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Re: How much should Odoo documentation cost

Akretion, Raphael Valyi
- 09/04/2014 13:12:50
Hello Borut,

I will make one more comment about documentation if you permit:

for a long time, I would say until v8, documentation was simply "irrelevant". I'm not sure how may significant successful OpenERP implementations you already did before (I wouldn't advice going into that without a serious real life test drive), but I would say anybody who did a few of them would probably agree that:

only a hacker or a team of serious hackers would succeed implementing what was called TinyERP or OpenERP.
Because soon enough, all the nice printed books would just document process that ended up with bugs/regression from a version to another or too much limitations in your real case that was not exactly the POC of the book.

Documentation was not exactly useless, but it was irrelevant.
It was a negligible factor of success compared to the ability to browse and hack into the code.
We know a good deal of companies that didn't agree with this view, eventually turned into implementation partners and just failed miserably a few years later...

These were the past days eventually.

Eventually OpenERP / Odoo is having an exponential growth (through the real one may be orders of magnitudes below the announced one) and eventually bugs are finally fixed and process are implemented in a way that fit much more businesses out of the box without the need to hack to implement any real flow. A good example of that is the WMS work done in the v8 with the collaboration between OpenERP SA and CampToCamp.

So what was true once may not be so true tomorrow. But still, may be this explanation may enlighten you for the decision you will make.

Aside from that I would also agree with what has been said in the thread: as for generic documentation, because Odoo is so much of a moving target, only a somewhat crowd sourced solution (wiki and co) that will stick close enough to the source code will be able to follow.
As for a publisher initiative, IMHO you will be successful only by addressing some niche market well enough. So that would be all about finding the right balance between something that is not too generic where crowd sourcing and official free doc to fish for OpenERP SaaS would beat a publisher way of doing and something specific enough but still with a real market big enough for you to sell something at all. At least this is my view.

Regards and good luck.

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:09 PM, Borut Jures <> wrote:
Thank you for all the suggestions.

Many of you are expecting a community of authors contributing to the documentation to be more successful. I like the optimism however history has proved how much a community is willing to do in this regard. This is not Wikipedia where subjects are one or two pages long. Wikipedia is closer to an API reference (eg. facts) than to the process / how-to guide.

I asked for numbers but didn't receive many. 

Fabien has made a wise decision. He knows his partners better than I do. 

I wonder if customers would be a better audience? At least they already showed that they are willing to pay for the valuable work the partners are providing them.

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Raphaël Valyi
Founder and consultant
+55 21 3942-2434