Are you a contributor ? Part 2 - Support
So yesterday I posted a section on all the areas of contribution in the LibreOffice project. Today and in the next days I'll give more details on the sub-projects where you can bring your help and become part of this vibrant family. Let's begin with Support.
What is support? a simple way to help each other and to learn in return. When you don't know something, you go on the Internet and usually find an answer. The answer can be good, wrong, incomplete... difficult to know its accuracy. On the LibreOffice lists and forum, we do our best to give the more accurate answer to our users. There is numerous ways to achieve a task, one will be better than another and this is what we try to narrow when answering our fellow.
We use different medias to bring support to our users: ask.libreoffice.org, email@example.com, IRC. We are currently discussing if forum will bring more help but the discussion is still ongoing.
- ask.libreoffice.org, it's a dedicated tool to ask and answer questions. It's quite simple to use, and you have several ways to filter the data. One address http://ask.libreoffice.org/questions/. If you are at ease with Writer for example, you can look for tags containing only this module at the top of the site by clicking on the Tags button. Once you've choose the post you want to answer, click on it and you'll see that you can even share the question on social media ;) The best is to register to the site so you can begin to collect karmas and be identified as a regular contributor if you want to. You want to see who is around you, click on the People button also at the top of the window. Lot of people are already there, but the more we are the better, see, some questions are still not answered. Often, there is some specific questions, that only you, doing the same work, is able to answer. And also sometimes, the way you answer will be better understood by the user than someone else explanation. So don't be shy and start to win badges!
- firstname.lastname@example.org, these are mailing lists. LibreOffice sites are also present in different languages, so you may find a user mailing list in your language where your help will be highly appreciated. Look at here to find it : http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Local_Mailing_Lists. Lot of support is going on them and this is the media I prefer because after a little time, you really feel like being part of a family. If you don't like using mailing lists, you can use Nabble getaway and read/post from there just like on a forum. The address for LibreOffice is http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/, just make your choice :) The way to help is always the same, just answer the question using your words, trying to be clear and complete in the process you indicate. Often it will happen that you'll have to reproduce the demand to check for the steps of your own answer, this will help you to make it really accurate.
- IRC, we use also chat channels to provide support. Via the Freenode server, there is a user channel in English, just join by typing #libreoffice and you'll be on. Some are also present in other language like the #fr.libreoffice channel. I can't find the list on the wiki, but that should be indicated on the local site of your language if one exists.
One important thing, try always to stay public when you answer questions. This is how it works if you want to help more people. The answers you give will be archived publicly and will, by time going, constitute a knowledge base. Also others may add their point of view, or some QA people will detect a dysfunctional thing, others may be able to use this answer for Documentation, and so on.
All for today! I hope you'll join us using one of these channels. And remember, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions or meet a difficulty to join. Tomorrow, we will unveil another area of the project and see how to be a documentation contributor.