I have the impression that a fundamentally important question is what the purpose/task of TDF-internal developers would be.
Yes, but it looks like the discussion is blocked one step before reaching a consensus on this very simple point.
It seems reasonable to explore what people should be hired to do - before hiring them =) That has the benefit of working out what skills are needed in the job advert and/or interview process for example. The 'discussion' here - I would not see as blocked, but problematic see later.
There is a huge amount of need around LibreOffice development. It is easy to find a hundred different "top priority" issues each dear to the heart of a user, each user convinced that if only we had eg. 'Reveal Codes' in writer everyone would use LibreOffice.
As for no-one listening to users - I spend my life listening to customers & partners & users - and trying to do what they want. Anyone jealous of some big pool of unconstrained money / development power in corporate contributors is mistaken. Nevertheless I still get impassioned complaints of why Collabora did X and not Y from intelligent, articulate, engaged community members.
TDF in contrast while it has many constraints on what it can do - has few time constraints on its spending, which frees it to do more strategic long-term work. Thus it can invest more efficiently with some multiplying factor - via the educational / mentoring role into specific areas. I for one would support some targeted a11y / CTL mentoring - those seem like good areas that Sophie outlines - and ones where we can perhaps shine & grow the contributor community.
However - there is a cliff-face of need here. It seems totally sensible to suggest that hiring internal developers without any plan of working out what they should work on seems premature. Part of why mentors are attractive is that their agenda is partly lead by what volunteers want to do. That can be steered of course by creating new easy-hacks / tasks / projects in directions they want to go - and/or learning on the job themselves by hacking on things.
For myself, I would want to see some sensible mechanism that includes the views of those who contribute via donations as to what is important. Then again if we dedicate donations solely in-line with what donors want - I suspect certain key functions: admin, marketing might not get the attention they deserve: so again, there is no obvious solution here beyond the board getting wide input and deciding (as they do now).
If the discussion stays as such, I have to say that I don't feel I
am represented - as a TDF Member - by any member of the just elected
board of directors (of course, those who have expressed their opinions).
> Of course, given my complete lack of understanding of development, is
> too easy to find a technical angle to disprove what I just wrote, but
> it would also be disproving what many of the contributors - the
> community - think, and this would confirm my personal belief that
> TDF BoD does not represent the community as a whole, but only a
> portion of it.
It would be deeply unfortunate if the above was read as questioning the legitimacy and composition of the new board - and that before they have been seated and/or taken a single decision. It would be good to clarify that reading.
I would note that everyone who stood for the board was elected - and perhaps acknowledging the complexity of what might look like simple decisions from the outside - is real & not imaginary. I wish them the best as they try to find the local maxima in some multi-dimensional problem space.
As for finding new board members on the list to express a view you feel represents you: these long threads packed with trolling and misrepresentation on board-discuss are not a great way to interact I suspect. Why would a new board member want to engage in them while they find their feet ? Lets not be quick to preemptively despair of sensible decision making.
But I don't see the issue, as ESC and BoD members could easily stop
any project before it starts, when there is a potential risk of conflict.
These days the we have created rules to exclude people from such decision making - which has the potential to significantly exacerbate conflict and division I feel.
But you're right, in theory the BoD is sovereign.