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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: AOO volunteers: essential skills and tasks
Date Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:59:17 GMT
On Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM, Kay Schenk <> wrote:
> On 10/28/2012 04:30 PM, Rob Weir wrote:
>> On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM, Andrea Pescetti <>
>> wrote:
>>> On 23/10/2012 Rob Weir wrote:
>>>> New Volunteer Orientation root page:
>>> This is an excellent resource. But we received a few requests from
>>> prospective volunteers this weekend and I'm believing it would be
>>> overwhelming to point them there. I still believe these documents are
>>> excellent, but probably they are assuming our volunteer is above average,
>>> or
>>> at least willing to engage deeply with the project. They would be perfect
>>> for me, for you, or for a newcomer like Jan who has the skills and the
>>> mindset to understand in detail how things work.
>> And how do we know in advance which volunteers are like Jan and which are
>> not?
>> I think we should find some way to point them to the info and say that
>> they are welcome to jump in and ignore this all, or skim it in
>> parallel with direct participation, or read through this stuff first.
>> It is entirely up to them.
>> But generally, the more one needs to interact with other project
>> participants and other systems and even other parts of Apache, the
>> more this information becomes useful.   Although not stated, one could
>> almost say that "Level 4" would be becoming a Committer.  So you are
>> correct that this is a track for a more determined volunteer,
>>> But we will also have (and we do have: most volunteers I see on the
>>> mailing
>>> lists in Italian fall in this category) volunteers who don't care that
>>> much
>>> about OpenOffice as a project: they use the product and just want to give
>>> something back. They want to scratch an itch, or just to do something,
>>> but
>>> they are very task-oriented: they want something to do rather than
>>> something
>>> to read. For example, we may have translation volunteers who would be
>>> perfectly satisfied if we e-mail them a PO file and tell them to grab
>>> POEdit
>>> and send the file back; and then they would consider a deeper engagement,
>>> but not earlier.
>> Translation volunteers are different in many ways, but even there I
>> think we need some solid orientation material.  They won't go far
>> before wondering why they cannot write to Pootle and the website, but
>> others can.  That leads us into discussion of roles at Apache, etc.
>> And we really need to expose them to the Apache License at the
>> earliest opportunity.  We do no one any favors if we're passing around
>> PO files via private mail, and receiving translations without any
>> public record of contribution.
>> In any case, this is an issue we've had for a while.  Becoming a
>> Committer is a higher hurdle than is appropriate for most translation
>> volunteers, due to iCLA, etc.  The orientation guides did not create
>> this problem, they merely remind us of it.
>>> And indeed they are not totally wrong: knowing how the Apache Board works
>>> is
>>> not needed to be able to translate a press release, or a few OpenOffice
>>> strings, into Italian.
>>> Could it be that we need a "practical" entry point for people who want to
>>> help and just want to do it immediately? Placing these information at
>>> level
>>> 3 of the "Volunteer Orientation" seems too much for volunteers who want
>>> to
>>> jump in and do something (while, again, the orientation guide is
>>> excellent
>>> for a skilled, determined volunteer).
>> Since "level 3" for translators does not exist yet, it may be too
>> early to say whether or not is "practical".   (I hope it will be
>> practical).  If we make it self-contained, it may be possible for it
>> be consulted on its own for someone who is not seeking deeper
>> engagement with the project.
>> -Rob
>>> Regards,
>>>    Andrea.
> Rob,
> I still support this whole notion. But, maybe it would be better to go with
> more of a "checklist" style instead of the in-depth explanations you have in
> this document.
> What if you ported this to the wiki (Jan suggested this as well. cwiki is
> easiest for me but I have no object to so those of us
> that are interested can more easily contribute to this worthwhile guide.

Of course you are free to start whatever wiki page you wish.  But I'll
be continuing with the mdtext pages I've started.  This is based on my
experience with providing orientation to many of our Symphony
developers on how Apache projects work and how to participate in such
a community.  This approach works.   Other approaches might work for
others as well.  But I'm going to give this a try.


> Thanks for starting this. It is needed.
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> MzK
> "Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never
>  dealt with a cat."
>                                -- Robert Heinlein

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