The cost of incivility

The place for discussions and decisions about the forum

The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:02 am

I think this was discussed way back when we were hassling over finding an accommodation between Apache OpenOffice Incubator (with training wheels still on) and the Forums.

Today, on the user list, there was a complaint about a thread that an user was taken too while researching the usual problem about how to make an XSLX file.

https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... 3&start=30 Ends a two page screed in which there were two users who dared to raise their heads and an incredible echo-chamber response that was not helpful at all, not even civil enough to say there is no such help. I understand that everyone who posted on that thread is probably satisfied with their righteous contributions.

But serving users and folks with immediate problems and concerns was not evident. And that is the page that people who have similar problems find.

The only advice I can offer is two-fold. First, review the Apache guidelines on civility and consider that it does apply here. You are Apache OpenOffice to the world, and it matters that this be a welcoming and gracious place, even when there is no immediate solution or place to send folks. This is useful: http://openoffice.apache.org/list-conduct.html and this includes forum (in the generic sense) behavior: http://www.apache.org/foundation/policies/conduct.html

The second piece of advice is to stay in the user or visitor's world and address their question and only their question. They are not here as acolytes of the local religion. They are users looking for a solution and thinking Apache OpenOffice could/should help. I don't mind a suggestion that they may find that the support for some function in LibreOffice may work for them, but don't just kiss them off. It does not serve them to know your ideas about how Windows sucks, Microsoft is evil, and OOXML is no standard. And you don't need to defend the developer priorities or what it costs to add some feature or facility. It is a fact that there is likely no immediate solution.

(The project probably needs a page or more on what it means to be a volunteer-supported, open-source development project that produces software that is free to the public. You don't need to address that.)

Now you get to deal with what folks will find when they are directed here for assistance with particular kinds of problems.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby RusselB » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:59 am

After reviewing the appropriate linked pages, I for one have to agree that the conduct of one or more posters in regards to the topic at https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=56953 is not the greatest for a help forum.
Personally, I think I do my best to follow the conduct policies/recommendations as referenced in your post to the best of my ability.
While it would be nice if everyone followed the same policies/recommendations at all times, we are human, and, occasionally we tend to let our feelings/tempers get the better of us.
OpenOffice 4.1.7 and LibreOffice 6.3.3.2 on Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate
If you believe your problem has been resolved, please go to your first post in this topic, click the Edit button and add [Solved] to the beginning of the Subject line.
User avatar
RusselB
Moderator
 
Posts: 5686
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:31 am
Location: Sarnia, ON

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby lgusaas » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:25 am

The originator of the thread marked it solved and made no more posts.The people who later complained about the lack of XLSX support in OpenOffice had nothing to contribute to the original poster. Almost all of them have not made any posts to the forum except on this thread. Looks like a bunch of whiners to me. I would have been tempted to tell them to f*** off, but would probably have just told them to either use native AOO formats or to go buy MS Office if the insist on using the new MS formats.
Larry I. Gusaas
Moose Jaw, SK Canada
Website: http://larry-gusaas.com
"An artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs." Edgard Varese
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 — MacBook Pro(Retina)—macOS Ver.10.15.1 Catalina
lgusaas
Volunteer
 
Posts: 1553
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:32 pm
Location: Moose Jaw, SK Canada

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby keme » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:13 am

... serving users and folks with immediate problems and concerns was not evident.

V is political before he is polite. That has been the case as long as I have known of him.

However, he is also helpful as much as he is political. He provided multiple solutions in that thread, to the OP as well as the related issues raised by other posters:
  • Use ODF, because that is the optimal save format for this suite, and current MS Office versions can read it.
  • Buy MS Office, because as a professional you need to act professionally, and if you need to use Microsoft formats you should use the tools designed around those formats.
  • Use Kingsoft Office, because that is the best no-cost option for handling Microsoft formats.
  • Use zamzar conversion service, because that is the best converter we know of ATM.
  • Use dBase format, because a CSV file is almost always some kind of database, and if you should use a proper database format, dBase format is probably the one with widest support.
That help is there if you look closely, albeit tersely delivered and perhaps somewhat masked by aforementioned politics. When you just want to insist that OOo should have the requested functionality, it's easy to disregard the helpful parts.
 Edit: Also, I suppose that the open argument about "how it should be" was not productive in that thread, but his providing the workarounds was more productive than just saying that "you can't get what you ask for". 

