Are you a contributor? Part 7 - Infrastructure
The LibreOffice project work mostly via Internet, that means that behind, there is a lot of work done to make our tools available days and nights. The infrastructure team is an incredible one, you never see them, but by some sort of magic, everything you need is here and smoothly running. The team is dealing with websites, wiki, lists servers.... So lets look behind their curtain.
I'm not versed in infrastructure, but I'll try to depict a little what they are doing. I'll begin with simple tasks, not too much technical, where anybody can participate to. As I said, all our work is shared via Internet (most of the time, we meet also in real life during hackfest for example). To reach the team, just ask your questions or explain what you want to do on the website <at> global.libreoffice.org list.
The main entry to our project is mailing lists, so we have numerous mailing lists for each project and in different languages. The simplest task here is to become a moderator. There is the need to subscribe to a list to be able to post on it, so the main task here is to welcome people who forgot to register, explain them how to do so and also remove the spam. Some lists have more traffic than others, but anyway, each list needs a moderator.
Another entry is the wiki. Here also, remove spams, look for those who write their article at the wrong place, try to search for duplicates, archive the old pages, it's a day to day work that is provided here. If you are an expert in MediaWiki, you'll be the best friend of the team! I'm sure you're aware of some unknown extensions or tweak that will ease the contributor's task. Wiki is the tool where we share all and everything and again in all the languages our community speaks. Well, a sort of big bazaar where sometimes you'll find organization and structure, but not so often, I'm afraid ;-) so you see what I mean, some room for your well organized mind here!
For our sites, we use SilverStripe. There is the TDF site dedicated to the Foundation, and LibreOffice sites in several languages. Those sites may be translations of the English site, but can also be completely adapted to the local communities and what they are doing. Of course the look and feel will be the same, but the content may differ a lot. Some native-language teams are very small, but they gain in visibility and in credibility with a localized content. However, it's good to have a look to all the sites from time to time to make sure that nothing went wrong since the last visit. You can also help in improving the writing and the design of the main site. Read, correct, keep up to date the information, some small things that enhance the quality of our representation. And, if you need more, there is also the Extensions and Templates websites running on Plone.
In fact we have a lot of web services, I won't list them all, you'll find them following this link: http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Website/Web_Sites_services. If you need to contact somebody listed here, please do it on the website list. Be assure that you'll be welcome and any of your skills, being php, python, html... will be recognized and valued by the team who already works on the infrastructure.
I won't go further, I don't understand the technical side behind, so I won't be able to explain it clearly. But seeing all the tools we use, if you have the knowledge, you'll know where to put your hands. And we will be happy to see you there :-)