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FDSCo Meeting 2007-08-14 Summary



Attendees:
-----------
John Babich (jmbuser)
Dimitris Glezos (glezos) <g>
Karsten Wade (quaid) <q>
Paul W. Frields (stickster) <s>
Ricky Zhou (ricky)
Robert 'Bob' Jensen (EvilBob)
Mike McGrath (mmcgrath) [dropper-in]
Jesse Keating (f13) [dropper-in]

Summary:
---------

Mainly we discussed participation and motivation in the project.  Why we
don't have many active contributors, etc.  Discussions and conclusions
include:

* Unrealistic expectations about what contributing means.
 
        <s> "If we're going to raise a barn together, pretty much
        everyone needs to commit to hammering, sawing, and hefting ...
        People who only want to count timbers and fetch water, you only
        need a couple of 'em ;-)"
        
        <g> "... if we don't have the people, then we might need to
        rethink if we want to raise a barn or just a plain-ol bench
        under an oak tree. :)"
        
        <s> "I can do that on my own.  I'd rather raise a barn with a
        dozen other people. ... With the wiki, anyone can "build a
        bench."  Done. ... If there's going to be a FDP, we need to
        commit to barn-building."
        
        <g> "... personally, I think our docs infrastructure is already
        a shiny building I'm proud of. :)"
 
* Trying to make it "easy" means too many tools, too many processes
  - Fragmenting the how-to aspect
  - Making it hard to get one area of FDP complete

        <q> "... we're actually quite good with that; a guide can be
        worked entirely in the wiki and output at the end with just a
        few hours of clean-up ..."
        
        <q> "I don't think Docbook is the problem at all ... I also
        don't think it is really the "red tape" ... I think it is that
        we are asking people to be real contributors, not
        toss-over-the-wallers."
        
        <q> "... anyone ... (can) maintain a doc on the Wiki ... in
        fact, that's what the Docs/ space is for ... (but) if you want
        it translated ... do we want 2 more l10n systems (Wiki, Plone)"
        
        <g> "... I'd prefer to first worry on how to have up2date
        content and *then* for l10n"

        <q> "... people don't apply any level of rigor to Wiki work like
        they do to other work, IME"
        
        <s> "We had an initial influx of work for wiki-based docs, but
        other than the release notes, people have not really done a huge
        amount of follow-through on drafts"
        
        <r> "Isn't basic cleanup really easy for bystanders to do on the
        wiki?"
        
        <q> "presuming they know how to write and follow a style guide,
        yes"
        
        <s> "That's a HUGE presumption too"
        
        <q> "HUGE"
        
- Plone could help -- easy editing, built in tools for publishing, hooks
for translation:

        <g> "do you think plone will increase the number of contributors
        to docs?"
        
        <q> "yes, in a few ways ... number of people who can
        edit/publish can increase easily ... if people can write with a
        Web UI editor and have that go directly into l10n and publishing
        without leaving the Web UI, I reckon that will help"

- It would be good to improve our processes, but how to know what and
where?

        <g> "... trying to think if we are ... doing something that
        could be improved by re-engineering some of our processes."
        
        <s> "You're not offbase... it's just hard to see where the
        improvement factors come in when there isn't a sufficient sample
        of where our time is spent on current processes, because there
        are so few people using them to start with"

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