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Hi David, all,

thank you very much for this detailed description. It allows us to
understand your goals much better than in the past.

Sorry, that my reply can't be shorter...

David Nelson schrieb:
Hi Narayan, Wheatbix, Houbsi, guys, :-)



@Houbsi&  Narayan: I've listened to your ideas about design
approaches, with wireframes, etc, and I understand.

In basic, these thoughts have been mentioned here on the list for months
by other team members too.

Speaking personally, I don't really agree with your ideas about
having a minimum of content on the pages and most of
 the substance on the wiki.

That's your personal opinion, as you states.

But, I definitely encourage you to expand on your thoughts and ideas
 on your wiki user pages, and to do modelling work on the pumbaa
sandbox. [...]

But, for the moment, the website has been developed in a certain
direction, and I'd like to guide it through to a concluded state:
development of the "Why?" pages, the "Features" section and the
"About Us" section.

This direction is what you personally decided to be the right one. I
didn't read any comment supporting your text dependent approach here on
the list - quite the opposite.

At that time, LibO will have a decent website to fulfill needs for
the next few months, and those of you with those
radically-different, imaginative, creative visions can develop them
at leisure for presentation to the SC and community. I'll be pleased
to contribute in any way you want me to.

What I read here is nothing about visions, but actual needs to improve
the website. I don't see any reason to keep improvements away from the
main website, provided that the team agrees on the same direction.

One of the most difficult things in a project like this is
communications. Even with the best will in the world, and even with
the aid of tools like email, wikis, IM and voice chats, ideas often
fail to pass effectively and we don't end up at a general consensus.
Compromise and flexibility is needed from all of us.

Right! Please remember this, when you read on!


Everyone wants the project to go forward - but often in different

There comes a time when we have to choose one path and then all
contribute to it.


My humble proposal is this: I've played a leading role in *dragging*
the website in one particular direction. It was something that *had*
to be done at that time, IMHO. I'm not saying it's necessarily the
best, but it's already 80% on the road to its destination. I suggest
that we complete that work, so that the site is really in a final
v1.0 state.

Sorry, David, but this is exactly the wrong assumption.

We all are very thankful that you managed to create our website in such
a short period of time.

It was about providing content - and you did this in a great way.

But it was *not* a decision about the direction. From the very beginning
you've been told, that the page should have less text and more graphical

As I read now, you didn't think that this is the way to go, so you kept
on your way - allowing only a very few people to join.

Now we have an existing website - that still needs improvement, but
there are different ideas about the direction.

You want to have long pages with descriptive content - and additional
images to aerate it.

Nearly everybody else asked you to remove a good part of the text
content from the first and second level pages to attract people to stay
on our website and reach their area of interest by a few mouse clicks.

This is a decision that needs to be taken *now*!

If you feel you have support by this website team with your approach,
then go ahead. If not, it's up to you to find out if your way might be

Then, I suggest that we thoroughly explore all other possible
options via confcalls, wiki writing and modeling on the pumbaa server
until we arrive at a v2.0 SilverStripe website to offer to the SC for
 approval - something tangible, backed-up by written presentations
and proposals.

I strongly oppose.

We should define first the way to go, then work on the means to reach
our goals.

We had the problem of two teams working on different solutions for the
same area in the past - this led to less contribution to the main page.

I don't want to undergo this experience once more.

I know very well that the subject of Drupal is not gone from the
minds of several of you. Therefore, I suggest that, when v1.0 is at a finalized state, we should request the
SC to request Christian to set-up a Drupal sandbox on the pumbaa
server, in parallel to the SilverStripe sandbox. That way, you could
 thoroughly explore your ideas, and could experiment and model, and
build properly-working demos that can be shown to the SC, for
consideration, for whatever applications you imagine.

No - please don't set up several sandboxes at the moment. We need to
work on the live site.



For the "Why?" pages, I like Wheatbix's idea of concrete usage
examples for each marketing target category, and - speaking my own
view - I feel we should work on that. Me, I want to start by
re-working "Why for Home?" in that direction. But I'd see these as
being quite in-depth pages of maybe 500 words or more each.

As Italo already stated - this is not the way to go.

We have to address these target groups, but not with features and long
descriptions on the website (they'll never read on their first visit).

Our marketing project will have to create specific documents for
download where these decision makers will find the replies to their
detailed questions.

Website is only an entry point - make them curious, keep them interested
and lead them to the place where they can get the necessary information.

For the "Features" section, I see a set of sub-pages for each of the
key apps, providing deeper coverage of key features and
functionalities of that app. For instance, for Writer, styles, would
be one. For Base, we'd need deeper individual coverage of table
design, query design, form design and report design. And so on.

What you describe is a "Documentation" area. We can do this, but it is
(at least in my opinion) not something necessarily to be presented on
the website

Here a wiki is very reasonable - like the end-user dedicated
libreoffice-wiki we want to establish.

