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Hello everyone,

Le Sat, 30 Nov 2013 09:22:32 +0000,
Tom Davies <TomDavies04@Yahoo.Co.Uk> a écrit :

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.

Tom, you're making some good points above, but I think that we may not
be talking about the same thing. As a member of the marketing team, I
cannot just say that we should stop promoting the "product" or rather
the software as you rightly call it. I don't think we ever will. But
when we are pushing to advocate the community this strategy exists
because of specific goals and because we know that LibreOffice, as a
software and as a product, cannot be marketed as an off the shelf
product or even a "traditional"software. When you go down the path of
"productivising" a software that's open source and developed by a
community, you either do this because the software fulfills some very
specific needs and some very specific niche, or you don't, because just
like LibreOffice, you have twenty different kind of audiences, a whole
set of complex or simple features appealing to, well, pretty much the
entire planet, and that there can be no question of "product
positioning" because you simply don't have enough funds and because the
software caters to the needs of millions of people, businesses and

I've used some marketing terms here intently. But the point is  that we
have decided to shift the focus to community promotion, but not to
forget about promoting software, keeping in mind that 1) nobody reads
the release notes 2)the users' needs tend to be evolving over time 3)
the financial dept wants to use their macros 4) we won't engage in
endless pseudo marketing discussions such as "how should we position
LibreOffice"?  5) it should be a fun thing to do anyway. 

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.

Yes that's true. Open Standards are crucial; however, good luck
explaining this to the large majority of people who think a word
document is MS Word the software.

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.

Thanks for the nice words here but I think that it's probably more
complex than that; and I am not alone thinking we must do much more in
these geographies.

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.

Keep in mind, these must haves are evolving. I have had one guy from a
French Ministry telling me for years about macro compatibility and
overnight dumping that point in favor of  online collaboration....

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.

Yes and it also -supposedly- grows the community, therefore growing the
resources, etc. 

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!

Marco's points are in my own opinion not to be discarded as such.
However I believe that Marco mixes marketing and the strategy of an
ecosystem. Should we push for the format first? Only if the "we" in
that sentence is TDF + IBM + XYZ Government + ASF + Google + Mozilla
+.... anybody else. And then it ought to mean there are a budget,
communication campaigns, coordinators, business developers etc. Mind
you, it's expensive, but that's how you would do it, independently of
each entity's own software, therefore the Document Foundation, alone,
cannot do that as its sole mantra.. 



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


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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