Developing the Booktype community¶
Recently we have opened the doors much wider for collaboration on the development of Booktype. When I brought the project to Sourcefabric initially, it was in the hope of giving Booktype more development muscle and the chance to live as a successful open source project. Before Booktype came to Sourcefabric it was a project that had been developed mostly by one organisation - FLOSS Manuals. By moving it to Sourcefabric I felt our community could grow and this would help ensure its existence in the future. And so, by making it easier for collaboration to happen we are working hard to build a community of developers who care about the future of Booktype.
Developing a community of developers
Joining a new organization means working through processes and trying to find better ways to move forward collectively. Unfortunately, it has taken us longer than we would have liked to restructure a few things. But we think these slight adjustments will make the project more open and easier for developers to get involved.
- The first thing we added is a development mailing list. We will now use this to develop communications instead of using forums. A small first step, but a good one. Forums are good for reporting issues but not really a favored medium for developers who prefer direct communication channels and plain text. So, we set up a new list which should be much easier to start conversations.
- Second we have migrated the development focus to GitHub and this is a great place for collaborating on code. All the information about how to get involved, how to make a contribution and how to get in touch with other developers is contained in the Booktype GitHub pages.
We also want to be as helpful as possible with questions about the code base and putting potential commercial interests aside in the interest of collaboration. In the weeks to come we will have open development VOIP calls where anyone can join in and there will be other channels too. There are also more blog posts emanating from the developers about the code base and thinking around how the project will move forward. This helps share our plans with the community and initiates a public discussion on particular topics of development. We haven't yet gone so far as setting up community Codes of Conduct but it might be a possibility in the future. The real point is that we want Booktype to grow and to do that we want to create a community of developers that can work together. Everyone can gain something from the project, and also help maintain Booktype's position as the best and most innovative online book production platform for many, many years to come.
Longevity with open source practice
Open source enables longevity and licenses are just that - enablers. They don't make a healthy thriving open source project - that is the result of the individuals involved. This secondary concern is precisely what we are working on at the moment. If you would like to get involved check out the GitHub pages and become part of the Booktype development community.