How our project recently works

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How our project recently works

Dr. Michael Stehmann-2
Hello,

I would like to tell you (just as an example) about a few things
in which I was and am at best peripherally involved:

The primary purpose of the described acts was to provide developers and
other commiters to make the work of contributors easier:

1. We moved our version control system from subversion to git. This is
seen by all developers as a great improvement even by those who were
initially skeptical.

2. The pootle server for the translations was fixed and a
technical process developed to provide the translators continuously with
strings to be translated and to integrate continuously translations into
the code.

3. Building Apache OpenOffice is anything but trivial. Matthias
currently has the Windows build under control and accompanied in close
contact with the maintainer the OS/2 port. Jim takes currently care the
Mac and Linux builds Pedro finally covers the BSD area.

Mechtilde successfully tries to support AOO also under Debian GNU/Linux
to build with younger compiler and library versions (just as a
precaution: building according to Debian guidelines is currently not
possible). This work is also seminal for other distributions.

Mechtilde also needs this instance for her work in
technical support for the translation process (see 2.).

All this work was "spontaneously" was done by interested volunteers
without a project manager, a steering committee, a Scrum master or a
project planning. There waere also neither Sprints, nor deadlines. One
person started a task and then others collaborated and continued the work.

The coordination among the participants is usually informal. If
Andrea, Matthias, Mechtilde and Peter are sitting at FOSDEM in the
cafeteria at a table, they don't talk about the weather or the qualities
Belgian beers, but of course about what they are currently doing and
plan to do.

Organizing meetings with physical presence would be difficult and
expensive. In fact, the people involved are  spread over three
continents (North and South America once as separate continents
considered). Coordination is done over channels of the internet (which
is difficult enough because of the time zones). The European ones, in
particular the German participants also meet frequently the various
events. And when Mechtilde and I are in Hamburg of course Markus and
Matthias and mostly others are informed.

The only exception to the rule of informal cooperation in the above
examples was the changeover to git (see 1.). Here a vote of the PMC was
needed because involving Apache Infra and because it was a migration
away from software of another Apache project.

Apache OpenOffice has the advantage that the vast majority of developers
use software themselves and mostly are in contact with other users.

Of course we also think iintensively (and talk) about, how we can
broaden the developer base in a sustainable way. The IMO most promising
suggestion has recently come from Patricia, who suggested, with very
good reason, to draw attention of C++ developers to our project. But
until the seed of this idea can bring fruits, it inevitably takes time.

Those who are active in the project receive no remuneration and work
voluntary. Usually they spend money to commit. They are enthusiastics
and this is IMO the best prerequisite to inspire others.

I don't want to "cheer" our project. It's aware to everyone I know,
that our project is in a precarious situation - and that not just since
yesterday. But these circumstances do not only severely limit our
opportunities, but also open up opportunities for each individual -
to try out and prove themselves in interesting tasks.

Our "bus factor" [0] is unfortunately, as everyone is aware, small.
Therefore newcomers are "welcomed with open arms" by all.

Because of the situation, everyone is also constantly thinking about how
processes can be improved and the work can be made more efficient. The
above examples may be taken as evidence of this.

Greeting
Michael

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor

P.S.: Most of the text was translated by DeepL, my english is much poorer


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RE: How our project recently works

Jörg Schmidt-2
Hello,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dr. Michael Stehmann [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2020 1:25 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: How our project recently works
>
> Hello,
>
> I would like to tell you (just as an example) about a few things
> in which I was and am at best peripherally involved:
>
> The primary purpose of the described acts was to provide
> developers and
> other commiters to make the work of contributors easier:
>
> 1. We moved our version control system from subversion to git. This is
> seen by all developers as a great improvement even by those who were
> initially skeptical.
>
> 2. The pootle server for the translations was fixed and a
> technical process developed to provide the translators
> continuously with
> strings to be translated and to integrate continuously
> translations into
> the code.
>
> 3. Building Apache OpenOffice is anything but trivial. Matthias
> currently has the Windows build under control and accompanied in close
> contact with the maintainer the OS/2 port. Jim takes
> currently care the
> Mac and Linux builds Pedro finally covers the BSD area.
>
> Mechtilde successfully tries to support AOO also under Debian
> GNU/Linux
> to build with younger compiler and library versions (just as a
> precaution: building according to Debian guidelines is currently not
> possible). This work is also seminal for other distributions.
>
> Mechtilde also needs this instance for her work in
> technical support for the translation process (see 2.).

