Thoughts about the Fedora Community Working Group

A bit back I had posted a question to the advisory-board list – specifically asking whether there has been a process to understand how Steering Committees have made things better. While the thread petered out into nothingness, a recent announcement about the Community Working Group got me thinking again.

The initial question to the advisory-board was based on a scenario that the multiple domain-specific sub-committees work towards being excellent within the scope of their own deliverables but collectively don’t work together towards a greater purpose. More importantly, whether the work of the *SCo and the choices they make have proper communication both to their constituents and within The Fedora Project itself. Now with the announcement of the Fedora Community Working Group I have a set of queries that would perhaps require a bit of elaboration.

  • what is the mandate of the newly formed group ? Are they empowered to ‘act’ or, is the charter limited to generating and submitting a proposal for consideration ?
  • the “central point of contact” phrase is bit quirky. It doesn’t say as much as it is supposed to say – what does this actually entail ?

And then of course there is the mission

The long-term goal of the Community Working Group is to help to maintain a friendly and welcoming community, thereby ensuring the Fedora Project remains a great project enjoyed by all contributors and users

This is perfect as a long term goal. Across the year and across multiple specific Fedora lists there has been, I feel, instances of ‘stop energy‘ especially pointless and rambling ones (is there any other kind of stop energy ? I hear you ask, more on that later). If the CWG can sit down and straighten things out or even look into the frank admissions of burn-out it would perhaps be a good thing to have. Along with the stated charter of facilitating communications between the groups or even, doing post-release retrospectives (I’d rather love to see the various Steering Committees take the initiative in this – FAmSCo does a reasonably good job that needs to be appreciated) in order to plan for areas of improvement in processes. If the CWG can then obtain buy-in from the specific teams who can bring about the changes it would be wonderful to have.

The CWG is a good start. I’d perhaps like to see a bit more specific items that can be measured as success or failure of the CWG rather than goals well into the future.

The Document Foundation, LibreOffice and the road forward

It is incredibly wonderful to see forward momentum on a somewhat long wait for a Foundation for project. The Document Foundation has promised to be an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation. And, that is actually a lot of good intentions to live up to.

Once the rush of news announcements are over it would be nice to see some concrete time-line driven announcements from the Foundation. These would possibly end up around areas concerning:

  • how LibreOffice builds upon the existing work done within the fold of community
  • the cohesive nature of participation amongst existing Native Language Communities for OO.o and, LibreOffice
  • would LibreOffice contributions start off from a point in time

The last two items are specifically close to one’s heart because it goes directly and deeply into how the existing community finds a place within the new infrastructure and, how the contributions keep happening. Whether this would require reaching out to all the existing community/project leaders and seeking consensus is something that the wise heads at TDF know. I would wait to see more decisions being announced around infrastructure, contribution processes and, actual contributions begin to happen at a rapid clip.

Here’s to a new beginning.