Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

Much-delayed detailed responses to some of David's workflow
suggestions are interleaved below in his note. I may respond to others
in a separate note. --Jean

On Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 3:42 AM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> OK, the workflow we originally set-up on Alfresco...
> The doc start in the "Drafts" folder. A considered-ready
> draft gets approved and goes forward to the "Review" folder. A
> reviewer proofreads it, and either it gets approved and gets moved
> forward to the "Publish" folder, or it gets rejected and goes back to
> "Drafts".

IMO it is better for reviewer and editors to do their work (using LO's
change tracking tools) and then let the author (or someone else)
review those edits and comments and accept/reject them individually
before approving the doc and moving it to the Publish folder. We
typically do that all within the Feedback folder, though it could be
done by returning to Drafts.

I mention this because in this case, as with some other suggestions
you've made, the workflow concepts of what we are doing (write,
review, edit, publish) are getting mixed up with how to handle the
workflow within the tool (Alfresco).


> The act of approval or rejection (it wasn't always actually
> used) was to click on one of two menu options in the right-hand menu
> that appears when your mouse pointer hovers over the document. The
> result was that Alfresco would move the document to one folder or the
> other.

That's fine with me, and in fact I quite like that process.


> When the doc actually lands in the Publish folder, the bells sound and
> the doc gets published.
>
> This is a manual process... [details snipped]
>
> Questions: Is there a real need for more than Draft/Review/Publish
> folders? What is the real value of the Feedback folder? Could we
> usefully just eliminate it and simplify things?

The Feedback folder is used as a place for members of the Docs team to
submit docs they have reviewed or edited as part of our normal
process. "Feedback" probably isn't the best name for it; "Review" is
probably better. The purpose is the same.


> Question: The workflow described on the wiki involves 4 roles -
> Writer, Reviewer, Editor, Publisher. Could we usefully simplify that
> to Writer and Reviewer? Editor and Publisher could potentially be
> eliminated, because of my file-naming suggestion below.


At ODFAuthors, in the English team we have two roles within the
software itself: "Author" and "Manager". "Authors" have the authority
to write, review, edit, publish. Within the conceptual *workflow*
(that is, what people do, separate from what the software does),
however, we distinguish between writing, reviewing, editing, and
publishing roles. [Aside: some language groups may do this
differently.]

>
> Suggestion: On Alfresco, you could usefully revise the file-naming
> conventions. Keep the conventions as regards the title of the manual.
> But remove the version info from the filename.  Instead, decide what
> fields you want to have in the meta data of each file, and store the
> version info in there only. The advantages I'd see are discussed
> below.
> [...]
>
> Possible different solution
> ===================
>
> Have 2 folders for each manual: "Work-in-progress" and "Published".
>
> All work gets done on the file in "Work-in-progress" and there is only
> ever one file for each chapter of a manual in the "Work-in-progress"
> folder.
>
> Alfresco's versioning system updates the version number of the file
> each time someone uploads some work done (via "Upload new version"
> under "More..."). One can easily roll back to a previous version
> number if necessary, or download an old version number if desired.
>
> Each worker enters a comment in the Alfresco comment box when
> uploading, stating the work done (and/or in a comment field in the
> document meta data).

This is over-simplified and will probably cause workers to lose track
of what they should be doing. See comments elsewhere in this note.
Although, a variation using sub-folders under Word-in-progress for
drafts, reviewed, and edited could work.


> The same file is used even when work starts on updating a chapter to
> take account of a new version of LibreOffice. In this case, the
> LibreOffice version number is updated by a team member in the file's
> meta data. You don't have to worry about incrementing any file version
> number in the meta data, because Alfresco is handling the version
> numbering.


We need to create chapter and book files for new each version of LO
with new filenames, not just in the metadata. This because we keep
files for more than one version of LO on the wiki, and those files
must have different names.

> When the file is finally publication-ready, one uploads it ("Upload
> new version" in "More...") as a new version of a file of the same name
> already existing in the "Published" folder.

Only for updates (corrections) to existing published chapters.

