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

Subject: Re: Call for writers - help us with the user documentation
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 06:51:26 CDT

On Mon, Apr 30, 2001 at 09:22:35AM +0200, Jesper Skov wrote:
> >>>>> "rms" == rms <> writes:
> You're entitled to your opinions - just as others are. And there's
> more developers in favor of getting a 1.0 done so we have a release
> normal users dare use, and a stable platform for further feature
> changes.

Dare, but most probably *WON'T LIKE* and that is my problem with releasing an incomplete 1.0.

Make a *very* stable 0.9 and release it. Making a 1.0 will do nothing but hurt abiword's image.

> Now, if we make these 0.9, 0.10, and 0.11, what do you think the
> chances are *users* will pick 0.10 as the natural stable version?
> They'll go like cattle for 0.11 if you ask me.

People run like cattle to the 0.7.x releases, just like they will for any release, with and increasing number of users at each new 0.7.y.

> On the other hand, if we do 0.9, 1.0, and 1.1, our *users* will know a
> 1.0 for what it is and pick that. There'll also be users to go for 1.1
> obviously, but there's a precedent for versioning that suggests that
> 1.0 is worth using in itself. There's no such precedent for a "0.10"
> release.

You are so very distracted, aren't you?

Evolution (0.10 is coming out soon), gdk-pixbuf (0.9, 0.10, 0.11) and many others.

The version numbering system is not the decimal system. It's a threesome of integers! :)

> There's no such thing as a final version - not until the day we all
> get fed up and leave the project to die. If users want all the
> features they find in Word - and trust me, not all will agree with you
> about what are "critical" features - they should stick to the
> bloatware what Word is.

Tables is not bloat, and FYI abi looks more bloated because of performance issues than MS WOrd (disks are quite big nowadays... in Portugal you can already hardly find a 20Gb disk).

And when I mean final I do not mean *last*. I mean a stable release *with* an important number of features.

Up to today, I haven't found one single user that I present AbiWord to that he doesn't ask for tables, versioning and other things. One of them (headers) is already done.

I do not demand tables. I just argue that it's unreasonable to call it a 1.0.

Call it a 0.10, 0.11, untill we have enough killer features.

> For the remaining 75% of the potential user base (my guesstimate), the
> current feature set is sufficient. Should we deny them a stable
> platform in order to get the GTI drivers of the wordprocessing game
> all the hottest fanciest features? I think not.

Launching a 1.0 is not a synonimous of a stable platform. Besides, most users will not care for a perfectly stable word processor that can't even give them a modicum of important features.

> That's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it... I also happen to feel
> that I'm one of the core developers, maybe not feature wise, but
> based on how much time I'm putting into AbiWord, so I'd assume that my
> opinion carries more weight than most others.

> This is democracy by doing, not by talking: I happen to believe we
> need Word export, footnotes, and tables by 1.0, but I'm not able to do
> any of those in the timeframe I believe is necessary for a 1.0
> release, so who am I to demand those features in 1.0?

Why having an iron curtain called 1.0?
And no, this is a democracy of DOING AND TALKING. If you have no advocacy, no one will notice your doing.

> Who are you to demand them?

You code, I translate and advocate. That is open source. Each do what they can, and the sum of all efforts will try to make the world a better place.

Every time a new feature on abi becomes active I call out for people to try it and give it at least a try. If you have no users, a product is of little use.

> Respectfully but slightly annoyed,

Cool you heart and clear your mind.

The mailing list exists to debate developing issues, and *THIS IS* an important matter, not to plainly announce the commits.

Based on my frequent experience, launching AbiWord with the current plan of features will not be usefull to the image we're trying to sell.

There's little use for including images if at least the text doesn't wrap around them by user choice.
Tabs do not replace tables.

It is because I advocate abiword that I am terribly annoyed (not just slightly) that we're calling a feature complete (1.0) to a version that will not include important features that *every*single*potential*user* I know asks for.

A big hug, rms

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