags: , , , — italovignoli @ 10:57

LibreOffice Conference in Berlin will host a dedicated ODF PlugFest

LogoBerlin, September 4, 2012 – The Document Foundation, the home of LibreOffice, has joined the Organisation for the Advancement of Standards in Information Society (OASIS). The international standards development consortium is the leader in many key digital standards, and one of the most respected names in the standards field.

The Document Foundation will primarily focus on the ODF Technical Committees, to represent the largest independent free software community focused on the development and the promotion of “the best free office suite” based on the Open Document Format. LibreOffice is available in over 100 native language versions, more than twice than any comparable software, and is therefore the most sophisticated, feature rich, complete and widespread ODF implementation worldwide.

“Open Standards create a level playing field for digital contents, and make innovation accessible”, explains Charles-H. Schulz, one of the members of The Document Foundation Board of Directors and a former director of OASIS. “The Document Foundation decision to join the OASIS Consortium strengthens the whole ODF ecosystem with the addition of the largest independent free software community focused on personal productivity and office suites, capable of reaching over 95% of the world’s population with the most accessible ODF implementation”.

“The Document Foundation has always been committed to Open Standards, which are a founding principle of the project”, says Olivier Hallot, an independent volunteer and a member of TDF Board of Directors. “Although the project was already represented at OASIS through several corporate and individual members, the Board of Directors has decided to step in to give voice to the end users and reduce the influence of corporate interests on the future of the Open Document Format”.

The Document Foundation will organize the second LibreOffice Conference in Berlin in mid October. The three day event, which is completely free, will include a dedicated ODF Plugfest, a vendor-neutral interoperability event gathering industry-wide experts of the OpenDocument Format (http://conference.libreoffice.org).

Donations are helping The Document Foundation in delivering a better free software, and in staying independent from corporate interests: http://donate.libreoffice.org.

About The Document Foundation (TDF)

The Document Foundation is an open, independent, self-governing, meritocratic organization, which builds on ten years of dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community. TDF was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent foundation brings out the best in corporate and volunteer contributors, and will deliver the best free office suite. TDF is open to any individual who agrees with its core values and contributes to its activities, and warmly welcomes corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community. As of August 30, 2012, TDF has over 140 members and over 2,000 volunteers and contributors worldwide.

Media Contacts

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880 – Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: floeff@documentfoundation.org – Skype: floeff
Charles H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail: charles.schulz@documentfoundation.org
Eliane Domingos de Sousa (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
E-mail: elianedomingos@documentfoundation.org – Skype: elianedomingos
Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
Mobile: +39 348 5653829 – E-mail: italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org
Skype: italovignoli – GTalk: italo.vignoli@gmail.com

2012/04/23

Thank you for your support!

Filed under: Community, Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 10:11

Dear supporters and friends of The Document Foundation,

on behalf of the worldwide LibreOffice community, and on behalf of the donor Freies Office Deutschland e.V., we would like to express our sincerest thanks to all of you for your kind and generous support in setting up the legal entity.

On February 17th, The Document Foundation has been incorporated as a German Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, located in Berlin, and in the meantime, the transfer of all assets has been nearly finished. In other words: The long-awaited foundation is finally in existence and fully operating.

For us, it is still unbelievable how strong the worldwide support is, how many people support the idea of an independent foundation, and how many contributed by either getting engaged in the project, or by donating to fund our operations.

Following our open and transparent approach, we have made public our budget, and will constantly update it, so you see what your donations are being used for.

Our sincere thanks also go out to the members of our advisory board, who provide us not only with guidance, but also with financial support.

Although many of us are volunteers, working pro bono in their spare time, running such an entity needs funds. Travel support, participation in events, providing infrastructure, and many other areas need to be covered. Without all your support, The Document Foundation would not be what it is today.

Your contribution made a real difference and enabled us to create a strong community-driven, meritocratic, vendor-neutral foundation for the best free office suite. We could not have done it without you.

Thank you very much for your support of The Document Foundation!

