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Hi Phil

That's a very useful start!

Above this we would have a list of ideas, perhaps in two choices of display order - by date started, and by group (related ideas). This list could be a table that shows the stage completed for each item as well as the originator of the idea.

This would then be linked back to the Main whiteboard page for the design team.


Phil Jackson

On 6/15/2011 6:42 PM, Phil Howard wrote:
Bernard, All,

An initial draft of a wiki page prototype for new ideas is here:

It's just the DocumentBackground page stripped of its content. I'm in
two minds about whether it is better to comment out everything from
Specification onwards, leaving just Summary and Discussion visible
initially. But that's something to do once we've finished deciding on
the page.

Things I like from the DocumentBackground page:

. Progresses from idea to implementation
. Discussion section near the top means interested parties can read
the relevant threads and handles the transition of an idea from
discussion list to whiteboard.
. Implementation history near the bottom lets the page tell the story
of where an idea has got to, if it is to be implemented in stages, for
. Open items gives space for leftover items so they don't slip through the net.

Perhaps links to mockups (much of the whiteboard use in the initial
stages) would go in Discussion.

Using whiteboard wikis for the process is great, because its
asynchronous nature permits sporadic development in the same way
wikipedia does. Also the specification can be fleshed out as it is
developed in the discussions, ready for implementation. It hink the
concept in my mind is coalescence - from an idea of a change to the
details of its implementation.

The workflow should be changed and refined to suit the process. If
longer-standing members will consistently mark up a whiteboard as it
progresses, we may be able to leave just the Summary and Discussion
sections on the workflow template, and let people reuse the latest
whiteboard that they like, to avoid having one more thing to keep up
to date, or being too prescriptive.

Philip H

On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 11:27 PM, Bernhard Dippold
<>  wrote:
Hi Phil, all

I'm really sorry, that I don't have the time to contribute to the
numbers of highly interesting and active threads here on the list.

But I don't even manage to read all the mails I receive on the most
important LibO lists. (I read all the mails here, even if I don't reply).

This mail (sent already three weeks ago [1]) needs some follow-up, and
it is important enough to deserve it's own thread.

Phil Jackson schrieb (in the thread "flying the ship ...":
Hi Bernhard


If possible, I'd like to see a degree of formalisation of how the
design team will work together with suggestions of stages for taking
an idea and transforming it into a form that we have agreement on for
submission to the pool of programmers.
I support the idea of a common approach for proposals and idea
development leading to a final stage agreed upon by the team and
proposed to the developers in a way they can work on them.
This is about building relationships between the design team members
  but also between the design team and programmers so they feel part
of the design team.

It's like selling ideas to management - well articulated ideas with
supporting evidence should make a difference in getting done what the
Design Team thinks by consensus is necessary to improve the product.
It's all about convincing one single developer that a proposal is
important, so he is interested in coding in this area.

And with some kind of formalism this might be easier - especially as we
are in a period where several important ideas are thrown together on the
mailing list, while the next steps (collective work, integration with
existing designs, UI / UX areas covered...) are not clear to the

Here are some suggestions for stages;

1) Someone comes up with an idea
:-) should be the basic...

2) Idea is posted on
Design/WhiteBoards and emailed to team members
In my eyes the /WhiteBoard wiki page should become a table of links to all
the items that have been proposed by people really interested in working on

We definitely need another area, where people can post their ideas for
improvement who can't spend the time or have the expertise to work on these

Such ideas need a team member being attracted by the topic and interested in
working on it. If there is nobody interested / able to work in it, it might
be reactivated by someone scrolling the whiteboard site...

3) Idea is discussed
and debated with ample opportunity to test idea and gather arguments
for and against
... and improved by the input of other team members.

4) Goes to vote stage by design members after member
proposes that they do this - if passed goes to Stage 5)
I don't think that we need a formal voting on each and every idea. Small
changes should need much less formalism than larger modifications.

Consensual discussion on the list will lead to a positive feeling of the
team towards this idea. In such a case formal voting is not necessary.

5) A
Design/Whiteboards paper for the idea if constructed giving a
formalised breakdown of the idea - i.e. Overview, Introduction, Main
Body with evidence, conclusions (why idea is a good one) and
Designing a mockup to show my ideas to people dedicated to design and UX is
not very hard in comparison to preparing a description of modifications
leading to developers interest and understanding.

6) Submitted to programmers pool for their
If possible, developers should be involved much earlier. Knowledge about the
necessary amount of work on this topic is important for us too.

And they are not only asked for feedback - we should try to attract them to
work on this topic. Otherwise the idea will need to become pushed by someone
else - without any guarantee that it will be worked on sometimes in the

7) Followup

We need to make this reasonably professional without turning it into
  a Phd. It makes it transparent for all.
I imagine a wiki page containing these steps (perhaps as a follow-up an
other introductory wiki page with all the information a new team member
searches for) and all the necessary information about how to attract
developers for such work.

Christoph already mentioned some kind of "design Easy-hacks", an idea we
definitely need to follow.

I know that some of these things are already done, but using a system
will make it more likely that progress is seen to be made on some
very interesting and beneficial ideas.

What does everybody think?
I think we should try it - and find out about the areas we can improve and
further LibO without all these formalisms...

Best regards


Phil Jackson


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