thank you, for this information
 

> All this work was "spontaneously" was done by interested volunteers
> without a project manager, a steering committee, a Scrum master or a
> project planning. There waere also neither Sprints, nor deadlines. One
> person started a task and then others collaborated and
> continued the work.
>
> The coordination among the participants is usually informal. If
> Andrea, Matthias, Mechtilde and Peter are sitting at FOSDEM in the
> cafeteria at a table, they don't talk about the weather or
> the qualities
> Belgian beers, but of course about what they are currently doing and
> plan to do.

fine.

but please let us always remember to inform the community sufficiently about such informal conversations.

In the de-community we had already, at your request, agreed to do so.

(I am not asking for a rule for this, only that we observe it voluntarily, just as it works in the de-community.)

> Organizing meetings with physical presence would be difficult and
> expensive. In fact, the people involved are  spread over three
> continents (North and South America once as separate continents
> considered). Coordination is done over channels of the internet (which
> is difficult enough because of the time zones). The European ones, in
> particular the German participants also meet frequently the various
> events. And when Mechtilde and I are in Hamburg of course Markus and
> Matthias and mostly others are informed.
>
> The only exception to the rule of informal cooperation in the above
> examples was the changeover to git (see 1.). Here a vote of
> the PMC was
> needed because involving Apache Infra and because it was a migration
> away from software of another Apache project.
>
> Apache OpenOffice has the advantage that the vast majority of
> developers
> use software themselves and mostly are in contact with other users.
>
> Of course we also think iintensively (and talk) about, how we can
> broaden the developer base in a sustainable way. The IMO most
> promising
> suggestion has recently come from Patricia, who suggested, with very
> good reason, to draw attention of C++ developers to our project. But
> until the seed of this idea can bring fruits, it inevitably
> takes time.
>
> Those who are active in the project receive no remuneration and work
> voluntary. Usually they spend money to commit. They are enthusiastics
> and this is IMO the best prerequisite to inspire others.

That's a fact, but it's only a rule from the formal perspective of the project. It is not a rule that we would only accept code (or other contributions to the project) if they came from unpaid people. Already in the past, paid programmers were also involved in the project.

In addition, there were and are considerations how we could possibly accelerate the further development of AOO by our own efforts through money (in the form of donations, possibly also in other ways).
It is clear that we as a project do not pay developers, but it is not excluded that paid developers may work in the interest of the project.

> Our "bus factor" [0] is unfortunately, as everyone is aware, small.
> Therefore newcomers are "welcomed with open arms" by all.

I had already contradicted you on de-dev and unfortunately I have to do the same here.

Newcomers to our team are often not programmers, but mostly people who want to help with other things (e.g. the website, documentation, support...), and most of these people are connected by the fact that they have no project experience in foss-projects.

The mistake I observe is that we drive many of these people away because we force them to adopt our values from the beginning.
Many of these people rather expect democracy and don't understand  meritocracy at first.

For example, we have to be willing to give these people work _if they ask for it_, and not force them to find work for themselves, otherwise our rigid attitude will lead many of them to leave us.

Everything just said I refer ONLY to foss-project _in_experienced people and of course not to foss-experienced people.

Overall, we should see meritocracy as our way, but not as our religion.



greetings.
Jörg


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Re: How our project recently works

Peter Kovacs-3
Jörg,

we have been asked by the board to sync dev-de and dev.

