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Site for office suites

+7
−1

I was wondering if a common site for all office suites would be a good proposal.

Description

Name: Office suites

About: This site will cover all general problems about office suites. Some of the popular office suites are:

  • MS Office
  • a subset of Google's G Suite that includes Docs, Sheets, etc
  • Libre office and open office
  • WPS office
  • Zoho office, etc.

Existing community:

  • So far, I haven't talked to anyone. I would. I contribute regularly to SE sites webapps,and SO and Google's Support community by answering questions on spreadsheets.
  • Also, I presume almost everyone here use one or more office suites for day to day activities.

Notes:

  • It's not a webapps like proposal. Libre office is a desktop software. Though the open source cloud version exists. Also other web apps are off-topic.
  • It doesn't really fit in a programming site. Some portion of it might have codes. For example, Google apps script, VB Scripts, or any other script related with macros. However, there are other aspects which can't be grouped with coding sites.
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General comments (4 comments)

7 answers

+4
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Although there already exists a veritable plethora of help with office suites (particularly for Excel) I do believe there is room for yet more, provided high quality, well indexed, user friendly, current and with a quick response to posts.

I also believe that the distinction between office suites is a lot less significant than many 'subjects' that are often deemed members of a single 'group'. For example, that many functions and formulae (the 'subject') share syntax and behave in exactly the same way in more than one suite and that [compile-errors] and [widows] (both valid tags at software.codidact.com, the 'group') are likely more different in nature.

It is also clear that for those struggling with office suites the particular suite for a solution sometimes may not matter very much. One indication is that, despite rarely being appropriate there, Stack Overflow [SO] currently has over 1,000 Qs tagged both [excel] and [google-sheets], some Qs with tags for three different suites, and even a few for four. Many users have access to more than one suite, possibly favouring Excel at work and Sheets at home.

I fear the problem with any site covering office suites is likely to be the quality of the Qs. It could become a magnet for help vampires. Many of the current Codidact sites might reasonably be termed 'disciplines' … but for the majority of office suite askers I have come across on the web 'rigorous' is very far from how they appear to me. I have the impression of a huge culture difference between most users of Codidact and most people with office suite issues. The former mostly seem to enjoy learning, the latter mostly to be focused on getting a quick and easy fix to a practical problem.

Since culture can vary across sites this difference may not be a big problem, but I think best to keep any 'Office Suites' site well apart from others. Thus overlapping scopes should be avoided. If 'Office Suites' is to cover the likes of GAS and VBA, then maybe exclude these from Software Development. Though I'd prefer they remain on topic there and instead simply have GAS, VBA, and equivalents off-topic at 'Office Suites'.

Then the issue becomes how to cope with a 'business problem' where the person asking is not aware that the only, or most practical, approach is to write 'code' rather than apply a feature, a standard function or a formula. Super User has migrated some Qs to SO in cases like that, and for similar reasons Web Applications has at times recommended asking on SO instead. I have also seen the opposite on SO – Qs where a VBA programmer was unaware of some standard functionality and needed help with writing code to replicate it. Such Qs have usually survived where drawing attention to the standard functionality was not the first A, but if the first A then the Q was quite likely to be Closed as off-topic for SO.

Perhaps 'Office Suites' would be viable if GAS, VBA etc were off-topic but the culture included no down votes for that reason alone, and an A (or canned Comment?) to the effect "A practical solution requires coding with GAS, VBA, or similar and hence the Q is off-topic here. Please delete this Q, though you may want to copy it prior to re-writing it for Software Development first." was deemed valid.

There is lots of advice about specific features, functions and formulae but very little about combining these effectively. I think users would appreciate if the person answering could be free to choose which suite was most suit[e]able, be allowed to combine package elements where that makes sense (e.g. 'subcontract' some of the 'Excel' processing to Word), and choose how to mix features, functions and formulae for a practical solution. Despite the plethora of help in general, I am not aware of any site offering this mix to any significant extent. 'Office Suites' might be almost unique and very popular.

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+4
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This might need some clarification around what it means to be in an "Office Suite". Some people would consider Microsoft Office to include OneDrive, Teams, and their hosted Exchange product. The current proposal says that it includes a subset of Google's G Suite but some people might not consider GMail or Google Drive to be part of that subset but others might. Is this really just about word processing and spreadsheets, or is the intent to include Databases (like Microsoft Access or LibreOffice Base), file sharing (like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive), math typesetting (like Microsoft Equation Editor, LibreOffice Math, or MathJax), and so on for all the bazillion things that are in these increasingly-scoped office suites?

