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LibreOffice 6.1 released (documentfoundation.org)
169 points by mksaunders 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 83 comments

I have grown increasingly disinterested in Office Suites, and in particular word processors, over time.

When composing documents, I prefer to let the final production medium to dictate the production process. (If I don't, I tend to run into issues relating to the final product that are costly to overcome late in the process.)

With this mindset, I still haven't found the use case for word processors. If I aim for something to be designed well in print, it makes most sense to use a desktop publishing tool like Scribus. For the web, something like Org or Markdown covers 99% of the use cases. Org or manually writing LaTeX is good for print use when fancy designs are not key.

What do you people use word processors for?

Office suites, as the name suggests, are for office workers. You know, the kind of people who write stern letters on official letterhead, work on Excel workbooks, and give PowerPoint presentations in front of other people.

It's probably not the kind of job that a typical programmer would like to have, but there are hundreds of millions of these jobs in governments, schools, and corporate offices all over the world. I bet they make up a much larger market than all the programmers in the world combined. We need to get out of the programmer bubble in order to see why a seemingly obsolete piece of software like LibreOffice is still such a big deal. Just one country deciding on it as the official standard means millions of people will be using FOSS in a critical part of their workflow.

I did my M.A. and Ph.D. in the humanities and wrote both dissertations using Microsoft Word. My professors would have been very confused if I had sent them anything other than .doc(x) for review.

>My professors would have been very confused if I had sent them anything other than .doc(x) for review.

This, in particular, is the most important point. The parent commenter says "I prefer to let the final production medium to dictate the production process". Well, in the vast majority of cases, .docx is the final production medium. Most people use MS Word as both a document editor and a document reader.

I've worked at many companies and very rarely is any of the work product "finalized" into something like a PDF or a magazine. 90%+ of our work is meant to be continuously iterated on and added to over time, meaning it needs to stay in .docx. This applies even in the tech world, where things like design documents, project plans, etc are all used as well.

Moreover, I think the trend you described will only become more popular as the world moves away from printed media.

When STEM people think of a "final production medium", they usually think of articles in journals. But who reads paper journals anymore? Most people who are active in their fields don't even read PDFs of paper journals; they've already seen the preprints on arxiv. We're all just exchanging tarballs of source code, and nobody is compiling anything.

The thing I like the best about Microsoft Word is the review feature. Multiple people can edit, annotate, and comment on specific parts of the same document. You can inspect each diff and either accept or reject it. Everything is color-coded and can be manipulated using a mouse. It's like commenting on a github commit, but much more intuitive for people whose job is to exchange human-readable documents, not source code.

> The thing I like the best about Microsoft Word is the review feature. Multiple people can edit, annotate, and comment on specific parts of the same document. You can inspect each diff and either accept or reject it. Everything is color-coded and can be manipulated using a mouse. It's like commenting on a github commit, but much more intuitive for people whose job is to exchange human-readable documents, not source code.

This is an interesting perspective! I author in plain text, and when collaborating, I prefer using what's essentially the Phabricator code review workflow to elicit comments and improvements until the change is fixed.

Working with changes this way is useful in that it atomises and comparmentalises changes, so the history is easier to inspect after the fact. And so far, few people have found it unintuitive -- they don't even know it was designed for source code in the first place, they just like that it's clear what's expected of them at each step in the process.

I think sometimes it's easy to underestimate how good tools for programmers are, but it's easy to see why: in any field, if you want to find good tools, look at what the toolmaker has to use. I think a lot of people would prefer the programmer tools if given sufficient polish and the proper introduction.

Programmers' tools are great for dealing with plain text, so if you write plain text, good for you! But other people often deal with things that aren't plain text, and I don't think it's a good idea to try to squeeze them into the lowest common denominator just because it's more natural for us.

