Mike Saunders: Candidacy to the elections of the TDF Board of Directors


“As long as binary downloads for desktop installation is relevant for current and potential contributors”

Perhaps I need a different dictionary for this subset of English.

Hi @drodriguez,

I am all for every candidate having their voice heard, but please: This thread is about @mikesaunders, not about you.

Please stop distracting here: I would like to know what Mike based his claim “ideas raised here by other candidates, such as TDF in the future no longer offering binary downloads of desktop LibreOffice” is based on. And that is something only Mike can – and IMHO should – answer.

Best, Bjoern

So, you can say something and try to deny after. But I’m “distracting”

Hi Bjoern,

I don’t think Daniel’s message is distracting; he’s pointing to the post where you questioned whether TDF is required to provide binaries to end users free of charge.

You also wrote in this post, about TDF’s statutes:

if “free of charge” (“kostenfrei”) would have been written into the statutes, I would have objected back then – as I am sure many other founders would have.

So I think it’s a fair question to ask, who is committed to TDF providing a free (gratis) download of a binary desktop product for end users.

I certainly am, as I think that’s very important.


Hi Mike,

I agree with you, I also think it’s very important

Daniel, what you are doing here, really is not appropriate. Surely you must understand the discussion here. It is a nuanced topic, but if there is any brief summary of Björn’s message, it is this one: “And nobody suggested to “drop” the product, it still needs to serve the project”.

It is not a great start, for the supposedly new, open and respectful communication that the pledge supporters promise - that you deliberately repeat a message that Björn explained is incorrect, and then piling on by alleging if he is trying to deceive people about his agenda.

Let’s please show each other some respect.


Blockquote I certainly am, as I think that’s very important.

I support clarification on this topic of LibreOffice desktop binaries. Given the outcome of the board decision on LibreOffice Online, the community is looking for assurances that same fate does not happens with the desktop version.

I think it’s extremely important to clarify this topic once for all and calm our hearts.


Yes, I am also keen this gets clarified - I am really confused about why this is even an issue given it is the main reason we created TDF in the first place.

I am not aware of any candidate in this election that thinks TDF should not produce desktop binaries free of charge as it has always done. I certainly said clearly during the video meetings that I believe they should still be produced and made available for download.



The ones who should ask for respect are all the members.

As some turns of speech are confusing since English is not the mother language of many here, including myself, I also wish the free distribution of binaries response to be made very clear. I do support the free distribution of binaries to all.

Yes, I too want to state that free desktop binaries from TDF should stay available as are and indefinitely.
They are really important.

Who by the way said we should not continue what we always did?

True Eliane. I also think it is extremely important that people are not fooled by whispers.

Hi Mike,

for me it has always been obvious that TDF should provide free of charge binaries to the users for all the major projects it hosts, LibreOffice desktop being the main one at present.

It is good to clarify it once and for all as statements made in the past created some confusion and uncertainty.

Apart from the clear statement in the Next Decade Manifesto, which in my opinion is still very much relevant and should be included in future versions, “to eliminate the digital divide in society by giving everyone access to office productivity tools free of charge to enable them to participate as full citizens in the 21st century” we have also a, maybe less clear, confirmation in our statutes.

Section 2.2 of our statutes includes “user-centered” so in my opinion it reinforces the fact that developing FLOSS isn’t sufficient, it must also be made available to users in a way that does not create barriers for its use, one being compiling LibreOffice from scratch and another one being an economic barrier.



Hey Cor,

Thank you for the message

I would like to stress that, what scares our community and brought a lot of insecurity, was LibreOffice Online, which was put in attic. That is the concern. Decision: [DECISION] Delayed atticization for LibreOffice Online .

For that reason TDF and Community must work together, and end for good this insecurity, bringing back our love and passion for the global community.

Definitely, that is what I want back. If elected I want to work with this in mind. Joining forces.


Hi Mike,

I agree with you. It’s very important that TDF provide **free of charge (gratis) binary downloads of desktop products.

But I find it important too that TDF engage together with the community also in the field of collaborative (online) and mobile versions of LibreOffice and provide binaries for this environments to download free of charge (gratis). It’s important that LibreOffice is available on mobile devices because a lot of people in the world didn’t use/own a desktop computer/Notebook. One of the goals of TDF is to give all people access to office documents, close the digital gap and foster their participation in digital processes and discussions. Another goal is to allow NGOs and small companies to claim the control over the documents they produce.


Hi Mike,

using that quote without the context in that thread, that might have been a valid question. But since you are begging the question here, maybe you should have asked it straight away? As I wrote here the answer is clear from the rest of that discussion: I am all for TDF keeping binary downloads of LibreOffice available.

So there is nothing to support your claim that there are “ideas raised here by other candidates, such as TDF in the future no longer offering binary downloads of desktop LibreOffice”.

May I kindly ask you to retract that and we can finally put this topic to rest?



1 Like

Hi Mike,

For me there is 3 reasons why I support the release of binaries free of charge (gratis) by TDF:

  1. ideological reason: that empowers the end-user: no financial lock-down by a provider, availability for all users around the world, whatever is their economic means.

  2. security reason: if TDF discontinues the release of binaries free of charge, some other will do instead without any guaranty that these binaries are not poisoned by some code not present in the original source. In other words, if TDF is really the home of LibreOffice it must assume the role of reference binaries supplier.

  3. Community reason: binaries free of charge are essential for contributors on QA and localization to be able to test and see the results of their work in real-life situations, not just in the virtual world of source code. Binaries are the final product which shows that all contributions, no matter how small, form a product that exists in the real world. Plans are nothing until the bazaar is built and open to the public.

Best regards.

Well, trying to change the subject from the weird binaries argument…

Mike, I’d like to pose a a couple of questions myself.

Question 3: Some trustees (and candidates) believe that the BoD should be more supervisory than directly active. A somewhat similar sentiment is expressed in the pledge you and several other candidates have committed to, where it says that a meeting every two weeks is too much work for volunteers. Others believe that there is a lot of work to be done beyond what the employees do, and that is important that the some of the core tasks of the foundation remain undelegated and more amenable (in princible) to public scrutiny. Where do you stand on this spectrum?

Question 4: One of the areas in which we have not been successful is the widening of LO adoption in (most of) Africa and (most of) South and West Asia (and there are other regions as well). The fraction of the user-base if you count downloads is very low, presence on online platforms is very limited to non-existent, and so is presence in conferences, TDF membership, and most other metrics. My question to you is whether, and how, you believe the incoming board could act to improve this situation - as a person coming out of promotion/community relations work for the project.

Question 5: TDF employees on the TDF board… I have some thoughts on this myself (and do not object); but - can you please make the case for this? Or alternatively, argue that the fact that a candidate is also an employee is not significant either way?

Hi Eliane,

Thanks for expressing yourself.
For reference: I see your post is the start of this new topic.
(Will look later at possibly adding some additional thoughts there myself.)