SourceForge has been home for both the Apache OpenOffice Extensions and Templates websites for almost 6 months now. This is a great time to look back at what we’ve learned and let you know about some recent changes, new features and how this will affect the end-user experience.
The SourceForge Community Team receives a few emails a week from Apache OpenOffice end-users asking for tips and help; they occasionally also ask if the download statistics are reliable. We also get valuable input from developers on the Apache mailing-list, covering both the stats and spam issues, as well as some cosmetic changes (logo replacements).
We hope we have been able to capture all this feedback, below is a full list of new features that are now available:
- Download statistics are now automatically obtained via the SourceForge API and are more reliable than the old system, in which the counters had been turned off and remained stuck for a long time due to inaccuracies in the counting procedures and incompatibilities with cache system. By the way, the SourceForge API is the same system used for the official Apache OpenOffice counter downloads. Additionally, since we can’t calculate statistics for externally hosted extensions as reliably, their download counters have been removed and they won’t appear in the “Most Popular Extensions” listings. This is also the case for Commercial extensions with no public releases. Note that the default home page of the Extensions site has been set back to “Most Popular Extensions”, as we believe that newcomers would probably benefit from having the top extensions in the home page. To provide visitors only meaningful statistics, the daily download numbers have been replaced by a link to a timeline with real-time statistics, charts and analysis.
- The new antispam system is now on line on the Extensions site. We’ve tested it extensively. Since the live site receives up to 50 spam submissions per day it was pretty easy to figure out if it was working properly. It has been in operation for over a week and so far has proved very effective. For end-users this means meaningful comments are more visible and the possibility of adding comments if needed (something we had to temporarily block for some titles because of the spam).
- We updated the graphic theme of the site and the primary links to reflect the new name and new logo for Apache OpenOffice. In this way visitors can more easily identify these sites as the official repositories of OpenOffice Extensions and Templates, and they can be confident that they are still maintained.
- [updated 8/16/2012] We completely removed the legacy OpenOffice.org authentication and inserted updated, localizable explanations both on Extensions and Templates. This will make easier also for non-English readers to access the Extensions and Templates websites.