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Hello Paul,

Le 01.10.2014 00:55, Paul a écrit :
Hi Charles,

On Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:32:53 +0200
"Charles-H. Schulz" <> wrote:

Hello Paul

On 30 septembre 2014 15:38:26 CEST, Paul <>
>Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...
>On Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:54:58 +0200
>"Charles-H. Schulz" <> wrote:
>> Le 30.09.2014 13:26, Tanstaafl a écrit :
>> > On 9/29/2014 2:55 PM, Tom Davies <> wrote:
>> >> Yes, "Fresh" is stable but because it's had new features added
>> >> we can expect to find that some things that don't so well in
>> >> "Fresh" and yet still
>> >> find that they work perfectly fine in "Still".
>> >>
>> >> To many of us that all sounds like a lot of politicians, or
>> >> marketing, double-speak.
>> >
>> > Agreed.
>> >
>> > Why for criminy's sake reinvent these terms using such
>> > nonsensical words?
>> >
>> > Just use *estabalished* terms, aka Debian...
>> >
>> > Stable (Still). Testing (Fresh). Unstable (Development).
>> >
>> > This is really just a ridiculous state of affairs.
>> I am sorry to say this, but what is ridiculous here is the
>> inability of some to even understand what is being discussed.
>I'm afraid, Charles, that this applies to you too. Everyone seems to
>be talking at cross-purposes.
>> Fresh is not testing. It has never been "testing".
>And yet, from the perspective of the terminology many, many people
>are used to from so very many other >projects, it *is* the testing

While several other projects use this system not all of them do. Are
you baffled at Firefox three release channels that has one long term
support another similar to our Fresh branch and a true testing one?

I don't see these on the Firefox site, I see Firefox, Firefox Beta and
Firefox Aurora, and these seem to have a passable explanation. I would
have liked a slightly better, or more in-depth one, but at least I do
get an idea of what each is for. But the use of the name Beta makes
that one clear, and Aurora explains that it is in an unstable
state, so all makes sense.

For you it is maybe, not for others. For instance, if you put this:
and that:

in perspective, some here are going to go into overdrive, as they will not be able to see the difference between the Firefox "standard" channel and the ESR. Then, they will say, "OMG, it means Firefox is not stable, because there's an ESR that is obviously stable, which means Firefox = Firefox Beta, so what does it mean? Are you crazy?".

Pun aside, this is the kind of talk that's been going for some years and while I do not claim that the name or labeling of our branch is perfect or has been perfect in the past, I do note the unspoken assumptions that involve ignorance, deep misunderstanding, mixing of different concepts (distributions, QA stage, branches, and al.) Of course I do note the need for a better explanation as well and I think we agree on this, but while it may not be up to the users to understand what a distribution or a branch is technology-wise, some people here have ensured they would be confused to hell with these notions.

For instance, automatically assuming that our most recent branch is unstable involves an intellectual choice, a labeling of a branch and a peremptory judgement when it is not based on facts and at least some basic knowledge of the system, the basic knowledge being not only readily accessible but having been explained time and over again. If one keeps saying that this branch is unstable or that two branches are confusing, it will also create a self-fulfilling prophecy or at least set a discussion framework that will bend towards these values and judgements. I have rarely seen - and must commend you for being one of the only few having a different attitude- an actual attempt to positively qualify the two branches. I have read one recent post that was proposing to insert, if I got this right, the notion of "RISK". "RISK"? really? Why automatically assume danger? Have you lost content with any of the two branches of LibreOffice ? Were you able to recover it? How frequent was your data loss? I dare to presume not a lot of people experienced that (and for the ones who ever did, it is needless to say that I'm sorry they did experience that, btw), and as such, there is no "RISK", there is no danger, there is no adventure or wild card to be played. Unfortunately again, that is the kind of thing that has circulated on this mailing list for quite some time. I'm sure we can explain things better, but I'm also sure a few people with regular roles here could be willing to understand things better.

Call me callous but this perspective has been encouraged here on this
list for some years so I actually think that while nothing is
perfect, far from that, there is a magnifying glass on the matter

Yes, I'm sure there is. And worth noting.