While I don't always agree with V's manner of speech, I find that there is always some sense even to the spite, and his political standpoint - as heretofore seen - will get my support every time.
Now you get to deal with what folks will find when they are directed here for assistance with particular kinds of problems.
That is "business as usual".
The posts from V were only harsh when responding to posts which either were dismissive towards (or perhaps the poster couldn't be bothered to properly read) V's standpoints, or to posts which were downright condescending.

If, in an open source context, we are not allowed to argue against the forces which oppose the open source philosophy, then count me out of that context.
 Edit: While I strongly support the code of conduct as linked in the opening post, I also know that we are human. For some of us, the opportunity to air our own standpoints is what motivates us and makes us productive, and for some of us, it is necessary to vent our frustrations. It does not always yield the optimal way to deliver the message (the intellectual perspective), but it may preserve our balanced mental state (emotional perspective). Most humans are motivated by emotion more than by intellect. I'd say we accept a few rough edges if it makes the forum more useful.

Note also that V used to act as a moderator, and IIRC he himself requested that he be removed from that role because he had learned that "his way" was not how the forum should be represented. 
Apache OO 3.4.1/4.1.2/4.1.3, on Ms Windows 7/10 and Mac OS-X 10.8.5 and 10.11.
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 on Mepis Antix MX 14
User avatar
keme
Volunteer
 
Posts: 3286
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:27 am
Location: Egersund, Norway

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:47 am

I also find that V's posts are sometimes rude. But in that topic, it took rather many posts before he became a bit rude (saying 'stubbornness and incompetence"). But look at all his previous posts (and most of his following), they are very civil. The truth may not please users but let's face it and that's all. If saying them that AOO is no way for their purpose and that they are expecting too much, then it's helping them. They will spare time trying to find out what can't be.

Also, I'm fully with keme.

I would add that this kind of topic is very prone to troll, it also happens on the users/dev mailing lists.
What I find unfair is that you (orcmid) are almost accusing the forum not to deliver the required level of assistance, based on a (single) kind of topic that will always attract rants. The OOXML support is one of the hottest topics under discussion in the project, this is a core issue (IMHO) because it could just defeat the point of ODF (do you really believe that users will bother saving in ODF if they are offered the possibility to save in OOXML)?
So instead of giving lessons to the forum members, just check V's replies in all the other topics where added value is really at stake. See how much time he spends and how deep his explanations go.

We work hard to make this forum a "welcoming and gracious place" as you say. But when users are aggressive and don't want to see a point, don't expect all of us accept being slapped the other cheek.

Finally, why this topic was posted in the Private section? This is being discussed in public on the mailing list, V is mentioned in plain text so if you think there is a problem, let's discuss it in the open. If I've orcmid's agreement and no other objection, I'll move the topic in the Site Feedback section (let's say in 3 days from now).

:evil:
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28626
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:35 am

Hagar Delest wrote:Finally, why this topic was posted in the Private section? This is being discussed in public on the mailing list, V is mentioned in plain text so if you think there is a problem, let's discuss it in the open. If I've orcmid's agreement and no other objection, I'll move the topic in the Site Feedback section (let's say in 3 days from now).
:evil:


I did not want to raise a personnel and conduct issue outside of the Admin Forums. You'll notice that I have limited what I had to say on the users @ openoffice.apache.org list as well. Here, I think there is a matter of governance involved.

I do think that it would be useful to look deeper into this. I'm not clear what going to the Site Feedback section will accomplish, but I suppose it would be in the Apache Way to have the conversation in public, so long as it is not turned into a personnel matter there.

I defer to the Hagar and the Admin team on this.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby acknak » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:56 am

Well said, all. I agree with keme & Hagar.

Once a thread drifts into "more heat than light" territory, it usually gets locked. That approach has worked well in the past but we don't have any mechanism to be sure that a moderator will follow a particular topic. If no one following the topic sets a flag, it can pass under the radar.

Maybe the best practical step is to remind the regular volunteers to flag a topic when it gets off track.

That said, I have found topics flagged that I leave unlocked because our policy (informal, AFAIK) sets the line at personal attacks--being rude or impolite is acceptable.

I haven't read the linked thread carefully, but nothing personal jumped out at me from a quick scan.
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:52 pm

orcmid wrote:Here, I think there is a matter of governance involved.

