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From Peter Junge <>
Subject Re: [ApacheCon] BoF session on AOO community
Date Mon, 29 Oct 2012 00:16:39 GMT
On 9/27/2012 8:49 AM, Andrew Rist wrote:
> On 9/24/2012 9:46 PM, Peter Junge wrote:
>> Dear OpenOffice Community,
>> During ApacheCon Europe 2012 (ACEU 2012;, we
>> will hold a 90-minute session on the state of the community. Our topic
>> is as broad as the community and includes discussion on how to develop
>> and further the community of contributors and users making up AOO. We
>> hope you can be there and add your voice! We seldom have opportunity
>> to meet in person, and this will be a great occasion to go over where
>> we are as a community, what we need to do to improve the operations of
>> the community, and what can be done by us all to take AOO to top-level
>> status. Everyone is invited—and to encourage you further to
>> participate, we hope to welcome the Apache mentors who are helping AOO
>> move ahead.
>> At the moment, I'm responsible for this session but due to the fact
>> that I'm located in Beijing I will not be able to attend in person.
>> Hence, it would be great to find one or two volunteers to host this
>> BoF session about the AOO community at the ApacheCon Europe.
> I would be interested, Peter.
> Andrew

@Andrew, sorry for replying quite late, but I guess my first posting 
came to long before the event anyway.

@All: Let's discuss what what could be talked about during the BoF 
session on AOO community in Sinsheim. (Note: I'm not attending the 
ApacheCon EU.)

After reviewing a couple of threads in the mailing list archives, I'd 
like to point out the challenges below:

1) The challenge of dissimilarity of community and community culture: 
We've seen it in a couple of discussions on the mailing lists. The 
Apache Way and the former OOo community work quite different, a couple 
of time disagreement with the mentors arose. Apache is a community where 
committers leave their affiliations behind (at least in theory) while 
OOo was under the hood of a single company. At Apache the individual 
needs to earn merits to be promoted as a committer and later as a PMC 
member, while OOo everybody just could right away. Apache has a 
hierarchy of roles (contributor, committer, PMC) but no real leaders 
(except the PMC chair), while OOo didn't know such hierarchy but had 
appointed project leads who had certain administrative powers. At 
Apache, I assume, at least 80% are developers because so far the 
majority of projects were about producing software by developers for 
developers, while OOo and still AOO is a large piece of software for end 
users. At the old OOo community, and I guess many of them are still 
around but not visible here, more then half of the people involved were 
not developers, but many volunteers working on localization, QA, 
documentation, user support and marketing etc. The OOo community was 
strongly heterogeneous, many native language projects had their own 
websites and communication channels, detached from the core community. 
So, the first challenge is: How does that all fit into the Apache way, 
but still keeping the identity of OpenOffice and leaving room for the 
satellite communities that do great work e.g. by offering OO support in 
many different languages?

2) The challenge producing end user software at Apache:
As said above, Apache was so far (at least AFAIK) only producing 
software from developers for developers, contrarily AOO is an end user 
software. The former usually doesn't need any special promotion effort. 
Developers and users just come by if they need a particular piece of 
software. With an end user software like OpenOffice this is much 
different. AOO needs a big marketing effort to reach its users and 
constantly growing that user base. At the former OOo community many 
volunteers have been attending trade fairs (e.g. the CeBIT in Hanover, 
Germany) and innumerous other events to reach the public. Driving such 
efforts costs a fair amount of money that should not be solely 
shouldered by the volunteers who already contribute a fair mount of 
their time. So, the second challenge is, how to raise funds, either 
within or outside Apache, to continue with appropriate marketing efforts 
for AOO?

3) The challenge of building the community:
The AOO community needs steadily working on developing the community by 
recruiting developers, QA, translators and people doing documentation 
and marketing. The third challenge is, how to reach them? A part of this 
effort can certainly go along with the former challenge as 'marketing to 
developers'. Being present at events usually reaches many different 
kinds of people.

Other challenges are welcome.

Best regards,

P.S: and there's still the challenge to find one or two moderators for 
that BoF session. Andrew, are you still willing?

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