It's easy to underestimate how much meaning ordinary people bestow upon layouts, colors, and other stylistic choices that programmers often think is frivolous. I think we should focus more on how we might design tools that allow people to work together effectively on non-plain-text content (rich text, photos, videos, you name it) than how we might convince everyone to adopt our plain-text tools.

I think you overestimate the technical ability of many users who are using tools such as Microsoft Office (or Libre Office), given many of them struggle even with those tools never mind anything more technical.

Those tools have interfaces that have remained virtually unchanged since the infancy of personal computing. I highly doubt they represent the pinnacle of user interaction.

I live in a world where I have to interact with non-technical people, and I need to produce documents that are editable by those non-technical people.

Non-technical people can take a document produced by pages, MS Word, and OO Writer, and load them up, make changes and send them back. The cloud has not yet caught up with my part of the industry I work in.

I'd love to be able to work in Markdown (or even groff) and then feed that to something to produce nice looking documents - in the end I use word, because its the easiest way to get passed the post. PDF is my most favored document interchange format, provided that edibility is not a prime desire.

What I'd love is a word processor, that allows me to use PDF as the prime document format for saving, editing, etc.

> my most favored document interchange format, provided that edibility is not a prime desire.

Come on, Baader-Meinhof! I literally just seconds ago learned the term "faulty diction", and then you throw in my face an editability/edibility mixup.

Well, PDFs don't taste very good, either.

I feel exactly the same way. Word processors are a muddle of a middle ground, where you are forced to manage styles and layouts with substandard comtrols, and get none of the dependable benefits of structured text.

I think word processors are just entrenched. People expect this degree of control, and don’t know how better things can be in either direction.

Fun fact: the original Google word processor wasn’t really much of a word processor. It was more akin to LyX, where users chose the type of text they were working with, and then IIRC, CSS styling was applied. But then the pressure to be a “real word processor” got the better of them, and it got rewrote as the thing it is today.

Frame Maker... now that was a nice take on document creation.

People use word processors to write documents that can be easily edited by multiple people while still being easily readable the whole time.

I'd be interested to know what product you use to compose your documents in.

In the absence of forced company policy, my experience of word processors have generally been one of rather poor compatibility. I assume company policies are what helps people interact through word processors?

I personally like Org to compose the copy of a document. It's a plain text format that makes sense to a lot of people, the reference implementation has most of the powerful features I'd miss from word processors, and it's reasonably easy to script missing advanced features.

I second emacs org mode. I've started to really buy into the everything is text nix philosophy. I use it for so much, my website skeletons are exported to html from org, my data science workbooks are org, my resume is org I export to latex, and so on.

I also use libreoffice, but mostly only when forced to deal with docs or PowerPoint etc. I think libreoffice does a lot of things right and am glad to have their wysiwyg when I don't feel like thinking.

Also, I think it's shameful so many professors require docx..

I've been thinking that we need a new generation of word processors aimed for authoring blog posts (and wiki pages etc). Sure you and I might be happy editing markdown with vi (although honestly I'm not happu with that), but that is not really solution for wider usage.

Most features of word processors are equally applicable for web-style content, but somehow we ended up having completely separate ecosystem there.

One major issue hampering creation of such tool is the relative lack of standardization on the web. Every content platform has its own format and api etc, so making common tooling is difficult.

See also Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer became Open Live Writer!


I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but have you tried Emacs Org mode? It is structural plain text at its core, but Emacs theming functionality lets you live preview the document to reasonable detail. It has matured enough to provide advanced functionality expected from word processors, and it has a powerful exporting and publishing framework capable of producing all sorts of document types including blog posts.

The productivity increase from using a single WYSIWYG word processor instead of four different technologies (one of which is LaTex which won't give you any output for certain types of errors) is worth the marginal decrease in quality of output.

Maybe you want to give Lyx[0] a try.

[0]: https://www.lyx.org/

I miss using lyx and latex so much. I used it for my dissertation, and used mercurial for version tracking (this was 2008-2009, when mercurial and git were still neck and neck). When I updated an analysis and got new results, it triggered a rebuild of the thesis with new plots and descriptions. I had more than a year of history showing how the results progressed. Word docs can't approach this.