A WHAT? A governance issue? Are you kidding? :shock:
What V did wrong exactly? He just gave facts and he told when he expressed his own opinion. All his replies are civil.
What did he get in return?
cjbush, necroposting, 4 months after the last reply wrote:Villeroy, maybe you should try being helpful instead of one of the pretentious people that give open source a bad name.

This user has clearly never read any other reply from V.
geotrouvetout wrote:That was probably MS intention when they came up with this crap but if OO continues not to be able to save in XLSX format, it won't play in its favor.

What is the point? What we Volunteers are expected to reply exactly?
georgetroy wrote:As a financial contributor to Open Office I am very disappointed to read the response from Villeroy.
[...]
As a software developer I can appreciate that a lot of effort may be required to write xlsx files. But if Open Office can't adhere to industry standard it's user base will fade drastically. If I read a response that said "it's a difficult job but we'll get to it" then I'd be prepared to stick with Open Office. But Villeroy's response that the problem is "solved" is pretty disheartening to any Open Office users trying to work in a Microsoft dominated environment.

The usual reply users get on the mailing list is roughly: then just help with some code, wow, a lot nicer, indeed.
georgetroy is disappointed to hear V's reply. Then what? Do we have to make users believe that this is a wonderful world and that AOO will certainly fully support OOXML and this day users will be able to break free from MS Office and have a complete productivity suite for free?
rhersom wrote:I have to credit your solve as technically correct while disagreeing that that is how it should be.

So eventually, OP acknowledges that V is correct, he's just not happy that it is not as he would like it to be.
komiiro wrote:So why should OO keep up? I was under the impression that it was supposed to be the alternative to MS Office. If it doesn't keep up then it isn't the big alternative and I may as well stop using it and break my budget and go the rest of the MS Office lemmings - much as I'd hate to. Oh wait, I can't. So in my case I don't want OO to be xlsx compliant I need it to be xlsx compliant.

This is the key problem: AOO is not an equivalent alternative as most users believe. I use Excel at work, heavily using the charting capabilities. I can say for sure that Calc is light-years behind! And OOXML is not a problem here, it's just the features that are lacking.
temmons, one YEAR after the last reply wrote:All I can do is say WoW. After reading comments like Vileroy and others the reasoning for OO not to save MS XLSX surprises me. I started using OO to support open format but I don't see OO doing that but rather doing the same thing MS has done. Make proprietary formats.

Ah, great! Same as urma's post I replied to on the mailing list! Now it's AOO that applies the vendor lock-in policy, using ODF as a proprietary format. So this is the kind of bullshit that is worth comparing to V's posts?
Then we get (at least) to the first typical V's reaction:
Villeroy wrote:The first posting of this topic describes the stubbornness and incompetence. Conversion of plain text data to OOXML for the sake of OOXMLness.

kjvincent1979 wrote:I understand some of the posts about the development hours to add saving to XLSX to the software. I develop myself. I'm actually having to reverse engineer my own code since having it lost due to hard drive failure so I've hours upon hours to write. I also realise some elements of Microsoft software are closely guarded so unless they release the file format specifications of these files it is very difficult to successfully save back to a format that MS Office will read back. Whether they are open on those I don't know.

I don't get, nor do I support, the whining attitude of people when someone asks a legitimate question about supporting a widely used file format with comments concerning the hardships and hours of coding. A simple reply saying that the complexity of the programming means that it isn't planned at this time would be more polite.
[...]
Forums are here to help people. If I responded to a client's request in the manner people have on this single thread I'd be out of the door and find it very hard to get a reference.

Be polite and helpful please. If not, don't reply.

By telling the truth, we do help users IMHO, even if they are not pleased by what they are told. Politeness after all the harsh (recurring) replies is something that can easily be worn in the end. Moreover, the replies were dry but not uncivil.
kjvincent1979 wrote:Grow up.
[...]
What is off topic is your rude, obnoxious and disgusting treatment of others on the forum who dare to ask for a feature. I've asked similar questions to Microsoft and they advise it gets added to their feature list. Whether that is true, whether there is a hope in hell in it getting into their code I don't know. I seriously doubt it.

Whether they'll totally screw up their software in the next release as they did with 2013, most likely.

The point is, be flipping polite. Open source is about allow people to be able to develop features the big companies can't be arsed adding. It is about collaboration not dicks like you.

2nd post (out of 3) of this user. So much for the politeness he's advocating. Well done.
kjvincent1979 wrote:Sorry, where is the blaming? I hope the software will have the ability to save to XLSX in the future. If not, well there are others to use.

