[Libreoffice-qa] The term "Online Help" (was: Use of abbreviations in this ML)

Christian Lohmaier lohmaier at googlemail.com
Sat Jan 11 05:05:52 PST 2014

Hi Pedro, *,

Am 11.01.2014 12:50 schrieb "Pedro" <pedlino at gmail.com>:
> [abbreviations or the term Online Help]

To make a long story short: this term comes from a time when you would buy
software in a box and get a thick printed manual along with the
installation medium.

Long version follows…

Online help is the stuff you had installed to your computer and the stuff
on paper was the offline variant.

Back in the days there was no internet, let alone flatrates. And in the
early days of internet, people gathered in newsgroups that were easy to
handle offline, sync within a few seconds of expensive connection time.

It also happens that a lot of the people who were gathering in those groups
also joined the OpenOffice.org project once it was announced, and later
then moved to LibreOffice. They took their vocabulary with them, and by
just talking with each other on the lists, new members got to know the

Now a lot of people without any previous experience join, and now we also
have a web-based help, so I agree that the clear-back-then term became
ambiguous, even misleading.

At least I refer to the web help as "wiki help", but that it uses a wiki is
irrelevant and also might change in future. Just calling the web based one
Online help doesn't cut it either as it has been used with a different
meaning for was more than a decade.

So let's hear some suggestions. I assume everyone will understand which one
is meant when they read the term "Offline Help" in isolation. If you
disagree, please also suggest a different term for that.

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