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Re: [steering-discuss] connecting external services to our domain


Hi Andreas, :-)

IMHO, the odfauthors.org software is far from being an ideal tool for
the LibreOffice docs team.

A) The odfauthors.org software is a product of a past time, when
leading-edge systems like Alfresco had not yet reached maturity, that
does not have all the features and power of a full-blooded content
development system like Alfresco: a mature version control system;
powerful and sophisticated workflow management; powerful content
search capability able to search within the managed content; built-in
discussion system that lets you anchor a discussion on a particular
content object; easy updating and uploading of content from directly
within the LibreOffice applications, via the Alfresco plugin for
OOo/LibO; etc.

B) The odfauthors.org software is a hybrid, one-off, custom
application without any community taking its development forward. The
odfauthors.org system is a software dead-end, based upon a CMS that is
not very widely used, for which little technical support is available
except from a small group of developers. Alfresco has an entire
community behind it.

C) The odfauthors.org software does not have the capabilities of
Alfresco to cater to the LibreOffice project's future needs for a
sophisticated product that can integrate closely with the project's
other development systems. Alfresco can provide a powerful platform
for the production and maintenance of developer documentation: API
manuals, etc. The odfauthors.org software cannot compete with it
feature-wise: it is a fairly manual system that is now dated.

However, Andreas, please may I respectfully ask you to understand
that, in this thread, I am trying to have a conversation with the SC
members, and that I very much want them to be able to read my ideas
without the thread being filled with OT comments about my posting
habits, etc. You are actually giving rise to more posts in the thread
than are necessary, and are making my actual topic harder to follow.
Could you please respect my right to communicate with the SC? Thank
you for your kindness if so. ;-)

If you want to continue a discussion of the relative merits of the two
products, may I ask you to reply to this post in a *new and separate
thread*? Thank you for your understanding if so. ;-)

David Nelson

On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 22:02, David Nelson <commerce@traduction.biz> wrote:
Hi Florian, :-)

All the active members of the docs team have accounts on the Alfresco
site I'm hosting right now. There is a general consensus/willingness
to use it, and people have already started trying it out for actual
work.

Putting it under a TDF sub-domain will only further strengthen
people's commitment to uptake.

We're ready to start a pilot work project, using the workflow that has
been developed. We have a system set up with:

- a custom-designed workflow for the docs team, developed by a
professional Alfresco developer and a member of the docs team,
- full git-like versioning,
- rollback,
- discussion around documents,
- full built-in support for ODF/OOo/LibreOffice file formats,
- simple usage (publication/updating) for users via the use of an
existing plugin for OOo/LibO that lets you collaborate right from
within the LibO applications,
- sophisticated searching capability, that can extend right into
hosted documents.

Basically, we have all the sophisticated functionality we need for
properly-managed, automation-assisted documentation development and
prepping for publication, with the potential ability to interface with
a variety of outside systems, such as directly with the LibreOffice
code repository...

It would be a great tool for producing developer documentation in the
future, in addition to the user documentation the docs team is now
working on.

It could also be used for easy management of HTML content on TDF
servers (documentfoundation.org, for instance), and for a variety of
other purposes.

Using Alfresco, we will be able to develop all our documentation and
many other kinds of content in-house, and we will acquire expertise
and autonomy within the LibreOffice project and docs team.

The advantages of hosting it on my server would be as follows:

1) It's quite a complicated package to set-up and configure. It is
quite memory-hungry. On my server, it is already fully operational. No
workload or worry for you. Version upgrades will be done whenever I
want, without putting workload and responsibility on you.

2) On my server, it is running within an environment that is simple to
manage. No problems of conflicts with the many other software products
that TDF runs. You get none of the complications that would inevitably
exist with integrating Alfresco into a TDF server.

3) I have access to 24/7 professional technical support, with in-house
Alfresco expertise. Any problems can be troubleshot within minutes, at
any time of day or night, with no problems of people on vacation,
sick, etc.

4) On my server, I have full root access and full control over all the
other software running on the server. I can't have that on a TDF
server.

5) On my server, I can peacefully reboot the system at any time and,
generally, do anything I want, without having to worry about other
users, running software, etc. And one does need to anticipate
occasional *total* system outages during the running-in period.

6) On my server, I can do memory and disk space upgrades 24/7 within
minutes. That kind of turnaround will not be available on a TDF
server.

7) The server is hosted in a secure data center in the UK, and
automated backups are taken at regular intervals, under my control.

8) You and Christian already have admin access to the Alfresco back
end. You can also both have permanent SSH user accounts to inspect the
server, suggest security improvements, etc. But you will find pretty
much the same security arrangements as I found on
documentfoundation.org.

9) I undertake to provide TDF with the best-possible service, and to
work on building a strong docs team and documentation base for
LibreOffice. I will also make a major effort in the future to expand
the number of active docs contributors within the LibreOffice project.

If you agree, the sub-domain name I would suggest would be
alfresco.libreoffice.org.

What do you think? ;-)

David Nelson


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