> What do you people use word processors for?

Dealing with people who use word processors.

(Word processors are hateful and waste large chunks of my time whenever I have to deal with them it seems.)

Excellent question. I have found that I need office suites less and less. The reason I still have an Office365 subscription is for Onedrive and Onenote, for the few remaining classic documents I use Libreoffice because I found that I almost never exchange pure .doc-files with anyone, so no focus on perfect compatibility is needed and I do not want to grow some dependency on Microsoft somehow (nothing against MS, I just like independence).

To answer your question: I only use Libreoffice to write write the occasional letter to state authorities and to write my invoices (which are few). For serious documents, I exclusively use LaTeX as I love not having to care about layout details (it sometimes takes time to figure new stuff out, like putting graphics into the perfect place, but when a deadline is near, the layouting is nothing I have to care about any more).

Letters! Good point! I'd probably still prefer having a letterhead template in Scribus and author in plain text, but I can totally see why most people would consider that overkill and instead use a word processor to combine the two tasks.

I use word processors to specify complex systems. I can quickly navigate the document visually, without having to use Pandoc and its ilk to convert it to a format that's easy on the eyes. Other tools that live-preview markdown just aren't there yet. I also get a lot of automated functionality for complex structures like lists, tables, section numbering (in multiple formats) and tables-of-contents. I have really, really tried to be as efficient with Markdown and its ilk, but it doesn't even come close. I would also mention the interop benefit, but that would be beating a dead horse at this point.

I am also of the opinion that for anything remotely resembling complexity, Markdown is very lacking.

But the things you mention are the things I do with Org and Emacs Org mode. Is that something you have tried?

I use word processors to work with other people. I can't tell you how many times I've been sent .doc, .ppt, .xls, or other Microsoft file formats that have become ubiquitous in the modern workplace.

In my university days, I used a word processor (Libreoffice Writer) as a kind of clipboard: I would copy and paste tables and webpages into it, and use it for something, I don't recall what. It's a bit like a quick-and-dirty Dreamweaver and it interacts with copy-and-paste beautifully. Kudos to the Libreoffice people.

A lot of the alternatives, like LyX, are too opinionated to paste into from the browser.

This is the most ignorant programmer thing I've seen said on hackernews. Utter lack of understanding for how all office workers interact and share information through Office documents.

I don't. I generally write plaintext or html in a texteditor.

Generally, I write everything in plain-text, and then as a final processing step, bring it into Word and format it. I hit on this process when I was in college, since SVN, which I was using for version control at the time, is such shit with doc files. It doesn't help that it is absolutely miserable to try to add footnotes to a paper as you are writing it in Word, and at the time, and perhaps still, futzing with them was a good way to make Word crash and lose a few unsaved paragraphs.

Congrats on pushing out an updated UI, often one of the biggest complaints people have against OSS is the outdated UI the permeate the space because it's one of the hardest things to get right and it takes so much time to change.

I think these new icons and menus look wonderful.

It's especially impressive because LibreOffice doesn't really seem to have any big corporate backers like other OSS projects, and yet they seem to be holding on. I don't think I've seen LO installed in any corporate environment, and I'd imagine that MS Office holds like 95% of the market, so I do appreciate this alternative.

Way better than any Office alternative but also extremely sluggish on my machine. I just use it to read csv files and even at that it's abnormally slow.

I use it on Linux and macOS and it's pretty fast with CSV files (although I'm not sure how large the ones you're using are!)

If it's specific CSV files that are causing an issue, and you don't mind sharing them, you could attach them to a bug report: https://bugs.documentfoundation.org

Also try resetting your profile in case that's an issue: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/UserProfile#Resolving_co...

25MB files "work" but still abnormally slow for my 16GB RAM machine, 200MB files forget it.

I'll do some more testing and report.

