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NeoOffice :: View topic - New Features Program - should we try it again?
New Features Program - should we try it again?
 
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: New Features Program - should we try it again? Reply with quote

After seeing the lack of any significant changes in functionality coming in OOo 3.0, it has become frustrating to only be able to tell people to file a bug with OpenOffice.org and hope they fix it. Since NeoOffice has gotten very stable in the last few months which has reduce the time we have to spend doing support time, we have been thinking that maybe it is a good time to revive the New Features Program.

Given fairly constant level of new posts to this forum, it seems to be a safe conclusion that there is a strong desire for new features or enhancements to the features that the existing OpenOffice.org code provides.

Of course, the reason we canceled the New Features Program the first time around was because it was a failure. But that does not mean that it was not a useful tool. Our theory as to why it failed is that it asked people to prepay for a feature. Since then, however, Ed and I found that investing our time and money to develop a new or enhanced feature has generally generated enough donations to repay our investment and pay for any ongoing support and bug fixing.

So, we were thinking of dropping the fundraising aspect that was in the old New Features Program and turning it into a new features voting system. Specifically, we were thinking of listing the most popular 5 or 10 feature requests and giving all existing donors one vote for each US$5 or equivalent donated since 1 January 2006.

In addition to listing the feature and total votes for each, Ed or I will come up with the number of votes for each feature that are needed for us to reach before we will start work. This "minimum votes needed" value really has no meaning other than to show the relative size of investment that Ed and I need to make to implement each feature. Hopefully, this information wil give voters some data as to how much of their votes to allocate to each feature as small features will require fewer votes than larger features.

Is this a good idea? If so, it should only require a few days of work for me to make the necessary changes. However, even if it is a good idea, we need help identifying the first features to list. Does anyone have any ideas of how to identify some of the more popular feature requests?

Patrick
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sardisson
Town Crier
Town Crier


Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only way this new version would not be a success is if you and Ed were unable to implement the top-voted feature Wink (well, also if, once the feature is implemented, donations do not persist in their ability to cover the costs).

I think the new structure for the program sounds good, although I really have no idea what might be manageable features to suggest. Everything I can think of easily sounds to me like it would involve terribly invasive mucking deep in OOo's internals, which I know is something you and Ed like to avoid.

The other thing I'd like to know more about is the timeframe/target version; are you thinking of putting these in a NeoOffice 2.2.5 while continuing to wait on OOo 3 to stabilize, or of things to ship in NeoOffice 3.0.0, or of things to be added as "major" features once Neo 3.0 is out? I ask because it does seem, from what I've read here, that later OOo 2.x versions have added some "major" improvements (the "new" chart module comes to mind first) that will show up first in Neo 3.0, so it's not like 3.0 will be completely void of new features itself.

Broadly speaking, though, I think this sounds like a good plan Smile

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
I think the new structure for the program sounds good, although I really have no idea what might be manageable features to suggest. Everything I can think of easily sounds to me like it would involve terribly invasive mucking deep in OOo's internals, which I know is something you and Ed like to avoid.


In the past we have avoided it. However, the reality is that our current scope of making a Mac OS X version of OpenOffice.org has been largely complete and we have already gone beyond our scope when we implemented the native grammar checker, image capture, remote control, and other non-OpenOffice.org features. So, it only seems natural that since OpenOffice.org is now trying to reproduce what we have already done and we are running out of obvious new features to add, it seems logical that we should expand our scope a bit to include the most popular requested features.

You are right that some may be incredibly invasive and some may be flat out infeasible. But my thinking is that before we put something on the New Features page, we discuss it in the forum and see if we can break it down into a set of smaller feature changes that we can post as smaller features are more likely to get implemented since they are less risky for us and, therefore, require fewer votes.

sardisson wrote:
The other thing I'd like to know more about is the timeframe/target version; are you thinking of putting these in a NeoOffice 2.2.5 while continuing to wait on OOo 3 to stabilize, or of things to ship in NeoOffice 3.0.0, or of things to be added as "major" features once Neo 3.0 is out? I ask because it does seem, from what I've read here, that later OOo 2.x versions have added some "major" improvements (the "new" chart module comes to mind first) that will show up first in Neo 3.0, so it's not like 3.0 will be completely void of new features itself.


