Dear Users and Developers,

Thank you to both Pavel and Stefano for ollowing up with Google about why the 
GSoC application was turned down. Is there any way that I could help in that 
review? Stefano, will you be attending the IRC meeting to be held later today? 
I think it's very important that we understand why LyX was rejected as a 
mentoring organization, and I'd be willing to hep in any way necessary.

While I have some ideas about why it may have happened, I think that Pavel hit 
the nail on the head. When I talk to people about LyX, they seem to think of it 
as a specialized academic writing tool. Basically, a program which helps 
professors and students write a thesis or articles. (To be even more narrow, it 
seems like many think it is for math and physics people to write a thesis or 
article.) Which is to say, a specialized program with an incredibly small user 
base and use.

While that stereotype may be somewhat true (I don't think anyone would argue 
that many of the developers and users are within academics), it significantly 
understates LyX's appeal, especially if you consider the enhancements available 
in the upcoming version. From my own personal experience, I've found LyX to be 
the most capable pre-press/writing tool I've ever come across. If I were a 
publishing company or involved in the creation of any type of documentation, I 
would be looking  at LyX very carefully. It's the only tool that I know that 
allows you to manage collaboration, typesetting the final output, and target 
both electronic and print from the same source. With the recent explosion of 
electronic publishing and eBooks, I think that makes it *highly* relevant.

Yet, I'm not sure that the wider community appreciates that. (Hearing Google's 
rationale for rejecting the GSoC application will help somewhat in clarifying 
how LyX is perceived.) Which really brings me to the reason I'm writing.

Would it be worth trying to promote LyX to people who might find it helpful? 

We've talked for a long time about writing a LyX book, which is an excellent 
and wonderful project. But what if we first tested those waters by tackling 
some smaller projects first?

For example:

1.) I just learned about a new open design magazine this morning, called 
LibreGraphics magazine ( The goal of the 
publication is to help designers find tools for their work. It seems like an 
article about using LyX for book design would be a natural fit for their target 

2.) In similar vein, the LibreGraphics meeting is also coming up. This year, it 
will be held in Montreal. LibreGraphics targets a similar demographic, and it 
seems like such a presentation would be a natural fit. Even better, they pay 
the travel expenses of presenters ( 
Might anyone be interested in talking about using LyX to talk about book 
design, typography, or writing?

3.) It's been some time since Linux magazine or one of the other trade 
publications published a general purpose article on LyX. Might it be worth 
creating and submitting one? We might try and target Linux users magazine 
(, ZdNet, or one of the large Linux blogs (like 

4.) It seems that there are people willing to help promote/evangelize LyX, but 
I'm not sure we offer much in the way of promotional materials to help. Would 
it be worthwhile to create a limited number of tutorials for people, like 
Venom, who will be holding seminars or workshops? (I've also thought about 
teaching a design workshop through my local library, and these materials would 
help provide a curriculum.)

The tutorials could address some of the finer points of using LyX that are not 
covered in the manuals. For example, how do you collaborate using version 
control? What is the process for creating custom, typeset publications with LyX 
and LaTeX? We could publish cohesive examples and then walk through how the 
code works. They might describe principles of design, or typographical effects, 
and how they can be accomplished using LyX. Maybe we could create a writeup on 
how to prepare files for multiple output formats (print, web, eBook) using a 
single source. I'm sure that there are other tutorials that I'm overlooking.

Which really brings me to the point I want to make: if we target the right 
groups and create nice looking materials, it could go a long ways to clarifying 
LyX's position in the free-softare world. It's also likely that we might find 
developers to contribute time and code, businesses who would be willing to 
support future development, and others who could help grow the LyX user base.

Many of the other projects who were accepted seem to have dedicated 
marketing/promotion teams. Would it be worth trying to organize such an 
endeavor for LyX? It might provide a great way for less code savvy types to 
contribute to the project.



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