Opening up to the community

NewNameAs I pre-announced in my previous post in this blog, we are planning to change the way eBox Platform is developed. During the past seven years the project has followed a classic in-house development approach, where a company (us) has taken most of the responsibility. And as eBox Platform is an open source product, it has benefited from the help of a community of users. The community contributions have been very valuable, specially when it comes to product feedback, localization, testing and debugging. And thanks to all of us, eBox Platform is becoming a real alternative to Windows Small Business Server.

However, during the last few months, quite a bunch of community members have proposed to become more involved in the project, assuming some of the responsibilities that we are doing (or should be doing) now. From the start, back in 2004, we believed this was the right approach: to take the project to a stage where the community can lead its development, a true open source product. And now we think is that moment! Of course this does not mean that we are stepping out. Quite the contrary, our involvement can only increase from now on. But we believe that more people, not just the employees of one single company, should have the chance to get involved in the project and have the right to assume responsibilities, give their opinion and help taking decisions.

So, following the spirit of the Ubuntu community teams we are launching the Localization Team, a combination of language-specific, self-governed groups which will collaborate to achieve native-quality translations of eBox Platform. This team is just the first step towards a true Ubuntu-like community, with boards governing the community and the technical development and specific teams working on particular areas.

In order to coordinate the Localization Team, we have developed an initial set of simple rules which we consider logical and positive for the organization of translation groups. The team consists of a Localization Leader, elected for two years, as well as a Language Leader and a Quality Supervisor for each language, together with any translator who wants to join a translation group. The Localization Team will coordinate through the Forum and language-specific mailing lists and will meet via IRC once every three months to establish goals and take the main decisions. None of these rules are written in stone and we will be more than happy to see groups adjusting their functioning to maximize their own efficiency. Initially Mateo Burillo, from the eBox staff, will take the lead of the Localization Team, but we hope to see soon candidates from the community interested in coordinating the whole team.

So, if you want to help in localizing eBox to your language, you just need to register in our translation platform and start posting. It is advisable to register in the general translation mailing list too, in order to coordinate with other translators. And if you consider becoming Language Leader, do not hesitate to contact Mateo Burillo (mburillo at ebox-platform dot com) so that he can set up the needed infrastructure (mail lists and such).

Feel free to leave any comments to this post or in the Forum!

August 11th, 2010


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