I've only just joined this forum as I was looking for information about XLSX. Your pathetic responses can be left off forums.

I don't blame anyone - what is there to blame and to whom? If the software doesn't do something then it is requested. If it isn't put in, well I either help write it myself or use something else. Exactly how could I ask Apache to refund something where there is no cost? Have I demanded anything? Well, aside from you to be polite and not just an insulting, pathetic prat.

You are not answering any questions. You are just being an arsehole because someone asked a question. No idea why given your previous posts seem to be largely helpful.

Plus, you were never named, well aside from your posts.

I hope you can help people with their queries, as I will if I can. I hope someone can help you with your spite.

He doesn't blame anyone? I can't read then...
3rd and last post for kjvincent1979. Again, so much for the politeness.

You think it's personal but not at all. It happens that V is often the first to give the facts as they are regarding OOXML support with AOO. What's wrong with that? Someone has to do it. And I think I'm myself the second to tell so to users. What is expected from the forum exactly? To lure users by making them believe that AOO is a free clone of MS Office? If all these whiners just post a single message, it's because they are just looking for a free version of MS Office (I mean an equivalent) and that's all.

So to sum up, because someone has found ONE thread in the forum where users are not happy and are just told the facts, there is a forum governance problem?
A 320,000+ knowledge base flawed by a single topic that doesn't babysit whiners?
When I see the high level of quality of the support in the forum, compared to the mailing lists (at least Rory does always spot non subscribed ML users and CC them systematically, he's one of the few to do that), I find it very disheartening to be accused of wrong governance. And it goes far beyond that, if Volunteers have to babysit instead of talking as adults, then I'm not in line with that. And I'm ready to bear the consequences.
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28626
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:46 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:
orcmid wrote:Here, I think there is a matter of governance involved.

A WHAT? A governance issue? Are you kidding? :shock:
[ ... ]
A 320,000+ knowledge base flawed by a single topic that doesn't babysit whiners?
When I see the high level of quality of the support in the forum, compared to the mailing lists (at least Rory does always spot non subscribed ML users and CC them systematically, he's one of the few to do that), I find it very disheartening to be accused of wrong governance. And it goes far beyond that, if Volunteers have to babysit instead of talking as adults, then I'm not in line with that. And I'm ready to bear the consequences.


A lot of words to tell me that there personal offence in my saying "I think there is a matter of governance involved." I would have been heartened if asked what I meant by that. I wasn't thinking of any negligence on Hagar's part at all, and governance might not be the correct term. I will ponder on that and respond separately.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:55 pm

I did not took the offense personally (I'm not that presumptuous). I took it as a global "accusation" toward the whole Volunteers & Moderators teams.

However, this topic is getting too hot for me and I may make some drastic choice on spur of the moment.
Consequently, I'll step down and ignore it, as advised by a very good will (as usual).
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28626
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby keme » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:38 am

Who are we? Why are we here? What is expexted from us?

No, I am not hijacking this topic for some lesson in philosophical foundation. Just asking plainly.

We, the regular helpers in this forum, are different in many ways. So much for "who are we". A motley crew.

The one thing that we have in common is that we are willing to make an effort to help people with software- and computer-related issues, even when that effort does not put bread on our table.

If not bread, then what do we get?
The challenge of finding a solution to a real problem, and perhaps learn something?
A warm feeling that we have helped to make this world a better place?
A chance to promote the idea that "I own what I have written"?

All of those reasons apply to me. A few others too. Other helpers have their own reasons, many along those lines, and probably some very different reasons.

So, what is expected from us?
To serve the task at hand, if that is possible within the realms of "our" software suite, to have an appealing appearance for marketing purposes, and to sacrifice any personal agenda for this?
The word "acolyte" has been mentioned above. I believe that it is exactly what we do not want to be, or want anyone else to become. I may be wrong...
Apache OO 3.4.1/4.1.2/4.1.3, on Ms Windows 7/10 and Mac OS-X 10.8.5 and 10.11.
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 on Mepis Antix MX 14
User avatar
keme
Volunteer
 
Posts: 3286
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:27 am
Location: Egersund, Norway

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:59 pm

Concerning some of the advice given to users who have their expectations frustrated and respond however they do, my only concern is that they not be made cannon fodder in someone else's war. Think "collateral damage."

I want to move on from the example at hand to what kind of useful lessons there might be.