It depends. If a smaller feature can easily implemented in NeoOffice 2.2.x code, we'll do it there. But if it would require reimplementation in NeoOffice 3.0 or backporting of massive changes from the OpenOffice.org 3.0 code like is the case with the charting module, then we will wait until NeoOffice 3.0 is out.

Patick
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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good.

(I'll go and check my donation status) Cool

-Oz

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K-9
The Merovingian


Joined: Mar 15, 2006
Posts: 571
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure about a lot of the details, etc.; But if you guys have really completed a lot of the tweaking of open office into the Neo you want that would be great to develop Neo into your unique Application and take it beyond the scope of Open office. Adapting Neo from Open office and then refining it, and now going full-tilt forward into expanding the parameters offered in Neo would be great. I realize that some stuff is major re-working which may not be feasable. I say go for it. I hope this makes sense?

Last edited by K-9 on Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, since August is vacation time for many people, we won't implement this until late August. This should give people time to bump their favorite feature request up to the top of the New Features Program forum.

Patrick
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OPENSTEP
The One
The One


Joined: May 25, 2003
Posts: 4752
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some of the ones I remember from our user conference. Some are mine, some were from others:


  • Import 3.0 sidebar notes functionality (may or may not be practical given 3.0 timelines?)
  • Add a running word count to the status bar region
  • Investigate supporing CoreImage filters for application to bitmaps and other tweaking
  • Research simplification of patch installation via Sparkle or other Software Update-like framework (essentially, removes the manual steps of opening the web browser, navigating to the downloaded disk image, double clicking the .pkg...goes right from "an update is available" to automatically opening up the .pkg in the installer, or to initiating the install)


ed
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breedlov
Blue Pill


Joined: Aug 01, 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Wanted Feature Reply with quote

I would like to see the HTML editor make better use of CSS files rather than internal styles or in addition to internal styles. This would make the editor a much more valuable tool.

Actually, I'd like to see something in the public domain which can compete with Dreamweaver, but, that is really thinking in the clouds!
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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Re: Wanted Feature Reply with quote

breedlov wrote:
Actually, I'd like to see something in the public domain which can compete with Dreamweaver, but, that is really thinking in the clouds!


I doubt that NeoOffice is the best basis for such an application. You'd be carrying a *lot* of code that isn't useful for HTML/CSS generation.

Best wishes,
Oscar

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OPENSTEP
The One
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Posts: 4752
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the way HTML and the other markup formats work is by choosing a set internal style and mapping that during the export process to the external tag (at least the wiki markup XSLT...I've not got direct experience with the others). I think the HTML one is more transparent since it uses internal styles with the same names as the HTML tags (e.g. Heading 1). For the wiki export XSLTs I've used the mapping is not quite as direct.

ed
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI. Within the next week I will have a test website setup with some test logins for people to test out the voting system. Hopefully, after a few weeks of testing and tweaking, we will be able to start accepting votes on our main website by September.

Patrick
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
FYI. Within the next week I will have a test website setup with some test logins for people to test out the voting system. Hopefully, after a few weeks of testing and tweaking, we will be able to start accepting votes on our main website by September.


How embarrassing, I promised that this would be done, switched priorities, and never updated this forum topic.

I have been working on this as time allows, but the preparation and release of NeoOffice 2.2.5 has made progress slow. Also, since NeoOffice 3.0 Early Access is less than 60 days away, I pushed that work to the front of my priority list.

So, at this point, a more realistic plan is that we will put the New Features Program in production when the NeoOffice 3.0 Early Access Program starts. It is probably the best time to roll it out as many people will be logging into the Early Access Program system during this time and when they log in, they will see that they have "new features votes" that they can cast in addition to the Neo 3.0 EA download links.

Of course, before it is put in production, I will setup a test system so that people can check it out. When we get closer to that stage, I will post an update in this forum topic.

Patrick
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ovvldc
Captain Naiobi


Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
Location: Zürich, CH

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries, Bug fixing and bringing in 3.0 were always going to be higher priority than new features..

Best wishes,
Oscar

P.S. I will take a look at the website translations sometime soon. I have been frightfully busy myself.

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