Linking from the website to the wiki, describing the applications and
features on hierarchical wiki pages (with detailed descriptions on third
level pages).

The website should point to the main features: What can we do with this
office suite - in short, descriptive words, supported by images.

The "new features" page is different: Here we present differences to the
previous version (and probably we'll move the previous "new features" to
the wiki for reference, when a new version is released).


The "About Us" section (I'm not sure if that is really the best name
for it) needs developing with content and pages about the community
and the governance. Some pages that come to mind, for me, are
"Credits", "LGPL license" and "Community Bylaws" (the latter needs
discussing with the SC first).

"Our Community", "The Document Foundation" - just a few thoughts...

We also need a page with LibO-related, user-downloadable graphics,
avatars and icons for people to use on their blogs and sites.
Personally, I'd like to see that page directly on the site, rather
than on the wiki. However, that supposes a thorough validation of the
graphics beforehand by Design.


I'm certain that there's other interesting content we can have in
the "About Us" section that I haven't even thought of yet. Ideas

Most of those pages are forcibly going to contain quite a bit of

Descriptions can be short and link to more detailed pages (wiki?).
License, Credits and Bylaws are texts that can't be reduced.

and will need a lot of collaboration with Ivan and Christoph.
Houbsi, as you suggested, maybe we can get Paulo involved with
graphic production, too?

I don't think that we need to contact single persons directly: Just
include the Design Team - all the people you mentions are there,
together with others who might be helpful too.

Personally, I don't like the idea of burying content deeper in the
IA than necessary, nor of sending the visitor off the site to the
wiki (except for particular, frequently-updated content). Every
additional click is a risk of losing the surfer's attention.

Right - but every longer text is an even higher risk.

What you can't see during the first seconds, you'll never see, if you
are not highly interested. The trick is to raise the surfers interest -
I don't know if scrolling or clicking is worse.

And the wiki is not a facility designed to market the product, it's
an auxiliary information base and a brain-storming area.

This is highly dependent on the content and the way it is presented.

I still think it is possible to integrate website and wiki better than


And, speaking personally, I think it's important to have plenty of
written content on the site.

As mentioned earlier, this is your personal opinion - shared by whom?

Proper coverage of some subjects necessarily involves a certain
amount of writing. If you don't provide the information, where can
people find it?

In documentation? On the Wiki? Depending on the kind of question in FAQ?

There are plenty of possibilities to provide information. The website
needs to point there, not to cover all aspects directly.

[...] The LibreOffice site is the key source of knowledge and
information about the LibreOffice product and community.

I think, here is the main difference between your opinion and the
position of many other web team members:

We don't need to provide all the information on the website.

The website is the entry point for curious newcomers, possible and
actual users and contributors. It's not the only resource for interested

We don't have continual, collateral, reliable media coverage to
educate people about the project.

I'm quite sure that our Marketing Team is working on this area.

So all the info has to be there on our site, to enlighten new
visitors/users, and to dispell incorrect perceptions and

No - at least this is not necessary on the main and second level webpages.

Of course we need to present this information to people interested in a
certain topic - and we have to guide them there on a short way.

But this is not the primary goal of the website.

That's why, in my *humble* opinion, we *do* need a certain amount of
"text, text, text". :-D

The primary goal is to interest people, to satisfy their curiosity, to
lead possible users and community members to their areas of interest.

Therefore we need a visually approaching and professionally looking website.

This can't be done with such an amount of text on the most visible pages.

However, we really need to get Ivan or other Design team guy closely
involved in working on the presentation of the existing pages and
text (some slight adaptations will undoubtedly be necessary). We
need graphics, and widespread use of the photo-shuffler.

Adding graphics to the existing pages only make them even longer.

Any lighter page would need to be structured differently.

As Narayan already said, some of the textual content could be moved to
the wiki or a third navigation level.

We didn't want to add a third level on our website, but I don't know if
this is possible.

Perhaps a working compromise could be a strict distinction between a
short navigational area at the top of the pages and the textual content
below, reachable via links and scrolling (like most of the FAQ pages I

This would lead to a clean and visually appealing page at the first
sight, where all the important information can be noticed and reached in
a few seconds. Following the provided links or scrolling down would lead
to the longer descriptions and detailed information.

If possible, I'd like Ivan to get actively involved in working on
re-presenting many pages. The "New Features" page is an urgent case.

So don't involve Ivan only. His task is coordination and guidance.

Let others work on the site too.

But first we need to define the way to go with the entire website.

My impression is that you are the only one proposing a mainly text based website.

As long as you don't allow to change this main direction - even if this question has been raised by many team members - this mailing list will always suffer from too many discussions and too less real contribution.

Best regards


PS: Feel free to add as many smileys as you want to this mail - it is not meant to blame you for any development here or to reduce your great work on the website.

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