Leading Utopia

My leading experiences in open-source/nonprofit projects

Slow week – Preparation for Wiki new structure — 19 de May de 2015

Slow week – Preparation for Wiki new structure

Hello readers,

I have not been posting much in here, specially since I decided to dedicate some time to my thesis. I’m on the final stages of it and I really need to deliver it well.

Nevertheless, after release times, it is usually something much slower. However, I have got two news for you:
1. Some people have mentioned their interest in participating in the Wiki re-design. Recently, I’ve made small adjustments in the Boot Options page, where a few things have changed throughout time. Well, I did nothing on the technical bits, just improved the information’s usefulness and easiness to read. I also took care of integrating it with the Lubuntu Wiki. Thank you Nio for taking care of the technical side of things and pointing out what needed/should be changed. And thank you for volunteering to help checking dead pages, dead links, outdated ones and so on and so forth. By the way, this task was a great way to check out that most content is really out-of-date and needs some time.
I am expecting to find some time whenever I finish the dissertation to dedicate myself to this. In the meantime, I am thinking of a way to do this in a easy way and not confusing one. The difficult, hard, rough challenge…

2. This is not happy news, actually. As mentioned in the previous article, I emailed all distributions about the conference idea I had and got no answers. No insults, no rejections, no positive, no feedback, no nothing. In a way, that’s very sad. I actually put some time on that, so I was expecting some feedback, even if it was some sort of disapproval. I know people tend to say “don’t ask, do” but, in this case, it is very crucial to find everyone’s support. Merging strengths here is pretty important, if we wish to deliver something with great quality and great utility. But, I’ll keep waiting and, in the worst case scenario, I’ll have to talk to the Lubuntu admin team and see if we can organize something on our own. Maybe if we have some things running, people will eventually feel interested and, thus, motivated to participate in the project.

I’m not sure when I’ll be posting soon, since I’m trying to be pretty focused and free for my thesis. If any major change comes up and it needs my help, I’ll sure post it here.

Thank you for reading.
Gustavo Silva

E-mails… E-mails everywhere — 12 de May de 2015

E-mails… E-mails everywhere

So, after the Summit, a great idea has come up with the Lubuntu fellows.
Now it is time to spread the word!

My first move was to mail every “devel” list, so that the main contributors of the flavors could read about the idea and, if they are interested, get in touch with me to proceed with it.

I’m pretty sure you have no idea what I am talking about, so before jumping to the idea itself, I should give a short background story:

Before the summit, me and the guys at the Lubuntu teams were discussing how could we increase the incentives of contributors to, simply, stick around. We are volunteers and sometimes people feel needless, or as if they do not belong. Unfortunately, that is a wrong thought. But, in any case, I feel there is a huge misconception about the open source world: That it is for developers only, or only developers (IT guys, simply put). Well, once again, wrong. But, nevertheless, and also in order to allow people to enjoy their experience even more, we came up with a plan that will make all communities more interactive:

The Show & Tell: Open Source Online Conferences (or ST: OSOC)
Can you imagine a day/week per month, where people from the community would provide you excellent insights about new approaches to technology? Well, this is it.
In S&T: OSOC you have the opportunity to meet enthusiastic people about open source technology that are willing to share their abilities with everyone. You also have the opportunity to share some of your own knowledge! And, of course, this is the right opportunity to discuss precise topics with the right people.
We will have different kinds of sessions, with different purposes, but all of them will contribute to a better community, a more integrated one, more united, more keen on and fascinated with open source technology.

This project is under heavy development. It is crucial to merge all flavours’ interests and, if they are interested, then we can proceed to pitch, test and organize this idea more appropriately. For the time being, it is just scratches and notes I wrote here and there, so it needs a huge load of refinement. Having everyone on the same board will accelerate the project. It will also make the entire experience more pleasant, since this is something huge that needs experience, knowledge and contacts. You know, reaching the right people is very important.

Well, I am happy for this. People accepted this idea very well and they have supported me immediately after the Lubuntu Community Session. I wanted to share this to get the idea out there and also to let you know we are looking for contributors. Find me on irc or email me to let me know about your interest. You’ll soon be forwarded to the right people!

Thank you for reading.
Gustavo Silva

Round-up, restore energies and full blast on that — 10 de May de 2015

Round-up, restore energies and full blast on that

It has been a terrific week.
Last week, we were preparing everything to present at the UOS 15.05 and that was the only thing that was actually delivered – and with great success.

I’m sorry I couldn’t attend all the meetings I was expecting to go, and I even miss the Transparência Hackday. It would be a great opportunity to show the ideas to everyone in various meetings, but it was not possible to go to them.
However, I could not miss the Lubuntu meeting by any chance, since it was something me and Walter (wxl) were organizing, so it didn’t make any sense to miss that. Fortunately, my personal life schedules did not cause any trouble and, therefore, I was able to expose all my ideas to the Lubuntu team leaders.

