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Hello Michel,

I feel I need to address some of your points without talking too much
about the StartCenter proposal (which by the way I like very much).

Comments inline.

Le Fri, 25 Oct 2013 16:37:03 +0200,
Michel Renon <> a écrit :


This thread makes me wake up from my silence for few months.
I've already given up on working in the design team, because it's 
useless, but I wanted to express some comments and provide a clear 
answer to K-J.

Thanks to Mateusz Zasuwik for his strong feedback !
But I see that there is no real reactions.

Le 24/10/2013 13:06, K-J LibreOffice a écrit :
Hi Kendy, Mirek, *,
Am 15.10.2013 10:45, schrieb Jan Holesovsky:


Terribly sorry - best to keep me CC'd for quick turnaround :-)

I was more looking for a wallpaper (as K-J suggests) or the
'welcome information' (as Cor said) - I think it gives better
first time experience than a 'no recent documents found'...

Sorry for not being clear in my request :-(

What happened with the whole thing? It was somehow lost in

First, I just want to say that what happens for the start center is a 
huge fiasco for LibreOffice. It clearly shows that there is no design 
process :
- a subject is thrown for GSOC without any initial work, studies, 
validated UX design, prototype, nothing. Just "It would be useful to 
present few recently used documents there (as thumbnails), and do
more fancy stuff." [1] And all others GSOC subjects (with UI/UX part)
are the same.

It seems you are expecting a professional process of people actually
working on a regular basis for that. I don't think that's the case
here, and it does not change all the skills and talent the team has.

- a student starts to code, without any information about UI/UX

- the student then wants to enhance UI/UX and makes some completely 
improvised assumptions about what users expect [2]. In this thread,
you can read that Mirek starts a design whiteboard at the end of
July, half time of GSOC.

We must at least give credit to the Design/UX team for having enforced
a proper whiteboards-based process. Again: this is a community, you
don't expect an homogeneous team to pop and start working out of the

- he codes what he wants (because there is no roadmap, no

Yup, on the other it's called software freedom....

- at the end of GSOC, the start center is unfinished, the UI/UX
brings lot of regressions. Worst of all : some huge lacks in a11y.

Do we
- use the proposal Mateusz gave us?

While being a very good proposal, it is based on broken foundations.

Why are they broken?

However, it shows that a skilled/professionnal designer can quickly 
propose very interesting mockups, even if the designer seems to be a 
graphist (not a UX designer).

True. But surely we should not burn the said graphist because he's not
an UX designer? If you know about an UX designer who could contribute
his/her time here, please bring him/her here.

- make any proposal of a sc-"wallpaper"?

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean .
If it is about proposals to add some background image (ie wallpaper), 
then it's just some painting on a broken wall, so it's useless.

Your judgement, not everyone's. 

- announce it?

No !

- start other things?
- left it all?

I propose to mix those 2 points :
  - revert the code of the new start center : LO4.2 should keep the 
LO4.1 start center
- start a new process to design a new new start center :
    - involve devs, QA team, a11y team

The Design and UX team does involve developers already....

    - ask some users (specially from MIMO [3])

MIMO can join this mailing list at anytime. 

    - should enhance the current start center or create a new one ?

This is a Free Software project. You can't really stop people from
doing what they want and like, and we are a community. 

    - clearly define a UI/UX design (with prototypes), validated by 
every team

No. It needs validation by the development team for feasibility,
marketing; perhaps NLC if they find something problematic. But asking
each and everyone will not work because you will never reach 100%
agreement. And FWIW I had my share of disagreements with this team. 

    - only then, start to implement it

It is a standard process when you want to build anything (a physical 
product, a building...).

We don't build a product, we build a community. If you want to build a
product, please talk to MS Office, they're pretty good at that. 

The way LibreOffice is developed today is the best way to shoot
himself in the foot :
- don't listen to users (is it the Gnome way of doing ? [4])

I don't think so, but I assume you know Henry Ford's famous sentence:
"if I were to listen to my customers I'd still be selling horse

- no roadmap (Charles clearly said that [5])

Yes. This is a Free Software Project. Please learn more on how we work. 

- incoherent UI/UX [6][7]

So the process is not perfect. 

- schizophrenic behavior in design team [8]

I disagree. 

- ship unfinished/undesigned features (template manager for LO4.1,
and today the start center)

We - and specifically this team - have a resources problem, thankfully
not one of talent. Are you a designer? Maybe you could help. 

All this make me feel desperate about LibreOffice. Really. And the
facts are here :

It is the end of the world as we know it and since Forrester says
so it must be true. But what do you do of *all the other articles
about LibreOffice*  :-)

As most users start switching to online and mobile version, there is
no free office suite to compete GDocs or Office365 or Office for 
iOS/android. (where is LibreOfficeOnLine ? it would have been one

Where is your contribution? Seriously, I can't stand this attitude:
negativity and nothing else. If you want to change and improve things,
go ahead. If you are here to complain that life is tough and that we
don't do our jobs right, then go back to your silence, which is not a
solution because you won't change anything that way. 


Charles-H. Schulz 
Co-founder & Director, The Document Foundation,
Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
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