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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Encouraging participation
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2012 21:31:52 GMT

On Nov 2, 2012, at 2:12 PM, jan iversen wrote:

> On 2 November 2012 17:54, Andrea Pescetti <> wrote:
>> On 01/11/2012 Rob Weir wrote:
>>> On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM, jan iversen wrote:
>>>> - We need to focus more on people who want to help, instead of using all
>>>> the legal stuff (which are necessary) as a buffer not to move things.
>>>> (e.g.
>>>> I got 2 volunteers working on a danish translation, highly motivated, now
>>>> we are discussing details about how to release the stuff).  ...
>>> I don't think anyone is using "legal stuff' to prevent things from
>>> moving forward.
>> There is a bit of confusion here. One thing is allowing volunteers to have
>> feedback on their work, the other one is releasing their work. For feedback
>> we needn't focus on legal issues. So the Danish translation as discussed in
>> will be integrated in any next 3.4.x (informal, i.e., "snapshots") builds.
>> The "legal stuff" is not playing any roles here.
>> But it is certainly true that a new volunteer is encouraged the best
>>> when they can contribute today and see their results released
>>> tomorrow.
>> I'd focus on "used" rather than "released": it is more motivating to see
>> their results used (i.e., a snapshot build) soon than to see them released
>> after months. And this is where we should improve. To give volunteers
>> feedback we only need a very lightweight process, ideally zero.
>> What is delaying us with the current translations, for example, is just
>> that we need to determine a suitable deadline for translators to check in
>> their PO files, integrating them on**
>> incubator/ooo/branches/AOO34/<>and
building snapshot for AOO34. At the moment this is indeed quite
>> demanding on Juergen and Ariel.
>> - I think events like ApacheCon is nice, but events like FOSDEM is quite a
>>>> lot more important for the "ordinary" openSource developer.
>>> And we are planning a dev room at Fosdem for that reason.
>> By FOSDEM (and ideally much earlier) we must be ready to integrate new
>> volunteers in a way that fully satisfies them and the project. This is a
>> priority for OpenOffice as a project.
>> We are getting close to this for what concerns localization: I expect that
>> in a couple weeks we will be able to involve, engage and satisfy
>> localization volunteers with an established process. We must then do the
>> same for QA, development, Marketing...
>> An important result we should achieve is that nobody should feel
>> frustrated by not having committer privileges: it is also up to us to
>> define tasks that can be done without depending too much on a committer
>> helping the contributor. At least we should warn them: if someone wants to
>> rebuild an entire section of the OpenOffice website, like it is happening
>> with Jan, he should be told in advance that this contribution is really
>> welcome (and that, for most sections, we really need it!) but that at a
>> certain point he might feel frustration for not being a committer. There
>> are hundreds of tasks that can be done by non-committers, and we should
>> keep the distinction clear when we advertise tasks for volunteers. (That
>> said, the "privileges" of being a committer or a PMC member are greatly
>> exaggerated at times... it's not that much really; but when this is the
>> only obstacle to getting things really done, I can understand the
>> impatience).
> I think I got ample warning ahead of doing the rewrite of l10n, what
> surprised was the discussion going on right now, that is quite frustrating,
> especially because I opened the theme before I did the work, and nobody
> complained, on the contrary many said "yes please do".
> If you things like I do it can be quite frustrating not to have committer
> status, not at all for the privilege, but because I have to waster a
> committers valuable time, doing simple jobs.

You are not wasting a committers valuable time. The committer's time is spent evaluating your
contribution. When the committer(s) begin to feel that their time is beginning to be wasted
that is the point they ought to suggest to the PMC that it is time DISCUSS giving the individual
committers rights. This discussion occurs in private, the discussion is then followed by a
private VOTE that lasts at least 3 days. EIther or both of these processes can be public on
the dev list.

If the community thinks that a private DISCUSS followed by a public VOTE would encourage contributors
then I would be for changing the policy. Perhaps to the following.

(1) Private DISCUSS on potential new Committers lasting at least 72 hours until there is clear
(2) Chair contacts the contributor to make sure they are interested and to let them know a
VOTE is coming.
(3) Potential Committer confirms interest to private.
(4) VOTE is started on dev @ oo.a.o. Lasts 72 hours.
(5) ICLA, Account creation and Karma grant occur as now.


> So the sentence "it's not that
> much really", is not quite correct, it can be quite time saving.
>> Regards,
>>  Andrea.

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