Episode 112

Mike Saunders on The Document Foundation and LibreOffice


March 11th, 2022

41 mins 56 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Mike Saunders


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Richard is solo today, but very excited to have as his guest, Mike Saunders, joining us from Munich, where he’s the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for The Document Foundation, a longtime advocate of open standards, and wrote his own operating system at one point called MikeOS, which we’ll find out how that happened. Today, Mike tells us all about The Document Foundation, LibreOffice, how they work together, and how he really wants to grow the LibreOffice community. Also, besides The Documentation Foundation, there’s another much smaller project called the Document Liberation Project that we learn more about, as well as what Mike is most excited about happening this year. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!

[00:01:12] We learn how MikeOS happened.

[00:02:10] Mike explains how he ended up at The Document Foundation.

[00:03:25] What is LibreOffice?

[00:05:33] We hear about how the state of LibreOffice is today and The Document Foundation, how they work together, and how many developers there are.

[00:10:36] Richard wonders why Mike hasn’t decided to have a giant corporate empire and what keeps him small and end user focused instead of something else.

[00:14:28] Mike talks about a huge challenge for them which is growing the community.

[00:20:12] Mike mentioned getting people involved is some of their community and he tells us what he does to lift people up and make it so that they stay around and feel like they’re a part of the community.

[00:23:05] Richard wonders how Mike facilitates a handover of trust and not show that he’s not making the decisions in the end, and how do they become part of those power structures and not just be contributors.

[00:26:00] We learn about the Document Liberation Project.

[00:29:57] Richard wonders what Mike’s doing to make sure that he’s sustainable in the face of Google Docs taking over the market for documents.

[00:33:21] We find out where the 200 million users are.

[00:35:20] Mike reveals what he’s most excited about in the next few years.

[00:36:20] Find out where you can follow Mike and the LibreOffice community online.


[00:11:40] “We estimate we have 200 million users of LibreOffice.”

[00:13:05] “We exist to serve the LibreOffice community.”

[00:21:13] “The best thing you can do is to put your trust in people.”

[00:21:33] “Doers decide.”


  • [00:38:50] Richard’s** **spotlight is Mozilla Fellow and researcher, Narrira Lemos.
  • [00:39:33]** Mike’s **spotlight is Slackware Linux.



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