[OOTB-hive] OOTB concepts: mission and code of practice

Boriss Mejias tchorix at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 10:41:52 BST 2014

Hi Heiko,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Interesting stuff about the DOAG, and I
believe in terms of software releases, we can achieve more thanks to the
open source nature of Alfresco. More comments below:

On 20 August 2014 21:18, Heiko Robert <heiko.orderofthebee.info at ecm4u.de>

>  [...]
Open Source is always helpful if the API and extension points are not well
> documented and if its buggy. My understanding is that Alfresco code is only
> touched for patching, right?

Not just patching, it's also useful to understand how things are
implemented. The fact that it is open source is not a minor point. To be
able to study the source is very important too.

> In general everyone expects impartial, non softened feedback,
> recommendation, opinon and support in a differnt manner from the DOAG.
> Maybe this should not be subject of OOTB but then this should be clarified
> and would avoid misunderstandings.
>      [...]
>> * OOTB should be postioned as a independant, visible moderator and as an
>> organisation of Alfresco Experts, Customers, Partners. Alfresco employess
>> can contribute content, feedback, working time but should never have an
>> active role or vote - otherwise it will never be independant.
>  Richard was explaining us that RedHat people also get to vote on CentOS
> decisions, but their participation is limited, and that doesn't takes
> independence away from CentOS. We still need to define voting of Alfresco
> employees that are part of the order. It's going to be discussed in the GOV
> (Governance) committee.
> If the bee team manages the open source part of Alfresco I agree to your
> comparison but this is not what we are talking about, right? The bees are
> not managing the Community Code nor create fork.
> I agree on feedback and colaboration on creating tutorials, best practice
> instructions or make some internal technical discussions public etc. but
> for this Alfresco employees don't need to vote.
> What about creating features and functions which may touch Alfresco
> interests? In that case we may discuss the independence of Alfresco EE
> partner employees as well.

I agree with you on this. If we allow voting from employees of Alfresco or
Alfresco partners, it has to be limited, and as Lanre told me yesterday, it
might even be better not to allow them to vote, to protect them from legal
actions. We are trying to be as inclusive as possible, but all help from
more experienced people is needed to get the governance model right.

> I think Alfresco should get a role as a permanent guest and advisor.
> Richard will definitly make a good job as advocate for the bees at Alfresco
> but it's role is also to be a lobbyist for Alfresco.

Absolutely true.

>      [...]
>    * OOTB could be an excellent platform to organize and moderate the
>> requirement specs, creation, maintainance of missing features - no
>> difference if it will be open or closed source, if the result will be for
>> free or not. We have to be creative to find out working models which work
>> long term.
>  I don't see how can we build a community around a closed source
> solution. Can you elaborate on this?
> I understand Alfresco as an open source service platform. This is in most
> cases not a solutions itself and needs often other services and products
> wich don't necessarily are open source. Alfresco includes other (open
> source) products even there are much better and affordable products (we all
> know the reason why). One example is libreoffice. Why should wee accept
> these limits and not alternativly use/include/test better, affordable,
> commercal ones?
Following the example: there will never be a satisfiying and working
> alternative to integrating M$ products in converting MS documents. If you
> would be able to collect all the money partners, SIs already spent in work
> around to these limitations you will get a very big budget.
> I understand as one goal of the bee team to push the CE and to help out
> with expertise. This means that there is a need to integrate, compare and
> support commercial products where required. Maybe I'm alone with this
> opinon but it's worth to clarify. Integrating commercial products shouldn't
> be limited to the EE and may help Alfresco in general. I'm not talking
> about a competition to Alfresco but creating a community for creating
> enterprise solutions which allways produces and maintains some added value
> to the CE (think of loftux claim for the office hours).

I think I understand better what you mean. My opinion is the following: If
there is an open source connector to interface MS Office for better MS
document conversion, we might consider including the connector as part of
the addons. What I don't want is to support or endorse closed-source
addons, connectors, tools, plugins, etc. By being closed source, it
excludes the community.

And I know it will sound geeky, but please don't use "comercial" as
opposite to "open source". It presents open source as not-good-software for
commercial purposes. That's bad marketing for open source.

> Your company is the best example: why shouldn't FRED officially support CE
> (beside the fact that you're not allowed to provide services for CE)? Why
> not fixing issues if there are some? Why not collecting money to get this
> work done? Nobody says you need to brake the rules you agreed to Alfresco.

Update: I don't work for XeniT since February. I work now for CIRB-CIBG, an
Alfresco customer.

Now independent of that, Fred is closed source software. If we help Fred to
be supported for CE (paid or not), it will still belong entirely to XeniT,
not to the community. That of course is independent from the fact that Fred
is a great product (in my opinion)

>> * I would prefer a better name which includes Alfresco in any way. OOTB
>> is complicated, long and nobody sees a relation to Alfresco and the
>> mission. The name could be a slogan but only insiders understand what is
>> the story about. Transparency should be also a subject for the name -
>> otherwise we will have allways the smell of geeks, nerds and complicated
>> people.
>  Picking a name with Alfresco on it is problem for a couple of reasons
> I know this discussion very well and was part of it several times in the
> past but if we take care that there is no room for misinterpretation nobody
> is able to prevent us to include the Alfresco name in the Project name

yes, Alfresco Inc owns the name, and they can prevent us from using the
word Alfresco. If they change their opinion about the order, we are forced
to change the name.

Agree I'd love to do so and we should get some common consens on GOV before
> we continue in any other activity. I'm not quite sure about the motivaton
> of the board since even most of the board members are EE partner employees.

To avoid any misconception, Martin and Jeff are independent, and they are
not Alfresco partners. Ole works for Magenta Aps, which is not an Alfresco
partner. As I updated, I don't work for an Alfresco partner either. So, we
just have Oksana, who works for ITD, which is a Russian Alfresco partner.
And she has done very important contributions to the community coordinating
the community language packages.

I hope that give some lights about the members of the board.


> So making interests transparent may help to understand the mission of this
> team.
> We should show the same spirit of openness in interests and mission.
> Heiko
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