Houston, we have a problem.

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James Wilde James Wilde
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Houston, we have a problem.

I've been reading the comments on list vs forum, traffic problems and so on, and taking a look at the options available to users.  Why, I wondered, are so many questions that should be on [users] coming to [discuss]?  So I took a look at the options for user support.  It was when I was about to suggest that list moderators should be able to redirect list messages instead of just approve them, and then realised that list moderators only see about five out of every thousand messages, that I realised that it was a forum we needed, and began looking at LIbO's interface with the world.  And discovered what a mess, sorry, eight-armed octopus it has become, from the users' point of view.

This is what I found:

I'm a libreoffice user and I want help.  I test libreoffice.org and I'm redirected to documentfoundation.org.  Hello, who are these TDF guys and what do they have to do with my problem?  I want help with LibO, not TDF.  

Action point 1:  redirect TDF to LibO and not vice versa or have TDF as a 'corporate' site.

The Supporters page gives me a list of companies and individuals who think we're doing a great job, but nothing on how to fix my problem.

Action point 2:  Rename 'Supporters' to 'Admirers of what we're doing'.

On the TDF site as it is, I _may_ find my way to the Contribute page - not the most intuitive.  I want support, I'm not ready to contribute yet.  If I  stay on the Contribute page long enough,  I _may_ notice that there is a bunch of lists, and I _may_ go and take a look at those lists and discover, if I scroll a looong  way down that there is a Users list, which is for support.

Action point 3:  Rename 'Contribute' to 'Support'.  Move Users to the top of the lists list.  But see below.

There is also a forum.  How I'm going to find that there is a libreofficeforum.org I don't know.  Maybe it's referenced somewhere.  I think there was a link on the Contribute page, alongside the link to 'some lists'.  However, the forum address should be forum.libreoffice.org, so that one can get there from libreoffice.org, via a link at the top, saying Forum.

Action point 4:  Put a redirect on the libreoffice.org site to libreofficeforum.org.  Or better yet, sink libreofficeforum.org altogether, and use forum.libreoffice.org.

Now I have a lot of respect for Barbara Duprey, who is far and away better than I will ever be at helping users.  Barbara prefers a mailing list to a forum for non-technical users.  Unfortunately, I'm a technical user so I'm not typical, but I have to challenge her view on that.  I'm a member of a site for those who read e-books, and help there is via a forum.  If there's one place where technical illiterates could be considered to gather, it's on a site devoted to e-books. But the forum there functions well.  Another forum which works well - for writers, perhaps even more technically incompetent - is on the Scrivener site.

An advantage of a forum over a mailing list is that the moderators can move threads which land in the wrong place - like all these user questions in discuss, for example.

Another advantage of a forum over a mailing list is that I can come and do a quick search for my problem (which I can in the list archives also, of course) and then open a thread for my problem.  When I come back I just need to look at that thread - I can browse the others if I want, and that way I may get involved - and get my replies.  And when I've solved my problem, if I'm not interested in staying with the community, I just don't return until I have a new problem.  I don't have to unsubscribe, which, since I'm illiterate as well as technically illiterate, I can't see how to do from the lines at the bottom of the email.  So no 'help me unsubscribe' messages.

Action point 5:  Let the list system fade out, or at least move it down the priorities for user support.  I know there are people in here who live in the Unix world - I did myself once - and use text-only email readers, and who therefore prefer mailing lists, but ordinary users don't like them.  So keep and monitor the lists, but plug the forum.

Thanks for listening.  Now, Houston, help us get back to Earth.  :)

//James
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Stefan Weigel Stefan Weigel
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

Hi,

James Wilde schrieb:

> There is also a forum.  How I'm going to find that there is a libreofficeforum.org I don't know.  Maybe it's referenced somewhere.  I think there was a link on the Contribute page, alongside the link to 'some lists'.  However, the forum address should be forum.libreoffice.org, so that one can get there from libreoffice.org, via a link at the top, saying Forum.

Well, there have been doubts, if it makes sense to open yet another
forum, since the existing forums are all community driven and
support OOo and all of its derivates as well.

