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How to create the most popular Fedora sub-project

First, some caveats:

  • Popularity is measured by how many Fedora account system (FAS) members are in the FAS group
  • Overarching groups such as ‘cla_done’ and ‘cla_fedora’ don’t count, since nearly every member has one of those
  • The count here is done today (2008-02-15 2030 UTC); I mirrored a current snapshot here; note that the links on that page won’t work unless you have the needed ACLs; the original page may not otherwise be visible to you.

Currently pulling a solid fourth position with 267 members, the Fedora Localization Project (FLP) is well on its way to taking the top mark. With the moving of all translation activities from (elvis) this week, some portion of the 2300+ accounts on elvis are going to need to move to get an FAS account and continue translating. It won’t take quite 20% of those remaining people making new FAS accounts to push ‘cvsl10n’ over the top. (17.5% as of this moment.) Naturally, we are targeting a lot more than 20%.

The next more populated projects are Fedora Ambassadors (313), Fedora Extras (589), and Fedora Bugs (672). Arguably, only Ambassadors is a true sub-project at this point. I’m not sure how the Extras category is still used; is that the group used to give access to CVS for package maintainers? If so, that is not a sub-project per se, but I think is an equitable group for counting popularity.

Note that all this growth has been in the last nine months. There wasn’t even a ‘cvsl10n’ group at this time last year. Contrast that with ‘cvsdocs’ that has 130 members after four+ years, and ‘cvsextras’ 589 in about the same time period.

The ‘fedorabugs’ group is (AIUI) made of users that cuts across all other groups, in that it is the mechanism to give rights to change the state of Fedora bugs, such as setting to “CLOSED” or “NEEDINFO”. I don’t count that as a sub-project, although it might be fair at some point in the future to think of all such people as part of the Fedora Bug Zappers (triage) group.

The title of this post is a “how to”, and I expect you may be looking for that golden information. Honestly, I don’t think there is anything new under the sun happening here. Let me break it down thusly:

  1. Pick something that really needs to get done that semi- and non-technical users can excel at
  2. Figure out why they cannot do that thing easily
  3. Find and/or write some very smart tools that make doing that thing easier than it is currently
  4. Work really hard and openly to get people to migrate into/use the Fedora instance that does that thing that needs to get done

This is what Fedora L10n is doing.  This is what the Fedora Bug Zappers team is doing.  I think that Paul Frields has something like this in mind for enabling contributions from all willing Fedora users. I’d really like to see this pattern more evident in Fedora Documentation.

What do you have in mind to try this process on?