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Life of a Wookie

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Presentation at OSS Watch event in Oxford about community engagement in Open Source from the perspective of the Wookie project

Publicado en: Tecnología, Educación
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Life of a Wookie

  1. 1. OSS Watch, Oxford 9 Oct 2009 Life of a Wookie Scott Wilson (University of Bolton) Scott. bradley [email_address] Twitter: scottbw
  2. 2. Open Source & Community <ul><li>What I’ll talk about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What Wookie is… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why community matters to our work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we support community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What the barriers are, and how we overcome them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What problems we’ve faced, and how we tackled them. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why community matters to an OSS project
  4. 5. Open source communities… <ul><li>No community: dead code </li></ul><ul><li>Geek High Priesthood: open source, closed community </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of Developers, No users: unfriendly geek tool shed </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of Users, No developers: abandonware </li></ul><ul><li>User and Developers: Yay! </li></ul>
  5. 6. Apache Wookie (incubating) <ul><li>Entered incubator July ‘09 </li></ul><ul><li>originally developed in Framework 6 IP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded projects tend to build prototypes, not communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>W3C Widget Engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W3C Packaging and Configuration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>W3C Widget Object </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Wave Gadget API </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Why the foundation route? <ul><li>Mechanisms to support community </li></ul><ul><li>Clear processes and governance, already trusted by developers </li></ul><ul><li>Clear licensing and legal framework, removing barriers to adoption </li></ul><ul><li>These are all things a viable OSS project needs - but are hard to set up and run alone </li></ul>
  7. 8. Community in Wookie
  8. 9. This is how I see our community - and one of my tasks is to make sure there is a steady supply of people moving through these stages
  9. 11. To be viable, Wookie needs more variety here
  10. 15. Developers aren’t lawyers <ul><li>But you wouldn’t know it sometimes… </li></ul>
  11. 16. overcoming the barriers <ul><li>From the OSS project: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documenting and explaining processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively reaching out to developers to help them over the barrier </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From the external team: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding tracker-based workflows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding distributed development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It can be surprising how many developers (still) don’t have issue tracker and source control experience </li></ul>
  12. 17. Being nice is a survival strategy in OSS
  13. 18. Cases <ul><li>LAMS: integration </li></ul><ul><li>HUT: bugfix </li></ul><ul><li>UPD/EPFL/TG: feature spec </li></ul>
  14. 19. Problems we’ve faced <ul><li>Developers reluctant to tackle IP & licensing issues why do I need to sign this? Can I be bovvered? </li></ul><ul><li>Developers inexperienced with issue trackers </li></ul><ul><li>Developers not understanding workflows do I submit the patch or create an issue first? </li></ul><ul><li>Managers worried about what their developers may be getting them into what’s our exposure? What are we committing ourselves to? What if I need you for xyz… </li></ul>
  15. 20. How are we doing? <ul><li>Even with active support, you don’t get everyone over the barriers (even in our own organisation) </li></ul><ul><li>A long way to go yet… </li></ul><ul><li>A good range of developers engaged, slowly moving up the ladder </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of new project proposals (FP7, JISC…) want to use Wookie, so more developers likely coming into the picture </li></ul>
  16. 21. Why its worth it: <ul><li>External contributions help fix bugs, add features, identify user requirements </li></ul><ul><li>More people tends to bring more diversity of markets where the software can be applied </li></ul><ul><li>Contributing to open source projects helps developers gain important professional skills </li></ul><ul><li>Working with open source projects provides opportunities for new partnership </li></ul>
  17. 22. Get involved! <ul><li>Send subscribe message to [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Submit issue reports, feature requests, patches: </li></ul><ul><li>Come to Apache/CETIS Widgets Meetup, London , 13th October </li></ul>