I can confirm that large CSVs are dog slow on libreoffice. If excel can do it a lot faster (which it can) this should definitely be logged as a bug.

It would be great to actually see the new Windows theme, and the UI changes mentioned, in the actual blog post.

There's a short video showing the theme, and other features mentioned, as linked in the blog post ;-)


Thanks, I hate it.

The old icons were far clearer as to their purpose. Save is now a download button in case children don't recognize a floppy...

Then simply use the older icons :-)

EDIT: Three steps:

1. Go to Tools > Options in the menu 2. Click View on the left 3. Then choose Icon style on the right

> Then simply use the older icons :-)

Simple for you doesn't mean simple for other people.

Without writing down the steps on exactly how-to use the older icons, it doesn't equate to simple in my opinion.

IOW, you probably had done yourself a favor to not use the word "simply".

I was referring to the fact that he "hated" the icons - it's not the end of the world, as you can use the old ones. But you're right, I've added the three steps to my original post!

Cool. Great that it can be changed via the GUI, disliking icons certainly is not the end of the world.

FWIW, I didn't like the word choice on not like an icon set with the word "hate", but well I guess that's what he felt.

Personally I do like the new icons. Keep up the good work!

"It's great that what I want existsb but I want it by default and I don't want to lift a finger to do it". OSS doesn't work that way.

I wasn't asking for it and am just fine with the new icons.

Only pointing out that "simple" is something in the eye of the beholder. If you know how something works, it is often simple.

FWIW I have been working for over 20 years in OSS ;) and often thought things are simple only to find out that users need a bit more hand holding.

>Save is now a download button in case children don't recognize a floppy

No, that is the Gnome Icon set, the new Windows Icon set is still a floppy.

At first I thought you were being pedantic, but when I saw the download symbol as "save" it just felt... weird.

I agree that at some point we will need to change the floppy disk, but it was just interesting the feeling I had when trying to grok the down arrow as "save".

Guess it is just a matter of getting used to it.

Yea I found the new screenshots clicking around the website, but they should have been part of the release.

The new icon theme for Windows is shown on the page.

I find it a bit strange that I have to download the LibreOffice "built-in" help package separately.

Just download it and compare to 6.0 it seems the startup time are heaps better.

To continue navigation on the website, you need to acknowledge our privacy policy

Policy not linked or displayed. After clicking "Privacy Preferences":

As the protection of your personal data is an important concern for us, please click on the "More information" link to access our Privacy Policy page

No such links anywhere in that thing. But there is one in the page footer:


    301 about-us/privacy/
    302 privacy/
    301 about-us/privacy/  

I browse with Javascript disabled by default, so I didn't know they were doing this. Why does the Document Foundation need to track me? Is LibreOffice itself doing something sneaky that I don't know about? I'd expect this kind of behavior from Facebook or Google, not a Free Software charitable foundation. Seeing that pop-up when I enabled Javascript made me think less of the Document Foundation. If they have a legitimate need for tracking, e.g. user logins for a forum, they can present the warning at the time the user interacts with it.

> Why does the Document Foundation need to track me?

It's not "tracking" (in the sense of monitoring what you do on other sites). On the LibreOffice website, we use the open source stats tool Matomo (formerly Piwik) to get an overview of how people use the site, how people go from one page to another, so that we can improve it. Lots of FOSS projects do this. Also, as explained in the privacy policy, JavaScript is required if you want to use certain third-party services that are embedded into some pages: https://www.libreoffice.org/about-us/privacy/privacy-policy-...

> Is LibreOffice itself doing something sneaky that I don't know about?

Of course not. We're a volunteer-driven, community open source project. It's all in the open :-) If you really want to change how the website works, we'd appreciate a hand: website+subscribe@global.libreoffice.org - thanks!

1. What you've described as 'not "tracking" ' is tracking. It's not third-party tracking but you're still deliberately adding a cookie for the purpose of tracking users across your site.

