Thanks to all of you, Liferay has an active and growing community that has made a lot of contributions in 2010. However, with that growth comes inevitable growing pains!
One of the areas in which we have experienced continued pain is in the reporting, analysis, and resolution of tickets via Liferay's issue tracking system (based on Atlassian's JIRA). The problem, as I've mentioned in the past, is that due to the sheer volume of tickets, sometimes tickets get lost in the noise. In many cases, tickets that cause annoying bugs, yet are simple one-liner fixes, don't get resolved for months. There are also existing tickets that have been in various stages of workflow, tickets that have a high community impact but have not been touched for months, or have been resolved as part of another fix, but are still open. This should not happen!
With this in mind, I am announcing two new community initiatives that start today, focusing on community contributions to Liferay, and how you can help. With these programs, it is my hope that the community will benefit in multiple ways:
- Tickets are evaluated and resolved quicker
- Users get important fixes faster, and with higher quality
- Community Members that wish to "go above and beyond" can do so
- Existing tools are used, so no real learning curve
1. One Hundred Paper Cuts
Szymon recently suggested that we should start our own program modelled after Ubuntu's "One Hundred Paper Cuts" program. It's a simple, yet effective way for the community to reduce the backlog of "annoying" yet easy to fix bugs. It will work like this:
- Starting today we will have a 3-week time period in which to vote for bugs you feel should be fixed sooner rather than later. Voting for Liferay bugs via JIRA helps the community prioritize tickets. This is one of the easiest ways you can contribute to the betterment of the Liferay project. Vote counts are also used when determining what goes into new releases. For example, for the next Community Edition, those bugs with higher votes will be included. Every community member gets 1 vote per issue. To vote, you must be logged into issues.liferay.com. Don't have an account? Register for free. Here's a search showing the top community-voted issues as of now.
- After the 3 week voting period, the top 10 "annoying yet easy to fix" tickets will be chosen, and assigned to community members who are participating in the project, in the form of a 2-week "community sprint" to get these issues resolved (into the "Community Resolved" state).
- After those 2 weeks are up, repeat the process. The time taken to vote and/or fix issues will be tuned based on performance on the first sprint.
If you want to participate, leave your desires in the comments section below.
Aside from being recognized as a valued and active community member participating in the program, there will be prizes as well :)
2. Community Leadership Program
You've been working with Liferay for a couple of years now, and have contributed many fixes and are active on the forums, and have a genuine desire to see the Liferay community grow and prosper. You may even have ideas on how to fix certain parts of the community. What better way to recognize your achievements than being part of the Community Leadership Program! This new program promotes and rewards key community individuals who have demonstrated such qualities, and gives them additional privileges (and also responsibilities) for helping guide and manage the community.
One of the first actions for members of this program will be in JIRA, as a Community Verifier. Historically, community members have had limited permissions in our issue tracking system. Members can create and comment on issues, and submitters may mark their bugs as "Contributed Solution" or "Community Resolved". Sometimes issues go to this state, and rot over time. Many of these issues have been resolved (esp. in the Liferay 6 release), but haven't been updated. Some issues are still real issues, or are only partially resolved. Some issues simply aren't issues at all! We need leaders who can help us work through this backlog, and are willing to learn and teach the wider community how to properly mark issues, including which releases it is applicable to, which component it affects, or declaring a bug is not a bug so that it can be closed or otherwise resolved.
Over the coming weeks and months, additional roles and responsibilities will be defined as part of this program. With your help and mentorship, we can improve the quality of not only the project, but of the community as well. If you are interested in participating in this program, leave a comment below!