Community Communication

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Intentions of Discussion

  • Decide direction for major features
  • Collaborate on implementation details

Problems in Communication

  • Takes too long to convey ideas in writing vs code
  • It often feels like detailed descriptions are required for every message, so things are not said at all
  • Ideas that are provided are often ignored
  • No action is taken after discussion of an idea, either in implementation or ownership
  • No discussion of an idea takes place after it is submitted
  • Discussion takes place outside of where others can review or reference it
  • The best place to have an idea reviewed or acted upon is often not where it is submitted
  • No group or person is responsible for maintaining or organizing ideas
  • No clear way to redirect discussion to the appropriate venue
  • It is difficult to review an idea or decision later

Ideas to Address Communication Problems

  • Write shorter email
    • Takes less time than describing an idea in full
    • Indicates a place where discussion can take place
    • Idea is recorded for later
    • Development can begin while discussion is getting started, and be improved by discussion/suggestions midstream
  • Submit ideas as one actionable idea per post
    • Threads stay on track
    • Can result in an action or not as a whole thread
  • Have a monthly "clean house" event
    • Review all open issues, open threads
    • Act upon all ideas to defer, redirect, complete, or reject
  • Publish a process for communication
    • Clearly indicate channels for certain actions
    • Indicate expected responses and times
  • Enable Trac Wiki features
    • Link description of work in progress to the related issue
  • Include expected action in messages
    • Provide a timeline for expiration of the discussion
    • Include a commitment to personally take action of some kind
  • Have some central place to record details when a decision to implement something new/change something old has been made and use that same place to track progress. It needs to be a single point of reference so everyone can see at a glance what's happening and who's doing it.
  • Summarize all ideas concisely after they have been discussed and direct them to a central location for implementation (Trac?)

Action Items

  • Revisit this list in 1 week
  • Present ideas for change to the list
  • Codify any changes on the wiki in the Community area.
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