2. Your privacy policy contains:

> !!!add opt-out frame on the website at this position!!!

> What you've described as 'not "tracking" ' is tracking. It's not third-party tracking but you're still deliberately adding a cookie for the purpose of tracking users across your site.

I'd argue you're being unfair with terminology here. People generally talk about tracking when referring to cookies and scripts that monitor what other sites users visit. Monitoring sessions on your own site is ethically distinct enough to warrant its own term: web analytics.

You may think these are bad terms that don't reflect the true nature of the issue, and I'd be inclined to agree with you, but it is not an excuse to willingly conflate the two without qualifying it.

> 1. What you've described as 'not "tracking" ' is tracking. It's not third-party tracking but you're still deliberately adding a cookie for the purpose of tracking users across your site.

OK, we're using open source tools to try to improve the site. Plenty of other FOSS projects do this... Not sure why we're being singled out :-)

Not sure why we're being singled out :-)

Didn't mean no harm or to single you guys out. You're doing fantastic work. But broken and noncompliant notices do bother me a bit.

Sorry to drag on like this but the privacy statement (thanks for linking) says:

takes place only with the consent of the user

It does not, as there appears to be a second cookie notice underneath the first stating how consent is assumed:

We use only those functional cookies which are absolutely necessary to ensure that we give you the best navigation experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with them.

From my understanding, if you're using only functional cookies and no tracking you don't even need consent (as you have legal basis) and you can drop the notice altogether. But I don't think analytics count as functional cookies.

Now aside from that nitpicking, thanks for writing such a clear privacy policy and making such good choices regarding the social media buttons, YouTube's privacy mode, and so on. Props!

Thanks for the feedback! I'll pass it on to the website team :-)

Don't let comments on Hacker News unduely influence your website decision making. The issues raised here tend to be laser focused on things that likely won't correlate with your success in the market.

You'll never be able to please everyone so your ability to study and run experiments is key. If anything, it sounds like you are doing things exactly the right way.

Very good answer. By these time of GDPR and privacy protection, it's super important that open source/free software project be absolute models in those areas. Indeed, when I recommend using free software like LibreOffice, its in great part because of the trust I have in your code (trust that I won't be fd now or in the future). Uncompromizing handling of cookies is part of that trust. Thanks for your wonderful job !

edit: in case it's not clear : i'm all for appropriate tracking (in your context, improving the website), provided that 1/ I know about it 2/ I have a choice (in your case, I'll opt in* if I can)

> Not sure why we're being singled out

Someone who cares has noticed, and enough other people care that the thread is getting upvoted enough to hit the front page of HN.

Though still you are not being "singled" out as there are plenty of sites which have had their cookie/privacy/tracking/other behaviours picked apart recently. You are not the first/only and will not be the last!

You are not singled-out, this is a submission about you so it makes sense to talk about you.

Everyone who tracks has improvements in mind.

It sounds like it's more intrusive than most of the GDPR cookie notice spam that's been appearing on sites. But if it's causing users to start noticing and asking questions about the tracking on web sites, then GDPR seems to be working. (uBlock Origin also seems to be working because I didn't see the notice.)

You are not singled out, treat this as user preferences or feature requests. People here are direct, but this is an environment feature of HN. Most folks here greatly appreciate your work (I do). That said, let me throw a few more stones:

1. The fact that you use OS tools to track users is almost irrelevant. I can still collect and lose data with FOSS tools. A tool is a tool (and tracking is tracking).

2. Sorry, I am not buying the "we need to know how you move on site to improve it". You write a great FOSS office productivity tool set. You should not care how much time users spend on your site, etc. In fact, your web site can be pretty basic for downloading new software. If you really need to figure out how people move within your site this should be easy to recover from IPs and web server logs.

Just my 2c and please keep doing your great work!

