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The Community Project step 1 : Governance

Wednesday 08 September 2010 6:01:17 pm

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The Community Project, opening contribution to eZ Publish, is coming into existence. Many new things to build, and so many great things to achieve together. Read on and give your feedback, this is a key topic on which every Community member should react.

 

Introduction

In Berlin last june was announced eZ's decision to open-up contribution to the eZ Publish kernel. It was covered from different angles, in various talks from eZ crew members (by Owen, or myself), the global idea was outlined. Today, more precisely, the official news was released : http://bit.ly/eZCommunityProject_and_EnterpriseEdition

In short, two parent versions will start existing, the Community Project and the Enterprise Edition. The current eZ Publish, one single version, as we have known it since 2001, will be opened to contribution. The contributors will start working jointly with eZ Engineers, whose main work repository will remain the github one : http://github.com/ezsystems/ezpublish. That will be called the Community Project.

The Enterprise Edition, shipped to you when subscribing to a support agreement by eZ (and also available for demonstration purposes ), will be largely based on the Community Project kernel. It will differ by a few extensions, specific to a professionally supported usage.

It is now time to dive into details, together, with as main and short-term objective to make this contribution happen ... I mean real conception & hacking, and not only shooting the breeze as I am doing now :) While the main sources of energy will be your motivation, your innovation and your skills in building tomorrow's eZ Publish, as a killer Web Content Management tool, we will take some time to organise it all, to give it some structure.

Let us talk about governance.

 

Governance Does Not Suck

Jono Bacon in The Art of Community :

For years many governments have successfully delivered radical change and improvements to their people. Consider the rebuilding of Europe after World Wars I and II, expanding the right to vote, equal access to public accommodations, reducing disease, reducing workplace discrimination, legislation around safe food and drinking water, the nationwide construction of highways, financial security in retirement, scientific funding and technical research, reducing hunger and improving nutrition, space exploration, and more. It is government that helped forward these worthy achievements. When the system works, beautiful things can happen.
[...]
In the same way that the government of a country is tasked with improving infrastructure, living conditions, and the welfare of its nation, the governance body of a community is similarly tasked with the welfare of those it governs. Instead of ensuring clean drinking water, community governance ensures transparency in our deadlines. Instead of readily available health care, we strive for robust resources to do our work. Instead of building that freeway, we build effective and open communication processes. The issues may differ, but the primary function of representing and maintaining the interests of those you govern remains.”

Inspiring, isn't it ? Let us see together how we can provide clean drinking water to all eZ Community members.

 
 

Working together creates energy

Working together creates energy

 

The Community Project Board

Below is a draft of what the Community Project Board could be. We need your feedback on this (comments under this post, or through email to community @ ez.no if you prefer private communication).

Responsibilities

  • Membership approval/rejection
  • Project values : make sure the project seeks to maintain a set of core values (openness, innovation)
  • Direction : long-term direction of the project, and synchronisation with eZ’s roadmap
  • Granting commit rights and intermediate levels
  • Synchronisation with the Zeta Components project
  • Synchronisation with the Translation project
  • Release governance
  • Maintain a good momentum (regular meetings on/offline)

Example :
The first decision could be about defining the way Community members can participate to the project, the various roles and prerequisites.

 

Initial body

From eZ :

  • One Engineering team representative
  • One Consulting team representative
  • Nicolas Pastorino ( Community Manager )

From the Community : to be decided, 3 members.
Forming the initial board will require applicants to fulfil the Recruitment criteria below. Applications will be opened once we nail down the essential elements of Governance, based on this draft. Again, your feedback is necessary.

 

Recruitment

The board has the responsibility to define how someone can become member. To ensure a fair triage of applications, a set of criteria needs to be setup. Here is a first, non-exhaustive proposal, waiting for your feedback.

  • Have listening skills
  • Be unbiased and objective
  • Be detail-oriented, not necessarily perfectionist
  • Be able to dedicate time to the role of board member
  • Be a certified eZ Publish developer
  • Prove an experienced participation to the eZ Community, or to other Open Source Software communities.

Members should be elected for a one-year term, and elections should happen democratically.

 

Decision/vote system

This conditions how decision are taken within the Board. Majority vote, plus 3 vetos/term (one year) per member can be an option.

 

Interactions between this Board and the rest of the Community ( and eZ )

A transparent interaction between the Board and the rest of the Community is key. It should happen both ways. The Community Project Board members, as ambassadors of eZ Publish towards the Community, should participate to the community's life. This can take the form of presence on events, talks. It is also very likely that the Board itself, and/or Board members will maintain blogs, enforcing openness and transparency on a daily basis. That is for the outbound way.

The other way around, it should be straight-forward to get in touch with the board to send requests, make remarks, propose enhancements to processes, etc. The contact channels with the Board will be clearly identified and communicated about, opening wide to communication.

The Board itself will make final decisions on this, but the above can be iterated on to quickly set up the necessary communication channels.

 
 

Your contribution is needed

Be you a new passenger on board, a long-distance community member, should you envisage participating to the Community Project to some extent, or happily watch eZ Publish grow under the impulse of its Community, we need your view on what was just presented.

Comments under this post, or an email to community @ ez.no, tell us what you think of this !

 
 

What is next ?

The final version of the above must reach its final state on Sept. 22nd. In the meantime, we will come up with a similar type of draft concerning the participation model : how to be able to concretely put hands-on. This will also be submitted to the broad community as is done, today, for the governance. The participation model will certainly be one of the first topics the Board will address, but gathering your feedback before-hand will speed-up the process and get us down to business more quickly.

If you recognize yourself in the (not yet final) recruitment criteria, and if you are willing to become a member of the Community Project Board, feel free to let us know. As comment below, or though email : community @ ez.no.

 

Picture credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/21563721@N00/4424553767/

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