> That existing file is
> already linked-to on the wiki and on libreoffice.org (the link comes
> from the public browser on http://media.libreoffice.org), so there is
> nothing to update and no further action is necessary (except
> generating a new PDF file for the entire manual).


No. See above.


> The same naming simplification for PDF files would eliminate the same
> wiki/libreoffice.org drudgery as for the ODT files.


Related thought:
I use the date and initials on files that are works in progress to
track them on my own computer as well as to get a quick overview of
who has changed a file and when -- without having to consult the
metadata.

I find this extremely convenient and simple. While I can go back to
Alfresco and download an older version of a file if I want it (or look
in the metadata to see when and by whom it was changed), in most cases
that is a nuisance compared to having it on my own computer with the
info in the filename.

That said, I appreciate that Alfresco is more convenient to use with
one unchanging file name for each version of LO. I can manually change
filenames upon download if that makes the whole process easier for
everyone.

I would like to know if others find the date-and-initials file
suffixes useful or if they are irrelevant to the way you work.

>
> On the wiki page, eliminate the publication dates (removing more
> arduous manual work). Don't most people just want to download the
> latest available version? One can always just post on the blog when
> one publishes a new version, if one wants to.


Users have specifically requested dates on the wiki page, so they can
easily see whether there is a new version (update) of a chapter or
book that they might already have a copy of. They won't go trawling
through the blog (if they are even aware of the blog) to find out
whether something new has been posted.


>
> Possible further simplification
> ======================
>
> Just publish PDF files as the final deliverable to the public - one
> PDF file for each manual.

Providing chapter files, not just the full manual, is IMO a service to users.

>
> Personally, I *never* consume documentation in .odt form, I *always*
> prefer an entire manual in one PDF file. For me, a .odt file is a
> working medium not a consumption medium.


Others may wish to use .ODT files for easier amendment, translation,
etc. We have to produce them before creating the PDFs, so why not make
them available to the public? (Other than a bit of extra uploading on
our part.)

>
> A PDF file can be opened on almost any computing device. A .odt file
> specifically requires LibreOffice to be installed.

No, it doesn't. It can be opened in other programs that users might
have. However, that is IMO irrelevant. Let people choose what is best
for them.

Another suggestion that has been made is to produce and provide hybrid
PDFs, which can be opened in LO for editing or in a PDF reader for
viewing. I would not consider these to be a substitute for providing
ODTs for those who want them, and I am a bit reluctant to create
hybrid PDFs because of the increased file size. I am acutely aware of
the problems some people have, if they are on dial-up, a slow
"broadband" connection, or an expensive connection such as mobile
devices sucking data off a 3G/4G connection.

--Jean

> Conclusion
> ========
>
> OK, I think I've covered everything that comes to mind right at this
> moment, but I'm trying to find ways to reduce the workload and to
> simplify contribution, as this will take weight off current team
> members and possibly encourage more people to volunteer.
>
> Responses and counter-suggestions?
>
> --
> David Nelson

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

I'm busy for the next few hours, but I'll reply as soon as I get
through with this job.

--
David Nelson

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On 23/08/2012, at 21:45, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> We need to create chapter and book files for new each version of LO
>> with new filenames, not just in the metadata. This because we keep
>> files for more than one version of LO on the wiki, and those files
>> must have different names.
>
> Not so, in fact: the idea would be not to have different files but to
> use the separate links that Alfresco would provide, that link to
> different versions of the same file.
>
> --
> David Nelson


You mean, not store the files on the wiki? But only on Alfresco, with links from the wiki?

How are people who download a file going to know which version of LO it's for, without opening the file? Or previewing it in some way? I hate that when other programs provide files I cannot readily identify.

I can think of other scenarios where not having different filenames corresponding to LO versions would cause confusion. I cannot think of any advantages.