Stefan


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mordocai mordocai
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

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Stefan Weigel Stefan Weigel
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

Hi,

Chris Carpenter schrieb:

>> Well, there have been doubts, if it makes sense to open yet another
>> forum, since the existing forums are all community driven and support
>> OOo and all of its derivates as well.

> In this case, shouldn't there be links to these other forums?

Sure. But I think, this is work in progress, as it is for linking to
documentation and any other form of user support.

Generally, I assume the whole website thing is a temporary solution
and some people are working intensively on a CMS solution.

Stefan

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Paul A Norman Paul A Norman
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

Please, James is right - it is very very difficult as just a User to
find your way around - I've said it a couple of times, and it is
really really true.

Paul

On 18 October 2010 22:34, Stefan Weigel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Chris Carpenter schrieb:
>
>>> Well, there have been doubts, if it makes sense to open yet another
>>> forum, since the existing forums are all community driven and support
>>> OOo and all of its derivates as well.
>
>> In this case, shouldn't there be links to these other forums?
>
> Sure. But I think, this is work in progress, as it is for linking to
> documentation and any other form of user support.
>
> Generally, I assume the whole website thing is a temporary solution and some
> people are working intensively on a CMS solution.
>
> Stefan
>
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> unsubscribe
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> deleted
>
>

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Stefan Weigel Stefan Weigel
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

Hi,

Paul A Norman schrieb:
> Please, James is right

I didn´t say he´s wrong.

Stefan

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Charles Marcus Charles Marcus
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by James Wilde
On 2010-10-18 3:38 AM, James Wilde wrote:
> Action point 5:  Let the list system fade out, or at least move it
> down the priorities for user support.  I know there are people in
> here who live in the Unix world - I did myself once - and use
> text-only email readers, and who therefore prefer mailing lists, but
> ordinary users don't like them.  So keep and monitor the lists, but
> plug the forum.

Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
a decent mail list manager...

I believe that Mailman3 will support such a beast, but I haven't had
much luck finding anything other than a lot of threads about custom
plugins and such...

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Charles

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eskroni eskroni
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

Hi,

2010/10/18 Charles Marcus <[hidden email]>:

> On 2010-10-18 3:38 AM, James Wilde wrote:
>> Action point 5:  Let the list system fade out, or at least move it
>> down the priorities for user support.  I know there are people in
>> here who live in the Unix world - I did myself once - and use
>> text-only email readers, and who therefore prefer mailing lists, but
>> ordinary users don't like them.  So keep and monitor the lists, but
>> plug the forum.
>
> Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
> a decent mail list manager...
>
> I believe that Mailman3 will support such a beast, but I haven't had
> much luck finding anything other than a lot of threads about custom
> plugins and such...

yes, indeed, Mailman does support something like a
mailinglist-forum-bridge. I am also involved in the new Mageia
distribution and one of the participants there has for test purposes
created such a forum-mailinglist gateway. You can read his
introduction to the forum and the link to it in this email:
http://www.mail-archive.com/mageia-discuss@.../msg01602.html

I'm sure he would be willing to help out a bit - if asked nicely. ;)

Sigrid

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Charles Marcus Charles Marcus
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

On 2010-10-18 10:07 AM, Sigrid Carrera wrote:
> yes, indeed, Mailman does support something like a
> mailinglist-forum-bridge. I am also involved in the new Mageia
> distribution and one of the participants there has for test purposes
> created such a forum-mailinglist gateway. You can read his
> introduction to the forum and the link to it in this email:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/mageia-discuss@.../msg01602.html
>
> I'm sure he would be willing to help out a bit - if asked nicely. ;)

Looks interesting, thanks Sigrid... :)

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Charles

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James Wilde James Wilde
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by James Wilde
Someone suggested I move this to the website list, which seems to be the right place for it.  So I've done that.  Can we close it on this list?