We need to sum up the other parts of the german discussion too.

all the best

Peter

On 07.02.20 13:02, Jörg Schmidt wrote:

> Hello,
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Dr. Michael Stehmann [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2020 1:25 PM
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: How our project recently works
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> I would like to tell you (just as an example) about a few things
>> in which I was and am at best peripherally involved:
>>
>> The primary purpose of the described acts was to provide
>> developers and
>> other commiters to make the work of contributors easier:
>>
>> 1. We moved our version control system from subversion to git. This is
>> seen by all developers as a great improvement even by those who were
>> initially skeptical.
>>
>> 2. The pootle server for the translations was fixed and a
>> technical process developed to provide the translators
>> continuously with
>> strings to be translated and to integrate continuously
>> translations into
>> the code.
>>
>> 3. Building Apache OpenOffice is anything but trivial. Matthias
>> currently has the Windows build under control and accompanied in close
>> contact with the maintainer the OS/2 port. Jim takes
>> currently care the
>> Mac and Linux builds Pedro finally covers the BSD area.
>>
>> Mechtilde successfully tries to support AOO also under Debian
>> GNU/Linux
>> to build with younger compiler and library versions (just as a
>> precaution: building according to Debian guidelines is currently not
>> possible). This work is also seminal for other distributions.
>>
>> Mechtilde also needs this instance for her work in
>> technical support for the translation process (see 2.).
> thank you, for this information
>  
>> All this work was "spontaneously" was done by interested volunteers
>> without a project manager, a steering committee, a Scrum master or a
>> project planning. There waere also neither Sprints, nor deadlines. One
>> person started a task and then others collaborated and
>> continued the work.
>>
>> The coordination among the participants is usually informal. If
>> Andrea, Matthias, Mechtilde and Peter are sitting at FOSDEM in the
>> cafeteria at a table, they don't talk about the weather or
>> the qualities
>> Belgian beers, but of course about what they are currently doing and
>> plan to do.
> fine.
>
> but please let us always remember to inform the community sufficiently about such informal conversations.
>
> In the de-community we had already, at your request, agreed to do so.
>
> (I am not asking for a rule for this, only that we observe it voluntarily, just as it works in the de-community.)
>
>> Organizing meetings with physical presence would be difficult and
>> expensive. In fact, the people involved are  spread over three
>> continents (North and South America once as separate continents
>> considered). Coordination is done over channels of the internet (which
>> is difficult enough because of the time zones). The European ones, in
>> particular the German participants also meet frequently the various
>> events. And when Mechtilde and I are in Hamburg of course Markus and
>> Matthias and mostly others are informed.
>>
>> The only exception to the rule of informal cooperation in the above
>> examples was the changeover to git (see 1.). Here a vote of
>> the PMC was
>> needed because involving Apache Infra and because it was a migration
>> away from software of another Apache project.
>>
>> Apache OpenOffice has the advantage that the vast majority of
>> developers
>> use software themselves and mostly are in contact with other users.
>>
>> Of course we also think iintensively (and talk) about, how we can
>> broaden the developer base in a sustainable way. The IMO most
>> promising
>> suggestion has recently come from Patricia, who suggested, with very
>> good reason, to draw attention of C++ developers to our project. But
>> until the seed of this idea can bring fruits, it inevitably
>> takes time.
>>
>> Those who are active in the project receive no remuneration and work
>> voluntary. Usually they spend money to commit. They are enthusiastics
>> and this is IMO the best prerequisite to inspire others.
> That's a fact, but it's only a rule from the formal perspective of the project. It is not a rule that we would only accept code (or other contributions to the project) if they came from unpaid people. Already in the past, paid programmers were also involved in the project.
>
> In addition, there were and are considerations how we could possibly accelerate the further development of AOO by our own efforts through money (in the form of donations, possibly also in other ways).
> It is clear that we as a project do not pay developers, but it is not excluded that paid developers may work in the interest of the project.
>
>> Our "bus factor" [0] is unfortunately, as everyone is aware, small.
>> Therefore newcomers are "welcomed with open arms" by all.
> I had already contradicted you on de-dev and unfortunately I have to do the same here.
>
> Newcomers to our team are often not programmers, but mostly people who want to help with other things (e.g. the website, documentation, support...), and most of these people are connected by the fact that they have no project experience in foss-projects.
>
> The mistake I observe is that we drive many of these people away because we force them to adopt our values from the beginning.
> Many of these people rather expect democracy and don't understand  meritocracy at first.
>
> For example, we have to be willing to give these people work _if they ask for it_, and not force them to find work for themselves, otherwise our rigid attitude will lead many of them to leave us.
>
> Everything just said I refer ONLY to foss-project _in_experienced people and of course not to foss-experienced people.
>
> Overall, we should see meritocracy as our way, but not as our religion.
>
>
>
> greetings.
> Jörg
>
>
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RE: How our project recently works

