On Thursday, we came to the conclusion to close voting for the LibreOffice mascot in advance of the planned schedule in December. For a number of reasons, the process has evolved in a direction we were not expecting. When we started, we were looking for a visual image which could represent LibreOffice, a free office suite developed by an international and diverse community of friends, and not for a subject of heated discussions between groups and individuals.
The goal was to select a mascot that could be used by the community (but not as a replacement for the official LibreOffice logo or branding). With the number and the tone of negative comments, however, the current approach does not seem to be working out.
Without doubt, the main fault is on our side, as we started the process without setting clear rules, and then we managed criticism without the usual transparency, in a way which is not coherent with the principles of our community.
The current mascot project will not lead to any decision. A LibreOffice mascot will have to be the expression of the entire LibreOffice community, and not of individuals or groups on either side.
We have made several mistakes, but so did those who wanted to push forward their idea, because they liked one proposal over the others, without getting the necessary consensus. We have learned the lessons and in the future we will set clear rules both for the design and the decision process.
We do apologize for the frustrating experience with contributors who have provided an original artwork, in the true spirit of the community.
During the next couple of weeks, we – the members of TDF, the wider community of contributors to LibreOffice, both within and outside this contest – will discuss what has happened, and look into the different topics. Although we don’t have any specific plan at the current stage we will likely publish another message about the mascot contest around mid-December, with some time to reflect on what has happened.