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Re: [steering-discuss] Re: screen-shots Documentation Team


Hi all,

last week, I promised to summarize the discussion to the SC - that time
I thought that there is a close-to-consensus. Due to the recent talks I
feel unable to provide a "this is the opinion of the community" mail.
Instead, I'll try to focus on the "Windows screenshots" issue.

SC agenda item: "clarification if we can use screenshots taken on
windows in documentation / marketing matzerials"

History:
      * The German community did some investigation during OOo times and
        decided to stick with non-Windows screenshots due the (to their
        opinion) unclear legal situation
      * Sophie (I think) once recommended the same during the work on
        the initial LibO website
      * The documentation team provides a guide [1] how to make
        screenshots (e.g. theme settings, changes of LibreOffice view
        settings). They once developed a theme that resembles WinXP on
        Linux.

The issue gets a bit complicated, because (a list of things I've noticed
so far):
      * people are unsure about the legal situation --> local
        communities affected as well (e.g. specific terms of use)
      * the discussion is spread among different mailing lists with
        different outcome (e.g. German ML, Design ML, SC discuss ML)
      * people discuss the branding of LibreOffice:
              * the impact of showing different operating systems
                (within e.g. one documentation)
              * the impact of having different versions of one operating
                system (screenshots of Windows XP, Windows Vista,
                Windows 7 and to me not "only" Windows)
      * access to non-OSS operating systems is said to be a problem
        (affording a Mac, owning a license of Microsoft Windows; Linux
        seems to be available directly or via Live system or VM)
      * having different screenshot types (operating system, theme)
        being helpful for individuals (e.g. easy for new contributors)
        or a hurdle (e.g. people collaboratively working on
        documentation; re-using content for e.g. documentation and
        website)
      * the different importance of screenshot types (e.g. short term
        for marketing, long term for documentation)
      * nearly everybody (note: my personal impression) stated that
        guidelines for producing screenshots are something good,
        although they should not be enforced in any case

That's the main points I remember ... I hope it reasonably covers the
thoughts (although not their importance) within the community.

My recommendation to the SC:
      * decide whether Microsoft Windows / Mac OS X screenshots can
        generally be used
      * if yes, please guide who might be legally responsible if such
        screenshots are made and published via e.g. the (international)
        website(s), in TDF branded documentation, by individuals (I
        assume these questions will pop up regularly)
      * decide whether the SC can / should guide the community due to
        the numerous discussions on this case; maybe a (non-binding)
        suggestion can be made / worked out

Personal (!) thought: If we want to target Windows / Mac users who might
feel more comfortable to see LibO on their platform, how about providing
specific "Tour" for each of the OSes we support? Like "See LibreOffice
on Windows" ... all other documents (documentation, features pages)
might be made under e.g. Linux (because everyone can have access to it).

Cheers,
Christoph

[1] 
"We on the Documentation team use a variety of operating systems and
desktop themes (color schemes), but we want the images in our user
guides to look reasonably consistent. Here are some suggestions for
creating consistency. [...] Use a neutral (primarily grey or similar)
theme with high contrast. Please do *not* use bright or operating-system
specific colours such as blue, purple, or green."
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/cgi_img_auth.php/5/5e/Producing-LO-userguides.odt


Am Mittwoch, den 13.07.2011, 00:57 +0200 schrieb Bernhard Dippold:
Hi David, all,

David Nelson schrieb:
Hi Italo, *,

On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 4:09 PM, Italo Vignoli<italo.vignoli@gmail.com>  wrote:
In my opinion, documentation screenshots can be entirely Linux (unless there
is a specific feature on a different OS).

This is what the Documentation team (project) has done over the last 
years, IIRC.

My feeling about this (and I *believe* that Jean Weber agrees) is that
documentation contributors should have the option of contributing
screenshots indifferently from Mac, Linux or Windows - although it
would probably be preferable to maintain consistency within a given
guide.

I would really like to read Jean's opinion on this point.

She has been leading the Documentation Project at OOo, she proposed the 
present compromise discussed and voted on at the Design list. All of her 
comments I remember are based on a Linux theme.

In none of her postings I read I saw any mentioning of Windows screenshots.

Now - exactly at her holidays - you're pushing this topic up to the SC, 
while the discussion and the voting at the Design list doesn't follow 
the direction you want it to go.

My impression of the people involved in this topic (including Sigrid and 
Jean) felt very well about the Linux theme Clearlooks, that resembles 
quite strongly to newer Windows versions. The previous theme agreed upon 
by the documentation team was a silver theme resembling Windows XP - 
probably not the best reference for 2011 and beyond...

I might be wrong, but is there really a discussion in the Documentation 
Team where others than yourself want to use different themes - and 
especially Windows themes -  for LibreOffice documentation?

What I read was that they want to have a consistent theme for the 
documentation, so it is possible to re-use some of the screenshots in 
other documents.

Mixture of screenshots with different themes in one document has never 
been a goal of the documentation team. Consistency is much more 
important for professional documentation than trying to inform the 
reader about the different platforms by using different themes.

We already discussed your points on the design list, and you got valid 
replies by several different people. Now you want this discussion to be 
overruled by the SC members - if you insist on it, we can repeat our 
points here too...

Firstly, this makes it clear that LibreOffice is mult-platform and
consistent across platforms.

Consistency is the key: A good documentation is based on consistent 
content, visual design, and overall look-and-feel.

Except of platform specific topics a consistent theme is one stone in 
the wall of professional documentation.

Secondly, we want to keep the barrier for new contributors as low as
possible, and not *oblige* them to install new software in order to
work in documentation. This way, hopefully, we can get a lot more
people involved.

We all know that new contributors need guidance much more than the 
easiest way to do any work. Especially if we want them to continue their 
contribution it is crucial to not let them alone  - not even with 
screenshots. They don't know about the area to copy, scaling factors, 
additional arrows and rings. And helping them by providing easy 
understandable guidelines can include a preferred theme and even a 
slight modification to this standard theme.

You might be right that there are people on Windows interested in 
contributing to LibreOffice documentation - they would be the one to 
install a new theme for screenshots, but they can contribute without 
screenshots (or take screenshots with a Linux live CD) too.

On Linux there is no need to install new software, as the Clearlooks 
theme is standard in GNOME and available in KDE too.

These are the key reasons why I'm asking for the SC to take a
position, because we've been meeting quite a bit of opposition from a
relatively small number of people for quite some time now (who want
screenshots taken under Linux only), and it would be nice to get the
issue cleared up one way or another.

While this relatively small number of people consist of Sigrid and Jean 
as well as several people on the Design list and Alex Thurgood, I can't 
measure your "we" in active contributors. My impression is exactly the 
other way round: While the vast majority of active people showed their 
interest in a consistent documentation with a standardized theme for 
screenshots and other elements, you repeated your arguments against such 
a consistent theme several times being nearly alone with your opinion.

I could point out that I'm a daily Linux user myself, but I don't
think we should be dogmatic about it.

Right - this has absolutely nothing to do with the present topic.

Best regards

Bernhard

PS: I didn't mention consistency as basic rule for branding, brand 
recognition and a positive feeling about a product in this mail.
I didn't comment on the legal aspects on Windows and Mac, as Alex 
pointed possible problems out.
(And even if the SC would recommend Windows screenshots, each 
contributor would have to decide for him/herself if s/he would like to 
take the legal responsibility on his/her own).




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