Thanks to the leadership of Allie Micka and R.J. Steinert, the Snowball initiative to provide tools for coordinating and funding Drupal initiatives is coming to the Boston area this long weekend for its first code sprint.
We will focus on building a working alpha so we have something real to share for feedback, to refine, and to build process, message, and governance around.
We'll be working on Friday November 11th, Saturday the 12th, and Sunday the 13th starting at 10am on Friday and no later than that on the weekend days in Somerville, Massachusetts.
"The code sprint to aid all code sprints."
There is huge unrealized potential within the Drupal community of desired functionality, base distributions for particular kinds of site, and myriad other broadly beneficial projects that individually people and organizations do not have the capability or resources to make happen, but collectively would.
For example, if a non-profit wants a better donation process built and can offer their space, three developers can offer their time, and five interested individuals can fund transportation for the developers -- then Drupal gains this feature and everyone benefits, whereas it might not have happened at all or been done as a custom code hack that others wouldn't have been able to use. Snowball seeks to help people find one other and to reduce coordination friction and transaction costs and risks. Similarly, Snowball could help four Drupal shops put in together to contract one developer for a two-month module-building project, or twenty end-users or site owners could pool resources to hire one Drupal shop to improve user experience in a given area-- however it happens, the results are forever free and shared with everyone. If we reach the level of consciousness as a community in our stake in this software that is of, by, and for all of us, we may even be able to put funding behind major core initiatives.
Part of this vision is driven by the idea of the power of everyone being in one network and so able to find one another based on interest and rely on one another based on skill and availability. And while we may not be able to do it in the first iteration, structured data and smart machines can make targeted and large-scale coordination possible without centralized control.
These same tools that Drupal needs to reach its potential can then be used for coordinating projects entirely outside of Drupal-- bettering people's lives through horizontal communication and organization. That would be a pretty nice gift to the world.
We're dividing this effort into two phases:
- Get the technical stuff underway so that we have a definitive "thing" to point at and make decisions about. Happening this weekend. Includes technical implementations based what we can do currently.
- Make some decisions about process, message and governance. Happening at some point after this weekend. Decisions mostly content/message-related. Because of #1, decisions can be carried out "immediately" rather than getting added to a wishlist
We'll be setting up a serious project management tool for this project, probably Redmine but possibly Jira, but in the meantime if you have anything to say please add to the discussion and feature requests at drupalkata.org/community-initiatives or the Paying for the Plumbing group on g.d.o.