The ESC has come into being in early 2011, and is now officially in place to coordinate all development activities and set future technology directions.
"The ESC has brought the necessary discipline in the development process, which is organized in a completely different way from the past at OOo, where there was a single company in charge of the decisions, which was at the same time a strength - as it was easy to coordinate - and a single point of failure," says André Schnabel, a member of TDF Steering Committee. "We have instead built an independent process, where corporate sponsors are still valued, but the community is able to take the software forward even without the backing of any of these companies."
The 10 members of the ESC are Andras Timar (localization), Michael Meeks and Petr Mladek of Novell, Caolan McNamara and David Tardon of RedHat, Bjoern Michaelsen of Canonical, Michael Natterer of Lanedo, Rene Engelhard of Debian, and the independent contributors Norbert Thiebaud and Rainer Bielefeld (QA).
The members have been appointed by the Steering Committee, and are drawn from key members of the community of developers, which has been steadily growing since late September 2010 and is now close to 200 code hackers, with another 200 people involved in localization and QA. "This is a phenomenal success," says Caolan McNamara of RedHat, "Especially if you look at the OOo project, where external contributors were a small group, and had to deal with significant obstacles."