About TDF Steering Committee

The Document Foundation went public about two weeks ago, but indeed the founding members worked on the idea for some more days already. It is hard to tell, when the work exactly started, as there has not been one single initiator but rather a number of individuals and small teams who all had the same idea: enable the community to evolve into the next decade and make it independent from single sponsors.

As we all had the same goal, the team grew up and we asked some more people to join and help with the preparations. Soon we realized, that we need a way to come to general agreement and formal decisions. We are all individuals from different countries, with different background and so we are diverse - but this is exactly, what a community is: diverse. We found, that we need to have a set of people we all trust and to whom we give the power to make formal decisions - with the obligation to seek council from the larger team - or the community as soon as we went public.

The idea of the Steering Committee was born. We then set some basic rules for the Steering Committee's work and structure, discussed this via mail and looked for the first members. We finally agreed on the rules and the names in a face to face meeting.

The names can be found at the Document Foundation website. The most important rules are very simple:
  • The members should be accepted OpenOffice.org community contributors
  • The Steering Committee is provisional and ends it's existence after one year the latest
  • The Steering Committee must work on bylaws for the future governing body and end it's own existence, as soon as this is operational
  • The Steering Committee must be transparent and seek council from the community

After all - we are here to give the community a good start into the next decade. But we are not here forever (at least not as the Steering Committee, which is just provisional).

More information about the Steering Committee, meeting minutes and decisions are soon to be found at the wiki.

Finally the formal bylaws for the provisional Steering Committee ...

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the primary decision-making body of our community until the Document Foundation has been established and a new governing body has been elected.

The Steering Committee is bound to the activities for creating the Document Foundation, or the charter of the Document Foundation itself (as soon as this exists). It needs to consult the larger community and respond to the community’s concerns.

The Steering Committee will end it's existence 1 year the latest after public announcement, or earlier, if the Document Foundation has been established and a new steering body is operational.


The Steering Committee is made up of a small, limited number of people, initially elected by the people going to establish the Document foundation.

These members should be accepted community contributors who represent all parts of our community, including
  • developers (code hackers)
  • general development (supporting tasks like QA, marketing, documentation)
  • active contributors form localization / native-lang teams
  • user community

Steering Committee Members need to name at least one deputy, who will vote on their behalf, in case the member is not available for voting.

The initially elected members of the Steering Commitee are:
  • Thorsten Behrens (deputy: Michael Meeks)
  • Florian Effenberger (deputy: Christoph Noack)
  • Sophie Gautier (deputies: Christoph Noack / Cor Nouws)
  • Caolán McNamara (deputy: Thorsten Behrens)
  • Olivier Hallot (deputy: Claudio Filho)
  • André Schnabel (deputy: Cor Nouws)
  • Charles-H. Schulz (deputy: Leif Lodahl)
  • Italo Vignoli (deputy: Davide Dozza)

Adding or removing members, Committee size

Any member of the Steering Committee may declare to resign from the Steering Committee at any given time. The member's deputy will exercise the duties until a new member has been appointed by the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee may decide to change the number of the Committee's members (adding or removing members). Such a decision needs to be based on consensus.

The Steering Committee may appoint new members or people to replace leaving members with a 2/3rd majority vote.

The Steering Committee shall have not less than 5 and not more than 9 members.

Committee Meetings & Votes

Voting sessions of the Steering Committees will be performed either in-person, via telephone, e-mail, or on IRC. Information necessary for such a session (including agenda) should be published at least one day in advance.

Minutes will be kept for all sessions. Voting results (including the item voted on and number of positive, negative, absent and missing votes) will be documented and published.

On certain occasions, conversations within the Steering Committee will be confidential. On those occasions, notes from meetings etc. may be edited to maintain confidentiality. We will work to keep confidential conversations down to a minimum.

A 2/3rd majority is required to approve a decision. 2/3rd of all Committee members need to vote positive on an item - absent or abstain votes have the same effect as negative votes. A missing vote is considered as absent after 2 days. In any case the committee should seek for consensus decisions.

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