Home > Linux, OpenERP v6.0 > Random thoughts on the OpenERP website

Random thoughts on the OpenERP website

drupal icon, svg version

Image via Wikipedia

Actually, it’s more how I would like it to be. I just would like to share some ideas on how to make the OpenERP website better. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining since so far I have found everything I needed there. But it could be better. So this is my humble way of proposing some improvements.  I would also like to clarify that most of my ideas come from the Drupal website, which I have used for over two years and I consider it pretty good in how it is used by the Drupal community (BTW, OpenERP website is running on Drupal, quite weird for a system that runs with Python. Anyway, I continue to live and learn).

A very nice addition will be a section in the homepage of  “companies running with OpenERP”, and it should list the companies using OpenERP by country. It is a huge selling point, and it helps customers pick up the phone and call them directly to learn about their experience with the system. Makes the selling effort easier. Stats would be a nice addition as well.

Something I would correct (and this is a very easy fix) is moving the comments to the bottom of the documentation pages. Specially the tutorials. Documentation pages are thought to be read as book pages, without any interruption to the reading flow. Comments interrupt that flow. I understand comments add value to the documentation, but they do not substitute it. And they are making it harder (at least for me) to read it. Actually, it stops my reading process! (and I read a lot).

And since we are talking about the documentation, one of these days someone needs to write a Developer Book. I mean, I would like to buy it at Amazon. Why do I say this? OpenERP nowadays already has a lot in its core (the modules list is impressive), but the list of third-party add-ons is incredible. And this list will grow. And it will continue growing if there are developers ready to develop modules for OpenERP. A good way of teaching them how to do that, is with a book. Drupal has its own example with the Pro Drupal Development book.

And last but not least, and this will be hard to implement but it is really worth it… expand the modules page to the third party add-ons page. It will be a nightmare to implement it but it is worth it. Again, just look at the modules page in Drupal. OK, there is LaunchPad, but it is not enough. There is a lot to do on the documentation side, and this effort has to come from the third party developers, we can’t expect OpenERP employees to document for us. But it will be nice to have a central page where you can find most of the third party modules, and have people try them. Also its statistics will be quite useful as well. It will help grow the community and foster the software adoption. And it will help find the modules as well. Yesterday it took me over ten minutes to find the report-openoffice module. Believe me, every time I need to download a module in Drupal I know where to find it. It does not happen with OpenERP.

Again, this is not a critic to the current website. I just think it can be improved and just wanted to share some ideas I have about it.

Cheers!

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  1. February 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for the feedback, I think we will implement all those ideas.
    I will see this week to define a planning with the web team.

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