One suggestion would be to have, if there is not one already, a Forum thread on how to interact with the project, how to request features and report bugs, complaints, etc., that are directed to the project. I think it is valuable to remove from the Forum volunteers any need to apologize for or explain what the project does or does not do, and what the software does or does not do.

And now I am going to say what my own commitment is in responding to users, including when they are disappointed and express their frustration. You can also take this as how I regard those who come to the forum and those of you here who support the forum in your contributions every day.

1. Users are prized guests. And when an user goes to the effort to communicate, that is to be treasured.

2. It is also a fact that at least 80% of the users of Apache OpenOffice are running on Windows. They are also using AOO (or still using older OpenOffice.org releases) for whatever reasons. They usually communicate because they are having difficulty and they have work that is important for them to be able to accomplish. Some communicate out of frustration. And some communicate in having taken offense at something they observed, whether they are over-reacting or not.

3. What I want users to know is that they are cared about and that, even when their requests (however expressed) cannot be satisfied, their concern is understood. (It helps to always see something that occurs as a demand as a request, and respond accordingly.)

4. Whenever possible, I want to identify and address the users immediate problem with something better than a throw-away response such as use Linux, go buy Microsoft Office, etc. My question is what can be done about the immediate need, and if nothing can be done, what can they do to bring attention to the situation if they are willing to go that extra mile? If something is already known, where can they find out about that, maybe even add their voice, etc.

5. It is important to ask questions to understand what the actual situation and problem is. (I must work at this very much.) It is often the case that how the user describes what is happening is mistaken, and one needs more detail to discern what is happening.

That's all on me.

I want to return to the forum case one last time, and I will shut up about this. The complaint that came to the users mailing list last week was not by anyone involved in that aged thread. It was from someone for whom their search for an answer to their dilemma found that page as the only treatment of the topic. And it was seen as ugly. That's a fact. That's how they saw it. Dismissing it as whining says more about the dismissal than about the person. I don't happen to subscribe to the solution the complainer had in mind. I did come here, using the privilege you have granted me in being able to communicate privately, and I want you to appreciate that the person, whiner or not, may have brought to our attention what others may also have found, seen as toxic, and run away. That there are thousands of useful posts here is something they will never know or come to appreciate. That's something to be responsible for, if you so choose.

I want you to be aware of it. I am not compelling anything.

Peace.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:51 pm

orcmid wrote:
Hagar Delest wrote:Finally, why this topic was posted in the Private section? This is being discussed in public on the mailing list, V is mentioned in plain text so if you think there is a problem, let's discuss it in the open. If I've orcmid's agreement and no other objection, I'll move the topic in the Site Feedback section (let's say in 3 days from now).
:evil:

[ ... ]
I defer to the Hagar and the Admin team on this.


On reflection, I have no problem with this thread being moved to a public section of the Forum. It may be an useful way to obtain the perspective of others, whatever their ideology might be about Forums and Apache OpenOffice.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:55 am

Just a couple words to make things clear again.
orcmid wrote:I want to identify and address the users immediate problem with something better than a throw-away response such as use Linux, go buy Microsoft Office, etc.

Please read the topics when we advise to use MS Office. This is not bullshitting users, it's only the conclusion when it's obvious that intercompatibility cannot be achieved for the required task. Of course some basic operations in MS Office file formats can be done and we have no problem for that.

orcmid wrote:It is important to ask questions to understand what the actual situation and problem is. (I must work at this very much.) It is often the case that how the user describes what is happening is mistaken, and one needs more detail to discern what is happening.

As said by keme, somewhere, we want problems to be fixed. I doubt the Volunteers do not try to fully grasp each issue.

orcmid wrote:The complaint that came to the users mailing list last week was not by anyone involved in that aged thread. It was from someone for whom their search for an answer to their dilemma found that page as the only treatment of the topic. And it was seen as ugly. That's a fact. That's how they saw it. Dismissing it as whining says more about the dismissal than about the person. I don't happen to subscribe to the solution the complainer had in mind. I did come here, using the privilege you have granted me in being able to communicate privately, and I want you to appreciate that the person, whiner or not, may have brought to our attention what others may also have found, seen as toxic, and run away. That there are thousands of useful posts here is something they will never know or come to appreciate. That's something to be responsible for, if you so choose.

