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Hi Paulo!

Please let me add some thoughts, since I perceive this situation in a
very similar way - and, because you spent the effort to describe the
situation very well and since you already proposed solutions (which is
rare, by the way).

Am Sonntag, den 30.01.2011, 01:00 -0200 schrieb Paulo José:
Hi Bernhard!

I read your both emails (short and long version) and I really perceived 
your point. I actually understand that is not a question for now and 
maybe neither for the near future, too because there was many 
unproductive discussions about it.

If such discussions take place, it is rather similar to Usability or UX
stuff. The tools are sometimes rather simple, but sometimes this is
given due to constraints and needs - providing access to anyone and in
any situation. This is what made the community so successful.
(Example: There are countries where people still have to pay huge sums
according to the data traffic. Here, LibreOffice is distributed via DVD
- but the main point is: people can participate in the main project.
Something, our competitors will never achieve.)

But, as you said, there are drawbacks. Since we get more and more known,
we have to consider the "even more normal" users, that expect a more
modern way of communication (given the expectations in industrial
countries). But let's focus on "us", being the ones who want to improve

I thought a bit how to improve the cooperation. Thus, I've send some
questions to Christian who currently manages some parts of the
infrastructure. Since - for some people - this seems to be a very
personal issue (as Bernhard stated), I did this in a private mail and
will report back. I hope this is okay ...

So it's alright for me. ;) I already do use of all the provided features 
(folders, stars, automatic filters, thread view... ) by my mail clients 
(Thunderbird and Google Gmail), but I'll try learn more about using mail 
listing to make it a better experience. If you all have been done it for 
years, I can do it too for sure. :)

It is never wrong to point out, that we are wrong :-)

But since this topic came up before, I'd like to add something I've
wrote to another person. And maybe this is also some "inspiration" how I
handle the hundreds of mails per day ... something we talked about in
another mail :-)


How Christoph handles his mail:
Let's first state, that no tool is available (or even will be available)
that makes it easy to sum up information - data mining techniques are
still rather limited, so ... there is a lot of information that is made
available. And although "principles" should lead the community, there
are still many posts that fail with regard to the current focus and that
will flood any tool :-)

For example, people dropping a mail that they dislike something, that
they want to have something (count the number of mails: LibO on
iPhone/Android, or radically new UI) - it is important to them. So it
will be sent. My point is, that skilled people will have to make sure to
shape and to conserve information that matters. Moreover, the community
develops some self-regulation ... so yes, mails are inefficient in some
cases. But so is any other communication tool on a very low level (low
entry barriers, near to instant communication).

Maybe I cannot convince you at all - but let me try to explain how I
deal with this data:
      * I'm subscribed to numerous mailing lists (TDF, LibO, OOo, ...)
      * My IMAP account receives the mails, filters them, and moves them
        into sub-folders
      * The IMAP account is accessible via a webmail interface (so I can
        even access mails in hotels etc.)
      * I can also access the information via my mobile
      * I usually work on my mails in the evening at my desktop computer
        (which integrates well with the desktop wide search that indexes
        all the mails)

So, getting hundreds of mails each day, I (amongst many others) have to
deal with the mass of information somehow. For example, if there is some
time, I usually scan through the mails on my mobile (writing is not that
comfortable). The ones that are important get marked, and get worked on
in the evening - because my mail client then highlights those.

Moreover, I can synchronize my mail client with the IMAP server, so I
can work offline - e.g. when sitting in the train. Or, you have
sufficient alternatives when some regulations (e.g. staying in hotels)
don't give you full access to the Internet (e.g. when at LinuxTag in
Berlin, or during the OOo Conference in Beijing, ...).

Some of the issues I experienced are pretty similar to other
(developing) countries. Using my mobile, I regularly experience network
unavailability and I'm also happy if the used bandwidth is rather low
(since it also adds not too much costs to the other LibO expenses).

But you've also talked about persistence - I'm happy that we currently
provide the mail archives. And due to Christian, it is much more
comfortable to work with it, since each of our mails contains a link
that refers to the mailing lists. So referring to this information is a
matter of seconds.

So, I get all of what you've stated - using a very simple and cheap
"transfer medium", but the backends make it rather powerful. And if the
backends are not available, then it still works well enough - and this
is important for this community.

Consequently, if information gets lost - it is rather a matter of the
person, but the tool. I'm still sorry for having missed your mail, but
usually the community helps to highlight those issues if they are of
common interest - but this needs the community itself to settle a bit.
If you look at other mailing lists, it already works very well.

Oh, of course there are things that really need some improvements - you
discussed some of them before. Sometimes it would be really helpful for
people to "web site live chats" for getting help, or maybe sending a
mail via a webform and being subscribed for this thread only to receive
updates (would save the subscription).

What I've wanted to point out is, that the "it simply fails" lies in the
eye of the beholder. But of course, for different cases, other tools
work much better - e.g. a poll or survey infrastructure is something
that is required, because mail doesn't scale that well in this case
(being an example)

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