--Jean
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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On 23/08/2012, at 21:53, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Users have specifically requested dates on the wiki page, so they can
>> easily see whether there is a new version (update) of a chapter or
>> book that they might already have a copy of. They won't go trawling
>> through the blog (if they are even aware of the blog) to find out
>> whether something new has been posted.
>
> If you were to use http://media.libreoffice.org as the download point
> for documentation, then all the dates and other information could be
> automatically extracted from the file's meta data, which would do away
> with the need for manual updating of that information.
>
> However, that would not work with http://libreoffice.org or the Docs
> section of http://wiki.documentfoundation.org, as - AFAIK - they do
> not incorporate the ability to extract and display document meta data.
>
> --
> David Nelson


I'll take a closer look at media.LO.org. Two questions:
1) Can it be set to show only published files to people who are not logged in?
2) how would that work for your preferred method not changing filenames for different LO versions? Seems to me this is an argument for different filenames.

Jean
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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On 23/08/2012, at 22:41, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> That said, I appreciate that Alfresco is more convenient to use with
>> one unchanging file name for each version of LO. I can manually change
>> filenames upon download if that makes the whole process easier for
>> everyone.
>
> It's not really a question of keeping one unchanging file name to suit
> working with Alfresco. The advantage is that one would take advantage
> of Alfresco's file versioning to:
>
> a) avoid having to update download links on http://libreoffice.org and the wiki;
>
> b) avoid the need to keep different files containing different
> versions of the same document. The versioning system stores all the
> different historical versions of that document, and you can get a
> download link to each different past version of a file if you want to
> offer-up documentation for different versions of LibreOffice.
>
> You can easily live with one unchanging file name if you store the
> changeable information (version of LibreOffice covered, etc.) in the
> doc's meta data rather than incorporating it in the filename.
>
>> I find this extremely convenient and simple. While I can go back to
>> Alfresco and download an older version of a file if I want it (or look
>> in the metadata to see when and by whom it was changed), in most cases
>> that is a nuisance compared to having it on my own computer with the
>> info in the filename.
>
> I can understand that. It's a pity that there are no extensions to
> file managers like Windows Explorer and Nautilus, etc., that allow
> reading of ODF file meta data without having to load a program to do
> so. There are various small, quick-loading utilities for reading MS
> Office file meta data without much hassle, but I'm not aware of any
> for LibreOffice and its ODF files.
>
> I guess you'd need to make a choice here. Is using file meta data for
> storing version-related information more convenient that using special
> file naming that is quicker to read but entails a lot of manual
> renaming and link updating?
>
> --
> David Nelson


I don't have a major problem with using Alfresco's versioning system for tracking a file being worked on for any one LO version. As you say, there are definite advantages to doing it that way.

I do have a major problem with not changing the filename for a different version of LO, as you have mentioned in other notes. I do not see any advantages to that. Of course, these are separate issues.

Jean
P.S. please use reply to all so the list gets your notes as well.
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cbosdonnat cbosdonnat
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

On Thu, 2012-08-23 at 22:55 +1000, Jean Weber wrote:
> I do have a major problem with not changing the filename for a
> different version of LO, as you have mentioned in other notes. I do
> not see any advantages to that. Of course, these are separate issues.

We can setup some automatic rules to rename files in Alfresco... so both
are possible, you all only need to agree on something ;)
--
Cedric


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David Nelson David Nelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'll take a closer look at media.LO.org. Two questions:
> 1) Can it be set to show only published files to people who are not logged in?
> 2) how would that work for your preferred method not changing filenames for different LO versions? Seems to me this is an argument for different filenames.

1) Yes. Although some would argue that, in the name of project
openness, all content stored on Alfresco should be visible. But the
answer to your question is that it's easy to use permissions only to
showcase stuff you consider to be published and world-ready.

2) I don't quite understand the question here. But understanding
versioning systems was confusing at first, for me. But, once one takes
the concepts on-board and uses them in association with file meta
data, it falls into place.

The only question is this: does one work more effectively with a
manual system that is intrinsically "less efficient" from a geeky
viewpoint but that is easier for non-geeks to understand and lets them
get work done today rather than in 2 months time after RTFM?

Again, it's a choice to be made.

--
David Nelson

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David Nelson David Nelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> That said, I appreciate that Alfresco is more convenient to use with
> one unchanging file name for each version of LO. I can manually change
> filenames upon download if that makes the whole process easier for
> everyone.