I don't really know the answer, or really thought it through enough to have a true preference one way or the other, I'm just really not quite sure how broad this community's scope is intended to be, and it could be really easy for it to either encompass either all "business" software or encompass products if they happen to be part of a suite while excluding a competing product that isn't (like, would this include Microsoft Planner but exclude Trello? Or is Trello just part of the Atlassian suite and so then questions about the use of Jira would also be on topic?). It gets tricky to define the boundaries clearly.

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+2
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Regarding scope, maybe extend it to all software used in an office environment, such as mail clients and VOIP meeting/chat software etc. Some of these might not be considered part of a "suite". Skype wasn't, for example, until MS bought them.

Regarding programming and things like VBA that are integrated with MS Office, I don't see why it should be off-topic. Excel formulas and VBA were always hot potatoes over at SO, constantly debated at what extent they were considered on-topic. VBA is definitely programming, but I see no harm with overlapping scopes - it would fit in better on a site such as this than on the general programming site.

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General comments (1 comment)
+2
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Note: Please see also How should we approach our (non-developer) software community proposals?. We are trying to work out how this proposal interacts with others.

Please use this post to indicate your interest in helping to build this community. You can either edit this post (if you have the edit ability on Meta) or comment and someone else will edit it into the post.

Please indicate if you expect to be a casual or more active participant. If you anticipate primarily asking or primarily answering questions, please indicate that. If you have particular expertise, either in the topic as a whole or specific areas, please say so. We're asking these questions so we can get a sense of the community being built and whether there are important gaps.

  • I will contribute here by answering questions on spreadsheet formulas. Sometimes, I might ask questions on the same. My participation level would be that of an active participant i.e visiting the site at least two times everyday and trying to answer whatever I can (as I am not an expert). — Severus Snape‭

  • I'll certainly contribute. I'm not an expert, but I use Office daily. — PSTH

  • I'm dumbfound this isn't already up and running! Almost everyone I know use Office every day! — DNB‭

  • Sign me up! I'm dumbstruck too why this hasn't been launched already. I use Office daily. — Technologically illiterate‭

  • Everyone in my family uses Office, but we always run into issues! We'll definitely participate. I have at least 40 questions. I'm stipulating a number so that you know you'll be seeing many questions from me! — Chgg Clou

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General comments (4 comments)
+3
−1

I think the best place for questions about Office Suites would be under a Power User site (with a bit broader scope) such as in this proposal.

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General comments (1 comment)
+0
−0

Similar question like this :

  1. Office suites category
  2. Software Recommendations Category.

@pnuts answered :

One indication is that, despite rarely being appropriate there, Stack Overflow [SO] currently has over 1,000 Qs tagged both [excel] and [google-sheets], some Qs with tags for three different suites, and even a few for four. Many users have access to more than one suite, possibly favouring Excel at work and Sheets at home.

SO is little bit related to Software Codidact. So, can we ask Office suites related question in Software Codidact? No! Software Codidact is a site where we can ask programming related question. But, Office Suites question aren't related to programming. So, you can't ask Office Suites related question in Software Codidact. Codidact is different from SE. So, don't related Codidact to SE.


@laserkittens‭ answered

I think the best place for questions about Office Suites would be under a Power User site.

I agree with @laserkittens‭ answer. But, there's a little bit problem.

Currently, in this very early stage, 10 out of 26 questions (38%) are about office suites. If we migrate the 50+ excel formula questions on Software Dev here, then some 80% of this site will be about office suites. ~ From the comment.

There's over than millions of software used by people. Your proposal is for Office Suites. Then, there's graphics designing, emulator, Browsers, Audio Player, Video player and lot more. I think creating site for Office suites won't be a good idea. Instead of creating site for Office suites. I would request to create site for all of software. Or, create a category in Power Users and Linux Codidact. That's what I mentioned in the answer.

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General comments (1 comment)
+0
−4

This seems like a very specific topic that it would be difficult to find a sufficient initial userbase for. I do use both Microsoft Office and Google suite regularly, but I don't think (a question about every six months)*(no. of users active on Codidact) is going to be enough to create an active community, at least at first.

I don't think this is a bad proposal but I don't think it's a good fit for Codidact right now.

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General comments (3 comments)

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