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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [User Docs] What do we as a community want for user documentation or AOO
Date Sun, 16 Sep 2012 22:55:44 GMT
On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM, Keith N. McKenna
<> wrote:
> Greetings All;
> In order to stimulate some discussion on user documentation I have added the
> hollowing page to the User Documentation Plan on the Plannig Wiki:
> It offers 3 scenarios or the creation of the docs. I believe that we can no
> longer put this issue aside.
> Please take a look at the page and eel free to comment there and on this
> list. Also feel free to add to or change any content there.


Thanks for putting together that list of options.  A few short thoughts:

On option 1, I'm not sure this is so bad.   Does Microsoft Office ship
with detailed user manuals?   I don't think so.  But there is a large
market for 3rd party documentation, books, tutorials, websites, DVD's,
training materials, certification exams, etc.  The popularity of their
software means that they do not need to do it all themselves.  In
fact, by not doing it (and they could do it if they wanted to) they
allow others to make money filling in these details, thus supporting a
vibrant ecosystem.

Of course, OpenOffice is not as popular as Microsoft Office, but if
you search Amazon you'll find quite a few 3rd party books about it.  I
wonder if there is anything we can do to encourage that path?

Think of it this way:  16 million downloads of AOO 3.4.  100 million
downloads of OOo 3.3.  Even if only 1% of 1% of them would be
interested in purchasing documentation this should be a sufficient
opportunity for a 3rd party.

And note that to the extent we create such doc in the project we
compete against the ecosystem and make it less likely that 3rd parties
will invest in producing documentation for sale.  That's the
fundamental dynamic at play here.

Another angle on your option 2 might be to see if documentation could
be packaged as an extension.  If so then you could use the existing
extensions website for distribution.  The extension could be as
trivial as adding a menu item to launch the PDF.



> Regards
> Keith N. McKenna

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