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Hi :)
My thought is that we need to promote
1.  LibreOffice first
2.  other programs that can use the format as their native format
3.  the format
4.  the community
5.  the fact that even MS Office's most recent versions can read/write
the format too now
6.  ethical issues
In roughly that order.  I don't think people who need to write letters
are always particularly interested in anything other than just finding
a program that can do the job.

The marketing team have decided to promote the community as the
product that people "buy into" (for free) but i think a lot of people
will continue to see the product as being the program.  I think they
are going to confuse people with their current policy.

I don't think it's wrong to promote the community or the format but
from what i have seen people try the program first and then sometimes
find those other things are an extra benefit.

Promoting the format alone doesn't seem to work.  People have immense
trouble finding
File - "Save As ..."
It's tooo geeky for a lot of people.  They click on the Save button
and have no idea where it's being saved or what format it's in.
Windows hides the format for all file-types by default so very few
people understand anything about formats.

Promoting the software alone doesn't work either.  Although, to be
fair, it is going a LOT better under TDF than it went under Sun.  Sun
seemed reticent about promoting OOo in the USA, England and possibly
other countries that have English as the supposedly dominant language.
 Under TDF LibreOffice is becoming more widely known about.  Unlike
Sun, TDF is managing to get into fairly mainstream articles in fairly
mainstream press.  So it's really Sun's total lack of advertising and
promotion that had been holding OOo/LO/AOO back for the first decade.
Rather than choosing a wrong direction they chose NONE and that is
what led us nowhere.

As LibreOffice usage rises so does usage of the format.  But usage of
the format follows.  It doesn't lead the way.  Most of us started by
trying to stick with MS formats, perhaps even setting the defaults to
MS formats (i did that).  After a while each of us begins to realise
that it's not the optimum format and so we gradually change to keeping
originals in ODF and only using MS ones to share with outsiders.  Soon
we are going to be able to use ODF to share with outsiders.

Three years ago some people would write to this list or comment under
articles to say that LibreOffice didn't have something they wanted so
they would "have to" return to MS Office.  A tad irksome because we
would often find the functionality did exist or that same end-result
could be obtained by some more efficient route.  Those few people had
just found it easier to spend more time registering and writing a
grumble rather than bothering to spend any effort looking up how to do
the task.

Nowadays people write in to apologise that they have had to return to
OpenOffice or that they are going to try out Kingsoft Office (because
it has a ribbon-bar) or something else.  It's becoming very rare to
see people saying they have to return to MS Office.

To me that seems a very positive step in the right direction.  Once
people have been freed from MS it doesn't really matter which program
they are using or even which format they use.  It's only MS that makes
their own format so troublesome.  Step away from MS and suddenly
people have less trouble sharing with other people using any other
non-MS program.

So, when people claim to have trouble with LO about something it's
good to encourage them to use any of the many alternatives.  Just find
out what their main "must have" is and find something that does have
*  If their main "must have" a ribbon-bar then Kingsoft Office seems a
reasonable choice, apparently it's available for Gnu&Linux
*  If their "must have" is Cloud then Google-docs or Google-drive, or
whatever it is called now.  Note that Google are one of the supporters
of TDF and might even be on the Advisory Board
*  If their "must have" is that it works well on lower spec machines
then "Gnome Office" (AbiWord and/or Gnumeric).  Gnumeric is also a
good choice if they want a more powerful spreadsheet program than
*  Android and iThings are the only one  don't know of a good choice for yet
Most of those people will return to LibreOffice because it's better.
Some might wait until LO offers their "must have" or return when they
upgrade their machine.

So, i don't think we can lead by promoting the format alone.  I think
we have to promote on a few fronts at the same time.  Any good
tactician will know that attacking on more than one front at a time is
risky.  Promoting the community first is probably not a bad plan
because that leads to all the other issues quite neatly.

So Marco's personal beef with "continuing to promote the software
ahead of the format" kinda misses the point that we never really put
any effort into promoting the program.  Any such effort used to be
severely hampered by Sun.  Promoting the program does seem to have
worked a LOT better in the last 3 years than it worked in the
preceding decade.  We seem to be getting somewhere at last!
Regards from
Tom :)

On 30 November 2013 06:40, M. Fioretti <> wrote:
On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 21:57:50 PM +0000, Paolo Debortoli wrote:

hi. I work in a state school, using ms windows and ms office... i
think I know the policy of microsoft. I think they use a sort of
(apparent) programmed obsolescence for the software.

Hi Paolo, and... NO. Not the software. They use programmed
obsolescence for the FILE FORMAT, see

 why don't they change ? they don't know enough about LibreOffice;
 they would need demonstrations or some training

training to learn the different position of the same buttons and
functions is a waste of money, it's a shame that it is still
considered an option. The real training should be in other areas,
regardless of what software is used, see the post above.

 other software producers (autodesk) are doing similar things...
 schools are good marketing targets... ideas?

let's not waste other years promoting software before common formats.
Apart from that, thanks for mentioning Autodesk, excellent example of
the fact that MS is neither the only, nor the worst player of the
"proprietary format" game. THat is a very general issue.


M. Fioretti         

Your own civil rights and the quality of your life heavily depend on how
software is used *around* you

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