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From robert_w...@us.ibm.com
Subject AOO.Next IBM Priorities
Date Thu, 01 Nov 2012 16:45:49 GMT
A quick note, wearing my "IBM hat". 

We (IBM) have consulted with customers, internal users, other IBM product 
teams, on what our (IBM's) development priorities should be for the next 
AOO release.  Obviously, we're not the only ones with priorities or 
interests or opinions.  We don't make AOO decisions by ourselves.  But we 
want to be transparent about what our own priorities are, for our 
employees participating in the AOO community, and what they will be 
focusing on.   As we did with AOO 3.4.0 and 3.4.1, we'll be putting the 
details onto the wiki over the next couple of weeks.  You'll hear more at 
ApacheCon, but I wanted you to hear it hear first.

Our top priorities:

-- Improve the install and deployment experience, especially by supporting 
digital signatures on installs, and introducing a new incremental update 
feature, so users are not required to download and install a full image 
for just a minor update.

-- A major UI enhancement, a sidebar framework for the editors, ported 
over from Symphony, and including an API.  If you recall, Symphony won 
quite a lot of praise for its UI, and much of this was due to the sidebar 
panel.  I think we can make a good argument that this approach, say 
compared to the MS Office "ribbon" is a better use of screen real-estate, 
especially as we see more frequent use of wide screen displays.

-- Improved Table of Contents in Writer

-- Improved system integration on Windows and MacOS, including possible 
adoption of "gestures".

-- IAccessible2 bridge, ported over from Symphony, to improve 
accessibility.  This is a major effort, but very important.

-- Closer integration of clipart and template libraries with user 
experience.

-- Update branding and visual styling, contemporary and compelling, fresh 
and relevant.

-- Social integration, allow our users to quickly and easily share their 
thoughts in a way that compliment their commercial social behavior. 
Explore the integration of consumer service-specific capabilities as well 
as generic Share... actions. 

-- And many other smaller items

Obviously the release date for this cannot be pinned down so early, and 
releasing is PMC decision, not an IBM one.  But we think that this work 
could be completed and tested for a release in the March/April 2013 
time-frame.  And the scope of the release might be significant enough to 
warrant a "4.0" designation.

In any case, we'll soon set up a page on the wiki to collect these items. 
As always, I invite you to add your own priorities to the wiki, things 
that you would like to work on.  This could be a new feature.  Or, if one 
of the above items sound interesting to you, we always welcome help 
designing and implementing these features.

Regards,

-Rob




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