First off I wanted to start a new thread that deals with many issues spread across a few previous threads and I want to start off by saying that while I have not directly contributed much to OpenACS I plan to in the future and would like to dedicate this thread to Jerry Asher whom I think has been a valuable resource to the community.
First I think its important as the 4.0 release draws near that the key porters not be distracted from the main job of releasing a solid codebase asap. Any help that the community can give to the key porters should be given if possible. While this is true, there are many members of the community that would like to help but are unsure of how, or their capabilities in regard to chipping in.
This brings me to the topic of roles. Currently the main roles are the actually coders/porters. While this is a key focus now as the community grows their will be many roles that will be filled.
- Site Maintainers
- Graphics contributors
- Reference Article / Documentation writers
- New Module Developers
- Compatible Technology Integrators
- General Users / Evangelists
- External Article, Marketing Writers
- Steering committee ???
- Other roles I'm sure
While the porters are key members now its important that we encourage the community to take up roles that they can and help where they may. I think the mention of a steering committee and some sort of delegation and ease of community picking up the tasks that they are interested in are desired by the community as a whole. I even imagine somewhere down the line where community members could have as part of their profile what they envision their current status/tasks are that they have set themselves. Sometimes members may go off and explore something that they can bring back to the community for consumption and possible integration. While OpenACS is still quite young if/when it does take off the community can expect lotsa newbies looking to chip in and if the barrier to becoming a useful member is lower all the better.
I myself have submitted an article that Ben said will be posted somewhere in future somewhere on OpenACS on profiling and have other articles in the works. I have a web site that should be live soon and I am going to make OpenACS ad part of my rotation. I gave a presentation on AOLserver at my local LUG and am already signed up to do one on OpenACS. I have posted some thoughts that I thought might be of benefit to those porting but am not really one of the porters. While I dont see myself porting or making any modules I do plan on being an active member of the community through other roles and even consider myself one now but the community may not realize it.
If their were a tasks section / todo? that included not just coding issues but some of these other areas and allowed people to add their own projects (maybe even just currently evaluating software) I think it would add some organization and insight into who's doing what and give the fringe members a chance to pitch in if they see for instance that there needs to be a PR announce written for LinuxToday.
I think OpenACS will benefit if it addresses these issues and treats its lesser members well because the shoulders of many can carry much more than that of a few.... Just my thoughts ... once again thanks for all your work Jerry including on virtual hosting. This project wouldnt have come about without Don and Ben and I hope they remain the cornerstone of the community, but any cool building is made with more bricks than cornerstones.