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[libreoffice-design] Topic for design team to investigate: Content hosting consolidation on ask.libreoffice.org


Hello Design Team,

as you might be aware, the user experience of our extension and template
website causes users a lot of concern[1]. This is despite volunteer efforts
trying to move this forward, but stalling due to limited resources, which led
to TDF even attempting to get commercial support for Plone[2] to augment the
the limited volunteer ressources available. The latter did not help to
meaningfully improve the situation either.

So as all current efforts there are stalled, I looked around for alternative
solutions to our usecase -- which is hosting auxiliary content for LibreOffice
consumers. We already have a platform that does that, which is ask.libreoffice.org.

ask.libreoffice.org already allows uploading of templates as attachments to
questions, so it can already be used for templates. Doing so (e.g. by posting a
self-answered question) is possible, but not exactly intuitive. However, askbot
also provides:

- various logins including OAuth etc. (which currently is a hassle on Plone)
- distributed moderation and gamification (which currently is a bottleneck on Plone)
- better discoveribility, tagging and social media integration
- markdown, mini-wiki and discussion of content
- multi-language support

That is, the experience for template creators and consumers is already much better
on askbot than it is on the current extension and templates website, which is
stalled and currently has no clear path to even get to a experience comparable
with askbot -- let alone beyond.

As such, I would like to suggest the design team to investigate, if it is feasable:

- to extend askbots existing UI to offer uploading of templates
(well, technically that is already possible: This is just about making the
usecase more obvious to users, e.g. with a guided "templates upload wizard")
- to extend askbots configuration to also allow .oxt files as uploads and offer
the same for extensions
- finally, use e.g. tags to provide a "template" or "extension" view of
ask.libreoffice.org

Unlike the rather limited successes we had with Plone, TDF sucessfully triggered
improvements of askbot in the past[3], so given some well-scoped choices and
selections made by the design team wrt askbot could help guide the same in the
future.

Best,

Bjoern


[1] Seen e.g. by:
a/ repeated cries for help on twitter, some examples:
https://twitter.com/nimbleslides/status/1020899933161848832
https://twitter.com/FloraCanou/status/1020517686453735424
b/ currently no presentation templates being offered there, despite this
being the most common use case:
https://extensions.libreoffice.org/templates?getCategories=Presentation&getCompatibility=any
and massive template collections actually being hosted elsewhere e.g.:
https://github.com/dohliam/libreoffice-impress-templates
[2] see entry for 2016-02-18 on https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/BoD_Decisions
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askbot

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