Where I disagree with you is that there are people who think that
fresh is unstable and not even a testing branch... but so be it.

I'm not sure exactly what you are saying? Are you saying you don't
think that there are people that think that "Fresh" is unstable? I'm
not saying I think people think "Fresh" is unstable, I'm saying there
is confusion created by the naming. People don't know *what* "Fresh"
is. That's a bad thing. Some probably do think that "Fresh" is
unstable. Some probably don't, but then are left to wonder what
"Still" is. The naming leads to confusion. That really is my
main point.

I know, my point was that the Fresh branch for some is just a bit less tested than the Still one. Others think it is our testing branch, and yet others here believe it is an unstable branch.

>Even if that isn't a true representation of the actual state of
>affairs, people are used to thinking in those terms, and the current
>state of affairs doesn't prevent that, it only confuses people as
>they try to work out which branch is the "testing" branch and which
>is the "stable" branch, because those are the terms they are used to
>and expecting.
>Just changing terminology doesn't help people, only clear
>explanations would, and you don't need to change terminology for
>that. If you didn't change terminology, and had clear explanations,
>it is debatable if it would be better or worse than changed
>terminology and clear explanations, but either state would be so
>many leagues ahead of changed terminology and no explanations, as it
>is now, that it is baffling as to why those in charge are fighting
>so adamantly to keep things as they are. Never mind changing the
>terminology again, who do they still insist on not putting any
>explanations on the website?

Paul my stance has not changed. No one refuses to do anything. I
simply do not have the time and I am just a volunteer. People on this
list think they can just demand something and it will happen. It does
not work that way. We are a community and if you want to fix
something, by all means go ahead.

I'm glad to hear that no one is refusing to do it. I'm glad to hear
that it is valued. And I'm not demanding anything other than
acknowledgment of the fact that the current terminology leaves something
to be desired and needs some better explanations.

oh believe me, we are takers of help and volunteers, and improvements of all kind all the time. We really are.

So far I have heard a lot of defense of the current terminology, but
most of it has been to point out that the alternatives are not better
(a debatable point), very little has been to point out why the current
terminology is any good. And very little has been said about any other
considerations, like the need for better explanation. If someone had
said "We like the terminology for these [listed] reasons, but you who
disagree are right that clearer explanations are needed", I would have
been quite happy to wait for it to happen.

To be fair, it is true that these reasons have not been laid out here, on this list, and that the discussion was taking place involving lots of contributors but on our private, PR - focused list. Hence not much was discussed here but then again, this is the users list, not any team-based list.

In point of fact I had no idea that you were the one who needed to
make the changes to the website (or if not the one, at least one of the
ones who could). I was not aware I could do it myself. Yes, this is a
community, but I assumed that there would be at least some rudimentary
security keeping the maintenance of the website to a trusted few (the
marketing team, say), of whom I am at this stage not part.

We do have security in place and it's not like you can go ahead and change everything, obviously the infrastructure team takes things in stages, but the principle is that if people want to help, they can help. This happens mostly with our worldwide contributors, aka the native-lang teams, who localize and adapt the website for their own communities. We don't really ask them for IDs or anything.

Also, I
would assume that there was more than one person with this power, and
that between all of them, someone would have had the time by now, given
how high a priority this should have been.

There is more than one person of course, but even these are very busy even when being full time on the project. We are blessed with many contributors but this project is also very big.

I fully understand that you don't have the time, and appreciate the
fact, but not having the time is different to not wanting to make the
change. That you have admitted that the change should happen is
good, now we just need to work out the details of actually making it

The explanation you are alluding to is on my todo list but I have
several other items before that. And I am glad if people can help,
which in this case start by either using our Redmine to define the
contents and introducing oneself on the website mailing list.

Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Redmine site. Can you provide a link?
Equally, I am not sure I have the time for this, nor that I am the best
person to word such an explanation, but I can give it a go, and
either access the Redmine site as you suggest, or at the least post it
here for discussion and use by whomever does the actual edits, which
should make their life easier.

