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From Andrea Pescetti <pesce...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Encouraging participation
Date Fri, 02 Nov 2012 16:54:56 GMT
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
https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=121179
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 
http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/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).

Regards,
   Andrea.

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