Community mailing list archives

Re: How much should Odoo documentation cost

- 09/04/2014 10:49:59
Having followed the documentation discussion and surrounding business
model a bit, let me make a few summarising points from my PoV:

1. Most agree that good documentation is important for a complex
software ecosystem such as ours.

2. Everyone is free to write his or her own book and sell it through any
bookstore including Amazon, that's perfectly fine. But a proprietary
business model doesn't generally motivate a community of peer producers
to contribute actively. Instead, once we as a community can produce a
good book, it's likely to be better and stay better than the few
authors-closed-proprietary versions.

3. Odoo is developing quickly so a short update cycle is needed. A
community of authors contributing to it may prove more successful than
one or two authors.

4. Odoo is complex and combines a wide range of disciplines, good
business practices and specialised modules & apps. Again, a community of
contributors may prove more successful.

5. Odoo is Free Software (a.k.a. Open Source) which both provides us
with expectations and tools that make free & open documentation a
practical addition to the valuable software.

6. Free Software doesn't mean for free, it just is a completely
different way of sharing development efforts and potential income. Free
as in Freedom, as Nhomar says.

7. Crowdfunding through OpenERP S.A. and/or OCA might be a very useful
approach, maybe for the overall coordination effort. BUT, it is also a
challenge to find out the right balance to what people contribute
voluntarily without monetary remuneration and which tasks do get

Personally I'd find it sensible if OpenERP S.A. would put a coordinator
at it and all of us would contribute according to our interests and
knowledge. We could have topic or chapter (co-)leads, reviewer teams,
etc, somewhat similar to how we develop software.

A DocBook version controlled wiki system might be a good basis as
platform, but many other options exist (and in my experience, there's no
perfect solution). I say DocBook as that's one of the most versatile
open standard formats so far that can be used for high quality layouting
of books and basically can be converted into any other (open) format.
The conversion tools are already in place.

my 2cts,


On 09/04/2014 02:15 PM, Kurt Haselwimmer wrote:
> Timothy,
> java, python, ruby - all opensourced 'projects' yet the books on them
> fill the shelves in bookstores, let alone amazon. Just about the only
> area of publishing that is still expanding. If people don't want to pay
> for the documentation then they don't have to. Odoo is not forcing
> anyone to buy a book, but if the author cannot be paid it just will not
> happen and useful knowledge will stay locked up in the silos of a few
> developers minds. Why are so many in the odoo community so wedded to the
> assumption that everything needs to be done the 'open-source' way.
> The insistence by some in the community that everything is done for free
> is what has led to such a dire position as far as documentation goes.
> The only people benefiting from all this are SAP and Netsuite who maybe
> cannot believe their luck that the odoo documentation situation gives
> them such a free ride.
> Maybe the time for Odoo to grow up a bit perhaps ?
> Kurt
>> Opensource system, paid for documentation. Sorry, that sounds like a
>> really bad idea to me!
>> The documentation should be opensource (perhaps crowdsourced like
>> wikipedia)
>> Why dont you rather send your valuable time writing a good ebook on
>> how to use the different functions of openerp for specific business
>> needs. I would buy a book like that.
>> 2c
>> Timothy
>> Mobile: 072 839 6583
>> Email: <>_
>> _Web: 
>> On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Taimoor Yousaf <
>> <>> wrote:
>>     Hi Borut
>>     You could also look at Amazon Kindle publishing platform. You can
>>     potentially publish the content as a blog and make it available
>>     through Amazon for a subscription fee.
>>     On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 11:22 AM, <
>>     <>> wrote:
>>         Hi,
>>  or
>>  may be
>>         platforms worth looking at
>>         Bests
>>         2014-09-04 10:11 GMT+02:00 Leonardo "LeartS" Donelli
>>         :
>>             If you want a continuous crowdsourced income instead of a
>>             one-time campaign, look at gratipay (ex gittip) and
>>             patreon. But nobody will pay you without any assurance
>>             about the work and its quality, at least an example free
>>             chapter is essential.
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