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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: AOO volunteers: essential skills and tasks
Date Sun, 28 Oct 2012 23:30:56 GMT
On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM, Andrea Pescetti <pescetti@apache.org> wrote:
> On 23/10/2012 Rob Weir wrote:
>>
>> New Volunteer Orientation root page:
>> http://incubator.apache.org/openofficeorg/orientation/
>
>
> 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.

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