[of-dev] towards openFrameworks "teams" and "projects"

Elliot Woods elliot at kimchiandchips.com
Sun Jan 4 09:18:46 PST 2015

Hey Kyle, all

Thank you for continuing to spend time to improve the way the group
coordinates and communicates.

This development is welcome and I look forwards to the 'project basis'
development getting strengthened.

What is the best way to centrally coordinate a project?, e.g.:
1. A main github issue, with subissues
2. A hackpad, with a number of github issues
3. A github tag, shared by a set of github issues

the most automated is 3.
i think 1 makes the most sense given the 'energy drive' around a project
(including the conversations which tail-off in different directions)


On 30 December 2014 at 19:16, Kyle McDonald <kyle at kylemcdonald.net> wrote:

> hi everyone,
> - - -- short version
> we're moving away from the "section leader" role, towards "teams" and
> "projects":
> - teams: one or more people generally interested in helping with a section
> (think "android")
> - projects: a specific effort with goals and timeline (this "c++11" or
> "docs")
> how is this different than what we're doing now? it's not! most of the
> community structure for openFrameworks is descriptive (we try to find a way
> to describe the best parts of what is naturally happening) rather then
> prescriptive (telling people how to collaborate). and hopefully with better
> understanding, we can collaborate more effectively.
> - - -- long version
> back in december 2009, openFrameworks was moved from a private svn to
> github. two years later, in december 2011, we introduced the idea of
> "section leaders" to the openFrameworks community [0] and later we put some
> documents on the wiki to try and formalize the contribution process [1][2]
> three years later, we've learned a lot about what does and doesn't work
> when a distributed group of volunteers comes together to develop a creative
> coding toolkit.
> the model we've been using until now is "section leaders". in theory, a
> section leader is someone who has interest and possibly expertise in
> guiding a subsection of openFrameworks, anything from "documentation" to
> "outreach" or "iOS". they have the access to any accounts or repositories
> they need, freedom (within guidelines) to commit and merge changes, and a
> responsibility to keep up with the discussion on any related features and
> issues.
> for a couple people this model has worked really well, but for everyone
> else there has been some problems with this approach:
> - the exact responsibilities are ambiguous, some people feel guilty they
> aren't "leading" enough
> - there is no clear term, or endpoint, or way to "finish" a job as a
> section leader, and a stigma around leaving [3]
> - having just one leader per section creates an unfair burden for that
> person in a project as active as openFrameworks
> - people with interests already covered by a section leader avoid taking
> initiative when they think they might be stepping on someone else's feet [4]
> with these things in mind, i started a discussion with zach, theo, and
> arturo in november about another direction to go. we spoke with all the
> section leaders, and it seems like the right move: we're going to break the
> "section leader" role into "teams" and "projects". here's an initial
> description:
> - teams are meant to be very fluid. they're focused on a section. people
> can be in as many teams as they think they can contribute to. you will have
> access to any accounts or repos you need, but are also expected to
> contribute to discussions, and remove yourself from the team if you don't
> expect to be able to contribute for a while. we're happy to add and remove
> anyone who has interest, and would hope team members can mentor each other.
> github also has a great mechanism allowing you to @mention teams by saying
> (for example) @openframeworks/ios and everyone on that team gets an email.
> the more we use this, the less it has to be about any specific person, and
> it can be more about anyone who has time.
> - projects are just a name for things like linux arm, c++11, 64-bit,
> halfdanj's "docs" work, the current apothecary drive for complete coverage,
> workergnome's multilingual work, etc. projects usually form when one or
> more people [5] show interest in developing a complex new feature or taking
> OF in some new direction. it's almost always that this is where the real
> "leadership" emerges, and people make plans, goals, timelines, etc. we want
> to recognize this more "officially", and keep up good communication to keep
> these projects flowing :)
> with that said, the next steps are:
> 0. does this make sense? is this a more accurate description of what's
> happening, and a useful direction to head?
> 1. we need to fill out the wiki with slight revisions to the
> "Code-Contribution-Workflow" and "Pull-Request-Review-Procedure" pages to
> change the language.
> 2. a bunch of people are already making regular contributions to different
> sections, but aren't necessarily on a team yet. we'd like to add you!
> please get in touch :)
> 3. we should change the OF website to reflect this new structure. i've
> attached a screenshot of what i imagine the "contributors" section might
> look like. it's mostly generated by a script pulling from github, i
> sincerely apologize if i've overlooked something. i'd love some feedback
> before i merge the pr! [6]
> thanks again to everyone who continues to make openFrameworks awesome!
> kyle
> [0] http://forum.openframeworks.cc/t/call-for-leaders/8391
> [1]
> https://github.com/openframeworks/openFrameworks/wiki/Code-Contribution-Workflow
> [2]
> https://github.com/openframeworks/openFrameworks/wiki/Pull-Request-Review-Procedure
> [3] stigma about leaving is a big problem in oss in general, and something
> we should be careful to avoid with OF. some great notes in this essay
> https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/leaving-toxic-open-source-communities
> the fact that some people have left regular OF involvement and are open
> about saying why makes me think OF isn't a toxic community
> [4] this issue may seem minor at first, but when there is any hesitation
> about contribution, then only the people who feel most entitled and
> aggressive about their contributions will be the ones contributing, in turn
> creating an unwelcome culture.
> [5] projects are often the result of one person having an intense interest
> in something, but the project lead sometimes changes over the course of a
> project
> [6] https://github.com/openframeworks/ofSite/pull/318
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Elliot Woods
elliot <elliot at kimchiandchips.com>@KimchiAndChips.com

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