What about educating the mailing lists?
The topic we talk about here is seen as toxic in the opinion of some users, that's completely subjective and linked to the fact that AOO is not the free alternative to MS Office that they thought it was.

orcmid wrote:On reflection, I have no problem with this thread being moved to a public section of the Forum. It may be an useful way to obtain the perspective of others, whatever their ideology might be about Forums and Apache OpenOffice.

OK, done.
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28626
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby lgusaas » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:25 am

orcmid wrote:I want to return to the forum case one last time, and I will shut up about this. The complaint that came to the users mailing list last week was not by anyone involved in that aged thread. It was from someone for whom their search for an answer to their dilemma found that page as the only treatment of the topic. And it was seen as ugly.

Jeeze. One complaint to the mailing list. I think that is a very good record.

There are many threads on the forum dealing with the same issue. Did the complainant look at the other threads? Did the complainant register at the forum and start a new thread about their specific concern?

This issue is very overblown. Just one complaint. Enough already.
Larry I. Gusaas
Moose Jaw, SK Canada
Website: http://larry-gusaas.com
"An artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs." Edgard Varese
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.7 — MacBook Pro(Retina)—macOS Ver.10.15.1 Catalina
lgusaas
Volunteer
 
Posts: 1553
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:32 pm
Location: Moose Jaw, SK Canada

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:05 am

Hagar Delest wrote:Just a couple words to make things clear again.
What about educating the mailing lists?
The topic we talk about here is seen as toxic in the opinion of some users, that's completely subjective and linked to the fact that AOO is not the free alternative to MS Office that they thought it was.


I'd like to know more on those two topics.

    Non-expert users seem to arrive at random on the dev@ and user@ openoffice.apache.org lists. What do you see as a way of educating the mailing lists?

    I am also concerned that user expectations concerning interoperability with other applications and other file formats are over-promised. I am not certain what kind of guidance there can be. Pages like http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html seem to have been tempered with respect to Microsoft Office. Should we link to some place where interoperability limitations are spelled out in greater detail? Should that be here or maybe on the OpenOffice.org Wiki or Web?

Are there other threads that are better for expanding on this?
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby MrProgrammer » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:11 am

keme wrote:While I don't always agree with V's manner of speech, I find that there is always some sense even to the spite, and his political standpoint - as heretofore seen - will get my support every time.
+1; he has earned my support, too.

Hagar Delest wrote:Consequently, I'll step down and ignore it, as advised by a very good will (as usual).
My usual response, as soon as a poster has been rude, has ignored good advice, or wants to proceed in a way that I can't in good conscience recommend is: nothing. I skip those topics. If the poster has been foolish enough to use a title like "Not impressed with Open Office", or "Who writes this crap", I am saved the trouble of even opening them. I encourage those who seek or provide free assistance to read the well-written How To Ask Questions The Smart Way where it explains that one earns a response by being polite and by writing good questions (not sloppy/vague) which use proper grammar (provision being made for non-native speakers). It was V who first mentioned this link and I would like to thank him for it. I have wondered if we should link to it in our Survival Guide. It will help people get better assistance from forums.

acknak wrote:Once a thread drifts into "more heat than light" territory, it usually gets locked.
I will try to remember to notify a moderator about topics that should be evaluated for locking, and hope that other volunteers will do the same. It is, of course, unlikely that moderators see every single topic, so they can use our help in this area.

orcmid wrote:I am also concerned that user expectations concerning interoperability with other applications and other file formats are over-promised.
My understanding, but I may be incorrect, is that the original goal of Star/Open Office was to provide a high quality office suite as an open source project. If that is true, then providing interoperability with other office suites adds to its quality, however said interoperability is not a goal in itself. It would be very good if we were clear about our goal so that users have the proper expectations. This would help to prevent misunderstandings.
Mr. Programmer
AOO 4.1.7 Build 9800 on MacOS 10.14.6.   The locale for any menus or Calc formulas in my posts is English (USA).
User avatar
MrProgrammer
Moderator
 
Posts: 3896
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:57 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby floris v » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:21 am

orcmid wrote:I am also concerned that user expectations concerning interoperability with other applications and other file formats are over-promised. I am not certain what kind of guidance there can be. Pages like http://www.openoffice.org/product/index.html seem to have been tempered with respect to Microsoft Office. Should we link to some place where interoperability limitations are spelled out in greater detail? Should that be here or maybe on the OpenOffice.org Wiki or Web?[/list]

Are there other threads that are better for expanding on this?


