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Hi :)
From what i can make out there has been almost no-one updating the in-built help in the last 8 
years or so!  

The requirement to understand Xml means that people whose skills are in producing good quality 
documentation are unable to understand or work on the in-built help.  So if anyone has been 
updating the in-built help then it's been people that understand coding well but not necessarily 
grok the nuances of non-technical-human communication.  

Any translation teams that have done straight translations into their own languages now have very 
out-dated in-built help packages.  In the past that has not been too much of a problem.  Sun aimed 
for stability and tried to suppress innovation and new-feature development.  With LibreOffice it is 
becoming a big problem.  Hopefully translators have been usign their own skills as producers of 
good quality work to modify and add to the in-built help.  In which case we need a translation back 
into English in order to update what we have.  

On the English User Support lists we have had lots of people grumble that they couldn't get 
LibreOffice to work and that the in-built help was useless, inadequate or even blatantly wrong or 
missing crucial features.  Many complained that it was typical of OpenSource that it had such bad 
documentation and was a reason they would prefer to go back to MS.  Once pointed to the published 
Guides they turned around completely, even ending up paying for guides published by the printing 
service at Lulu and becoming advocates encouraging others to use LibreOffice.  

Wiki's are great but quickly become quite difficult to find your way around even for longer-term 
users.  Also since they are often written by normal users instead of people skilled in producing 
good quality documentation we again run into difficulties.  Also it requires that people understand 
wiki-editing more than they understand how to write well.  

So i think that if we want good quality documentation then the focus for translators really needs 
to be on the published Guides.  

Notice that those published guides are generating a small profit for the documentation team.  Even 
though the guides are available for free from many sources people have still made a big effort to 
buy the professionally printed guides from the store at Lulu.  That happens enough that the docs 
team can more than cover the costs of getting the guides into other stores and a bit more for 
contingencies and other sundry costs.  

More importantly people see attractively and professionally printed guides in various place and 
that spreads the word about LibreOffice more.  

So i think it's important to stop placing such high priority on translating the in-built (outdated) 
help and make more of a push into translating the published guides.  

Regards from
Tom :) 

From: Zeki Bildirici <>
Cc: Jan Holesovsky <>;; LibreOffice-l10n 
Sent: Wednesday, 13 February 2013, 22:13
Subject: [libreoffice-l10n] Improving the usage of site


As we all know LibreOffice help is served in two ways; the locally
installed help package and online help at I
think we all accept that this huge help content is not used/preferred
by users. Personally i think that a huge percent of users even don't
know these resources.

Like ordinary computer users, we always start searching help from
Google. That should be accepted the usual and normal habit.

I think we can improve the usage of the help with improving the
existence of help and changing the habits of the users.

Currently online help wiki hosts 21 languages, which have almost
completed help translations. But i think it is not enough for all this
localization effort.

LibreOffice gives great importance on localization, and why we serve
less than this? There are 39 languages translated the help over %70.
This means a lot, and more for the users of this language. 18 language
will bring thousand of opportunities to get help, and fight discourage
about LibreOffice.

Not all of our local communities has a network, forum or other
platforms to serve and share the knowledge. Help content is a golden
mine for us. For example, we established our Turkish forum and we have
only a little info there, so Google cannot serve the answers from us,
but if our help content was uploaded, everything will be different.

I have some ideas to make the help content more efficient by changing
the habits of the users.

- Adding more languages to the wiki (over %70 completion or %50 will be better)
- Adding sharing widgets to wiki pages, which we may share useful
stuff in social media. There are usefull widgets for wikimedia * Personnally i am
thinking pick usefull info and share as tip of day in my twitter and
Google+ as the tip of day etc regularly when our language is added to
the site.
- Adding an info bar to and inform users
about the help site, which is the first source of self learning and
solving problems
- Blogging about both online help site and embed help to increase the
awareness about this sites in our own language.
- When helping people, kindly notify them that they may have abundant
info from this help
- Improve the landing pages from the users which have not yet
installed the help package
- A little polish (We had some in our Turkish wiki:

Sharing, blogging and giving links to help site will also improve the
Google Pagerank(currently 5 while MS office help site has 8) and that
will result better search resources.

We spent hours for creating and translating this help, whatever it is
thought to be very very outdated(i don't agree) as i said it has all
the stuff and it is a gold mine. We may serve and use it better i

Best regards,

PS: Michael, thats my ping for Kendy :)

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