//James

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ycor ycor
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by Paul A Norman
All of you folks that are "running this show" had better start thinking about what the USERS need's are, or pretty soon you are going to turn around and find that most of your users have left. I have been using OOo for almost as long as it has been available and have told many people about it. But right now I am TOTALLY CONFUSED ABOUT JUST EXACTLY WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, AND HOW of anything about OOo versus LibreOffice, or whatever the hell it is.
All concerns seem to be around the foundation, not the software and its users!!!! The TDF exists for the development of the software, AND the users of the software, and it really appears to me the folks running the TDF have completely lost sight of that!!! Practically everything on the TDF web page is about "people"; hardly anything there about the software and what is taking place as OOo moves to LibreOffice - I guess that is what is happening???
I am what I think would be referred to as a "typical user - someone who found an excellent Microsoft Office replacement and enjoys using it. And has been thankful for the assistance, fixes, and upgrades that have been available along the way. But, as I said, I am sitting here, out in the country outside a small town in Texas, and am totally confused about just where everything is!!!!
You folks need to "get all your Aggies in a row", and get back to supporting your users!!!
Roxy Robinson - a totally confused 68 year old user



Please, James is right - it is very very difficult as just a User to
find your way around - I've said it a couple of times, and it is
really really true.


Paul


On 18 October 2010 22:34, Stefan Weigel <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Chris Carpenter schrieb:
>
>>> Well, there have been doubts, if it makes sense to open yet another
>>> forum, since the existing forums are all community driven and support
>>> OOo and all of its derivates as well.
>
>> In this case, shouldn't there be links to these other forums?
>
> Sure. But I think, this is work in progress, as it is for linking to
> documentation and any other form of user support.
>
> Generally, I assume the whole website thing is a temporary solution and some
> people are working intensively on a CMS solution.
>
> Stefan
>
> --
> E-mail to [hidden email] for instructions on how to
> unsubscribe
> List archives are available at
> http://www.documentfoundation.org/lists/discuss/
> All messages you send to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be
> deleted
>
>


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Sveinn í Felli Sveinn í Felli
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by James Wilde
Hi

Þann mán 18.okt 2010 15:08, skrifaði Roxy Robinson:
> All of you folks that are "running this show" had better
> start thinking about what the USERS need's are, or pretty
> soon you are going to turn around and find that most of
> your users have left. I have been using OOo for almost as
> long as it has been available and have told many people
> about it. But right now I am TOTALLY CONFUSED ABOUT JUST
> EXACTLY WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, AND HOW of anything about
> OOo versus LibreOffice, or whatever the hell it is.

Please don't shout, we get the message.

Technically there are not yet any "normal" LibreOffice
users; there's not yet any "official" release, only a beta.

But I totally agree with the concerns about future layout of
user-services and feedback. These should be addressed
quickly and be in place before the official release, but
it's critical to organise those efforts to avoid duplicate
work and loss of focus.

I think there should be a dedicated LO-team for implementing
and organising help for users, working closely with other
teams like the documentation- and web/wiki-teams.
Maybe a sort of user-ombudsmen which would be in charge of
scrutinising things like web-navigation, UI-navigation,
helpcontent etc. - for the benefit of their clients; plain
users.

(maybe too dramatic here - sorry)

> All
> concerns seem to be around the foundation, not the
> software and its users!!!! The TDF exists for the
> development of the software, AND the users of the
> software, and it really appears to me the folks running
> the TDF have completely lost sight of that!!! Practically
> everything on the TDF web page is about "people"; hardly
> anything there about the software and what is taking
> place as OOo moves to LibreOffice - I guess that is what
> is happening??? I am what I think would be referred to as
> a "typical user - someone who found an excellent
> Microsoft Office replacement and enjoys using it. And has
> been thankful for the assistance, fixes, and upgrades
> that have been available along the way. But, as I said, I
> am sitting here, out in the country outside a small town
> in Texas, and am totally confused about just where
> everything is!!!! You folks need to "get all your Aggies
> in a row", and get back to supporting your users!!! Roxy
> Robinson - a totally confused 68 year old user

You just made it from being "a totally confused 68 year old
user" to being a participant in the project - thank you ;-)

> Please, James is right - it is very very difficult as
> just a User to find your way around - I've said it a
> couple of times, and it is really really true.

