Communication is key for the success of any team effort, and in open source projects, written communication is critical for success. Briefly I'd like to explain the different communication channels we have, in case some are unfamiliar with them.
Chat is a convenient, immediate, and free-form way of exchanging information, and we make heavy use of it. For fun we decided to try out Jabber and liked it enough that we've continued to use it. Details about getting started with it are on the website.
We'd like to know if people would prefer IRC, though. If enough people cannot or do not wish to use Jabber, then we should switch to IRC. Please speak up if you have an opinion on this.
If you have a good discussion in chat that you think others might be interested in, consider sending a copy of the log to the mailing list.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
Use your favorite irc capable chat client to connect to:
This is an unofficial discussion location, until sanctioned.
Email is preferred for information that needs wider visibility, such as things that will require discussion in preparation for making decisions. The mailing lists are also archived, so new developers can review past discussions to get up to speed.
If you see or write a good email on a topic that people will wish to refer to longer in the future, consider pasting a copy of it into Wiki, so that it'll be easier for people to find and maintain later.
- inkscape-announce - Announcements about Inkscape, its plugins, events, etc. (low volume)
- inkscape-devel - This is the main development discussion list
- inkscape-tracker - All bug / feature / patch posts to the SF tracker get sent here
- inkscape-cvs - All cvs commit messages get sent here (high volume)
Wiki is the new discussion medium we're introducing. A Wiki is a website that can be edited and added to by anyone. It's like a virtual whiteboard, and that's how we want to use it. It's good for gaining wide visibility and it's more persistent than email (no having to browse through archives).
Wiki's are great for capturing info quickly and semi-permanently, and for writing collaboratively. This makes them perfect for brainstorming and hashing out plans, designs, floating proposals, etc.
Wiki's can get a bit chaotic over time, and for people with only a quick interest in the project they can be too much effort to search through for "official" information. So, if a page in Wiki becomes 'official' enough that it needs higher visibility and/or more formality, consider turning it into a proper web page.
The website is simple flat HTML files, using SSI to put the header and footer on. It's stored in the CVS module inkscape_web. Anyone with CVS commit permissions can and is encouraged to make changes to the website.
Changes to the website are posted to the inkscape-cvs@ mailing list.
Each communication medium has its strengths and weaknesses. If we are all good about using them appropriately, and promoting information from one to the next where beneficial, it will give Inkscape a great communication infrastructure. Miscommunication is a leading cause of trouble in projects, so it is well worth our effort to work to prevent them from occurring.