The Board of Directors

2012/04/17

Budget draft

Filed under: Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 10:53

Following our rules of openness and transparency, The Document Foundation has published an early draft of its budget, and a short update to the numbers afterwards. In the future, we will continue to publish even more details about donations and their specific use, so donors have a full overview on how their contributions are spent.

Thank you very much for your continued and ongoing support!

2012/02/20

The Document Foundation officially incorporated in Berlin, Germany

Filed under: Announcements, Community, Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 08:59

New entity has been legally created on February 17th, 2012
German Stiftung to provide strong and enduring rights for the LibreOffice community

Berlin, February 20th, 2012. The Document Foundation today announces that it has been officially incorporated in the state of Berlin, Germany. The legal form of the entity is a German “rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts”, a form based on the governance model the LibreOffice community has chosen. On Friday afternoon, February 17th, the incorporation certificate, signed by the state secretary, has been handed over by the authorities. With this legal act, the entity officially came to life and is legally recognized.

The legally binding German version of the statutes are available at http://www.documentfoundation.org/satzung.pdf
For convenience, an English translation of the statutes, which is not legally binding, is available at http://www.documentfoundation.org/statutes.pdf

“We are proud of having achieved this major milestone. During the last months, we have been working extensively to incorporate the bylaws into legally binding statutes, to provide a stable and safe basis for our future” said Thorsten Behrens, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the new Foundation. He adds: “Our primary focus was on the membership element. Those who are approved members have inalienable, strong rights, embedded into the statutes. Since we have been aiming to be a German Stiftung, those rights are guaranteed by law, and enforced by the authorities. The Document Foundation is the legal affirmation of the community spirit – an entity by the community, for the community, and an entity independent from any single vendor.”

Michael (Mike) Schinagl, a Berlin-based lawyer who has been working on the incorporation process, explained: “The creation of such a Foundation is unique in the history of free software. There are not many, if any, entities that guarantee such strong rights to active contributors. Embedding those into legal language was a tremendous task, but one that was very worthwile. The Foundation and its statutes provide the ideal grounds for a free office ecosystem, including users, developers, marketeers, adopters, service providers and many, many more, and they can serve as an example for other communities with similar goals.”

The donor is the German nonprofit association Freies Office Deutschland e.V., formerly OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V., which acted as interim legal entity from the very beginning. Thomas Krumbein, its Chairman, is grateful: “Our sincere thanks goes out to the Berlin authorities for their helpful cooperation in the past months, and for their flexibility and enormous support in achieving the community’s goals. Berlin has definitely made a landmark decision by approving The Document Foundation. Freies Office Deutschland e.V. is proud to be the donor of this important entity, and we look forward to working together with the new Foundation to the benefit of all users and contributors.”

André Schnabel, Chairman of the Membership Committee, stated the Foundation’s openness: “I am sure we will see the community prospering and growing even more, now that the legal entity has been created. Finally, after nearly 12 years, the community has created a Foundation that ideally fits to its needs, that is vendor-neutral, that provides safety, builds trust, and that sends out a strong sign of stability to all stakeholders. I would like to repeat our honest invitation to everyone interested in the future of free office suites, to join The Document Foundation, no matter if you are an individual volunteer, employee of a software vendor or support our activities with help from local non-profit organizations.”

The home of The Document Foundation is at http://www.documentfoundation.org
LibreOffice, the free office suite, has its home at http://www.libreoffice.org

Note to editors: A “Stiftung” is a German Foundation established with an endowment and supported by state authorities. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_%28non-profit%29#Germany for more details. In addition, “bürgerlichen Rechts” indicates it is a fully independent Foundation with long-term intent and independent finances.

Media Contacts for The Document Foundation

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880
Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: floeff@documentfoundation.org
Skype: floeff

Olivier Hallot (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
Mobile: +55 21 88228812
E-mail: olivier.hallot@documentfoundation.org

Charles H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424
E-mail: charles.schulz@documentfoundation.org

Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
Phone: +39 02 320621813
Mobile: +39 348 5653829
E-mail: italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org
Skype: italovignoli
Google Talk: italo.vignoli@gmail.com

Media Contact for Freies Office Deutschland e.V.

