I’m Viqui, from the gvSIG team, and nowadays I’m taking on a new role as community manager. Through this post I want to pass on some points of view about what do we understand as community, and which are some of the goals we want to achieve from gvSIG.
It’s a common practise in open source projects, and also in some companies, to have an area in order to make easier the community to participate and have some degree of interaction with the organization. gvSIG, from the very beginning, has encouraged the participation from users and developers in several ways, in order to put into practise one the premises of the project: the mutual collaboration. The way we understand the open source software model make us, for example, to release for free all the materials we produce (from the source code to the slides we make for our presentations) in order to have them available for the community.
But, what do we understand as community? have you thought about that? It’s a word overused nowadays…
Are we talking about users and developers that invest (be careful that I’m not saying spending nor giving!) their free time improving gvSIG? yes, of course I’m thinking of them, but not only. It’s well-known that around gvSIG exists a wide ecosystem of public administrations, companies, universities, technology institutes, teaching institutes, labs, NGOs, and so on, that use, personalize and improve gvSIG’s features. Well, our viewpoint is that all those groups of people are part of the gvSIG community, so anything that one of them do could benefit the others. Through this inclusive way of understanding the community, we are able to put into practise another premise: turn the gained knowledge into shared knowledge.
gvSIG has different types of communities, we call to some of them transversal because of their goals: interface translators (remind that gvSIG desktop is translated into 20 different languages), documentation translators, testers that give robustness and stability to the gvSIG products, developers, etc. On the other hand we have some communities where the linguistic influence is in dominance: the Spanish community (from the beginning the strongest), the Italian, the English one, and the Brazilian (the newest). And of course we are open to increase the diversity of groups, so that we will be able to make a real community from every group of people interested in any of the gvSIG’s aspects.
We know (by experience) that those groups do not appear (most of the time) spontaneously, of course. They are the result of processes that require effort and time. These processes we refer to, are for instance related to open source software migration because these initiatives help to change users’ mind to use open source tools such as gvSIG. The main actors of that processes of change are the people we really want to involve in, to rely on them the creation of new community groups and of course to keep the existing ones. This is a first goal, and then those eager will be accompanied (and I can tell you that nowadays this is happening!) by other people being able to decide, as a group, which activities and goals will be on their roadmap.
The discussion is on…
(feel free on posting in English or Spanish please!)