Jörg Schmidt-2
Halle Peter,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kovacs [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Friday, February 07, 2020 1:06 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: How our project recently works
>
> Jörg,
>
> we have been asked by the board to sync dev-de and dev.
>
> We need to sum up the other parts of the german discussion too.


I don't understand what you mean. I'm not sure if it's just a language problem.

Questions:
By what you said, do you mean that de-dev should be closed?

Or do you mean that the special one post/thread with a reliable translation on dev and de-dev should be put online in parallel?

Or do you mean something else?


Jörg


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RE: How our project recently works

Peter Kovacs-3
I do mean that dev needs to be informed on discussions on dev-de.

Hth
Peter

Am 7. Februar 2020 19:08:06 MEZ schrieb "Jörg Schmidt" <[hidden email]>:

>Halle Peter,
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Peter Kovacs [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: Friday, February 07, 2020 1:06 PM
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: How our project recently works
>>
>> Jörg,
>>
>> we have been asked by the board to sync dev-de and dev.
>>
>> We need to sum up the other parts of the german discussion too.
>
>
>I don't understand what you mean. I'm not sure if it's just a language
>problem.
>
>Questions:
>By what you said, do you mean that de-dev should be closed?
>
>Or do you mean that the special one post/thread with a reliable
>translation on dev and de-dev should be put online in parallel?
>
>Or do you mean something else?
>
>
>Jörg
>
>
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RE: How our project recently works

Jörg Schmidt-2
Hello,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kovacs [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Friday, February 07, 2020 7:14 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: RE: How our project recently works
>
> I do mean that dev needs to be informed on discussions on dev-de.

Okay, I understand.

Is there anything _currently_ needed to be done, or was Michael's email already the summary you wanted?


One more question:

I generally assume that results of a discussion on de-dev are _not_ binding/valid for dev.

Is that how everyone here sees it? Or is it controversial and needs clarification?



Jörg



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RE: How our project recently works

Peter Kovacs-3
I am not sure.
What is fine?

Maybe summary of the topics and highlight arguments?

We would discuss on the German list what are those central points. Then translate the position paper through deepL and send it to this list.

However I am personally also fine with the mail as is.

Am 7. Februar 2020 19:57:06 MEZ schrieb "Jörg Schmidt" <[hidden email]>:

>Hello,
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Peter Kovacs [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: Friday, February 07, 2020 7:14 PM
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: RE: How our project recently works
>>
>> I do mean that dev needs to be informed on discussions on dev-de.
>
>Okay, I understand.
>
>Is there anything _currently_ needed to be done, or was Michael's email
>already the summary you wanted?
>
>
>One more question:
>
>I generally assume that results of a discussion on de-dev are _not_
>binding/valid for dev.
>
>Is that how everyone here sees it? Or is it controversial and needs
>clarification?
>
>
>
>Jörg
>
>
>
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RE: How our project recently works

Jörg Schmidt-2
Hallo Peter,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kovacs [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2020 2:25 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: RE: How our project recently works
>
> I am not sure.
> What is fine?
>
> Maybe summary of the topics and highlight arguments?
>
> We would discuss on the German list what are those central
> points. Then translate the position paper through deepL and
> send it to this list.
>
> However I am personally also fine with the mail as is.

I will answer you exceptionally by PM, and in German, because it seems to me too difficult to go into some details in English.


Jörg


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