Re: Design document [Draft 1]

> > I think one of the main goals should be the issue of integrating new
> > members of the GNOME community.  What I mean by this is encouraging
> > people to get involved in improving GNOME.  The best way to
> > the rate of improvement of GNOME is to get more people involved.  
> I agree that participation should be encouraged. People who've read
> Mythical Man-Month" might disagree with the "The best way to
accelerate the
> rate of improvement of GNOME is to get more people involved"
statement, though.
This has nothing to do with "The Mythical Man-Month" in my opinion.  I
am not talking about huge, key parts of projects to be offered up.  I am
talking about the simple, nice-to-have projecs that the core developers
just don't have time to do.  Think of the "Project of the Week" that
Havoc Pennington used to do back when there were weekly status reports.

> Specifically, I'm not sure if we *need* to make this a major goal.
After all,
> the percentage of web site users that are even potential contributors
> extremely small, and new contributors join GNOME every day, without
> current website appealing specifically to them. It's an aspect that
should be
> considered, but personally, I find it a lot more important to
> well to users, and to the press.
I really think we do need to make this a major goal.  We should be
lowering the barrier to entry for participation as much as we can.  I
think if we can make it nearly trivial to find a little something to do
for GNOME, someone who is looking to kill a few hours might do it, and
end up wanting to contribute more in the future.  GNOME can get all the
press in the world, but to really make it, it needs an enthusiastic
community behind it.  People like the fact that when they look at the
back of RedHat boxes, they see their work in one of the screenshots.  If
we can make this easy, it helps that many more people contribute.

> >> 3. Navigation structure/usability
> > To further my suggested goal, I think that we should have a "get
> > involved" (or "projects of the week") top level link.  This would
> > basically lead to a section of the website that lists needed tasks
> > each of the various projects.  conceivably it could include teh
> > link to the wishlist item.  It would also have a contact email
> > for each task.  These projects would let people wishing to
contribute to
> > quickly get started doing little things without much effort
overhead.  I
> > think that this is really very important: GNOME should try and
> > as many new members as it can.  We should push the fact that we're
> > open project that welcomes newcomers (as is stated in the GNOME
> > foundation charter).  
> This would be well served by a link in the list of "quick links" on
> frontpage, I think. "Get involved" is not terribly suited to be a
> navigation category, as it would either be too broad (by including
> that could be related to getting involved) or too narrow (specific
howto type
> documents).
The "Get Involved" or "Projects of the Week" (which is probably a better
name) shouldn't be categories, you're right.  I used some poor
wording.  What I meant was that it should be a link that appears on
every page: a main link.  It won't be linking to "howtos" either - it
would go to a page that lists little, easy to understand projects that
could use doing.  For instance: translating something, or writing
documentation for a little applet, or coding a part of something, or
making an applet, etc.

> > If we want to push it even more, we can publish the accomplishments
> > new members in the "People" section that you propose, to give people
> > fame incentive to participate.
> This is a good idea. It runs into the problem of knowing when someone
> actually enters the community, though. Most people drift around for a
bit and
> get gradually involved. Of course, we could do this with people who
made a
> substantial contribution (code, translation, whatever) for the first
It could just be done when a new person does one of the projects of the
week.  Easy to figure that out.


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