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On 01/19/2011 05:04 AM, Marc Paré wrote:

This kind of reasoning however would seem to promote communities built
on regions rather than one whole community. This would then make for a
good case of having country based communities with their own set of
website tools.

Marc, it is not a resoning, it is a fact. It was told several times that TDF is the natural evolution of the OOo community, which in some geographies is very strong and organized. In order to grow further the community we must consider this fact, and choose a path that brings together the old and the new.

During the last ten years, all kind of mistakes has already been made and one of these mistakes was to force everyone into a single central infrastructure (CollabNet). The history shows that the strongest communities inside the OOo ecosystem are those that have been able to organize independently. And history is seldom wrong.

Of course, trying to evolve into a more coordinated community makes a lot of sense, but you do not evolve if you try to make a U turn in respect to the previous path.

I think that a basic misunderstanding was due to the fact that the website team was new to the community and has not listened to the past experience, and the old members of the community have overlooked the problem (and made wrong assumptions).

Would it not make more sense to have a central point,,
where upon landing you are directed to your region? Is this not what we
are doing already?

Sometimes, what makes sense for a group is not what makes sense for everyone. In Italy, the community is called Associazione PLIO (I am the President) and is not going to change the name now because there are 6 years of history behind it. We have a web site (based on Drupal) and other tools which are already in place.

The Italian newsgroup, totally independent, is the best support resource. They are even producing a 3.000 pages FAQ updated at the end of every month. They want to stay independent, and I am not even going to ask them to switch from their infrastructure to a central one under LibreOffice umbrella.

Maybe, this does not makes sense, but this works like a charm.

Has anyone considered that perhaps this is another step in LibreOffice's
coming of age? Perhaps centralizing the communication tools and working
on a common membership will make it stronger? There is still room for
individuality even when in a large group. Perhaps this is where the
membership will find it's strength.

Communities are tricky, and international communities are trickier.

Again, there are ten years of history behind our shoulders. We want to evolve, not revolve. Evolution is slower, and based on consensus.

The preferred tools can still be offered up to the groups from a central
point as well.

The problem is that there are groups that want to stay independent. Look at ODFAuthors.

Perhaps speaking as on common LibreOffice voice rather than different
LibreOffice groups will give us more strength. Perhaps, rather than
gaining 20% of market share, a common membership approach will give us a
larger share of the market?

I do not know. Maybe yes, maybe not. The fact is that independence has been a key factor for the success of the community is some geographies, and this cannot be ignored. Any departure from this fact should be carefully evaluated.

Italo Vignoli - The Document Foundation
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