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From Ian Lynch <>
Subject Re: User support: beyond forums or lists
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:54:16 GMT
On 24 August 2011 13:46, Rob Weir <> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 8:39 AM, Ian Lynch <> wrote:
> > On 24 August 2011 02:30, drew <> wrote:
> >
> >> On Wed, 2011-08-24 at 09:05 +1000, Jean Weber wrote:
> >> > I've started a new thread, because I think Rob Weir's very important
> >> point has got lost in the discussions about forums and lists. Rob wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > Support is important. The question is
> >> > > how best to do it.  If all we're doing is considering the merits of
> >> > > different access methods to support, without looking at the
> >> > > implications of fragmenting the repositories and the resulting
> >> > > knowledge base, then we are doing a poor job at thinking this
> through.
> >> > > Remember the best support site is the one that allows the user to
> >> > > answer their own question, without signing up for a mailing list or
> >> > > posting to a forum. We should be looking at how we can prevent user
> >> > > support questions.
> >> >
> >> > This ties in closely with end-user documentation and how it is
> delivered,
> >> so I am very interested in this topic. Later today I'll go through the
> >> archives of this list to find the earlier discussions, which I believe
> >> occurred while I was traveling and thus weren't given enough of my
> attention
> >> at the time. Or, have ideas and suggestions, perhaps examples of good
> >> practice, been posted to the wiki? Apple is IMO a brilliant example, but
> >> they have a lot of resources
> >> >
> >> > It's clear to me that we need to do better than we have in the user
> >> support area, if we can do so. Not only will that benefit users and
> improve
> >> our reputation, it will allow us to work smarter, not harder. I will
> pursue
> >> this, along with other interested people. It's something valuable that I
> can
> >> do while the techies are moving websites and working with code etc.
> >> >
> >> > Setting up a suitable system and populating it with suitable
> information
> >> will be a big task and take quite awhile, especially if we don't have
> enough
> >> skilled people to do it. (I'm referring to content, not infrastructure.)
> All
> >> the more reason to get started now with planning what we want to do, so
> we
> >> can start doing it ASAP.
> >> >
> >> > BTW, the Docs mailing list at OOo gets quite a few enquiries from
> people
> >> wanting to contribute, and a few of them sound like they have relevant
> >> experience and skills. I don't want to lose them. Yes, we point them to
> this
> >> list as well as ODFAuthors, but I don't know how many have actually
> joined.
> >> If we're actively discussing topics of interest to documenters, perhaps
> more
> >> people can be persuaded to get involved.
> >>
> >> Hi Jean,
> >>
> >> Before I let another thread slide away from view - I agree completely
> >> with approaching this with a unified view of user support, not just
> >> stove pipes for different delivery vehicles.
> >>
> >
> > To add to this, we are currently engaged to train staff in a large
> training
> > company in South America that wants OpenOffice certification for end
> users
> > initially in schools. In practice this certification is equally
> applicable
> > to LibreOffice and OpenOffice - I suspect the request for OpenOffice is
> > simply a brand awareness thing. Since we are doing this in collaboration
> > with the certification project why not make this a joint
> > LibO/OOo issue? All we need do is put a LibO logo on the certificate if
> the
> > candidate uses LibO to meet the assessment criteria and an OOo logo on
> the
> > certificate if it is OpenOffice. We can keep track of the certificates
> > issued and contribute back to either project on the basis of the number
> of
> > certificates. We can modify the documentation to carry both names. To me
> > this seems a way of promoting user support and awareness for both
> > communities in a way that helps both. I'm applying lazy consensus here in
> > that if there are no objections I'll start a new thread with a specific
> > proposal but of course we will also need a +1 from the LibO people.
> >
> If I understand correctly (and do stop me if I'm missing something)
> the only thing you needed from the AOOo project was permission to use
> the logo.

Yes, and even this is possible a nominative use issue, I'm not certain that
is all. I got that impression when Oracle gave permission to use the OOo
brand names etc on the certificate.

> The AOOo project was not awarding the certificates,
> designing the training materials, etc.

No, in fact it would not be allowed to award the certificates as they carry
the UK regulators logo and you have to be a regulated awarding organisation
to do that. This is why it is better in this field to have close cooperation
rather than try and set up such systems direct from Apache or LibO

> If so, I don't see any
> problems if your materials carry multiple logos, names.  That should
> not require additional permission from us, beyond permission to use
> the AOOo logo.

It would be nice though to be fully transparent and a point where we can
(hopefully) get easy agreement publicly on something shared with the LibO
community. There is no risk or liability for either community as far as I
can see but there are benefits. So like with Jean and the documentation it
makes a starting point for building further bridges.  I have talked about
certification with tdf members informally so I don't think there should be a


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