It was great, since I got feedback for my ideas and I was able to improve them. Of course, we also discussed some other important issues such as finding a new team leader for the Communications team, and the entire meeting was very neat, pleasant and interesting to participate. Oh man, I’m really sorry I couldn’t attend the other two.
To summarize this post, I must say that gigantic projects are under way and, hopefully, will improve the participation in these communities. Also, in my Ubuntu Membership meeting, in which I was approved (yey!!), everyone was very excited and supportive about them. Therefore, it was very joyful to check that many support, specially when a lot of people were interested in participating in a convergence methodology to improve the entire experience.

I decided to make this post anyway since, even though it is not entirely related to my team, it is here to show the readers that contributing to the open source world does not mean to solely to engage on your affairs. You have to search for new members (and yes, I’m happy to announce that I found some more guys interested in contributing to the Wiki & Documentation of Lubuntu), you have to seek for more methodologies to engage them and raise the incentives for them to stay around and keep improving the open source world. Eventually they will take the lead, so I need to train them, educate them in the right way and they will, eventually, feel as passionate as I do.

Thank you for reading.
Gustavo Silva

Ubuntu Online Summit 15.05 — 1 de May de 2015

Ubuntu Online Summit 15.05

Hello, everyone.

Regularly, the community organizes some Online Summits, where everyone can join and debate a specific topic. This time, I will organize one session, even though I will participate in two other sessions.

The approach is very interesting, even though time is limited. In a 55 minute session, the participants can adequate their interests to a given session.
Everything I want to say is about my previous post, which I already confirmed with other teams from Lubuntu and they ensured me that this situation is happening to all other distributions. Therefore, it makes sense to bring this up to discussion in this Summit, since a lot of people will be attending these meetings, as well as people from other distributions. It is the perfect time to seek for help and join forces, ideas and concepts. How can we change the current course of contributors is the main topic, even though it actually is way more complex that just changing that. We will need to change people’s perceptions of open source technologies, as well as creating some incentives for people to stick around.

But I don’t want to leak information here. Besides, I have to be very careful about my approach on those meetings. I really want to expose my ideas, but I don’t want to sound too offensive or too critical. Even if I do, at least I’m being constructive, in a way that I’m criticizing things but I am proposing new ideas too. Check below the meetings I am attending to and, if you’d like, please attend them:

I am looking forward for these meetings. They will be super exciting for sure. Hope to see some of my (few) readers there! 🙂

Thank you for reading.
Gustavo Silva

Seeking for more — 26 de April de 2015

Seeking for more

After the release, I got some time to get my hands around the running projects we have at the Lubuntu team. Some people have sporadically contributed to the manual and, in some point in time, I was a bit lost about where we were and what was going on.
We will hopefully have dedicated graphs to depend on our manual by the end of the week, but the texts still need a lot of revisions. We must adapt the core of the manual to our own circumstances. This methodology will allow us to get things running, but there is a big concern rising with this, which is something I really wish to fix as soon as possible:

I have noticed most teams have crossed certain difficulties to get more people contributing and that brings extreme tough times as release dates come around. I remember to be bothering constantly the same two guys from the release team to fill in the release notes, even though they were super busy with the bug squashing. Of course, this reality repeats abroad other teams, even though the circumstances might be different. However, I find it a bit stressful to work (mainly) alone in the Wiki and I admit there are some tasks that I sure cannot deliver alone. The manual is the best example. But the Wiki also needs a huge load of work, including a group discussion to make it more useful to the community itself.
In the end, this is a call to action by many Lubuntu users that can spend some of their free time contributing back at the community, which we desperately need for many reasons. It has become the most stressful part of the task, specially when we want people to keep contributing on a regular base. There is no point in getting 500 contributions out of nowhere, if they do not stay engaged with the community. And the most annoying part is that there are a lot of people benefiting our distribution, due to the fact that nobody likes to have their computer lurking around the house – so they install Lubuntu and use it for different purposes (some even for business!).

So far the experience has been extremely positive but the community needs to join forces and find incentives for people to get involved with us. We serve a purpose, we have a mission and a goal. Regardless of the technological evolution, old computers will always exist, so this distribution is needed. Therefore, one cannot deny we should have more regular contributors. If we compare it with Ubuntu, Lubuntu has a more defined structure community and is not on a free-will base. You can find specific tasks, plans and guides to walk you through and you can communicate with us frequently, since our core of contributors is very active.
You should get involved. Yes, you, even if you don’t use Lubuntu. This community is fun and you can always explore your horizons and knowledge, since you will understand that achieving great things under handicaps is not easy and you will only succeed if you bring your A-game on board!

Thank you for reading.
Gustavo Silva