There are five active members animating the SIG. One new contributor asked to join the SIG in 2019. And other people not formally part of the SIG but that welcome new people and hang around in the Telegram group, proposing new ideas and giving feedback on various topics.
We get in touch with new people practically every day.
The majority of newcomers get in touch via Telegram, someone via IRC and the fewer in the mailing list.
What we have accomplished
2019 was a year of novelties for the Fedora Join SIG: the community now has a modern forum platform hosted on Discourse, and we have set up a new way for newcomers and wannabe contributors to get in touch with the community.
Around April, Fedora opened a new forum which replaced the old Askbot instance. You can read the announcement article on the Community Blog. The new forum is powered by Discourse. We spent a lot of time thinking to the best set up for the categories. The goal was to keep them low and related to the distribution lifecycle. So we ended up with two main categories (for each supported language): installation/upgrade, daily usage. For a more precise categorization of the posts, people can use the tags (by using the existing ones or by creating new ones).
Obviously, as usual, in the first times we received some ranting about the change. Mainly because the broken links someone could encounter on search engines still pointing to the old Ask Fedora instance. But it was our intention to collect useful an frequently asked questions on Askbot and convert them to quick-docs (maybe with the help of some volunteerx). So, apart the first criticisms, now Ask Fedora is well established and there are new discussions every day, with a generally polite and constructive behaviour leading to solve many issues. Another goal of the new Forum was/is to invite and foster new contributions to the community, and not be only a helpdesk channel.
For more data and statistics about Ask Fedora, probably we will publish a dedicated article in the near future.
The new welcome workflow
In collaboration with Mindshare and other bodies of the Project, we have set a path for the community newcomers. You can read the idea in the following article.
This workflow is still a work in progress, in the sense that we are trying to improve it every day.
Between the last months of 2018 and the first months of 2019 we were able to organize six Fedora Classrooms.
This is the list:
- Containers 101 with Podman hosted by Alessandro Arrichiello
- LaTeX 101 hosted by Ankur Sinha “FranciscoD”
- Building container images with Buildah hosted by Dan Walsh (we suffered big technical issues)
- L10N 101 hosted by Silvia Sánchez
- Fedora Silverblue hosted by Micah Abbott
- Creating Fedora Badges hosted by Riecatnor
We spotted that, from a technical point of view, it is difficult to host a live classroom especially when there are many attendees. For instance, in the Containers 101 with Podman classroom, where the Bluejeans video platform was used, there were 90 attendees. When we have used Jitsi, we realized that it is not the right tool to use when the attendees are more than 10.
So we figured that for the future it could be better to run classroom asynchronously: the presenter records the video, we upload it to the Fedora Youtube channel, and we create a dedicated Q&A post on discussion.fedoraproject.org in the classroom category.
The team did several works in order to document their SOPs (Standard Operation Procedures) and Ask Fedora ones, moving and updating some of the documents from the wiki to Docs.
We documented how the workflow for newcomers should work https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fedora-join/welcome/welcome/, and thank to the Design Team we have also a nice banner that you can see on top of this article.
For Ask Fedora we wrote
- a User Guide https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/ask-fedora-sops/user_en/
- a Standard Operation Procedure for Moderator https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/ask-fedora-sops/mod_en/,
- how to add new staff https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/ask-fedora-sops/staff/
- how to add a new language support to the forum https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/ask-fedora-sops/languages/
- how forum’s categories are organized https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/ask-fedora-sops/categories/
What about the future
There is always room for improvements.
We should find ways of encouraging more community members involved in fedora-join to help newcomers. And to encourage more community members from other teams to hang around the Fedora Join SIG community channels in order to help the newcomers in find their path and where they can be helpful in the Project.
We should also revive the Fedora Classroom program, and again, we need more community members interested in hosting live lessons or audio/video recordings.
We need your help. We need community members involvement:
- to help with the new process
- to help with hanging out in channels to speak to newbies
- to help with classrooms
- to work on quick docs, and docs in general