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User:Quaid/Community action ideas

Based on my research so far, there are several areas that could be improved that will lower barriers to participation.

The goal is, make it easy to participate, and from those participants, contributors emerge.

Community enablement ideas

  • Make CLA process easier.
    • It's all manual; how to ensure CLA is signed, etc.?
    • Can we hook in to Fedora Infra? Why? Why not?
  • Explain PRD process up front
  • Ensure that all design work is done on devel list, explain.
  • Make it easier to give wiki access
    • Encourage freeipa-users here
  • Update contribution pages to reflect needs beyond code

How to solve the problems

In summary, I am thinking of tying *.freeipa.org in to Fedora Infrastructure. This is to fix a few problems and to accomplish related goals. The idea is in the spirit of Fedora Hosted, that is, being an umbrella over worthwhile projects and letting those projects be uniquely branded upstreams.

The problems

  • The CLA is print, sign, and FAX/mail. This raises barriers for easy participation in what should be the easiest way to participate. It also can be difficult for people in other countries.
  • The lowest possible barrier to entry, editing the wiki, requires a manual CLA and sending an email to freeipa-* list requesting an account. For a contrast, fedoraproject.org/wiki enables people to create an account, sign the CLA, and gain wiki edit access without joining any further groups.
  • Login to the wiki is over HTTP only. By contrast, login and editing to fedoraproject.org/wiki is HTTPS, and HTTP is heavily cached.
  • The main requested contribution is writing code for the BIG SCARY code base. Oh, and documentation, which is either done via the wiki way or ...
  • All documentation is written in DocBook using Publican by a single employee of Red Hat. On the face of it to a contributor, there is a high barrier of entry for writing documentation and an established team and methods where work is not done openly outside of Red Hat.
    • Wiki content does not have an easy path or process for going to DocBook XML.
  • The wiki pages hide the edit and discussion buttons at the bottom, in a small font.
  • Wike page naming and some other stylistic choices can be redone to make search easier, intuitive page finding, and l10n.
  • Is it an explicit choice to have the favicon be Shadowman?

Questions to ponder

  • What are the contribution goals?
  • What have FreeIPA's experience been with the CLA?
    • What elements do they want in a contribution policy?
    • Does FreeIPA need a CLA? What works for Fedora may not need to work the same way where there is one or a small handful of licensing choices and source repositories. Would a simple contribution policy work?
    • Would the project want documentation contributions via the wiki with a

Bold solutions

  • Gain a number of advantages and no real negatives by switching hosting to Fedora Infrastructure.
    • Underpinnings supported by professional contributor sysadmins via Fedora Infra project.
      • FreeIPA enthusiasts can participate and contribute via Fedora Infra project as a volunteer sysadmins.
    • Signing of FreeIPA-specific CLA can be done via Fedora Account System (FAS).
    • Account used for fedorahosted.org/freeipa can be the same account used on the wiki and for other systems.
    • Easier tie-in to the build and release systems of Fedora, for the packagers.
      • Attracts contributors to FreeIPA via packaging.
    • Use the same configuration for FreeIPA.org as Fedora's MediaWiki instance, which is hooked in to FAS; the sysadmin team has worked to make the install not deviate from the upstream by using modules.
      • There are good MediaWiki savvy sysadmins within Fedora who may be able to help.
    • Making the FreeIPA wiki easy to edit encourages enthusiasts and sysadmin users to participate in contributing content.
      • Fedora Docs has tools and methods for converting wiki content to DocBook XML to be packaged, translated, and so forth.
      • For example, moving the work for the FreeIPA release notes to the wiki can gain the same level of contribution and work-load split that Fedora Docs gains.
      • Can rely upon Fedora's wiki style and how-to documentation as canonical, where Fedora uses MediaWiki norms + specific, common conventions. I.e., get a better wiki, faster.
    • Gain access to any further Fedora web tool enhancements, such as Fedora Community.
    • Be that much closer to a wider community of interest that might want to contribute l10n, design, documentation, etc.
    • FreeIPA contributors may benefit from the Fedora Community portal tools.

How quaid is going to do this

  1. Volunteer to run migration and future maintainence via existing involvement in Fedora Infrastructure
    • This puts the pressure on me to get further participation from FreeIPA sysadmin users to help via Fedora Infra
  2. Modify freeipa.org in test environment, then roll out new instance tied to FAS
  3. Create cla_freeipa group via FAS and hook that in to auth for freeipa.org, or otherwise resolve CLA situation
  4. ...
  5. Profit!