Le 2010-10-20 12:40, James Walker a écrit :
You know, my biggest thought is that if we want to get LibO into a more
widespread acceptance then we have to get into the Schools.
You tend to stick with what you learn first and that should be our
One great success of the open-software movement is Mozilla. When
Internet Explorer appeared, Netscape almost disappeared off the map.
Then slowly but surely it gained ground, especially when it became
Firefox. It is now not only the browser of geeks, but also a major
contender amongst browsers. If we want LibreOffice to become a major
contender and be in a similar position within a few years, I think there
are a few lessons that might be gained from that experience.
1. Make it easy to use, yet visually appealing. Plain vanilla Firefox is
already visually appealing out of the box (better than IE but not as
much as Chrome), and plenty of themes and personas help make it even
2. Make it fully compatible with what is around. It is relatively easy
with web browser: it works as long as the browser reads the page. For
Mozilla programmers, it does not make sense to say that something
doesn't work because "the page is not standard"; they have to bend over
backwards. Likewise, I think that people will embrace LibreOffice when
they are sure that their documents will be read without any formatting
surprize by their teachers who have Word. There is no point saying that
"your professor should download LibreOffice (or OpenOffice)": it's like
arguing with a police officer by the roadside (especially if you are
drunk...). And no, PDF is not the same!
Likewise, people have a large base of existing documents. I very often
rewrite technical documents using files that were made in the 1990s.
So true file compatibility to Office 2003 format and from Office 2003
and 2010 formats should be aimed as much as possible. When that happens,
LibreOffice will spread and eventually it will be the other way around:
Microsoft, Corel and Lotus will aim for true ODF file compatibility. But
we aren't there yet.
3. I think people are ready to learn a new interface if they feel it's
worthed. It has to be easier, more intuitive, or allow to do more
things, for example.
4. I have read often that modules in LibreOffice share a lot of code.
However, the user does not feel it. For example, headers in Calc don't
work the same way as headers in Writer.
5. On the other hand, is it necessary to keep the entire suite as a
suite? Would it be easier to develop modules separately, yet with tight
integration, a little bit like Firefox vs Thunderbird?
Montréal (Québec, Canada) -- http://mgagnon.net
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- [us-marketing] LibO in Education : lessons to learn from Firefox · Michel Gagnon
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