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

On 21/12/2014 13:18, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>Would a different attitude/culture, something like
>"Users 1st", help to mitigate that?
Users do not dictate what developers do. That's not how Free and Open
Source Software works, as "the culture change" entails that users would
tell developers and contributors what to do. What would be the
incentive for anyone to do that? I have a day job. Many others do. Why
would I receive directives from random people?:-)

>At the same time it would be good
>to define the user's implicit responsibilities resulting from their
>choice to use the product. To make the difference clearer, it's not a
>case that the user needs to 'Join us!' as on the Help > Send
>Feedback...    page, rather it would be an accepted fact that all
>users are automatically a member of the community simply by virtue of
>being users.
Users are users. They get rights from the software freedom conveyed by
the licenses we use. They do not get anything else, unless they want to
become contributors. Anything else is toxic for the community and
profoundly demotivational (btw: we have ten years of experience on that

>To make this change of emphasis visible I'm thinking of an extension
>to the    Help > Send Feedback...    page, also ideally putting that
>content into the main help file so users can see it without going
>Below is a very rough draft, based in part on Thorsten's excellent
>summary above. I'd be happy to put more effort into a better version
>if gets support. Keeping this kind of text simple and inviting is
>always very difficult.
>   Welcome to the LibreOffice Community
>The LibreOffice community includes all users. Everyone is welcome,
>whether as a user or if you are able to become more involved.
How about: "Everyone is welcome: see how you can become involved today!"
Otherwise  you keep on having this distinction where users are not
encouraged to become contributors.

OK, I can spend some time on this now and will work though the design group as suggested.

I'm still keen on a 'users first' approach and an acceptance that users are 'in' the community by virtue of being users. It's semantic I suppose, since in some sense users are clearly part of the wider LO community. The idea actually comes from my local hospital, which has the byline 'patients first' on all its correspondence and documentation. The patient is considered to be part of the team rather than someone to whom things are done. In my personal experience it makes a huge difference to how 'users' feel. It doesn't though make much difference to medical processes and treatment. So, by a similar analogy, I don't see why you would expect a 'users first' approach to change current processes significantly. BUT, in my view there is a considerable potential upside because it will make the user feel more valued, it will make the step to deeper involvement seem smaller even though in practice it's just the same, and it will probably make it slightly more likely that users will take that step, which is what we all want. I understand that it might seem threatening having thought about the relationship in a different way for 10 years. I expect hospital staff felt the same when the idea was first floated there, and their history is much longer than that. So, I plan to draft stuff along 'user first' lines and see how it looks. If it still seems too awful, it will no doubt get changed before implementation.

Mike Hall

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