It seems to me that people who are relatively new to computers have grossly exaggerated ideas about interoperability (compatibility). They expect, nay they demand, that it be interpreted as a 100 percent fidelity process where formatting is preserved down to the smallest detail. That's a hard attitude do handle, especially because by the time they come here for help, they have become disappointed and sometimes worse than that.
Maybe you can educate the visitors of openoffice.org by providing a page with information about what compatibility actually means as far as AOO is concerned, explaining what can be expected to be preserved and what will surely get lost. In the opening sentence of the main page, "Compatible with other major office suites", you can then turn the first word or the entire phrase into a link to that page.
AOO 4.1.6 op Linux Mint
If your problem has been solved or your question has been answered, please edit the first post in this thread and add [Solved] to the title bar.
Nederlandstalig forum
User avatar
floris v
Moderator
 
Posts: 4177
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby orcmid » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:39 pm

floris v wrote:[In the opening sentence of the main page, "Compatible with other major office suites", you can then turn the first word or the entire phrase into a link to that page.


That's an interesting idea. I wonder if there is a way to provide relatively high-level information and have Forum threads that deal with accumulation of workarounds people find, what to watch out for, templates that lean toward interchangeable documents, etc.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1 on Windows 8.1 and 10
User avatar
orcmid
Volunteer
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:43 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby floris v » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:52 pm

We can also write a separate topic on the subject here, as if it were a tutorial. Maybe it will attract the attention that this sad thread is now getting.

I am impressed by your point about people first finding this forum by that thread and then mistaking it for another hate forum - that would be a really bad thing. We probably never considered that possibility. But it'd be a valid reason to reconsider our rather liberal attitude towards rather bad language or behaviour.
AOO 4.1.6 op Linux Mint
If your problem has been solved or your question has been answered, please edit the first post in this thread and add [Solved] to the title bar.
Nederlandstalig forum
User avatar
floris v
Moderator
 
Posts: 4177
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:21 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: The cost of incivility

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:35 am

Ah, that's better, we are getting to core questions now! There is at last something good in this topic.

orcmid wrote:Non-expert users seem to arrive at random on the dev@ and user@ openoffice.apache.org lists. What do you see as a way of educating the mailing lists?

2 points IMHO:
  • I was not talking about new users. I was talking about the replies. 95% when OP is not subscribed, the replies are made to the list only without CCing the OP. So OP PoV, it's as if almost nobody cared.
  • Internal fighting by mail is not that rare on the ML (users & dev). I don't have any quick example right now at hand but I'm often looking at exchanges not very kind between subscribed users. And I don't even talk about the private list I was subscribed to at the beginning. It was just awful. I even (definitively) unsubscribed it after a discussion with someone from Apache IIRC (the discussion was on dev ML).

orcmid wrote:I am also concerned that user expectations concerning interoperability with other applications and other file formats are over-promised. [...] Should we link to some place where interoperability limitations are spelled out in greater detail?

Well, that's the key question I think. And the answer should be part of the AOO mission statement (not sure there is one BTW, perhaps it should be something to think about).
What should AOO do for users? Remember that the "initial" Sun team chose not to implement the OOXML export filter even if they could (LibO did implement that part of the code).
So, do we want AOO to save in OOXML? (and which flavor? the strict one that nobody use?) and what would be the consequences? Would users still use ODF? obviously not I guess.
Do we want AOO to have a good import OOXML filter? Of course yes, but what for? Users will still expect to save in OOXML, won't they? So would they understand an import without export? Here, education would be needed.
Considering that ODF is getting more and more momentum in administrations, should AOO focus on ODF and improving the format or the features allowed by the format and not yet implemented yet?
That's just open questions, not be answered here. But since a new chairman is about to be elected, perhaps the mission statement could help focus the AOO project on something that gives a vision and the direction.

floris v wrote:I am impressed by your point about people first finding this forum by that thread and then mistaking it for another hate forum - that would be a really bad thing. We probably never considered that possibility. But it'd be a valid reason to reconsider our rather liberal attitude towards rather bad language or behaviour.

If bad language had led to locking, I think that the topic would have been locked because of the users before V's comments...
This is just real life, no more. If mainstream feeling is that it needs some fix, we can add at the end of the thread a link to a topic dedicated to the OOXML compatibility.

Time for bed, to be continued...
AOO 4.1.7 on Xubuntu 19.10 and 4.1.5 on Windows 10 (with winPenPack port).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 28626
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France


Return to Forum Governance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest