Candidacy: Bjoern Michaelsen

Hi all,

I hereby state that I will be running again for a Board of Directors seat with
The Document Foundation.

Im Bjoern Michaelsen and I am currently serving on the Board of Directors as an
unaffilated individual. Before that I ensured LibreOffice to be properly
released and maintained through half an alphabet on Ubuntu: from the first
LibreOffice release (3.3) on Ubuntu Natty to LibreOffice 5.3 on Ubuntu Zesty.

My current job is unrelated to LibreOffice. This unfortunately also limits the
time I can donate to the project in various roles: as a developer, as a member
of the ESC, as an organizer of events or fullfilling an administrative on the
Board of Directors. But it also allows me to claim to be a truly independent voice.

I spare you providing a long list of my prior contributors to the project, as
they are a bad prediction of those in the future. Instead I will try to provide
you with what I can bring to the role on the Board and what goals I am going to
aim for:

I served as a Director or Deputy on the Board of Directors of TDF since it was
first incorporated, and along the way I learned insights in the finer details of the
decisions and experiences made by TDFs Board of Directors. The hard core of
these involve the allocation of the foundations resources: Its brands and
donations. But I also understand and contributed to the softer points: TDF
carefully using its public voice as a NGO for the greater good and its stated

I hope I will be able to bring this experience into the next term of the Board
of Directors. I am encouraged to see strong contributors to the project as
new candidates in this election and hope to share the duty of serving with
them, together providing a strong and reasonable voice of independent and
unaffiliated input in the Board.

Ultimately, I hope after this one last term can confidently leave TDFs Board
with many new diverse and independent voices in all parts of the project anf
foundation and retire back to spend my contributions more on e.g. the code of
the project again.

Beyond that my goals for the TDF projects, LibreOffice and the Document Liberation
Project are:

- focus on growth for the whole project cycle:
  The project obviously provides a product (releases of software). Those
  products in turn need to provide the project -- esp. with contributors as
  more helping hands are always needed in all areas of the project
- growth and diversity:
  The project should continue to grow and diversify: geographically, socially
  and by affiliations. Both will help hardening the project against external
- experience is key:
  Product and project need to come closer, and using the former should be a
  temptation to also take part in the latter wherever possible. We should
  2always look for opportunities to improve here.
- sharing knowledge:
  LibreOffice/DLP have grown to use more and more bleeding edge development and
  project tools and proccesses. We should offer to showcase and make them
  accessible to observers, researchers and teachers in education and elsewhere.
  Those learning from us might very well benefit us with their contributions.

75-words version:
I bring lot of experience from prior work on TDFs governance and am an
unaffiliated contributor to LibreOffice. I think the key to the success of
LibreOffice is in the project and seeking growth for it by improving the
experience for contributors and raising the visibility of our community and the
opportunities for contribution.



Hi Bjoern,
Great to see you running again, though we didn’t always see eye to eye in past board’s you provided lots of good ideas as ever :slight_smile:
Question: will you have enough time to meet board commitments in parallel with your day-job?
Thanks !

1 Like

Hi @mmeeks,

thanks for the question! The needed commitment of time was indeed my main concern while considering if I would stand again as candidate. In general, I think I will manage to bring the needed time for the position – after all, in the 2018-2020 term I had also been able to keep up with board meetings and decisions while having a day job unrelated to LibreOffice.

However, I also understand the current situation of the foundation might need – at least initially – more regular time commitment than back in 2018. In my dayjob, I am required to log my hours pretty thoroughly and I am considering to do the same for my board time invested this time around – at least in the beginning, maybe later too, if I get used to it. I hope this will keep help me identify time sinks and adjust accordingly.

tl;dr: Yes, I think I will manage to find the needed time.

Best Regards,


Hi all,

asking myself a question here, that others probably should have asked before making assumptions:

Question 1:


I explicitly stated so in the past e.g. here: ‘And nobody suggested to “drop” the product, it still needs to serve the project.’ – which, if you read the context, means nobody wants to remove binary downloads. Neither do I.

Also elsewhere I say ‘I dont think anyone advocates for that here.’ replying to someone that said ‘those that advocate for making binary downloads non free’. That is a clear statement that making binary downloads non free is not on my agenda.

I thus have likely a stronger commitment on this point than most.

Note that there is a lot of nuance on this that those shouting the loudest on this topic tend to gloss over:

  • TDF does not provide binaries for everyone and never did, a few examples:
    • S390x binary were never provided by TDF
    • TDF does not provide binaries for Windows XP anymore (because it is long unsupported by Microsoft)
    • TDF does not provide binaries for Raspberry Pis/ARM (although maybe it should?)

Question 2:

That is a very theoretical question as the statutes are mostly set in stone now. But I think they are good the way they are on this particular point.

It gives the foundation the opportunity to provide binaries for download where it makes sense (e.g. a download page for current Windows users) while not being required to provide binaries for obscure platforms like e.g. S390x that are both very unlikely to contribute back and that most trustees will not care about. So: It is good this is not required by the statutes and leaves board and trustees to do the Right Thing.

It also means TDF is not forced into the need to serve monopolistic app stores at all costs, even if those e.g. dont accept donation links, charge excessive 30% fees on payments or even set different fees for different apps. But that is another can of worms.