Design/Whiteboards/Download Page

    From The Document Foundation Wiki

    Issue and Goal

    It has been reported several times that end-users are unaware concerning the release scheme of LibreOffice and may experience problems with X.X.0 releases. Converning the latter, this is also a problem of users who download the software on external pages unrelated to TDF - the corresponding warning/information might be missing. Furthermore, there have been complaints that the TDF LibreOffice Download page is too complex for normal users. Consequently, the LibreOffice Download Experience has to be improved.

    Goal 1: Provide a "Single-Click-Download" for the majority of end-users.

    Goal 2: Inform users about the intended use of the given LibreOffice version (e.g. minor issues to be expected in LibO X.X.0 releases).

    This affects:

    • LibreOffice Download page
    • LibreOffice frontpage (offering a link to the Download page)
    • LibreOffice installer (e.g. Windows installer)

    This page is about improving the "LibreOffice Download Page"

    Requirements and Constraints


    Must: Enable using BitTorrent (source: Christian)

    • Must: Download for Source Code
    • Must: Download for SDK
    • Must: Link to Release Notes
    • Must: Link to Features and Fixes information
    • Must: Link to license text
    • Must: Enable access to md5sums and mirror information
    • Wish: Provide "history" of e.g. release notes for older versions of LibO
    • Wish: Enable access to "historic" versions of LibO (Christian, Christoph) incl. release notes (link:
    • Wish: Show the Publishing Date of the software (Christoph)
    • Wish: The download size should be available (source: Christian, 2011-01-07)
    • Wish: All relevant information should be visible to the user without scrolling (on a standard screen)

    Release Scheme

    Software Packaging

    • Windows:
      • Software with multi-language pack
      • Help packs in different languages
    • Mac:
      • Software in English
      • Language packs with help contents included
    • Linux:
      • Software in English
      • Language packs in different languages
      • Help packs in different languages

    Other Constraints

    • Constraint: Currently, there is no way to let people download multiple files at the same time (e.g. downloading software and language pack via one-click)

    Earlier Design Proposals

    Open Design Questions

    • How many different LibreOffice versions need to be offered at the same time? (e.g. "Stability Optimized Version, Default Version, Latest Features Version" vs. "Default Version vs. Latest Features Version")
    • Is there a need to include LibreOffice Portable, LibreOffice Box, Extension and Templates Website, ...

    Design Proposal

    Release Example

    The following release numbers are just used for demonstration purposes (e.g. within the mockups):

    • Release LibreOffice 3.4.5 2011-11-23 --> Default Version
    • Release LibreOffice 3.5.0 2012-02-08 --> Latest Features Version

    Assumptions and Design Decisions


    • Extensions and Templates are both available on one separate site (Andreas' great Plone installation)
    • Somebody (QA?) will define what maturity / stability the releases do have - to offer them as "default" or "latest feature" versions.

    Design Decisions:

    • The releases are divided in "Default Versions", "Latest Features Versions", "Development Versions" (everything for the use within the development and support community) and "All Downloads" (for the sake of completeness)
    • Although there might be several releases available at the same time, I decided to only offer two releases at the same time on the download pages. Offering more official releases might confuse less experienced users (although it can easily be done within the proposed structure).
    • The LibreOffice front page (and all other forwards to the LibO download page) should always refer to the "Default Version"
    • Each release gets several sub-pages (e.g. to provide own "Features and Fixes" pages, or "Installing Instructions"); therefore ...
    • A third navigation hierarchy is introduced (that's definitively not an elegant solution, but should work until we have a better concept)
    • The "Default Version" page should be as simple as possible - being optimized for "Joe Average" and 90% of our downloads.
    • The formulation of the texts accompanying "Default Version" to "Development Version" ranges from "serious business formulation" to "friendly community speak" to address the different target groups
    • More advanced options are available within the "Download Options" area (e.g. BitTorent download, mirror details)
    • Colors (mainly in the background) are used to indicate the "danger level" of each of the releases:
      • Gray --> Default Version (Note: Green would be the preferred solution, but is "reserved" for the download button.)
      • Yellow --> Latest Features Version
      • Red --> Development Versions
    • Especially the "Default Version" page is highly optimized for screens with the resolution 1024x768 pixels. Once the page is loaded, all content should be visible to the user (no need to scroll).
    • Fixes for the website:
      • Links to pages in a different location (menu hierarchy level) are only used within the content area
      • Menu items like "Default Version" don't represent own pages. Instead, the site is realized with an own entry like "Get LibreOffice".
      • Links are always displayed in "LibO Blue 1" instead of green (people are used to that since the beginning of the Internet)

    Mockups 2012

    The following mockups show three situations/phases of the download page.

