Today we are proud to announce an important shift in the organisation and governance of the Joomla Project. This change is focused on making it easier to fulfill our mission, achieve our vision and remain true to our values.
Firstly, we are simplifying the current Working Group structure. Secondly, we are changing the leadership and management of the project in a way that provides a more open and flexible structure. Thirdly, we are shifting the governance of the project to a model that reflects the increased maturity of the organisation and provides a solid foundation for sustainable growth.
These changes will bring the organisation of the Joomla Project in line with its mission to "provide a flexible platform for digital publishing and collaboration." The vision statement for the Joomla Project describes "People publishing and collaborating in their communities and around the world" and the goal of these changes is to facilitate this within the Joomla Project as well as for communities built using Joomla software. These changes developed from discussions at the Joomla Leadership Summit held in June of 2008. At that summit the core team and the board of Open Source Matters worked to clarify the mission of the project and to develop more flexible structures to carry out the work of the project.
For several years the Joomla Project has been organised into a number of separate Working Groups. Over time, these structures have tended to create more barriers to collaboration than were intended. Therefore, we are simplifying the organisation to two larger working groups: Production and Community.
The focus of the Production Working Group is on creating "Software that is free, secure and of high-quality." Production encompasses everything that goes into the final product, not just code but also documentation, internationalisation and localisation efforts of all types.
As an open source project, community lies at the heart of our very existence. We would not be the major open source project we are today were it not for the time and effort given by so many people who together form the Joomla community. The new Community Working Group is charged with providing the structures and community management necessary to create an online community that is "enjoyable and rewarding to participate in." It will nurture and support online communities of users, provide support and information to users, and facilitate communication between users and the Production Working Group. User communities may be based on language or region, user type (such as administrator, developer, site user, host, and so on), areas of interest or a new classification that emerges organically.
Working Group Leadership
Each Working Group will have people who provide direction and leadership for the group. These are the people who keep the working groups functioning and provide continuity for project contributors.
Production Working Group Leadership
Initially, the leaders of the Production Working Group are (alphabetically): Chris Davenport, Mark Dexter, Louis Landry, Ian MacLennan, Sam Moffatt and Ole Ottosen.
You can follow the Joomla Production Working Group Leadership Team on their public mailing list here:
|Subscribe to Joomla! Production Working Group Leadership|
|Visit this group|
Community Working Group Leadership
Initially, the leaders of the Community Working Group are (alphabetically): Brad Baker, Peter Martin and Robin Muilwijk.
You can follow the Joomla Community Working Group Leadership Team on their public mailing list here:
|Subscribe to Joomla! Community Working Group Leadership|
|Visit this group|
Membership in a leadership team is not defined by being in a specific role but rather by doing the work of leading and directing the group. Members of the leadership teams will be appointed by the teams themselves and members can be removed by the teams themselves. The number of members of each leadership team is fluid and determined by the needs of the group. The leadership teams will be responsible for organising and managing task groups and other teams as they determine will be most effective.
Joomla Leadership Team
The combined leadership teams from the two working groups will comprise the new Joomla Leadership Team and together they will be responsible for overall management of the project and the community. The leadership of the project will transfer from the Core Team to the new Leadership Team and the old Core Team will cease to exist. The transition will be natural since many of the current Core Team are continuing on the Production and Community Teams, and will be joined by others who already hold leadership positions within the project. More new leaders will be brought on board as they are added to working group leadership teams.
The new structure reflects more accurately the actual pattern of leadership in the project. It has always been the case that leaders come and go as their interests shift or their availability changes. The new Leadership Team, comprising as it does the leaders of the two Joomla Working Groups at any given time, will allow a more agile team to emerge; one that can bring people on board to meet a particular challenge or respond to the changing circumstances of individuals. This is a much less formal arrangement than the old Core Team, and it should be much quicker and simpler for people to be recruited to the Leadership Team. The new team will be much more fluid in its composition and so more able to meet the demands of the rapidly changing environment in which the project finds itself.
The old Core Team communicated via a private mailing list; it never had a public mailing list. While this was perhaps essential in the early days of the project, in the interests of promoting greater openness and transparency the new Leadership Team will communicate primarily via its public mailing list. In the words of Karl Fogel, "If there's no reason for it to be private, it should be public." (from Producing Open Source Software). We agree that this type of transparency is good for the project. For this reason, you can follow the Joomla Leadership Team on their public mailing list here:
Joomla! Leadership Team
|Subscribe to Joomla Leadership Team:|
|Visit this group|
Since its inception the leadership and governance of the Joomla project has been the joint responsibility of the Joomla Core Team and the Board of Open Source Matters, Inc. OSM is, and will remain, the entity charged with caring for the legal, financial and other organisational needs of the Joomla project that fall outside of the two working groups. OSM holds the copyright for Joomla, trademarks related to the Joomla name and logo, as well as other project assets (such as the domains and hardware). You can find out more about OSM on the OSM Web site.
During its formation and early development, OSM has been overseen by the Community Oversight Committee whose members were also the members of the Core Team. Beginning today we are separating the function of OSM oversight from the function of leadership of the project.
The Community Oversight Committee, comprised of (alphabetically) Brad Baker, Chris Davenport, Alex Kempkens, Sam Moffatt and Ole Ottosen, will continue in that role for a transitional period, after which the Community Oversight Committee may be disbanded for OSM to become a fully self-governing body, however that is still under discussion.
Note: Image removed pending upload of a more accurate representation (Sam Moffatt; 28th Nov 09)
We are still a very young project, just a little under four years old, and we have grown almost exponentially in that time. The steps we take today should be seen as a sign of the maturity of the project, the community, and its leadership. These changes will help ensure that we remain focused on our mission "to provide a flexible platform for digital publishing and collaboration" and on that firm foundation we can stride forth with confidence in our future, all together, as one.