It's not really a question of keeping one unchanging file name to suit
working with Alfresco. The advantage is that one would take advantage
of Alfresco's file versioning to:

a) avoid having to update download links on http://libreoffice.org and the wiki;

b) avoid the need to keep different files containing different
versions of the same document. The versioning system stores all the
different historical versions of that document, and you can get a
download link to each different past version of a file if you want to
offer-up documentation for different versions of LibreOffice.

You can easily live with one unchanging file name if you store the
changeable information (version of LibreOffice covered, etc.) in the
doc's meta data rather than incorporating it in the filename.

>I find this extremely convenient and simple. While I can go back to
> Alfresco and download an older version of a file if I want it (or look
> in the metadata to see when and by whom it was changed), in most cases
> that is a nuisance compared to having it on my own computer with the
> info in the filename.

I can understand that. It's a pity that there are no extensions to
file managers like Windows Explorer and Nautilus, etc., that allow
reading of ODF file meta data without having to load a program to do
so. There are various small, quick-loading utilities for reading MS
Office file meta data without much hassle, but I'm not aware of any
for LibreOffice and its ODF files.

I guess you'd need to make a choice here. Is using file meta data for
storing version-related information more convenient that using special
file naming that is quicker to read but entails a lot of manual
renaming and link updating?

--
David Nelson

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David Nelson David Nelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Users have specifically requested dates on the wiki page, so they can
> easily see whether there is a new version (update) of a chapter or
> book that they might already have a copy of. They won't go trawling
> through the blog (if they are even aware of the blog) to find out
> whether something new has been posted.

If you were to use http://media.libreoffice.org as the download point
for documentation, then all the dates and other information could be
automatically extracted from the file's meta data, which would do away
with the need for manual updating of that information.

However, that would not work with http://libreoffice.org or the Docs
section of http://wiki.documentfoundation.org, as - AFAIK - they do
not incorporate the ability to extract and display document meta data.

--
David Nelson


--
David Nelson

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David Nelson David Nelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> We need to create chapter and book files for new each version of LO
> with new filenames, not just in the metadata. This because we keep
> files for more than one version of LO on the wiki, and those files
> must have different names.

Not so, in fact: the idea would be not to have different files but to
use the separate links that Alfresco would provide, that link to
different versions of the same file.

--
David Nelson

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Tom Tom
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
Hi :)
I think Alfresco allows you to have
1.  folders where stuff is kept private so that you need to login to see the contents.  This is where almost all the work would be done (obviously)
2.  other folders which can be accessed by "the general public"

Presumably if there was 1 folder for guides for 3.3.x and another for 3.4.x then files in each of those could have the same name as each other and only the link's pathname would be different. 

So. most people would only be aware of looking at "The Writer Guide" but techie people and "those in the know" might notice the extra info in the url or where-ever. 

Regards from
Tom :) 






>________________________________
> From: Jean Weber <[hidden email]>
>To: David Nelson <[hidden email]>
>Cc: [hidden email]
>Sent: Thursday, 23 August 2012, 13:27
>Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow
>
>On 23/08/2012, at 21:45, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> We need to create chapter and book files for new each version of LO
>>> with new filenames, not just in the metadata. This because we keep
>>> files for more than one version of LO on the wiki, and those files
>>> must have different names.
>>
>> Not so, in fact: the idea would be not to have different files but to
>> use the separate links that Alfresco would provide, that link to
>> different versions of the same file.
>>
>> --
>> David Nelson
>
>
>You mean, not store the files on the wiki? But only on Alfresco, with links from the wiki?
>
>How are people who download a file going to know which version of LO it's for, without opening the file? Or previewing it in some way? I hate that when other programs provide files I cannot readily identify.
>
>I can think of other scenarios where not having different filenames corresponding to LO versions would cause confusion. I cannot think of any advantages.
>
>--Jean
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Tom Tom
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by David Nelson
Hi :)
That might save us a fair bit of awkwardness and potential inaccuracies. 


At the moment the Publications wiki-page could hold maybe 1 more branch (the 3.6.x) and still be fairly easy to read on non-widescreen monitors (the old standard aspect ratio 4:3).  It's only really the latest guides that need to have precise dates.  Older guides just need a rough figure, even just the year is precise enough for the older guides. 