Thomas Krumbein (based in Wiesbaden, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 611 1885339
E-mail: t.krumbein@frodev.org
Web: http://www.frodev.org

2012/02/01

By the community, for the community: TDF to base community-driven foundation in Berlin, Germany

Filed under: Announcements, Community, Foundation — Florian Effenberger @ 10:52

Openness, meritocracy and transparency anchored in cornerstones of an enduring entity
Successful vendor-neutral development model to provide the best free office suite

Berlin, February 1st, 2012 – The Document Foundation (TDF) today announces that it will base its community-driven entity in Berlin, in the legal form of a German Stiftung. This kind of structure is recognized worldwide as a legally stable, safe and long term entity, providing the ideal cornerstone for the long term growth of the community and its software.

“For the first time in 12 years, the development of the free office suite finally takes place within an entity that not only perfectly fits the values and ideals of the worldwide community, but also has this very same community driving it. The future home of the best free office suite is built and shaped by everyone who decides to participate and join. And the best is: Everyone can contribute and is invited to do so, to further strenghten the free office ecosystem”, says Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board at TDF.

Charles-H. Schulz, one of the founders and a member of the Board of Directors, adds: “Berlin is the icon of reunification and unity, and as such is the ideal home of our global community, aggregated around the objective of creating the best free office suite ever. We expect to be legally established during the next weeks, as soon as the last details of the formal process have been finished.”

“After many months of work in close cooperation with the authorities, we were able to keep the spirit of the community bylaws, and incorporate them into legally binding statutes, that ensure the promises that TDF has made in its manifesto”, says Michael (Mike) Schinagl, a Berlin-based lawyer and contributor to various free software projects, who has been driving the legal aspects of the foundation set-up from the very beginning.

In addition, TDF currently publically discusses ways for local entities to join and participate, and operative entities are currently being created to carry on special projects.

Founder of the Stiftung will be the German nonprofit association Freies Office Deutschland e.V., formerly OpenOffice.org Deutschland e.V., that so far acted as interim legal entity. “We congratulate the community for having achieved this key step, and are proud of having played a key role in setting up The Document Foundation. Our association is looking forward to working closely with the new entity and acting as a gateway between TDF and private as well as enterprise users”, says Thomas Krumbein, Chairman of the Board at Freies Office Deutschland e.V.

The LibreOffice project welcomes donations at http://www.libreoffice.org/get-involved/donate/

The website of TDF can be found at http://www.documentfoundation.org
The best free office suite, LibreOffice, has its website at http://www.libreoffice.org
Freies Office Deutschland e.V. host their German homepage at http://www.frodev.org

Note to editors: A “Stiftung” is a German Foundation established with an endowment and supervised by state authorities. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_%28non-profit%29#Germany for more details.

About The Document Foundation

The Document Foundation is an open, independent, self-governing, meritocratic organization, which builds on ten years of dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community. TDF was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent foundation brings out the best in corporate and volunteer contributors, and will deliver the best free office suite. TDF is open to any individual who agrees with its core values and contributes to its activities, and warmly welcomes corporate participation, e.g. by sponsoring individuals to work as equals alongside other contributors in the community. As of February 1, 2012, TDF has 146 members and over a thousand volunteers and contributors worldwide.

Media Contacts

Florian Effenberger (based near Munich, Germany, UTC+1)
Phone: +49 8341 99660880 – Mobile: +49 151 14424108
E-mail: floeff@documentfoundation.org – Skype: floeff

Olivier Hallot (based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, UTC-3)
Mobile: +55 21 88228812 – E-mail: olivier.hallot@documentfoundation.org

Charles-H. Schulz (based in Paris, France, UTC+1)
Mobile: +33 6 98655424 – E-mail: charles.schulz@documentfoundation.org

Italo Vignoli (based in Milan, Italy, UTC+1)
SIP Phone: +39 02 320621813 – Mobile: +39 348 5653829
E-mail: italo.vignoli@documentfoundation.org – Skype: italovignoli
GTalk: italo.vignoli@gmail.com

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