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Hi, aqualung,

On 4/9/11 10:17 PM, aqualung wrote:
Ken (and Robert),

Ken Springer wrote:

If you think finding Nabble and other help in the Libre Office site is
hard, try Mozilla!!  Horrendous!l  Great eye candy, but not particularly
functional for finding help.

True indeed. That's why Mozillazine , a
volunteer effort, sprung up and is thriving with millions of posts and
hundreds of thousands of users.

I just learned about Mozillazine within the last two weeks, but haven't had the time to check it out.

But my observation is this... If users have to resort to a help system that is outside of Mozilla, Libre Office, Microsoft, or any other organization's help system, such as Google or as I do for Microsoft help, there is something wrong with the organization's help system. The organization should have the premier help system.

If Libre Office goes to a forum format, I'm outta here.  Forums are
resource hungry and slow.
Big forums require dedicated servers, that is true. For people browsing
there, they are fast and simple to use.

Ah, the difficulties of conveying meaning and a message in words alone. Doesn't always work well. LOL

It's my belief that at the provider's end, there's serious investment in hardware resources regardless of a newsgroup, forum, mailing list, etc. I actually meant, resource hungry and slow at the user's end. In the case of the forum format, the same data can be downloaded again and again and again, yet gives me no new information but takes up more of my time.

I would take issue that forums are fast and easy to use, but if we wish to discuss the pros and cons of how to actually deliver the help, we probably should start a new thread. :-)

I read the LO mailing list via Gmane. If it wasn't for that option, I wouldn't be here.

  To me, forums assume the user is to stupid or ignorant to master
With respect, Ken, that statement to me indicates an insular mindset. You
may be a "geek" (not intended as an insult) and go back to the early days of
Usenet, but the majority of people on the Internet  are not.

There was no hint of offense at my end, in fact, I somehow feel complimented. Thank you.

But I do not consider myself a geek at all. And I harken back to my earlier statement regarding writing. Not only did I miss my own grammatical error during proofreading, "to" instead of "too", a better choice of descriptors would have been "uneducated". How can any product or system be used effectively if the user does not know of the product or system, or how to use it?

I have maintained for years the big problem is not the hardware or software, it's the lack of education available to the user and new user. It used to be that vendors gave the new user manuals that had information in it that actually had almost all of the answers. Now, manuals, if they even exist, are barely quick start guides.

Case in point: The OOo user guide for v. 3. The Writer portion is about 1/5th the size of the manual for WordPerfect 4.0 for Atari, yet Writer has untold more power and abilities than WP 4.0.

Manuals, and I mean *good* manuals, are the "keys to the city'. That is where I learned what I know about computers and software.

It is not very
productive to label them as stupid or ignorant if forums are what they
prefer. Ubuntu  and
Linux Mint , to give two more examples, have embraced forums and met with an
enthusiastic response.

Devil's Advocate position: Shouldn't we be asking *why* they choose forums over newsgroups. As I mentioned earlier, how do we know these users even know newsgroups exist? If they don't know about it, they certainly won't choose to use it.

My recommendation would be for The Document Foundation and LibreOffice to
approach the OOo volunteer
forum  to discuss collaboration. It is popular, well maintained, the
moderators and volunteers are for the most part helpful and knowledgeable,
and there is no need in my opinion to re-invent the wheel. (Of course, such
steps may already be going on behind the scenes that we don't yet know

I think that's a great idea. IMO, a lot of the new software you see today, such as email clients, don't necessary add new power to the software, just more eye candy. I'm using Thunderbird 3.1.9 for this newsgroup, but a 10 year old version of MS Outlook has more options for use at the core than TB.

I would further add to your suggestion that as many of the developers of other versions of the basic OOo core be asked to join.

But I'm sure the "fight" would develop over the method of delivering the help, be it a newsgroup, mailing list, forum, ad nauseum. I'm actually dumbfounded as to why a single database couldn't be developed, and the give the user the choice of all visual formats that makes it easiest for each individual user. I could access via a newsgroup type interface, you could use a forum, Robert could use a mailing list.

In the final scheme of things, if a product's end user is not happy, he or she will go somewhere else.



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