On 2011-03-31 at 12:22 +0200, Martin Srebotnjak wrote:
I was flabbergasted by the forced-unto-us not-so-functional online
help system, as you might have read several times on this list.
I am sorry that you feel personally offended by that; the online help is
not perfect - but for those who feel that as a stopper, there is always
the possibility to install the offline version.
And patches are greatly appreciated! I have no intention to let it be
bad; it is an easy code, some 1300 lines of Python:
This is something that mostly targets the non-English speaking
communities (at least on Linux and OS X) - and we were not asked how
the end product should look like. Since it was implemented there were
no major enhancements and the non-functionality of that online help is
still obvious to all.
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/Wikihelp was created
after I did the wrong step that I developed the initial version without
consulting you. I thought that this version was agreed on the l10n
mailing list - was it not?
Now the thing will go further:
What are the OFFICIAL specs, confirmed by the LibreOffice community
for further development of the online help?
I am extremely sorry if I misunderstood that the above mentioned spec
was generally embraced; but let me assure you once again that I won't do
any more work for you. You may have noticed that I become a translator
in the meantime too (http://translations.documentfoundation.org/cs/), so
now I have much better understanding when you talk about the translator
What is "our approach", who is "us"?
In this context, it was those who contributed to the development of the
Does it include us, the L10N community, translating and updating the
help, or who? Did the L10N teams leads give their perspective on this
It is in line with the spec, so in fact yes, I thought that it was
discussed, and agreed.
The online help system developer has also revamped the search toolbar
"to behave more like in [...] Firefox":
and he is now also mentoring students cleaning the UI. While some
look like real cleanup, some might really be re-designs.
I am wondering if LO is (unlike OOo) going in the direction that every
developer can change the UI without consent from the community. (That
could lead to LO developers thinking loud on their blogs like this:
"Playing with the LO code yesterday I decided that LO will now drop
the Base component, because I don't like it, it just takes place on
disk, it should be an extension.") Or maybe there are some individuals
(or employees of some companies) with greater rights and privileges
than others in the LO community?
Well - should we vote on each and every feature that would go into
LibreOffice? That would bore people to death after a while ;-) If you
look at the development mailing list, each and every patch that does
more good than bad is committed; and everything can be again reverted,
or subsequently fixed, no problem there.
Should not the UI changes be discussed in length? With some usability
If there is somebody who comes up with a beautiful design and convinces
enough people to implement it, that's perfect! But do you remember the
amount of controversy that Renaissance project brought? And where did
it end up? Lots of discussions, and no result.
So my conclusion is "never let perfect be enemy of the good" ;-) There
are so many obviously incorrect things in the UI, that you just cannot
make things worse when you fix that. And if you do, there is a plenty
of other developers who will just fix your error. Or users make me
revert that. Whatever :-) - that's the beauty of freedom.
Will the disappointment with the decision-making process lead to
further forks of LibreOffice or to the return of translation teams
back to the OOo project?
Again - I promise to do everything to save you work. When the help
switches to something that would need change of your workflow, the l10n
people will be the first to be involved.
But the GSoC task does not involve any change for you, it is only about
the technical part, and that is converting the wikihelp to native help
I am writing here, because I think this is not a single-developer
decision nor just a GUI/developer-people-thing, and because I would
like to know the official specs for the Help and GUI redesign/cleanup
as well as the opinion of the L10N teams, because international help
system is very much in the hands of the L10N teams.
I do like Kendy and his commitment to this project, I do know that he
means well and is spending a lot of time working on the development of
LibreOffice. But some things just need major consensus of all the
people deeply involved. Maybe there should be a sandbox for that kind
of enhancements and people should then vote if they like the feature
enough so it would be further developed and included into vanilla LO.
Well, honestly, I am not interested in a setup where I work on something
for 3 months, that would be just thrown away by a poll ;-) - similarly
as you do not want to see your work being erased. I do hope what helps
more is the introduction of the development snapshots:
There you can test the changes early, and get the developers to improve
them, or revert, or whatever. Unfortunately no Windows builds yet - but
only due to master still not being buildable on Windows; and only one of
the machines builds with translations (MacOSX).
We (OK - Norbert, Thorsten, Robert, me) are working on both - that way
you'll be able to test your improvements in translations the next day
after you change something, without you having to build your own build.
Hope this helps,
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