>Openness

>I’m waiting in the airport to catch my flight to San Francisco via Minneapolis-St. Paul. One of the things I’m going to be interested in at EclipseCon, is not so much the talks, and the presentations, but talking to other committers and community members on how open the various projects are.

In this regards, I’m more interested in how well projects are communicating their plans, holding their planning sessions, and in general having dialogs that are on the public mailing lists. Here are my pre-conceived assumptions.

  • The more diverse the project the more likely that committer to committer communication will happen in the open.
  • Projects dominated by a particular member will have more internal communication, and not use the public mailing lists or newsgroups as much for communication.
  • Planning for projects dominated by a member will have less visibility and take into consideration fewer of the communities needs.
  • The less active a projects user community and the less vocal it is, the less likely there is to be visible communication.

I’m hoping that I’m proven wrong on all of these aspects, but I have a feeling that these assumptions will play out. One thing I will challenge all projects to do, try to make sure all communication and plans for your component, sub-project, or top level project are held in the open. It’s great to have the wiki’s for meeting notes, but ideally as much discussion should hapen on your mailing lists and newsgroups as possible.

One suggestion, I will make, many in the community are still unaware of the wiki, or that meeting minutes are also available on some projects websites. Please try to consolidate to one forum or the other. It makes it easier for your community to find the information. Also, a note when new meeting minutes are available to the appropriate newsgroups and mailing lists can be helpful as well. Other forms of communication like News Feeds, Twitter notifications, etc can be helpful too.

Communication amongst the team, and the community as a whole is key to helping your project thrive and grow.

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