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From Juergen Schmidt <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Reinvigorate extension authors community
Date Wed, 26 Sep 2012 18:25:55 GMT
Am Mittwoch, 26. September 2012 um 19:34 schrieb Rob Weir:
> As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm shifting my focus more to
> the extended OpenOffice ecosystem rather than day-to-day release-cycle
> tasks. One of the things I'd like to push for is reinvigorating the
> application development community.
> In the legacy project we supported extensions authors via a dedicated
> mailing list, a wiki, its own IRC channel, and of course the
> extensions repository website. Today we have very little of that
> active.
> I'd like to breath some new life into this part of the ecosystem. Now
> that we have a steady heartbeat of releases, both delivered and
> planned, and a solid record of end-user downloads, it is easier to
> argue the value of developing extensions for OpenOffice. I'd like to
> help promote this side of the ecosystem via the following tasks:
> 1) Create a new mailing list: (or
> if we prefer). I'll assert that the
> current mailing lists are inadequate for encouraging this community to
> thrive. If they interact on ooo-dev then they are bombarded with 99%
> irrelevant posts, and if they gather on ooo-users then this will be
> disruptive to the end-user subscribers there. Extension authors
> really are a distinct sub-community of their own.

we guided all subscribers of the former API and extensions mailing list on ooo-dev. I agree
that the traffic here is high and maybe it's time for a separate list but I am not sure. But
we can try it.  
> 2) Promote the mailing list via the usual means: website, social
> networking, maybe a blog post.
> 3) Try to contact the existing extension authors, to encourage them to
> joint the list. I'd try to do this via SourceForge initially, since
> they might already have the means to send them all an email.
> 4) Promote AOO extension development in general, by interviews of
> extension authors, blog posts, perhaps even a rotating spot on our
> website featuring an "extension of the week" (or day).
> 5) Encourage this community to provide feedback to the project and
> help maintain the current app dev and SDK documentation, website and
> wiki.

Most important is to improve the API's and the development tools to make extension development
easier and more fun. 
For example it's motivating if you can run a wizard in an IDE in a few minutes and get as
result a working extension skeleton that can be deployed already in the office. My favorite
example is to create a completely working calc add-in in less than 5 minutes. A 100% working
build-in function that users can call via the normal function dialog in the same way as any
other function in calc.
Similar stuff with other wizards, the key point is to make the start easy and help developers
to solve their tasks easy.

But of course a huge example collection, tutorials and good docu is important as well.

> If there are no objections to the above I'll go ahead with step 1 in
> 72 hours. I'll need a couple more list moderator volunteers as well.
> And of course, if anyone wants to help with other parts of the above,
> or complimentary tasks, please let me know.
> Regards,
> -Rob 

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