One 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.
Joomla! 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." (https://www.gnu.org/software/reliability.html)
Joomla! 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!.
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.