Talking IndLinux again

In contrast to the well laid out elaborate discussions about meeting date and time yesterday’s meeting on #indlinux had a stand-up feel to it. The raw logs have been made available here. While the aim of the meeting was more to figure out what is stalling the forward progress of the “IndLinux Society” the secondary objective was to figure out the “organisational structure” that could be adopted. I got busy sometime into the meeting and so here are a few thoughts on hindsight.

To begin with (even before we go into structure issues) it is important to figure out what IndLinux wants to be. Around 2 years back the goal was to be the “upstream” in all-matters-Indic for distributions alongside other objectives. 2 years down the line that idea really will not fly. The distributions have put in place their own workflow as have the various projects and imposing an additional element in the workflow would meet with a small amount of hassles. A very casual way of handling this would perhaps be through progress tracking how Indic is faring across projects and distributions – an automated process similar to the “Damned Lies” would work well when hosted on the IndLinux Server.

The broad objectives of the “IndLinux Society” (?) were already discussed and agreed upon. So moving forward the thing to consider for IndLinux might be how to create a “stack of applications” on top of the in-progress localised desktop and move towards solving issues that are not being currently addressed by various upstream projects and distributions. These could relate to fonts and specifications, publishing/DTP, spellcheckers and word corpora (collaboration with existing bodies who have the work done and releasing them under appropriate licenses), OCR, AT-SPI bits. All these are sub-projects which have to be mapped to the objectives and then further on made more granular through task-based breakup and milestones. Milestone creation would allow the tracking of the project and arriving at a conclusion on the success or failure of the projects. Additionally, it would also equip IndLinux once the “body” is formed to participate into a Summer of Code like program and offer projects based on these goals.

Additionally, it would be a good time to look for staffing the project with the main aim of putting in place a metrics based system. The immediate need would be for the following: Project Manager (initially also someone who can coordinate with the companies doing Indic in India), Community Engineer (in order to get more developers to commit code) and a Server Administrator. Given the broad objectives of the project all the 3 positions should be made accountable to the project and these should be paid positions with remunerations in place. At this stage it may seem funny (or even nonsensical) to be talking about staffing and monies, but it would help a lot to be prepared and be aware of what the scaling up would require and mean.

As regards a legal body and the form it can take I’d rather say one starts looking at these folks. It is a working model that provides a good public private collaboration and if it works for them there’s no reason why it should not work for IndLinux.

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