Hi David, Jay, all,
On Sun, 2011-06-26 at 23:43 +0300, David Nelson wrote:
On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 8:38 AM, Jean Hollis
To me having the user guide screenshots in gray DOES have
advantages FOR THE USERS: they are less likely to be distracted
by the difference between whatever colours they see on their
screen and the gray in the screenshots; and the gray looks less
"foreign" to Mac users.
I agree with what Jean says. Gray is a practical choice.
I personally think that a consistent color for window titles and
highlights would not really distract people - but if we really want to
know this exactly we would have to start a user survey on this topic.
Having "our" green more present in the user's eye is a marketing topic -
and of course it is less important than good readability in the
But if we can achieve both without real drawbacks, I'd go for it.
But, also, after having reflected on this subject since past
discussions on the documentation ML, I'm no longer totally
convinced of the need to have total uniformity in screenshots, nor
even of the need to have them all done under Linux rather than
Windows. Providing that a little common sense is used, having some
variety only emphasizes that LibreOffice runs on a large variety of
platforms and under a wide variety of GUIs.
Common sense doesn't help against Microsoft's restrictions. So I don't
want to promote Windows screenshots on our website and in our
documentation. If a court would tell us, that the Microsoft website is
illegal in claiming their rights on windows decoration and prohibiting
partial screenshots, I wouldn't mind anymore.
But until then (or until we have enough money to spend a certain amount
on a lawyer investigating this topic) I'd stay with non-Windows screenshots.
Variety is good, if we want to show the different platforms LibreOffice
is able to run. But for documentation (except for platform specific
topics) a consistent look-and-feel is as important as in marketing.
If we want to be considered professional, we have to play in their league.
Of course it might be possible to create one document with one set of
screenshots and another with a different one. But as they should be
consistent inside one document and they should be able to created by
different people a clear and easy to follow description is all you need
to create screenshots with similar look-and-feel on different distros
And if we want to improve branding by our screenshots too, people should
know about the recommended color of window title bars. Extending this
description by the theme and the font we'd like them to use is not a
huge topic and helps new contributors to create good screenshots.
Where should they know about the best resolution for different purposes
if not from this description?
Where to put the info about cutting off all the desktop background and
providing just the single relevant window?
All this can be subsumed in a short description or specification people
can be pointed to when they tell us they want to create screenshots.
And finally they want to know exactly what should their screenshot show.
This needs to be covered by an additional explanation at the mailing
list or in a table of needed screenshots on the wiki too.
From all my personal experience new contributors like very much to get a
hand on how to provide their first contribution. A wiki page containing
all the necessary information would serve them best in my eyes.
And from this first contact with the wiki and our lists they are much
more likely to stay within the active part of the community than being
told to do some screenshots on their standard OS and left alone with the
In reality, it's important for us not to raise the entry barriers
to contribution too high,
Right - but a wiki page explaining the best parameters for LibO
screenshots is not a barrier, but a help in my eyes.
because I notice that most people only contribute for a short
period of time and then tend to fall away.
In the most cases this has nothing to do with high entry barriers, but
with lack of personal approach to them, not telling them where they find
the best area to contribute with their skills and especially no reaction
(or negative reaction) on the work they present.
There are lot of areas that would love to see regular contributions, but
leading newcomers towards manageable work with visible positive impact
on the community or the product is something that needs time and
The developers provide such a guidance by patch review and approval -
based on their "easy hacks" with manageable pieces of work.They have
quite high entry barriers (get LibreOffice to compile on their machine),
but with personal guidance this works quite well.
The number of regular work contributors (as opposed to mailing
list contributors) is quite low.
But this is not because of the high entry level of reading a short
description on the wiki - it's the positive feedback and the personal
contact that leads to further contribution.
We already use standardized chapter templates, and Jean and others
have done great work on the documentation team contributor's guide
(an on-going work). Do we really have to get too fussy about
standardized themes used for taking screenshots?
Providing a consistent description about three or four theme parameters
doesn't seem to me very fuzzy.
As we've already
read in this thread, it can develop into quite a complicated issue,
and I'd suggest we really have other more-urgent issues to deal
It wouldn't become complicated, if described in an easy way. And the
benefits of a consistent look-and-feel of LibreOffice in our materials
is much higher - at least in my eyes.
There are tiny differences between different distros (position of window
closing symbol at the right or left upper corner), but the most visible
difference are colors and the themes used.
Just my own 2 cents...
Actually I think some the Linux distros might enjoy unintentional
free publicity from a screenshot. Depending on each contributer's set
up there could be some hopefully only differences.
Please have a look at Sigrid's first upload of screenshots : The
Clearlooks theme is available at several GNOME distros (most times as
standard theme), on KDE (as Cleanlooks) and should be available on
Windows too, where it might become an option for Windows users to create
With a description I mentioned above all these people can create the
screenshots on their different distros that would be consistent among
I don't think that the tiny differences would help to promote the
different Linux distros in a significant way ...
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