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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Encouraging participation
Date Thu, 01 Nov 2012 21:04:44 GMT
Renaming the thread, since the topic has shifted greatly.

On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM, jan iversen <> wrote:
> Hi Dave.
> Even though I have stopped my companies, I still have many other things to
> do than working on AOO, and when I had my companies I had limited time, so
> I can for sure follow you. Today I am just trying to help open source as
> such, because it has helped me a lot in my career.
> And to answer your question, yes I do have some ideas (but they might be
> wrong), I have listed some of the important ones below:
> - 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 think Rob is
> having a lead here with his new web pages.

I don't think anyone is using "legal stuff' to prevent things from
moving forward.  At least I hope not.  But there is some minimal
amount of process that needs to occur before  release is published.
This is done Apache-wide.  To the extent building release candidates
is a semi-manual task this will be painful and take time.  The
solution (or part of it) is to more fully automate.

But it is certainly true that a new volunteer is encouraged the best
when they can contribute today and see their results released
tomorrow.  The closer we approximate that kind of feedback loop the
better it is for volunteers.

On the other hand, we know that creating a release requires a
significant amount of build effort, review work (licenses, etc.), QA,
voting on a release, website update, announcement preparation, etc.
It really is currently a 4-6 week cycle of activities just to release
a new version.  Until we automate most of this, it is rather painful
to release.

It might help if we explain why the work, beyond coding, that goes
into a release is important, how it benefits our users, etc.  This
isn't just a formality without purpose.

> - We do NOT want a war of religions between AOO and others, ASF is well
> known, upper end of free software, so we should be publicly asking for
> collaboration.

Agreed.  But sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that we did
not create nor ask for,

> - 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.

> - I would like to see more "marketing" for developers, instead of
> businesses...I think we need to get back to roots where a developers think
> its fun, and pride to develop AOO. We could easily e.g. make challenges
> like "who can solve this problem".

Good idea.  But it does presuppose a more intelligible build system as
well.  For new developers to enjoy working in this code base we need
to get to a point where they get enjoyment from focusing on problems
that are relevant to them.  Focusing on the build system is not
relevant.  It is friction, effort wasted, not accomplishment   So we
can move this forward with documentation as well.

> I am new to AOO (so I am either interfering or bringing in new views), but
> I have quite some years of experience with openSource and I am a strong
> believer of ASF. The "apache way" is in many ways a limitation, but at the
> end it is the guarantee for a better end-user product.

"When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is
taxed to its utmost — and will produce its richest ideas. Given total
freedom the work is likely to sprawl." – T.S. Eliot

> Please accept my apologies, if I have broken n-policies, but I think the
> question from Dave was well placed, and well formulated so it deserved a
> straight answer.
> Jan.
> On 1 November 2012 20:51, Dave Fisher <> wrote:
>> Hi Jan,
>> We are all here as individuals with various and different amounts of time
>> and energy. Many are employed to work on OpenOffice, but many like me are
>> volunteers who have demanding day jobs. The key part of the Apache Way is
>> that leadership comes from DOING and COMMUNICATING.
>> You are new here with lots of admirable energy and work! This is what
>> acquires merit in an Apache project!
>> Since we ultimately can only control ourselves, do you have any
>> suggestions about how we can more actively encourage participation?
>> Best Regards,
>> Dave
>> On Nov 1, 2012, at 9:38 AM, jan iversen wrote:
>> > Please excuse me, I think I know the difference between hooligans and
>> > people who are just blowing hot air.
>> >
>> > To be honest, at the moment AOO does NOT have a great deal of momentum,
>> and
>> > have (I think) lost a quite a lot of reputation among developers. That is
>> > something we have to remedy, not by glittering folders, or smart
>> marketing,
>> > but by showing the developers, that we really care about their
>> > contributions.
>> >
>> > If I may say so, some developers might see "the apache way" as a
>> > limitation, which my experience during the last month somewhat confirms,
>> I
>> > think we really need to focus on "the community" instead of telling
>> people
>> > about legal issues, but about getting a product that still can out beat
>> the
>> > big (costly) products out there. Do NOT forget some state institutions in
>> > EU choose OpenOffice against other, but today I would not be so sure !!!
>> >
>> > Sorry for the outburst, but I am used to say what I think, and I really
>> > really want AOO to be the opensource project, as it was in the past. Lets
>> > not forget why we are all here.....
>> >
>> > Jan
>> >
>> > On 1 November 2012 17:20, RGB ES <> wrote:
>> >
>> >> 2012/11/1 Rob Weir <>
>> >>
>> >>> I'm hearing that some project volunteers, especially new ones, are
>> >>> being contacted by certain external parties, who then try to
>> >>> discourage them from contributing to the Apache OpenOffice project.
>> >>> I'm hearing that similar notes have been sent out to those who
>> >>> submitted listings to our new Consultants Directory, also discouraging
>> >>> them from involvement in the project.
>> >>>
>> >>> This is my personal view on this matter, for what it is worth.
>> >>>
>> >>> I think we all would agree that such techniques are deplorable and
>> >>> bring disrepute to the individuals involved, and to the project that
>> >>> sanctions such techniques.  If you recall we had a similar wave of
>> >>> such unprofessional behavior a few months ago, when certain external
>> >>> parties were contacting journalists who mentioned OpenOffice and
>> >>> telling them that it was no longer being developed and to link to a
>> >>> different product instead.
>> >>>
>> >>> I any case, if you are receiving such FUD yourself, I'd encourage you
>> >>> to simply post it to this mailing list, or to your blog, or some other
>> >>> public website.  "Daylight is the best antiseptic" as they say.  I am
>> >>> not a medical doctor, but I do believe that FUD exposed to public
>> >>> scrutiny loses its potency.   But FUD ignored is FUD that spreads.
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> There is and always will be people who do not understand what an
>> opensource
>> >> project is and behave like hooligans "defending" their soccer team. I
>> hope
>> >> they are just individuals and nothing more, but I fully agree to put
>> each
>> >> case under daylight.
>> >>
>> >> Regards
>> >> Ricardo
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Regards,
>> >>>
>> >>> -Rob
>> >>>
>> >>

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