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Hi :)
Oops, yes i have re-read my post.  If you read it in a certain way then it does look like i 
suggested throwing away the resource but i would definitely disagree with doing that too.  

The guides are not perfect and from a few comments recently i kinda gather that they used to be 
really quite bad.  However, now they excellent and possibly the best out of all the documentation 
that is available for LibreOffice (some of the How-To videos and other things are nice too).  

I think it would be really great if 

1.  the various translation teams were able to generate some income for themselves

2.  physical, printed books were seen at stalls and conferences where LibreOffice has a presence.  

This would also help  show off that LibreOffice really is a global organisation and is available in 
and supported in many languages.  

If sundry costs are required to get the guides onto Lulu or if people in the translations teams 
have a good reason for needing the printed guides sent to them at cost (not free but just a much 
lower price) then the English/International Documentation list could easily help, or you could ask 
Friends of OpenDocument (or whatever they are called) directly.  They can probably help a lot with 
setting up infrastructure or with other resources that might be required to go this route.  

Regards from 

Tom :)  

From: Martin Srebotnjak <>
To: Tom Davies <> 
Cc: Zeki Bildirici <>; "" 
<>; Jan Holesovsky <>; "" 
<>; LibreOffice-l10n <> 
Sent: Thursday, 14 February 2013, 9:55
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-l10n] Improving the usage of site

Tom, I do not agree with you.

Slovenian team will not throw away the translated help nor will it
allow to throw away its translated help. We do not have a translated
user guide, but are working on it. And let me tell you, even the user
guide is not completely up-to-date.

Lp, m.

2013/2/14 Tom Davies <>:
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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