> tracking is tracking

But as another commenter here mentioned, simplifications like that do far more damage than good. In the broader world, "tracking" on the internet generally refers to companies following you all over the web and selling your data. By saying "tracking is tracking", you lump TDF's use of Piwik (for our site, for our own use, with obfuscated data in storage and a clear privacy policy) with that of advertising providers, who really do track you all over the web, don't tell you what they store, and sell your data. By saying "tracking is tracking", you tar everyone in the same brush. That's lacking nuance and really, really unfair to volunteer-driven FOSS projects (many of which use Piwik) that are just trying to do their best.

> You should not care how much time users spend on your site, etc.

Well, that's your opinion! But many of us in the LibreOffice community see the website as a major part of the product (and project). Do we want to spread the word about FOSS? Compete effectively with MS Office? Build our community and attract new contributors? Encourage donations so that we can support the community? Then we need a well-structured and useful website. Analytics tools help a lot in that.

> In fact, your web site can be pretty basic for downloading new software.

Again, that's the way you see it, fair enough. But actually the site needs to do a lot more than that. It needs to encourage people to try the software (screenshots, videos etc.) It needs to provide help, and support options, and front-ends to mailing lists. It needs to provide infrastructure for the project and community as a whole. The more we can optimise that - with the help of some analytics tools - the stronger we can make LibreOffice and the community. That's very important to us; if you disagree, join the LibreOffice project website list and put forward your case :-)

> ... simplifications ... that "tracking is tracking" do far more damage than good.

Point taken. I do not post-edit my posts for content, but I completely agree that LO's tracking is almost certainly at the benign end of the scale. It was a bad formulation on my part

On the other two points, though, your post reaffirmed my position. The way I understood it is you want to track (benignly, within the site only) users to generate funding, advocacy, onboarding, etc. This collecting user data to influence their behavior is, to me, starting down a slippery slope. That slippery slope has Facebook-like mind manipulation at the end of it; it is very far, but once you start in that direction it is very hard to stop.

Well structured and useful website indeed helps greatly. But one should be able to get there, or 90% there, using only anonymous information. This is just my opinion (I do take a harder line on privacy than most users). Cheers!

Thanks for your understanding and fair discussion :-) On this point:

> This collecting user data to influence their behavior...

I think that's a really negative and cynical way to look at what we and other FOSS projects are doing. Here's an example of what we can do with some basic website analytics data: we can put a banner on the download page saying "Made by the community - you can be a part too!". The banner links to a "Get involved" page, encouraging people to join the project.

Then, with analytics tools, we can see how well that works. We can do A/B testing by having some download pages with the banner, some without, and see which ones help bring new people into our FOSS community. This is really useful and good for us all!

Now you could say this is about "influencing behavior", and in a super pedantic sense it is. But again, when people talk about websites "influencing behavior" the big topics at the moment are Russian troll farms, Cambridge Analytica etc. I don't think it's fair to use terms like that when we're not trying to play mind games with anyone!

> That slippery slope has Facebook-like mind manipulation at the end of it

Ah please, we're just a small non-profit entity organising a FOSS project and trying to make a website that encourages people to get involved. The "slipperly slope" argument doesn't work well. One thing doesn't inherently lead to another. With that argument, drinking beer leads to other substances which leads to X Y Z... Nah, I've been drinking beer for years and haven't touched anything else. Beer is great enough :-)

Really, if you have a genuine fear that some LibreOffice community members using Piwik to improve the site could lead to "Facebook-like mind manipulation at the end", please do join the website list, put forward your points and let's deal with it! But having been involved in FOSS projects for over 20 years, I don't think that's a concern. People are just trying to do the right thing :-)

Thank you as well for the discussion! I think it helped me understand better the reason for my own reluctance to ignore even a pretty benign form of tracking by a FOSS project.

First, I have no fear that LO will be used for nefarious purposes. And even in the worst, unlikely case of all collected data leaking or getting sold to FB, NSA or your-favorite-villain, the harm done will be several orders of magnitude less than the provided benefit of building a FOSS office suite. Viva LO, cheers to its developers.