I think that it would be beneficial to launch a new thread
on user-services, navigation and user-feedback in order to
find a good structure and basic organisation. Even if things
like wikis have for nature to auto-organise themselves, a
good basic structure can speed up creation of their content.

Just some thoughts,

Sveinn í Felli

> Paul
>
>
> On 18 October 2010 22:34, Stefan
> Weigel<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> Chris Carpenter schrieb:
>>
>>>> Well, there have been doubts, if it makes sense to
>>>> open yet another forum, since the existing forums
>>>> are all community driven and support OOo and all of
>>>> its derivates as well.
>>
>>> In this case, shouldn't there be links to these other
>>> forums?
>>
>> Sure. But I think, this is work in progress, as it is
>> for linking to documentation and any other form of user
>> support.
>>
>> Generally, I assume the whole website thing is a
>> temporary solution and some people are working
>> intensively on a CMS solution.
>>
>> Stefan
>>
>> -- E-mail to [hidden email] for
>> instructions on how to unsubscribe List archives are
>> available at
>> http://www.documentfoundation.org/lists/discuss/ All
>> messages you send to this list will be publicly
>> archived and cannot be deleted
>>
>>
>
>
> -- E-mail to [hidden email] for
> instructions on how to unsubscribe List archives are
> available at
> http://www.documentfoundation.org/lists/discuss/ All
> messages you send to this list will be publicly archived
> and cannot be deleted
>
>
>


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marcpare4 marcpare4
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by eskroni
Le 2010-10-18 10:07, Sigrid Carrera a écrit :

> Hi,
>
> 2010/10/18 Charles Marcus<[hidden email]>:
>> On 2010-10-18 3:38 AM, James Wilde wrote:
>>> Action point 5:  Let the list system fade out, or at least move it
>>> down the priorities for user support.  I know there are people in
>>> here who live in the Unix world - I did myself once - and use
>>> text-only email readers, and who therefore prefer mailing lists, but
>>> ordinary users don't like them.  So keep and monitor the lists, but
>>> plug the forum.
>>
>> Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
>> a decent mail list manager...
>>
>> I believe that Mailman3 will support such a beast, but I haven't had
>> much luck finding anything other than a lot of threads about custom
>> plugins and such...
>
> yes, indeed, Mailman does support something like a
> mailinglist-forum-bridge. I am also involved in the new Mageia
> distribution and one of the participants there has for test purposes
> created such a forum-mailinglist gateway. You can read his
> introduction to the forum and the link to it in this email:
> http://www.mail-archive.com/mageia-discuss@.../msg01602.html
>
> I'm sure he would be willing to help out a bit - if asked nicely. ;)
>
> Sigrid
>

Thanks Sigrid, I was exactly going to recommend the same thing. I am
also part of the Mageia marketing team and a lot of the mailist/forums
problems are similar for both groups. It may be a good idea to "team up"
with the Mageia people who are in charge and compare notes just for the
sake of expediency.

Marc


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ycor ycor
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by James Wilde
"Please don't shout, we get the message."
If I had been shouting the entire message would have been all caps. I was using all caps for EMPHASIS!

"Technically there are not yet any "normal" LibreOffice users; there's not yet any "official" release, only a beta."
Is this not hoped to be a move of all the current OOo users to become users of LO? If so, then there is already millions of "normal users".

"But I totally agree with the concerns about future layout of user-services and feedback".
Rather than having an opening web page that seems to be mostly concerned with introducing people and their qualifications, missions and goals, there should be more information about what has taken place in regard to the WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, AND HOW of this move from OOo to LO. Are both continuing? It sounds that way in some of the discussions, with some members on both groups. There also needs to be more and better installation instructions. Does LO go over OOo? Do they install separately? Does the installation of LO create a directory within its installation called "program_old", like my last upgrade installation of OOo did? I believe the cart is out there, not before the horse, but completely without a horse!

"You just made it from being "a totally confused 68 year old user" to being a participant in the project - thank you ;-)"
I have participated in the project, off and on, every since the day I started using OOo about 9 years ago. But I AM still a "totally confused 68 year old user".
Roxy Robinson


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spaetz spaetz
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by Charles Marcus
On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 09:25:52 -0400, Charles Marcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
> a decent mail list manager...

