Re: Question: proposals for users' participation
Tiago Saboga wrote:
I'm not a DD, and I've never before written to any debian-lists other than
debian-user. I'm running debian on my home computer here in Brazil for a year
and a half now,
Heh, "Long time user, first time poster", huh?
and I try to help debian when it's possible (translations for
ddtd, bug reports). I'd like to hear from candidates what can (should) be
made to encourage users active participation. I'd really like to support more
effectively the project, but most of the time I feel my bug reports aren't
precise enough (lack of knowledge), I can't code...
Hrm, I'm answering this as a "How will electing Anthony help users
contribute?" question, rather than directly as the "How can user's
contribute?" question it is. Apologies if that's obnoxious -- my excuse
is the alternative would be off-topic :)
So, I think there's a few ways we can benefit from user's contributions.
One that I've tried to encourage in the past, and that's fortunately
been taken up and followed through by the d-i team, is doing
installation and upgrade reports to help out the release. We aren't
doing as awesome a job as we could of collating those reports --
although thanks to the d-i guys we're doing a great job of soliciting
and in many cases acting on them -- and if we could do that better, we
could try extending ourselves to getting general "usage" reports as
well. At the moment, "user feedback" is more or less limited to
installation, upgrade, and bug reports, which are still pretty useful.
Another obvious way is donations -- having money to fly people to
meetings and conferences, and occassionally pay for hardware is very
useful. Another way is by using popcon, and providing demographic
feedback on what software's useful to you, so we know how to focus our
efforts. Both those are areas we could improve on too.
Users who're doing translations, or helping with docs, or writing
HOWTOs, or doing icons or artwork or themes, or providing examples are
also brilliant, though I'd be more inclined to call that contributing or
developing than just being a user. The translation folks are, I think,
setting the standard here; it might be possible to bring documentation
work up to a similar level.
Being involved in LUGs and other user communities is also important and
helpful -- that's how people tend to get involved in free software, and
that's where new developers come from. There's not really a lot Debian
can do there; although perhaps helping developers/contributors make
themselves available to give talks or be around for meetings with user
groups would be worth putting some effort and/or funds into.