Community Roles


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Community Roles

  1. 1. Dynamics of libre software communities Master on Free Software
  2. 2. 1. List of roles Developer. ● User. ● Mantainer (many sub-categories). ● Documentation writer. ● Distribution developer. ● Transalator. ● Tester ● Project leader. ● Master on Free Software
  3. 3. 2. Developer He/she works in the specification, design ● or development (coding) of the project. Informal exchange of details and info about – design: wikis, mailing lists, chats... Sometimes, they generate a document with – the formal decisions about design. Control version systems for – coding/developing (CVS, SVN, GIT...). They work from features requests, bugs, – mailing lists and TODO lists. Master on Free Software
  4. 4. 2. Developer Normally use their own IDE for the – developing process. Specially important for developing GUIs. ● When development is finish --> commit --> – update ChangeLog. Updating the news list with new features, – when a new release is close. Master on Free Software
  5. 5. 3. User Two categories: ● Normal user. – Do not usually compile. ● Use the application without many effort. ● Advanced user ('techy'). – Compile the source code. ● Read the ChangeLog, the TODO list, etc. ● Participate in forums. ● Read FAQ pages. ● Master on Free Software
  6. 6. 4. Maintainer. Subcategories: ● Patch manager. – Translation manager. – Documentation manager. – Issue manager. – FAQ manager. – Release manager. – .... manager. – Master on Free Software
  7. 7. 4. Maintainer Patch manager. ● Look for new patches in bug tracking system. – Review patches to accept or reject them. – Translation manager. ● Coordinates efforts towards – internationalization of the application, user manual, website, etc. Documentation manager. ● In charge of the previously 'most tedious' – task. Master on Free Software
  8. 8. 4. Maintainer Issue manager. ● Issue: Defects in software, petitions of new – features, tasks. Mix between manager role, and user role. – FAQ manager. ● Create FAQ page following the first step of users in – the project. Update contents adequately. Release manager. ● Coordinate patches, new features, translations, etc. – to ensure homogeneity Master on Free Software
  9. 9. 5. Documentation writer Specific role to document the application. ● User's manual. – Man and info pages. – Integration with desktop applications. – Possibly create a developer's guide. – Also possibly, an administrator's guide. – Example: GNOME project. ● Master on Free Software
  10. 10. 6. Distribution developer Cover the gap between distribution ● environment and end user environment. Support for the packaging process. – Report problems to original developers. – Provide integration with the installing – environment (apt, yum,...). Review licenses to warrant that the – application could be legally distributed. Master on Free Software
  11. 11. 7. Translator They start to work in the translation of a ● new version when it is approved. Coordination of efforts: usually employing – mailing lists. Sometimes, one per language (big projects). ● Messages that could be translated are frozen – before the new release. No developer can change them. ● Translators make an extra effort to get it ready. ● Master on Free Software
  12. 12. 8. Tester Usually, there is no specific group of ● testers in libre software projects. Everyone can act as a tester. – Normal tendency: developers and advanced – users. No test plan document. ● Errors reported to bug tracking system. ● Some projects have started automatic ● checking processes. Master on Free Software
  13. 13. 9. Project leader Most relevant and influential person in ● the project. Meritocracy: The most active/valuable – developer. Founder: The first developer or group of – developers in the project. Sometimes, we find 'benevolent dictators'. ● Captures de essence of the motivation of ● the project (de Icaza, Torvals, Wales...). Master on Free Software
  14. 14. 10. Conclusions Many different roles. ● Some of them critical for the project to – advance and succeed. Other ones with big influence (even – mediatic): Project leader. ● Still other ones not valued enough. – Translators, documentation writer... ● Many dependencies for a common goal. ● Master on Free Software