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[tdf-discuss] Re: RfD: Non-corporate user representation?

Hi Charles,

thanks for your reply :)

Am 05.12.2014 um 15:30 schrieb Charles-H. Schulz:
Le 05.12.2014 11:37, Nino Novak a écrit :

AFAICS, TDF does not have any formal "Joe Average" user lobby.

There are BoD, ESC, MC, AB - but the end user community only can send their
opinions, needs and ideas to mailing lists or speak up informally in

Yes... why is that a problem? :-) the bodies you mentioned are bodies that
are formed out of people or entities contributing something to the project.

This is not per se a problem, but here, the problem starts.

You really seem to believe that somebody just using LibreOffice does not
contribute anything. In my eyes, everybody downloading the software and
starting to use it, *does* contribute. At least their time :-)

For me this is somehow obvious.

So my concern might come out of need of better appreciation of "the simple
user". In my eyes, they are part of the community, too - but without a
voice, without a saying. Is this, what TDF stands for?

What about the idea of creating e.g. a "User Interest Commitee" (or board),
which has an advisory role - similar to the AB? Could this help to better
channelize / make visible the interests of "normal users"?

This is a valid concern; so far we have options for feedback that are
summarized here: but maybe we
could check if these carry out the right information in an acceptable time.

What I'm giving here is also feedback ;-)

There are highly
competent people around in mailing lists and forums, who, at least to my
believe, should be given a stronger voice than to just send a mail to a list.

Sure, they can contribute anything from bug reports to marketing materials,
website bits, localizations, to code.

See above - how much do you value contributing by just using the software?

(I know, the big hurdle is "to do it", but nevertheless wanted to express
what I think/feel here as a starting point).*

What TDF has refrained from doing is precisely let the impression that if
someone wants something, some developer will autmatically do it.

Strange kind of thinking... I can't believe that TDF is gouverned by the
fear of promising unrealistic dreams :-)

My concern in contrast is that the project thus neglects a whole bunch of
good will, possibliy good ideas, and potentially clever opinions. And in
addition, maybe, also fruitful dialogs.

 We believe
users can become contributors, and as such we try really hard to ensure
anyone can join the project and its activities (but of course this can be
improved!). However, "advices for free" is not something TDF and the project
in general is interested in. Did you have a different process in mind? What
would this user committee do specifically?

Good question. A couple of answers...

Appreciate the (needs of the) users...

Listen to them...

Give them a formal voice...

Show officially that every single LibreOffice user is a valued contributor
and per se member of the community (however not a "formal member", sure, as
formal members have kind of an access threshold which I do not question).

It's probably indeed a question of appreciation. And of valuing a large
group of small contributors. Something like that.

However, I still don't know if it's a good idea. That's the reason I put it
here for discussion: from my gut feeling it would sound good to have one (or
a few) User Interest Representatives in one of the
commitees/boards/whatever. Their "duty" could be to give their opinion to
questions from the UX or ESC or QA (like "should this button be renamed or
not?" or "what default value should this option have?" or something like
that) or even pass them to the public and to wisely value the responses they
get. And people like e.g. Brian Barker from the users list seem to be
extremely sensitive to real needs of simple users, so why not ask for their
input? BTW, asking for an opinion in my eyes even reduces the impression of
implementing something automatically just if somebody says something - au
contraire. It rather signalizes high sensitivity and responsibility by the
questioner :-)

So that's my idea - but it's just an idea, please take it as it is. It's
just the idea of lifting the quality of the project yet a bit if simple
users are given a formal advocate. It might be worth an experiment.


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