But we have an overall erosion of trust. We do not trust remote systems or software any more. In the age of shareware (mid-late 90s) software downloaded from unknown sources was in general assumed benign. Possibly stupid, but rarely actively harmful. Today, even with apps from Play/App-store, the default assumption is that they are trying to do something against the user. To install or not install question depends on whether the benefit they provide is greater than that harm.

"Something against the user" is now monitoring and tracking (access to contacts, photos, camera, mic, WiFi info) and it is always explained as improving user experience. Sure. Seeing such logic instantly raises a red flag for me and, sadly, catches your use case as well. While I have no doubt that LO is doing none of this my thought (based on learned priors) is "Et tu, Brute".

Just a guess, but in today's environment you may get better ROI (funding, advocacy, whatever) by not tracking users at all and prominently boasting of this. As I mentioned in the thread above, you probably can get most of the information you need to tune the site from web server logs anyway. Again, just a single user opinion / data point.

> formerly Piwik

I met two of the Piwik guys years ago. They got free office space at an open source company in NZ. Cool people. I remember at the time Piwik did support log scraping and Javascript tracking, but they recommended having how Piwik instances if you wanted both (one that scraped logs and the other that just did Javascript). I'm not sure there are any platforms that actually do both (which would also let you build stats on who has Javascript off or what may or may not be a robot).

But the short story long: they can just do log parsing and not need the Javascript component.

Even if your tracking isn't directly harmful (I make no claims if it is or not), it's still indirectly harmful because it's training users to ignore warning pop-ups.

Look at it this way:

* If we had a bad website, people would complain that it's ineffective, and not helping drive people towards FOSS

* If we then add open source analytics tools to try to improve the site, people ask why we are "tracking" them

* If we then add a banner, people complain that we're training people to ignore banners

...so it's hard to get anything right, it seems! We could remove Piwik completely (although it's not my call - I'm just one person in the project). But then it'd be much harder to improve our website. Piwik is really useful and if we want FOSS to be more widespread and adopted, we shouldn't shy away from such tools, IMO.

You're are assuming that not using tracking will automatically result in a bad website.

> We could remove Piwik completely

Yes, please do that.

> But then it'd be much harder to improve our website.


> You're are assuming that not using tracking will automatically result in a bad website.

But that's not what I said at all. Please don't just thrown in things like that. I said that analytics tools can be really useful in many ways to help to improve a website (especially a bad one).

You ask "why", well look here at the features that the open source tool we use provides: https://matomo.org/features/

I'm not sure if you've worked in website design before but many of those features are very important and effective for improving a website. If we want to spread the word about FOSS, and encourage more people to use it, shouldn't we try to make the best website we can? While also informing users about the open source tools we use, and having a clear privacy policy about them?


Well you put up the three bullet points making it sound like that these are the only options, sorry that I misunderstood you.

> You ask "why", well look here at the features the open source tool we use provides: https://matomo.org/features/

That's more about about why one should use Piwik instead of a different tracking tool.

> shouldn't we try to make the best website we can?

Sure. And IMHO the benefit of not having a banner / tracking outweigh the cons.

You've clearly never done any work (either development or UX) for a website. If you don't know how your users are using your product, there's no way for you improve it. If the people working on the website want real usability data, then tracking is the best way to get it. Focus groups and forced testing can only give you so much information and it's not exactly easy to get a group of people that includes active users of your site.

I know you didn't intend it this way but your response smacks of complete ignorance.

Hmm, if you don't store personally identifiable information (such as the IP address), then I don't think you even need a tracking warning?

reflects how i remember the UI of libre - ugly. that said keep up the good work guys

Feel free to join the Design community and give us a hand - only with more input from volunteers will things get better! https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design

yes, you're exactly right :) vive open source!

to be clear i didn't mean for my comment above to sound sarcastic -- i know how much effort goes into a project like this and its appreciated by linux users the world over

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