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Ah, good to hear from you Ivan!

On 2/22/2011 4:46 PM, Ivan M. wrote:
On Sun, Feb 20, 2011 at 3:40 AM, Nik<>  wrote:
I would really appreciate if some of the Design leadership (Bernhard,
Christoph, Ivan) commented on whether they thought this plan is feasible. Or
updated it with times that are more appropriate.
I share Christoph's reservation about the term 'leader', but I do
think we need a clearer project structure - it might just be a matter
of semantics (i.e., choosing a better word than 'leader') since some
people have established themselves very well in the project (including
Paulo and, of course, you), and it would help new people to
distinguish whose words (currently) carry more 'oomph' in the project.
I wish you, Bernhard and Christoph would reconsider this, or at least discuss it amongst yourselves. Right now we have informal leadership from the three of you, and many of the long-term members recognise this, but without formality, there is no way of our many newer members to be aware how much has transpired before or why your opinions/recommendations should (rightly) be considered to carry more weight than the average response. This is a meritocracy, we have meritorious members, without recognition of their status, how are new members supposed to know who to listen to so we don't keep making the same mistakes as before.

The word (leader) itself might be uncompromising or lacking subtlety, but if we get right down to the *truth* of the matter, what the three of you are doing is leading/guiding the team's efforts. That is leadership. So that there can be no confusion amongst members, that is what you should be called. Any other "compromise" description serves no clear purpose than to obfuscate your true role in the team. Other projects (within LibO and outside) have leaders. It makes it easy to know who to consult, who to listen to, who has experience that will ensure the best results.

And if LibO is going to /TRULY/ be different from OOo then we have to learn from the mistakes made in that project: One of the biggest problems was that everything seemed Designed-by_committee. What resulted was good (no ... GREAT!) Designers -like Paul- who wanted to use their little free time to contribute HIGH quality work to the project and became frustrated at the lack of leadership-authority and the constant and endless contradictory Design requests from the community. And left. Now, you've all mentioned you know that Design-by-committee doesn't work, so that can't be the way things are done in this project. Otherwise it's doomed to have the same problems as before. And frankly, I'm not interested in making 5 million alternatives for the 5 million tastes in this community, I don't have the time. What is infinitely important to recognise is that while all members are entitled to provide feedback and can identify what they like (taste), not ALL members have Design-eyes and can determine what works visually in context to our overall style (Design sensibility). *What I want, as a contributor,* is a leadership team who has Design credibility and an eye for detail, who can guide the final product in a Design direction that is the equal of some Linux distributions (which are truly well Designed).

*Be brave, be confident and just take the step that needs to be taken in order to bring that structure and stability to this team that we both know is needed.*

I don't think Paulo or myself would consider ourselves ready for leadership responsibilities. I am not a consistent contributor and you cannot rely on my constant availability here, such is the nature of my work. Paulo is a Design PRODIGY and a truly gifted and enthusiastic addition to our team, but is new to the team and project. He will surely be a great leader, in time. Three people have remained active, proactive and loyal to this team for the last 10 years: Bernhard, Christoph, You. I think most of this team already understands who you are and why you command the community respect you do.
I think they trust your judgement and loyalty to the product.
If we know all this, then all that is needed is formalisation of this acknowledgement.

Can we take this opportunity to establish ourselves as a credible and organised facet of this project and just elect a leadership team?

I realise it is awkward for you three to make such a recommendation. Instead, I will be making a formal statement/request for election later this week. As a member who has spent roughly 5 years contributing to this cause, I feel confident in making this request. I hope that will give you, Bernhard and Christoph enough time to consider your stance on the matter. And I hope that will give the members of this team enough time to contemplate who they trust and how we will benefit from a more strategic process of guidance and leadership. Which will put this team in a position of strength and ensure that our efforts are taken seriously. Which will ultimately ensure we are not all just wasting our time creating another handful of Design items that will simply go on the "nice, but abandoned due to endless discussion" pile.
A pile that grew all too tall in


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