Archive for the 'communication' Category

Eliberatica 2008

The main ideas I got out of this conference http://eliberatica.ro/2008/:

Contributing to a freedom software project is easy, be it translation, documentation, source code or artwork. Free software projects fail all the time, but that is good because the costs of a failure of such project are relatively low. The cost is only the cost of time its contributors have committed to it.

However silly our work seems to be when we do it, it allows others to build on it – and that is what makes it strong and durable. So we should start make our on contributions on it.

Making a business out of a freedom software project is very hard and needs a very careful analysis of the business model involved. Licensing is especially important, it sits at the core of the business model.

My notes/outlines on the logistics of the conference:

  • Sun (the one in the sky, not the company called Sun Microsystems) was really stumping on my nerves;
  • breaks were too short, there was too much content;
  • having 2 presentation rooms and a separate terrace (at Eliberatica 2007) was better;
  • the presentations were too business-like, although the audience was technical oriented
  • not too many practical activities, too much theory.

Suggestions for 2009 (I intend to join the organizing team or at least spend more time helping organizing it):

  • set up a wiki about the conference
  • I have missed the mailing list discussion about the conference, needs more promotion
  • suggested debates (voting ideas and topics? or not?)
  • have an unconference (barcamp)
  • have practical activities (coding session, install fest, gaming fest)
  • Eliberatica Planet for gathering feeds about Eliberatica

Personal objectives set up related to Eliberatica:

  • FSFE + FreedomMarketing.org
  • OpenOffice.org extensions for collaborative artwork: ODF SVN, wikiediting, image versioning
  • Common configuration repository (SAMBA registry?)
  • Mozilla test suite for extensions
  • translation of licensing with APTI, Bogdan Manolea
  • Library of Freedom Software Business cases – translation OmegaT/Trados

This also serves as my tasklist which I will, hopefully, update as I fullfill these objectives.

More detail on each item in following posts.

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Standard for communication between project infrastructures

I see the way forward as a Foundation Board (free to join as individual contributors, not permited for companies) that establishes community standards on all collaboration resources.

Such a standard should include what kind of information should be contained in a bug report, and this could in turn be implemented as a RDF resource. As far as I have seen LaunchPad already provides RDF resources for bugs. This way there would be an easy transition between different project infrastructures: maybe one will be able to take all the bugs (closed or open) her/his project has on Source Forge and have them automatically imported, as a batch, into LaunchPad or CollabNet.

For project infrastructure there are also tools like Maven, which ads the goodness of dependency management. We should check the effectiveness of Maven and similar tools, find their weakest spot and make a request to the responsible team to improve that feature.

I also think we need to research more thoroughly a free software development methodology. We do not like some Agile or XP programming ways of doing things, so we need our own methodology/-ies. There are some academic studies on our development model but they are scatterd across different web sites. The idea is that we do need a more structured, integrated documentation tool on how we do/should work.

This research is needed to prepare the infrastructure we will use 2,4,8 years from now, when both the number and the diversity of contributors to our community will grow immensely.