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From Louis Suárez-Potts <>
Subject Re: Specific actions needed for developing the community
Date Fri, 07 Sep 2012 18:19:58 GMT
Hi All,
(sorry for delay and silence, have been having to deal with actual work related things)

On 12-09-07, at 09:48 , Ian Lynch <> wrote:

> On 7 September 2012 14:06, Dave Fisher <> wrote:
>> Top posting because we have a specific ecosystem issue that needs handling - distribution.
>> In the former OOo days companies, groups and individuals could become community distributors.
They could make use of logos and CD labels and package their own version of OOo. These still
exist. I see you responded to one from filepuma today.
>> Now that the OOo trademark is at the ASF the rules must change. How do we reach out
to these distributors to guide them into compliance. The PPMC has not handled it well. The
results from waiting for people to come, ask the right questions, listen to the answers and
then apply them needs to be managed. Very early in this podling's history Martin from Team
OOo did come and ask, he got answers, but failed to listen to the whole answer, went off and
did what was done. This caused a huge problem.
>> Like our Mentors I had no prior relationship to OOo, and lacked an understanding
of the specific players within the whole ecosystem. Louis is certainly someone with a sense
of it and it sure would be great to move forward and create a clear outreach with accessible
and clear instructions on this change.
> I'm willing to help, but I don't think I'm the best fit for the role
> because Louis is much better known and a better fit for what is
> essentially a point of reference. It will make it much easier for
> others monitoring the lists if they know these types of queries will
> get followed up and there is some consistency in the point of contact.

My approach is quite simple, and I'll do what I can to spell out what I think could further
this project. 

What it comes down to is encouraging distributed growth: I don't have all the answers and
each region, community, commons area is different. They differ according to the personalities
involved, to the actual part of the code or project that's of interest, to the problems (or
whatevers) that must be solved (or addressed).

There are, let's say, two aspects to the puzzle of building a sustainable community focused
on Apache OpenOffice. First, what is important to me, and I daresay to many here, is to collaborate
on the larger point, the development of the application, it's code, QA, extensions, localizations,
ports, according to the precepts laid out by Apache. But regionally, there are ways in which
those people and companies making up the ecosystem as a whole might well act idiosyncratically,
using methods I would not have imagined but which are effective all the same in both building
a local community and making that community relevant to the overall project's goals.

For instance, if in Kerala, India, the Malayalam effort is reawakened as a teaching vehicle,
and the students and professors need (or want and can do it) extensions particular to their
localization and locale, and this is sponsored by local businesses (or even not local at all),
then it ought to be encouraged, and rewarded by the recognition such effort merits. The *outcome*
for the Apache OpenOffice project would be obscure—this effort may do zero to actually further
the code development. 

But it does a lot to further the project as a community effort, for those who work on AOO
and ODF in school, in such a way (as "owners") are, I believe, more likely to continue working
on the code as more sophisticated graduates. They will (or may) do this not only because they
have already seen that they can do so in a sandboxed manner but also because they have come
to understand what is meant by open source collaboration. (Their understanding, like all of
ours, is kaleidoscopic, but that, of course, is the nature of humanity: through a glass darkly.)

What level of effort should then the AOO PPMC put into this sort of thing? I mean regional
development with uncertain return on investment as realized by more code that's good in the
AOO production repository.  Little. That's because not much is really needed. What is *wanted*
and what is *useful* is to have such an interest manifest.

For instance, right now we have the localization projects. I'd promote what I long ago promoted
but which never really got off the ground, more regional projects. This means setting up wikis,
having periodic meetings via IRC or equivalent, and encouraging local events that are aimed
at drawing in people.

We do versions of this already—look at what Imacat has done, at what others around the world
are doing on their own behalf. I'm not saying that what I'm suggesting here is novel, new,
unheard of. It's isn't. It's common sense. But all the more reason to make it easier for others
outside of the PPMC but who feel strongly about the community or who are becoming part of
the ecosystem to act on the notion of community.

Doing things once, maybe twice is easy. Doing things, especially versions of the same thing
regularly, and doing this with the aim of building up to something that is grander than oneself
and that includes others—that's actually pretty hard, especially when there is no money
reward that's obvious. 

** Next steps**

I don't have answers that fit all situations, but I am very interested in listening to suggestions
about what would be really interesting or at least fun to get going, and how.

For me, this is what I think is actually crucial, right now:

* Pick up ecosystem development that can lead to production sustainability in Brazil, India,
possibly Russia, Ukraine, CIS countries.

* Mobile. I'm in communication right now with at least one person very interested in mobile
AOO (ODF, actually) on more than iOS. This is important, for any number of reasons, all of
them I hope good.

* Education: get AOO in education and get it used for teaching.

And more and more.

> -- 
> Ian
> Ofqual Accredited IT Qualifications (The Schools ITQ)
> +44 (0)1827 305940
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