Re: Call for writers - help us with the user documentation

Subject: Re: Call for writers - help us with the user documentation
From: Randy Kramer (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 08:48:55 CDT

On the subject of the 1.0 release of AbiWord, I'd like to propose
something a little different. Why don't we plan to never make a 1.0
release? I'm serious, but slightly tongue-in-cheek -- the suggestion is
that we use a humorous approach to increase AbiWord's name recognition.
(AbiWord's first advertising campaign -- BTW: This is intended as food
for thought, and is not a "finished" proposal.)

The underlying theme is that AbiWord is the word processor that always
delivers more than it promises.

This is something that every member of the team would be able to take
pride in -- any time a new user tries AbiWord, or an existing user tries
a new feature, we envision him walking away shaking his head -- "who are
these guys? -- this isn't even the 1.0 release, but <this_feature> works
better than [Word 2000 | Word Perfect 9.0 | Star Office 5.2 | ???]"
(The first phrase with appropriate credit to "Butch Cassidy (sp?) and
the Sundance Kid".)

This can be tied in with the often expressed goal/slogan of features
that "Just Work". (Sample dialog: "I found a few new buttons in the
latest release of AbiWord." "What happened when you clicked them?"
"They Just Worked, exactly the way I would have expected the features to

1. The plan to never make a 1.0 release is not totally serious -- we
"promise" that AbiWord will be perfect when finally released at 1.0.
And someday we start conducting surveys (among all users and, perhaps, a
randomly chosen group of non-users), asking "Is AbiWord ready for its
1.0 release?" -- we make the release if the vote is unanimous. In the

2. We can advertise (word of mouth, etc.) that AbiWord is (or will be)
the perfect word processor.

3. We look forward to the day when people state that AbiWord version
0.9.91 (for example) is better than any other word processor at version
8.0, 2000, 5.2, or higher.

4. We can publish a schedule in terms of adding features before 1.0.
Tables at 0.7.16, outlining at 0.9.4, ..., WYTIWYG (What You Think Is
What You Get) at 0.9.45, ... , replication at 0.9.71, transporter
technology at 0.9.78, ... (See below -- we would need to do this stuff
in moderation and good taste, and I tend to cross the line too often.)

5. At some point, releases might specify what features are not included,
specifically listing tongue-in-cheek items like WYTIWYG, replication,
and transporter technology. ("Transporter not included.")

6. The idea is not to be a joke, but to use a running line of humor (in
good taste) to increase AbiWord's name recognition.

7. This will not work if anyone on the team has a hidden agenda that
requires a 1.0 release of AbiWord.

This can work. It certainly would require moderation to keep the humor
in good taste and as a positive thing rather than a negative thing.

Just a different idea. Everybody on the team would have to buy into it,
take pride in it, and talk about it appropriately in their email, (IRC)
chats, and conversations.
Randy Kramer

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Mon Apr 30 2001 - 08:53:00 CDT