However people have already been talking about tidying the page up or moving to a completely different way of presenting the information.  I think Alfresco would make it more presentable. 


Regards from
Tom :) 





>________________________________
> From: David Nelson <[hidden email]>
>To: [hidden email]
>Sent: Thursday, 23 August 2012, 14:11
>Subject: [libreoffice-documentation] Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow
>
>On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Users have specifically requested dates on the wiki page, so they can
>> easily see whether there is a new version (update) of a chapter or
>> book that they might already have a copy of. They won't go trawling
>> through the blog (if they are even aware of the blog) to find out
>> whether something new has been posted.
>
>If you were to use http://media.libreoffice.org as the download point
>for documentation, then all the dates and other information could be
>automatically extracted from the file's meta data, which would do away
>with the need for manual updating of that information.
>
>However, that would not work with http://libreoffice.org or the Docs
>section of http://wiki.documentfoundation.org, as - AFAIK - they do
>not incorporate the ability to extract and display document meta data.
>
>--
>David Nelson
>
>
>--
>David Nelson
>
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>
>
>
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Nino Nino
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ODT Metadata viewer (was: Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow)

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
Hi,

On 23.08.2012 15:10, David Nelson wrote (in doc list):

> ... It's a pity that there are no extensions to
> file managers like Windows Explorer and Nautilus, etc., that allow
> reading of ODF file meta data without having to load a program to do
> so. There are various small, quick-loading utilities for reading MS
> Office file meta data without much hassle, but I'm not aware of any
> for LibreOffice and its ODF files.

Sure? Anybody knowing an odf meta data viewer? Does not KDE have a 'show meta
data' option (at least on mouseover)?

(if not - could that be a GSoC 2013 idea?)

Regards,
Nino


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Dan Lewis Dan Lewis
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
<Total snip>

      After reading some of threads that this has created, I must say
that I am confused. It is very difficult for me to follow any of the
trends of thoughts. Some of the terminology is unknown to me as well.
      From what I understand about Alfresco, the information could be
better presented there in the Discussion section of a site. There the
areas of discussion can be divided into separate topics. We can comment
on one or more topics that others will see in context.
      At least this is how I think a Discussion section is suppose to
work: brainstorming while collaborating with others.
      My problem with the emails in these threads is that they do not
include all of the text of the previous email to which the person is
responding.
      I'm going to try to take these threads apart and see if I can put
them into some order so they make some sense.
      I can see advantages to using Alfresco if we are willing to learn
how to use it, one small step at a time in the beginning. Later we can
take bigger steps.

--Dan

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Dan Lewis Dan Lewis
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

Dan wrote:

> <Total snip>
>
>       After reading some of threads that this has created, I must say
> that I am confused. It is very difficult for me to follow any of the
> trends of thoughts. Some of the terminology is unknown to me as well.
>       From what I understand about Alfresco, the information could be
> better presented there in the Discussion section of a site. There the
> areas of discussion can be divided into separate topics. We can comment
> on one or more topics that others will see in context.
>       At least this is how I think a Discussion section is suppose to
> work: brainstorming while collaborating with others.
>       My problem with the emails in these threads is that they do not
> include all of the text of the previous email to which the person is
> responding.
>       I'm going to try to take these threads apart and see if I can put
> them into some order so they make some sense.
>       I can see advantages to using Alfresco if we are willing to learn
> how to use it, one small step at a time in the beginning. Later we can
> take bigger steps.
>
> --Dan

     I have created a ODT file with the comments from this topic in our
mailing list. It is available at:
http://alfresco.libreoffice.org/share/page/site/alfrescoBrainstorming/document-details?nodeRef=workspace://SpacesStore/31a00fb0-a2d5-4ee3-ac02-102cbb4956dd
      Unfortunately, when you click on this link, this takes you to the
login page. So, you must first be a member of Alfresco...
      I placed all of the comments following the paragraphs to which
they apply. I also included the name of the person making the comments.
Perhaps this will make this thread more understandable.

--Dan

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by David Nelson
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The only question is this: does one work more effectively with a
> manual system that is intrinsically "less efficient" from a geeky
> viewpoint but that is easier for non-geeks to understand and lets them
> get work done today rather than in 2 months time after RTFM?


IMO, a system that is easy for newbies and non-geeks to understand and
get work done is MUCH to be preferred.

That said, I think we could have a compromise method of working that
includes both the geeky advantages of metadata and the non-geeky
advantages of different filenames for different LO versions.

--Jean

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
More questions. Still trying to grasp what Alfresco versioning can and
cannot do. Sorry if I'm thick, but I doubt I'm the only person reading
this thread that is confused or unclear on the topic.

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 10:59 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> You mean, not store the files on the wiki? But only on Alfresco, with links from the wiki?
>
> Well, you can store the files on Alfresco, get public links to them
> (not requiring a log-in) from http://media.libreoffice.org, and post
> the links on http://libreofficeorg and the wiki (although on those 2
> sites you can't display the meta data).
>
> Or you can have http://media.libreoffice.org:8081 (the port number is
> temporary, until its reconfigured to show on port 80) as your main
> download point instead, showing all the document meta data and,
> feasibly, a browsable preview of the document.


So I can get (horribly long and user-unfriendly) download links to
different versions of a document and post those links on wiki or
website or wherever. That still doesn't solve the problem of how
people know, ONCE THE FILE IS DOWNLOADED TO THEIR COMPUTER, what
version of LO it's for. I'm sure I'm not the only person who downloads
user guides and then (an hour or a day or a month later) can't easily
tell what software version they were were for.

What about people who want to go to, say, media.lo.org, browse around,
and find individual chapters or books for a specific version of LO?
(In other words, not following specific download links.) At the moment
it's clear (by the directory structure: different folders for
different LO versions) and the filenames. I don't understand how they
will be able to tell this information if there is only one "Published"
folder for each book, and one filename for each chapter.

My questions are not just about how we, the Docs team, can work
efficiently. Equally, or even more importantly, we need to consider
how our consumers, the users, can easily find, identify, download,
store and retrieve the docs they need.

Another reason why different filenames for different LO versions are
useful: when a user reports an error, they need to tell us which file
it's in (or, in your system, which version of that file), because we
need to know if it's an obsolete version or only applies to a specific
version, etc.

Also, I don't understand how, if all the versions of a file (both
drafts and published) are stored under one filename, we can tell which
are the published versions vs the drafts.

--Jean

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Jean Weber Jean Weber
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Dan Lewis
On Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 1:59 AM, Dan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> <Total snip>
>
>      After reading some of threads that this has created, I must say that I
> am confused. It is very difficult for me to follow any of the trends of
> thoughts. Some of the terminology is unknown to me as well.
>      From what I understand about Alfresco, the information could be better
> presented there in the Discussion section of a site. There the areas of
> discussion can be divided into separate topics. We can comment on one or
> more topics that others will see in context.
>      At least this is how I think a Discussion section is suppose to work:
> brainstorming while collaborating with others.


Although that would be a good use of Alfresco's Discussion feature, it
would effectively cut me out of any discussion when I am working on
iPhone or iPad, without access to a computer. Unless, hmmm.... I must
test the iPhone/iPad app for Alfresco to see if it would do the job.
(Android version coming soon.)

The other problem with holding a discussion on Alfresco (as with any
forum or other web-based program) is that people would need to go to
the site to read and contribute, instead of having the discussion come
to them. So there are pros and cons to doing it that way. Unless,
hmmm... can individual Alfresco users choose to have notifications
emailed to them when something new is posted on a topic?

I see I need to do more research on what Alfresco (and the mobile
front-end) can do. In my non-existent spare time!

--Jean

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Tom Tom
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
Hi :)
Just speculation but ...

I'm not convinced the ODFAuthors system is simpler.  It's just that more people are familiar with it and have been using it for longer. 

However, it seems to be difficult to attract and retain new people and that may be an indication of complexities that longer-term users don't notice any more. 

Ok, so i am not convinced the ODFAuthors system is more complex either as i have no evidence nor experience either way. 
Regards from
Tom :) 


--- On Thu, 23/8/12, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:

From: Jean Weber <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-documentation] Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow
To: "David Nelson" <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Date: Thursday, 23 August, 2012, 21:58

On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM, David Nelson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The only question is this: does one work more effectively with a
> manual system that is intrinsically "less efficient" from a geeky
> viewpoint but that is easier for non-geeks to understand and lets them
> get work done today rather than in 2 months time after RTFM?


IMO, a system that is easy for newbies and non-geeks to understand and
get work done is MUCH to be preferred.

That said, I think we could have a compromise method of working that
includes both the geeky advantages of metadata and the non-geeky
advantages of different filenames for different LO versions.

--Jean

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davidnelson davidnelson
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Re: brainstorming about the LibreOffice docs team workflow

In reply to this post by Jean Weber
Hi Jean,

On Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM, Jean Weber <[hidden email]> wrote:
> More questions. Still trying to grasp what Alfresco versioning can and
> cannot do. Sorry if I'm thick, but I doubt I'm the only person reading
> this thread that is confused or unclear on the topic.

It also took me a while to get my head around versioning when I first
encountered CVS and SVN.

I guess one could think about it like this:

Imagine you've got a nice, friendly wooden table as a desktop. On it,
you've got an empty in-tray.

Now imagine you've got a robot who deals with serving you documents
from the in-box, and with putting them back in again after you've
written something on them.

You take a clean sheet of paper and write a note on it. At the top of
the document, you give it the title, "Notes". You're done with it, and
tell the robot to put it in the in-box. The robot does so, and puts a
post-it on the sheet of paper with a note that this is version 1 of
the document called "Notes".

10 minutes later, you want to add another note to the sheet of paper.
You tell the robot. The robot duplicates the document and puts the
duplicate copy on your desktop.

You write another note, and you're done. You tell the robot to store
the document back in the in-box. Obligingly, the robot takes the
duplicated document with your additional note, and stacks it back in
the in-box on top of the first sheet, putting a post-it on the new
copy saying that this is version 2 of the document called "Notes".

Later, you want to edit that note. You tell the robot to give you your
"Notes" document. The robot duplicates version 2 of the "Notes"
document (without putting any post-it on it) and puts it on your
desktop. You scribble out a couple of words and, over the top, you add
a couple of better words. You're done, and you tell the robot.

The robot takes the document, adds a post-it saying "Version 3", and
puts it on the stack, which is now 3 sheets high.

A few minutes later, you didn't like the change you made. Because the
robot is keeping versions, you could ask it for the last version it
filed away ("Version 3" on the post-it), or for the version before
that ("Version 2" on the post-it). In the end, you ask for "Version
2". The robot duplicates the document with the post-it marked "Version
2", and puts it on your desktop (without a post-it).

You make some changes and add a new note. You then tell the robot to
file the document away, and it does so: it adds a post-it "Version 4"
to the document, and adds it to the top of the stack.

You now have an in-box with a stack of 4 copies of the sheet of paper,
with each copy being a version of the document after retrieving it,
doing some work on it, and then re-filing it in the in-box.

That's a very simplistic way of looking at the basic process.

In the case of Alfresco, you can see the version number (i.e. the
version from the version control system's viewpoint) in the little
black label to the right of the document name in the repository
browser.

If you click on the document title or document thumbnail, you go to
that document's preview and details page. On that page, in the
right-hand column, you can see a list of the various versions of the
document, the name of the person that uploaded that version, and any
notes they left when they uploaded it.

When uploading versions of a document, it would be important for each
submitter to add at least brief notes about the current considered
status of the document and what work the person has done. That will
help other human beings keep track of the collaboration.

Also, updating the meta data in a document regularly after doing work
on it is another way of providing information about its current
status.

Alfresco will happily display that meta data on
http://media.libreoffice.org (as well as in the document's preview and
details page).

There are a couple of introductions to version control systems here:
- http://betterexplained.com/articles/a-visual-guide-to-version-control/
- http://guides.beanstalkapp.com/version-control/intro-to-version-control.html

I'll reply to your other questions in a separate post.

--
David Nelson

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