Sure. It's actually useful to point to all these links. So we have our "RedMine" which is the name of the specific platform we work on for many projects, everyone can access it although some parts require specific credentials: . Then of course we have the wiki, ; we even have pads, aka collaborative editing spaces, here: and a file repository geared towards internal use, . For what it's worth, all except the RedMine are directly accessible from the LibreOffice homepage.

>> If you want
>> testing, test betas, or release candidates. We have these for both
>> branches, so let me rephrase this so to make it clear for
>> everyone :
>> Fresh branch
>> (x.y.0, x.y.1 , etc.)
>> for each of these versions, we have several betas and release
>> candidates.
>> This means that testing has happened already on betas and release
>> candidates for each version of the fresh branch.
>> Still branch
>> (w.x.4, w.x.5, w.x.6)
>> for each of these versions, we have several betas and release
>> candidates.
>> This means that testing has happened already on betas and release
>> candidates for each version of the fresh branch.
>A good (for us, at least) explanation, but again, why are we the only
>ones getting it, and not the public at >large?

Actually you do because that part (at least) is on the website

Really? I don't see it. When I go to the LO site, I see a big banner
with "Download Now", and clicking that takes me to the download page
for "Fresh", which doesn't state anything like that. And I don't see
any link to an "About Our Versions" page. Can you tell me where exactly
I can see that?

hmm, click on download, a submenu (dark grey) appears, there is the Fresh, the Still, and a few other entries, one of them being "Development Versions". Click on that link. We don't push them here as we believe our users should only use stable branches, although I feel this could change.

Also, I think a slightly more in-depth explanation is needed for the
general public.

>> Cor made a very good point earlier. He highlighted the importance
>> of finding a proper way to clarify this, but not wasting our time
>> in proposing other terms who will never be liked by everyone
>> anyway. Let me encourage all those who pretend to actually have an
>> opinion or who think the Illuminati are leading the LibreOffice
>> project to focus on helping rather than complaining.
>Some of us have, but have been pointedly ignored. Why is this?

See my comment on contributing above.

>As I have said before, put clear explanations on the website. Without
>that, no change in terminology will *ever* be adequate. And this
>really shouldn't be hard to do. And should be a priority.

I think you took this as an imperative. Please understand that it was
meant not as an order, but as an explanation of what, in my opinion,
needs to be done to give your arguments any credit.

Never tell a volunteer what to do. It does not work. I know there is
no malice in what you are expressing but this point is important. I
have a dayjob, a family, hobbies and other tasks and roles inside
LibreOffice. And I am not the only one.

As I explained above, I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. You
are defending a position that many on this list are arguing against,
without much of an argument that I can see. I have said that for my
part I feel the problem lies in the fact that there are no clear
explanations, and that this should be the number one goal, and any
discussion of the exact terminology is less important than that single
fact. A middle-ground if you will. And a reasonable one, I feel. I am
not requiring that anybody do anything. If you disagree with my point,
fine, say so and explain why. But to continue to argue without
addressing what seems to be the main concern of those arguing against
you seems to be pointless, in my opinion.

Fair enough, although the present thread entertained by the usual suspects here, with the same arguments as well ;-)

As I said above, it is not simply that no-one has taken the time to do
this that concerns me, it is that it has been ignored that concerned me.

But you are right in pointing out that now that it is agreed it is an
important step, I can either accept that it will have to wait until
someone has the time to attend to it, or I can pitch in and help.

Exactly, and I thank you for phrasing clearly the options available.

is a community, and all offers of assistance are welcome. I am happy
with that. A situation that is bad and everybody agrees is bad is far
less of a problem to me than one that is bad but those in charge (at
least nominally) refuse to see as bad.

=== SNIP===

As always, I hope only to add to a constructive solution to the
problem. I do feel like here we have finally made some progress. Those
that feel the terminology is bad must surely feel it is less of a
problem once it has a clear explanation.

And my respect to Charles, Sophie, Tom, and all that have kept this
conversation civil and constructive.

Thank you as well!



Kind regards

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