LO help communities

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John Kaufmann John Kaufmann
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LO help communities

This is a meta-question about help for LibreOffice questions.

(1) LibreOffice has a comprehensive array of mailing lists <https://bn.libreoffice.org/get-help/mailing-lists/> @global.libreoffice.org, each of which seems to be reflected and archived in Nabble <http://document-foundation-mail-archive.969070.n3.nabble.com/LibreOffice-f1639495.html>. (This list <[hidden email]> is one of those lists.) That combination is a wonderful resource.

        In addition to global lists @global.libreoffice.org (all in English), there are dozens of local/regional/national lists @<xx>.libreoffice.org, which vary in scope and quality and lack the Nabble archive.

        Finally, there are global lists @documentfoundation.org, and a set of development and QA lists at freedesktop.org. These are all beyond the scope of my question here.

(2) There is another great resource, the AskLibO system <https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/>. It is less comprehensive in scope than the mailing list system @global.libreoffice.org, essentially covering the scope of this users list. It does so in 15 languages, but English has by far the most traffic, so is roughly equivalent to this list <[hidden email]>.


(a) With that context, here is my question, essentially comparing the communities in the mailing list <[hidden email]> and the AskLibO forum <https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/>: There are some really thoughtful people in both communities, but [with notable exceptions] most do not seem to mix from one to the other, though both communities cover the same scope of questions. It makes sense that people are not active in both places: there are limited hours in the day. But I'm never sure where is the best place to ask a use question, and at the same time would like to pay back something in the form of information to whichever community I use. How do others handle that issue?

(b) Having asked that question, I offer my own (incomplete) take on it: Because time is limited, a mailing list (or newsgroup) has an inherent push advantage over a web forum; you don't have to check into the forum to see questions. That's why AskLibO pushes a daily list of questions by mail, and you then follow the links in the mail. OTOH, the web forum is its own archive, which has advantages. Am I missing anything in the advantages of each?

(c) Having said that AskLibO pushes a daily list of questions/links, there is one additional fillip: When you contribute an answer to a question, you become part of a mailing list group for that question. When there is an update due to one or more new contributions, you get mail with a digest of the issue and a link to return to the question page -- which seems fair enough, except that the digest can contain comments that never make it onto the question page! So you can have someone answer a follow-up question or comment in the mailed digest, but only the answer, and not the question, is recorded on the question page! The result can be disorienting (hard to follow the thread), and of course gives an incomplete record of the discussion. Unfortunately, I don't even know who or how to ask about that (including how user comments or questions even get into the digest if they are not on the page!) in AskLibO. If anyone knows how that works, I would love some direction.

John

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Dave Howorth Dave Howorth
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Re: LO help communities

On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 03:17:38 -0500
John Kaufmann <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This is a meta-question about help for LibreOffice questions.
>
> (1) LibreOffice has a comprehensive array of mailing lists

[snip]

> (2) There is another great resource, the AskLibO system
> <https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/>.

[snip]

> (a) With that context, here is my question, essentially comparing the
> communities in the mailing list <[hidden email]> and
> the AskLibO forum <https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/>: There are some
> really thoughtful people in both communities, but [with notable
> exceptions] most do not seem to mix from one to the other, though
> both communities cover the same scope of questions. It makes sense
> that people are not active in both places: there are limited hours in
> the day. But I'm never sure where is the best place to ask a use
> question, and at the same time would like to pay back something in
> the form of information to whichever community I use. How do others
> handle that issue?

I can only speak for myself, although I suspect others also think
similarly. I prefer the medium of mailing lists to that of forums in
general. It may be to do with previous experience and age in general.
So I use mailing lists whenever they are available, and forums only if
I must. Hence I subscribe to this list, and ask questions here when I
need to and otherwise use a search engine to find relevant pages on the
web, which might include hits on the forums.

[snip]

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John Kaufmann John Kaufmann
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Re: LO help communities

On 2021-01-21 06:37, Dave Howorth wrote:

> On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 03:17:38 -0500 John Kaufmann wrote:
>
>> This is a meta-question about help for LibreOffice questions.
>>
>> (1) LibreOffice has a comprehensive array of mailing lists
>> ...
>> (2) There is another great resource, the AskLibO system
>> <https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/>.
>> ...
>> ... There are some really thoughtful people in both communities,
>> but [with notable exceptions] most do not seem to mix from one to
>> the other, though both communities cover the same scope of
>> questions. It makes sense that people are not active in both
>> places: there are limited hours in the day. But I'm never sure
>> where is the best place to ask a use question, and at the same time
>> would like to pay back something in the form of information to
>> whichever community I use. How do others handle that issue?
>
> I can only speak for myself, although I suspect others also think
> similarly. I prefer the medium of mailing lists to that of forums in
> general. It may be to do with previous experience and age in general.
> So I use mailing lists whenever they are available, and forums only if
> I must. Hence I subscribe to this list, and ask questions here when I
> need to and otherwise use a search engine to find relevant pages on the
> web, which might include hits on the forums.

That's certainly my inclination (likely for the same reasons) -- though both communities are so valuable that it almost seems that each deprives the other of excellent resources. Also, it's telling that it seemed easier to ask this meta-question in this mailing list rather than on the AskLibO forum. However, I guess the follow-on question, about the discrepancies between AskLibO's web-based questions and emailed question digests, will have to be put in that forum.

As I try to think about how to make best use of these resources, Thanks for your reply,
John

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