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I have concerns regarding the communication channels we use for working on LibreOffice. First, it seems we are sliding into a situation where the closed-source chat platform Telegram becomes an official channel for team coordination. This is frustrating because there has been no discussion about the topic. The move is apparently due to some people wanting to use their privately preferred communication method (with friends & family) with their work topics. All of the ones pushing Telegram into contributor coordination are TDF employees (QA, design, marketing). In Finland we have a saying for this sort of process: climbing a tree butt-first.

Closed-source tools have been used for coordination in the past, but accompanying them has been the intent to move to FOSS equivalents as soon as possible. The Engineering Steering Committee uses Google Hangouts, because no other tested platform could handle the amount of participants and the geographical diversity (yet the limitations of Hangouts are a constant source of annoyance). A clear contender in this arena is from Linagora, a company that contributes to LibreOffice development. The LibreOffice design team used Google Docs, but now LibreOffice Online is the obvious choice for design proposals, no less from the perspective of dogfooding.

With the slide to Telegram, there is no expressed rationale and no actual need to go proprietary. These days we have an array of modern FOSS chat tools geared towards various different audiences: Mattermost, Zulip,, Gitter, Let's Chat, Riot. Moving to Telegram now is as absurd as if we started using Slack or Skype.

The cheerleaders of Telegram have an allergy to IRC. It's a legacy system with some clunky bits, there is no use denying it. Wait a sec, did I just describe LibreOffice as well?? So why are we being lunatics pimping a tool built on a swamp of legacy code, but at the same time wrinkling our noses at a legacy chat system? Well, it turns out the old dog has learned new tricks while we were busy making fun of it. Modern web IRC clients offer most of the features of the chat platforms mentioned above.

When we direct new contributors to IRC, we should point them to an instance of The Lounge, the new Kiwi IRC or Convos. Fortunately, it very much looks like Freenode will replace its tired old webchat with one of them, Kiwi IRC, because Freenode's owner PrivateInternetAccess is sponsoring its development. As you may know, Freenode webchat links are all over the LibreOffice website and TDF wiki.

Second, I'd like to bring up a more difficult subject: proprietary social networks, taking Twitter and Facebook as specific examples. I used to believe they were a necessary evil to get marketing done. Recently it has become evident that they are rather a "Nazg├╗l flying out of Mordor" -grade evil. The walled garden effect is really kicking in. If you are not logged in to the services:

- you cannot read FB event comments
- you cannot read "Tweets & replies"
- FB often asks you to solve a CAPTCHA just to view a page
- FB hovers a giant banner in your face trying to pressure you to sign up

These superficial, but very disgusting patterns arise naturally from the business plan of trying to capture the web as a platform. Do the world a favour and refrain from publishing content exclusively on these dark platforms. Take inspiration from the legendary Calc hacker Eike and start tooting:

Rouse yourself from the sweet lull of inertia and explore the systems that were created to empower you:

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