• Information Resources for Developing OpenCore

last modified February 7, 2008 by k0s

Communication Resources for F/OSS developers working on OpenCore

"The medium is the message" -- Marshall McCluan
"Use the right tool for the job" -- Mr. Natural

Effective communication is a multi-modal affair for developing opencore. Picking the appropriate mode for communication saves time and improves the effect of collaboration and dissemination of vital info.

[link to appropriate fogel and "howto ask for help"]

[Though generally speaking TOPP staff are free to ask "dumb" questions of each other, even if that is frowned upon in other open source forums; there's something different about a truly collaborative environments where everyone shares a mission. When there's not a shared mission you have to be more sensitive about other people's time and investment in what you are doing. Fogel's article is directed more at a no-shared-mission audience. And of course there's comradery -- this is one of the benefits of a less specialized but otherwise tied-together group of people, that they will more gladly spend time answering each other's questions. At the same time, one shouldn't lean on fellow staff instead of getting involved directly in the community of interest; your peers in TOPP can help you insinuate yourself into other communities, not avoid the need to do so.]

An overview of modes and consideration

  • Voice + IRC/Chat (synchronous)
    lossless, excellent for communicating alot of information fast. Don't explain in a phone call what can be easily posted in a blog, wiki, email, irc, or pastebin before the call.

  • IRC/Chat(mildly async)
    Short burst communication, trading links, getting/giving support or feedback that doesn't interest a particular group. Use private messaging for direct communication. Be sensitive to your context and of logging. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone or skype. Read more: IRC Channels

  • PasteBin
    For sharing code examples, tracebacks, rough draft, disposable information. Don't paste more than 2 lines into IRC.

  • Email / Mailing Lists / Bulletin Boards (async)
    If it can wait, if no one can be found, if it needs to be part of the community record. Manifestos and general opinions should go in blogs (but by all means send a link to the list), and if you want to feel loved and talk about the bikeshed, hang out on IRC. If not all stakeholders can be found and you are making some decision that effects others, then a mailing list is probably the right way to go.

  • Wikis / Blogs
    Wikis: information for the people by some people
    Blogs: timely information for the people by me, sometime of an iterative nature

    • Code Repository
      Code and testable documentation is one of the best ways to communicate as a developer (and god bless apachedav and svn). SVN is a great place to put nifty docutils presentations and other revisable pieces of knowledge base. Anything that is crucial for keeping up to date with the code should go in the repository (preferably as close to the code as possible). Some successful projects start by putting the documentation in the repository first, then writing the code.


See also:  https://svn.openplans.org/svn/training/2007/dev_process_style/development_process_and_style.html