The nabble forums are rather easy to integrate in a website and provide
seamless integration with a mailinglist. TDF mail archives are for
example here: http://unofficial-document-foundation-mail-archive.969070.n3.nabble.com/


Sebastian

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drewjensen drewjensen
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

On Mon, 2010-10-18 at 21:15 +0200, Sebastian Spaeth wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 09:25:52 -0400, Charles Marcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
> > a decent mail list manager...
>
> The nabble forums are rather easy to integrate in a website and provide
> seamless integration with a mailinglist. TDF mail archives are for
> example here: http://unofficial-document-foundation-mail-archive.969070.n3.nabble.com/

I have a bit of a mashup page started with the nabbel archives embedded
and google custom search box for the main site, the wiki and the mails -
just putting in a final search feature for the extended oo.o forums

The work in progress is found at

http://oucv.org/tdf.html

>
>
> Sebastian
>



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Document Foundation Mail Archives
Charles Marcus Charles Marcus
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by spaetz
On 2010-10-18 3:15 PM, Sebastian Spaeth wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 09:25:52 -0400, Charles Marcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Best would be to find some way to integrate a decent forum platform with
>> a decent mail list manager...
>
> The nabble forums are rather easy to integrate in a website and provide
> seamless integration with a mailinglist. TDF mail archives are for
> example here: http://unofficial-document-foundation-mail-archive.969070.n3.nabble.com/

Interesting...

Maybe this, along with some decent search capability - including some
pre-filters that the user could select, ie, 'Writer', 'Calc', etc, to
help them narrow their search, and lastly with some kind of automated
feedback mechanism for non-subscriber postings similar to how the nntp
gateway works (you post, you get an email confirmation, once you
confirm, you're allowed to post from that email address for a limited
time) would be the way to go...

Wish I could help with the heavy lifting, but sadly ianap...

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Charles

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Charles Marcus Charles Marcus
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by drewjensen
On 2010-10-18 3:20 PM, Drew Jensen wrote:
> I have a bit of a mashup page started with the nabbel archives embedded
> and google custom search box for the main site, the wiki and the mails -
> just putting in a final search feature for the extended oo.o forums
>
> The work in progress is found at
>
> http://oucv.org/tdf.html

Looks great Drew! :)

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Charles

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Robert Holtzman Robert Holtzman
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by James Wilde
On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 04:12:35PM +0000, Sveinn � Felli wrote:

     .........humongous snip..........

>
> I think that it would be beneficial to launch a new thread on
> user-services, navigation and user-feedback in order to find a good
> structure and basic organisation. Even if things like wikis have for
> nature to auto-organise themselves, a good basic structure can speed
> up creation of their content.

I thought there was a users list.

--
Bob Holtzman
Key ID: 8D549279
"If you think you're getting free lunch,
 check the price of the beer"

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Houston, we have a problem.

In reply to this post by ycor
Hi Roxy, all!

Am Montag, den 18.10.2010, 10:08 -0500 schrieb Roxy Robinson:
> All concerns seem to be around the foundation, not the software and
> its users!!!!

Short answer: Yes. And no.

Long answer ... The concerns are the foundation, the software and its
users. But how to satisfy user needs without software. How to develop
software on a broader basis without the new organizational model? One
fundamental issue of each project is "limited resources" - so you have
to focus, independent of the size of your team. One solution is to do
things step by step.

Our current aim is to create and to promote a solid platform for product
development as fast as possible. Without forgetting the other parties.
Like you :-)

Having everything in place, e.g. the new CMS based website, we can
easily share responsibility with those who want to develop a user
oriented structure of the website. And I'm part of that team, for sure.
Then, we'll be able to provide optimized web content for e.g.
libreoffice.org (that still shows the same content like
documentfoundation.org).

Until we have reached the corresponding sub-goal, we really rely on your
(user) support and your experience. Please guide users on mailing lists,
point them to blogs, or even slightly adapt the current website (please
announce it in advance).

Cheers,
Christoph

PS: I agree, that the current front page of the website is a mess :-)


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