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

Hi Mike,

In the past I’ve noticed that you’ve seemed reluctant to get involved in political discussions in your role as staff member, so this is quite a change:

Question 1: are you excited to have the opportunity, if elected, to get involved in forming and sharing opinions on lots of board topics ? And are you prepared to discuss your positions with trustees of all persuasions ?

Question 2: how do you plan, if elected, to separate those opinions from your communication in your role as the public face of TDF marketing?



Hi Michael, everyone,

Yes, since I joined TDF in 2016 I’ve largely stayed out of the politics of the foundation. But I felt it’s now important to run for a term on the Board, given the exceptional situation we’re in. TDF members know of the challenges, and some members will have also seen ideas raised here by other candidates, such as TDF in the future no longer offering binary downloads of desktop LibreOffice.

So for me, it’s important to be here and represent TDF as I see it: an independent, non-profit organisation serving the whole community, volunteers and ecosystem members, providing productivity tools for the whole world to benefit from.

Re: question 1, I’ve heard from “trustees of all persuasions” for many years and am happy to engage and share opinions and proposals. There’s lots we can (and need to) do. But as mentioned, there are things we need to fix ASAP and that’s my focus at the beginning.

Re: question 2, that’s what I’ve been doing for years already. I have various opinions on things, but having worked in this role for TDF since 2016 (and in the tech media since 1998) I know how to communicate and do messaging for a group and project, separate from my own personal opinions. That will not change if I join the Board, of course.


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply!

some members will have also seen ideas raised here by other candidates, such as TDF in the future no longer offering binary downloads of desktop LibreOffice.

I am shocked by that - and I don’t know of any candidate with that idea. I have not seen that said (although I kept hearing candidates associated with your party mentioning it as something they oppose). Who said that please, can you link to the content ? I would like to read details as I can’t imagine any candidate advocating it, and certainly I don’t support that either.



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Hi Mike,

kindly asking you to be non-toxic and transparent here as you promise with the pledge (and frankly: as a member of the board of trustees) and to resolve us this strawman and provide a source for this claim instead abstractly referring to “other candidates”? I find this topic doubly intriguing of course because TDF hardly can “stop providing desktop LibreOffice” binaries as it never universally did. For example, there are no LibreOffice binaries for Raspberry Pis provided by TDF and never were.

Best Regards,


Who, me: Ideas around TDF's future - #2 by mikesaunders

Hi @drodriguez,

No, that can not be it. It says something entirely different – in fact, pretty much the opposite:

So @mikesaunders, can you provide a source?

Best Regards,


Björn: just to clarify, “potential contributors” could be expanded to the more verbose “200 million potential contributors”, right?

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Hi @ilmari,

in theory yes, in practice its a bit more complicated. But before we veer of fully into sophism on a thread from months and months ago, I’d like to know from @mikesaunders where that “such as TDF in the future no longer offering binary downloads of desktop LibreOffice” claim comes from.




“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?