General News

Documentation Weekend


Joomla! Documentation CampOne of the most important ways an open source community interacts is by helping one another.  This weekend gives everyone in the Joomla! community a fun new way to do just that.  The first world-wide documentation camp for the Joomla! project kicks off tomorrow, Saturday 19th January 2008 and will continue all the way through Monday evening.

What is a documentation camp?

Good question.  With the release of Joomla! 1.5 right around the corner, our community has a big need for new documentation on nearly every aspect of Joomla!.  In a sentence this documentation camp is a lot of community members working together over the course of a weekend to write up a massive amount of documentation for the soon to be released Joomla! 1.5.  We have a very large wishlist of tasks to be accomplished ready and waiting for anyone and everyone who can participate.  To make everyone's life easy we have split off tasks into bite-sized items so that no one has to dedicate more time than he or she can afford during the event.

Who benefits?

The entire Joomla! community benefits from good documentation.  The better our documentation is the easier it is for new people to use and get comfortable with Joomla!.  It is also much more likely that whatever issue you are having or thing you cannot figure out is already documented somewhere and you do not have to go searching through the forum or waiting on someone to respond to you for answers.  Participating in this event means you are helping yourself as well as everyone else in this community.

Who should participate?

Everyone!  We have need of everyone from Joomla! Jedi Master to brand new people still struggling with what on earth a mambot is.  We need people to answer questions and people to ask questions; people to write from a complete novice's point of view as well as produce very technical, development orientated texts.  There is room for everyone, so come one, come all.

How can I participate?

I KNEW you wanted to participate!  It is quite simple.  If you have a local group of Joomla! users you meet up with, consider getting together during the event and join the rest of us in IRC .  If you don't have a local group or are registered to attend a physical location then come join everyone in IRC .

This is a perfect opportunity to make new friends in the Joomlaverse and help the community all in one.  In the open source spirit we will be working collaboratively using a wiki for most tasks.  If you are unsure on how to use a wiki then this is a perfect opportunity to learn with friends. 

Keep your eyes on the documentation wiki and join us during the weekend in IRC to get involved... you won't regret it.

Physical Locations

North America
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
9AM - 6PM PST (GMT-8) Saturday 19th January 2008
Thanks to The Network Hub for the location and free WI-FI

Europe
Brussels, Belgium
10AM - 7PM CET (GMT+1) Monday 21st January 2008
Thanks to the Belgium Local Police for sponsoring the venue

Virtual Location

World Wide via IRC
Server: irc.freenode.net
Channel: #joomladocs
Learn how to connect .

Free as in Freedom

Joomla! is Free as in FreedomJoomla! is free software. Anyone can use it, modify it, add to it, study it, extend it, or patch it. Anyone can share or sell what they have done with Joomla! so long as what they distribute is also free in these same ways.

 

To some, free software sounds suspiciously radical and certainly idealistic. In recent weeks, we have seen just how powerful an approach it is. Nearly 40 development tasks were selected by 25 Joomla! contestants in the Google Highly Open Participation Contest.  For these teens, the ability to study how Joomla! works and adapt the code for their own purposes meant learning to be stronger developers technically as well as in terms of working as part of a community. During the same period, the community--including some of those same students-- has come together to work on Joomla! 1.5, making a RC4 a reality and continuing to make strong progress since then.

 

We have seen that "there are good reasons why free software tends to be of high quality.  One reason is that free software gets the whole community involved in working together to fix problems. Users not only report bugs, they even fix bugs and send in fixes. Users work together, conversing by email, to get to the bottom of a problem and make the software work trouble-free." (http://www.gnu.org/software/reliability.html)

 

In June 2007 the Joomla! community reaffirmed our commitment to use of the GNU GPL.  Six months later, Joomla! is thriving as a free software project. People are contributing, sharing their discoveries, and helping to build a stronger Joomla! for everyone. Together we have grown, and we are growing.

 

Today, there is a steadily growing developer force making important contributions to the community by taking Joomla!, adapting it and extending the benefits of the Joomla! core code. Joomlacode.org hosts over a thousand GPL and GPL compliant projects freely shared with the world.

 

By using the GPL we are able to freely join with the vast majority of other open source projects, sharing work and ideas and building connections. For example, at freshmeat.com alone, some 30,045 open source projects (68% of all listed projects) use the GPL.

 

All of the parts of the Joomla! community-- users, webmasters, and developers--benefit from being based in a free open source project. It makes the software stronger and allows the creativity of our community to flourish. We are becoming a stronger, more involved working group, and you are invited to join with us.

 

That is software freedom. The efforts of one developer can build, but the impact of a community of developers and users working together multiplies the impact.

Working Together

Joomla! Community Working TogetherJoomla! is only possible because of the contributions of thousands of people. A community of this size requires a great deal of effort. In addition to the core team, hundreds of others participate in important ways as Translation, Development, Sites and Infrastructure, Documentation and Foundation Working Groups members. Joining a working group where your talents are best applied is only one way to contribute to Joomla!.

Community-driven activities

It is the members of this community who drive outreach. Joomla! Days, Joomla! User Groups, local support forums, conference presentations and white papers, special events and meetings, blogs, and, yes, even discussions around the office water cooler, are essential to sustain and grow Joomla! by getting the word out and recruiting talent.

 

Last year, Joomla! Day events were held all across the globe. Special thanks to those who made good things happen in Melbourne, Malaysia, France, Toronto, Sydney, Thailand, California, Norway, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Texas, Brasil, Hungary, Manhattan, Sweden, Finland, Serbia, Cape Town, Nigeria, and New Zealand. If you are interested in organizing a Joomla! Day where you live, learn more in the Joomla! Days board.

 

Joomla! User Groups are a great way to have fun and share ideas, while building a local support function. If you are interested in participating, see if there is a Joomla! User Group nearby. If not, consider starting a new user group and help others in your local community discover Joomla!.

 

Community members participate in countless conferences and meetings world-wide, presenting and sharing Joomla!. Events like the recent Pizza, Bugs and Fun weekend and the upcoming Joomla! Doc Camp scheduled for January 19, provide ways for community members to have fun and contribute to the project.

Friends of the project

Without a doubt, we are grateful for the generous support of others. We appreciate our friends at Google who offer the Summer of Code project and Highly Open Participation Contest. We thank the Mootools community for a fabulous Javascript framework bundled with Joomla! v 1.5. We also thank the Eclipse community for an incredible IDE and for assisting in the development of JCode. We thank Rochen for another year of professional and dependable web hosting and support of Joomla.org websites. Lastly, we thank the Software Freedom Law Center for their legal guidance and support.

Joomla! is powered by community

Eben Moglen once said, "We are moving to a world in which ... the most important activities that produce occur, not in factories, and not by individual initiative, but in communities held together by software."

 

This is true for Joomla!. The combined efforts of our community this past year advanced this project in significant ways. We thank each of you for giving your time, ideas, talents, and energy to the project. This year, consider participating in new ways that use your talents to benefit the Joomla! community. Together, we can accomplish even more in 2008.