Following up on recent posts: Support and HTML5/CSS3

If you haven’t heard already, openSUSE 11.3 was released last week, to mostly rave reviews. I’ve been running some of the pre-release versions in VirtualBox, and am planning to convert my laptop Linux from Kubuntu to openSUSE 11.3 this weekend. Will let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, there are a few items to share with you:

In many many years on the internet, I’ve found people tend to prefer one or
the other.

Forums:
1-invariably mousetype (rude, tiny text; certainly applicable to forums.opensuse.org)
2-higher ratio of unanswered questions to answered questions
3-higher ratio of good answers to unhelpful answers
4-better moderation
5-subject miscategorization widespread (leads searches in wrong directions)
6-pulled (more work to get, but get no processing forced)

Mailing lists:
1-displays text legibly and comfortably at users preferred size
2-better ratio of questions asked to questions answered
3-better ratio of good answers to unhelpful answers
4-poorer moderation
5-topics lack categoration within particular lists (hard to narrow searches)
6-pushed (less work to get, more work to process)

This ties in somewhat with my post of a few weeks ago on learning about KDE, etc. My completely unscientific poll seems to indicate that forums are pretty popular, but did not address specifically the quality of answers you get from a particular venue (BTW, you can still vote in the related poll–Click the link at the top of this paragraph). What do you think? Comment below.

  • Let me give you a few more links related to HTML5 and CSS3, discovered this week:
    • I found the TinyMCE Advanced plugin, which adds some excellent standards-compliant features to the WordPress default Visual Editor. Unfortunately, some WordPress 3.0 users are complaining that it doesn’t install. See Comment 964 for a possible workaround. This plugin does not address HTML5 directly, but perhaps with a few persuasive notes, that can change.
    • The fine folks at SitePoint are offering cheap online classes for HTML5 and CSS3, starting next week. John Allsopp, one of the founders of the Web Standards Project is teaching them, and it sounds really interesting. The two-week HTML5 course begins July 26, and costs just $9.95, and the three-week CSS3 course that follows is just $14.95. Take ‘em both, and it’s just $19.90. Even though I will be on vacation for part of this time, I think I’m signing up.
    • Over at the About.com HTML site, they’re taking a poll on interest in CSS3, with a few links highlighting some of the features you can use now.

How Do You Learn About KDE?

A discussion has popped up on the KOffice-Devel list as to whether to discontinue the user-oriented KOffice mailing list. Some developers are wondering whether it’s worth it to keep this admittedly low-traffic list going. The main argument being that if people aren’t using the list now, the few questions that do get asked may not be getting the attention they deserve.

I have an opinion on the subject, but I’m not sure that’s all that important. As a technical communicator, what I’m interested in is how others learn about and solve problems with their software, particularly in the open source arena. KOffice doesn’t have the mind share and user base that other open source productivity suites (OK, I mean OpenOffice.org) have, but are there channels today’s Linux geek and her grandma use to get support for their software. There are lots of choices, and it would be interesting and helpful to me, the KOffice and KDE teams to learn those preferences.

I’m going to try to set up a poll here, but please use the Comments section as well. The official question is “How do you learn about or get help with KOffice and other KDE applications?” Here are the options I’ve thought of:

Share your journey in the comments. Choose as many options in the poll below as you like. Explain what you like and don’t like about getting help. Even if you don’t use KDE specifically, feel free to chime in.