    Download Latest withCare.png
    3.5.x must be promoted but with care
    (might be 3.5.0, maybe 3.5.1 or might even be skipped)
    Download Latest goodEnough.png
    3.5.x considered good enough for non-expert installation and use
    (might be 3.5.0, maybe 3.5.1)
    Download Latest simplyDefault.png
    3.5.x is simply default
    (for probably 3.5.1 or 3.5.2 and up)

    The ideas for download buttons, offering help packs (windows/Linux) and Language packs/OS (Linux) as suggested in the mockups below are OK, must haves.

    Also links for/to 'we've guessed wrong', 'handy resources' should be there too.


    The following mockups just show two (very different) examples of how the download screen might look like. The real download consist of a number of download buttons (according to the system) and the Download Options section that is collapsed per default.

    2011-07-01 DownloadPage Default Windows Collapsed.png
    This is a mockup demonstrates how the initial website will look for a Microsoft Windows user.
    2011-07-01 DownloadPage Features Linux Expanded.png
    This mockup demonstrates the website for a user who decided to go for the "Latest Features" version using a Linux based operating system. Moreover, the user already expanded the Download Options area.

    Source file is located here: DownloadPage.svg


    Website hierarchy and content for "Default Version" and "Latest Features Versions":

    • Sub-page "Get LibreOffice"
      • Download with guessed system and language
      • Download Options
    • Sub-page "Features and Fixes"
      • Highlighted Features
      • Full Feature List
      • Fixed Bugs (either Link to Issue Tracker, or Bug List)
    • Sub-page "Release Notes and Known Issues"
      • Text "Claim Long" to explain (again) the indented use and target group
      • Release Notes
      • ??? Brought to you by The Document Foundation
      • Known Issues (if possible including link)
    • Sub-page "installing Instructions"
      • Computer Requirements
      • Installing instructions for all operating systems
    • Sub-page "License"
      • Clarification of use (free use, copies for friends)
      • Full license text

    Content for "Development Versions":

    • todo: e.g. Betas, RCs, Daily Builds, Source Code, SDK

    Content for "All Downloads": Mainly a list of links to ...

    • Default Version
    • Latest Features Version
    • Development Versions
    • LibO Box
    • LibO Portable
    • Previous Versions (only available on the TDF severs)
    • Extensions and Templates

    Versions Descriptions

    The text which might accompany each version:

    • Default Version
      • Example: LibreOffice 3.3.3
      • Use: production
      • Target groups: corporate users, large deployments
      • Claim Long: LibreOffice X.X.X is optimized for stability and security. We recommend it for production use even in corporations and for large-scale deployments.
      • Claim Short: LibreOffice X.X.X is the default version and optimized for stability and security.
      • Headline: For production use
    • Latest Features Version
      • Example: LibreOffice 3.4.1
      • Use: real life test
      • Target groups: innovators, early adopters, power users
      • Claim Long: LibreOffice X.X.X contains the latest features. It's best suited for early adopters and power users who might live with small issues.
      • Claim Short: LibreOffice X.X.X offers the latest features and is best suited for early adopters.
      • Headline: Try the latest features!
    • Development Versions
      • Example: LibreOffice 3.4.2 RC1
      • Use: bug hunt, development
      • Target groups: Developers, QA People, Beta Testers, Community
      • Claim Long: LibreOffice development releases are our work-in progress. These versions may contain major issues and are not recommended for productive use. But, if you are a developer, beta tester or QA person - have fun!
      • Claim Short: Development versions and source code for the community.
      • Headline: Be adventurous or code for fun!

    Open Points / Proposed Changes

    • Discuss the language identifier (Christian mentioned that this had been an issue in the past. Currently, I propose the "human readable" version.)
    • Define "mouseover" effects for the download buttons and the Download Options drawer
    • Decision required whether we decide "globally" what kinds of release to publish as "default"/"latest features", or whether this should be done by the local teams
    • Add the "LibO motif" to the LibreOffice page in general (see Nik's mockup)
    • Development:
      • Requirement: Support localization for using page contentin international sites (Goran Rakic, 2011-07-02)

    Next Steps

    Should be implemented, or? ;-)