Why nobody from LibreOffice answers unanswered questions

There are questions here clearly aimed at LibreOffice experts submitted many months ago. Why nobody from LibreOffice answers unanswered questions. The concept of not listening to your customers is usually attributed to a large software company…

The existing answers are relevant in the general case, but I’d like to answer your specific questions, namely

There are questions here clearly aimed at LibreOffice
experts submitted many months ago. Why nobody from
LibreOffice answers unanswered questions.

For me as a volunteer, I didn’t really know about the ask.LO site until very recently. So perhaps we need to advertise it a bit more!

The site is also growing very rapidly right now, and there might not be enough people with admin privs to deal with a lot of the “gardening” or “housekeeping” tasks that would make the site easier to navigate. Some of us volunteers who would like to answer questions are literally 100’s of karma points away from being able to do even basic tasks like tagging questions, closing improper or duplicate questions, or editing the “wiki” parts of the site.

In contrast with these restrictions, anyone can hop onto IRC or the mailing lists and post whenever they like. With a simple 2-minute account creation, one can make edits to pretty much any page on the primary LO wiki as well.

The site needs improvements going from the underlying software, through better documentation and policies, welcoming new users to the site, and all the way to seeing old questions closed/marked as good enough/etc…

In short, the site needs a lot of love.

From the related wiki page:

The Ask site provides crowdsourced answers to questions about LibreOffice software and the LibreOffice project.

We simply cannot check all the channels. I receive between 300 and 600 emails per day, with the lower figure for weekends and holidays, and I simply cannot deal with all of them. A percentage of these is for my daily job, and has a priority (because my daily job is paying my bills). I try to manage emails and blog comments, but I simply cannot manage forums and sites like this one. When there are important questions, it is always better to use the mailing lists, because there is a higher number of people looking at them. Of course, we all know that it would be better to listen all channels in the same way, but we are volunteers and we cannot simply manage everything. We would be happy, though, to increase the number of people able to deal with these channels.

I do think that the reason is because the site is to new and there is no real user community on it.

There a lots of other sites related to OOo/LO with a lot of good content and the owners should spend a lot of time to convince the other communities to join the new system.

The second problem is that the owners decided to use a Stack Exchange, cheap clone instead of getting traction to create a new SE site or just using superuser one (LibreOffice can easily enter to this category).

My humble opinion is that the decision to host this themselves had a great impact because they forgot to count how many power-SE users they are loosing and secondly, how hard is to configure and maintain the required infrastructure, which you get for free on SE.

The 3rd problem would be that, by not using SE your Google PR is considerably lowered.

And now, one of the most annoying thing I ever found: my karma is still “1” after I added an answer!

The TDF people have this thing about hosting everything so that they can have full control. It’s their option. BTW if your answer is upvoted you get more karma :slight_smile:

It is not a matter of bad attitude but clearly a case of lack of resources.

Even if there are hundreds of developers and collaborators in this project the fact is that the number of people collaborating daily is much lower.

Another reason for the lack of answers is the dispersion of people with knowledge (and time) by the several support tools available online: the online documentation (http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/documentation/), the user forum (http://libreofficeforum.org/), the user mailing list (http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Users-f1639498.html) and this site.

The collaboration of experts, in particular the developers, is depending on their good will, time and obviously on how their time is better used: supporting current users or fixing bugs/adding features to improve the program.

As many things in this project it is debatable if this is the best possible approach :wink:

This site is good for getting answers to very basic questions and little else.

If you want experts, the best place by far is http://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/index.php

There, you benefit from the “institutional memory” of many thousands of answers that have already been answered, and the volunteers and moderators are top-notch. Some of the answers they post are worth thousands of dollars if you had to pay someone in the open market.

Here, not only can I not downvote a poor answer, I cannot even upvote a good one to set it apart from the rest. Note how Vignoli above does not even bother to respond to qubit’s plea for more powers to be delegated to volunteers, yet he admits he has no time to take care of ask.libreoffice.org himself.