Orientation

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This page contains orientation information and startup instructions for new Members of OpenAjax Alliance.

Contents

New member logistics

The following are some of the things you should check to make sure that your company has been set up properly as a new member of the Alliance.

Identify people that need access to the wiki

(This process might have been completed as part of joining the Alliance.)

Individual logins/passwords need to be given for each person in your organization that needs access to this wiki. To provide them access, send an email to mailto:jferrai@us.ibm.com that lists their names and email addresses. Jon will create the logins.

Identify committee participants

(This process might have been completed as part of joining the Alliance.)

To join committees, send an email to mailto:jferrai@us.ibm.com that indicates which people (names and email addresses) will join which committee. See below for the list of committees. Jon will add these people to the appropriate committee roster.

Make sure your company name is listed everywhere it needs to be

You should verify that your name is listed properly in all of the following places:

  • Public web site. (At the time this text was written, participant companies are listed in alphabetical order on the Alliance's home page: http://www.openajax.org.)
  • Listing of members on the wiki: Members

Have each person create his own wiki login

Note that there is a separate login system for the wiki. Your welcome email upon joining OpenAjax Alliance will provide wiki logins for the people who were identified as participants in OpenAjax Alliance. If there are others who need to contribute to the wiki or join commmittes, send a request via email to mailto:jferrai@us.ibm.com.


How things work at the Alliance

Formal governance

The Alliance has a lightweight but formal governance model. There is a 7-member Steering Committee that manages the affairs of the Alliance. There is an annual election where roughly half of the Steering Committee is elected. On even years, 4 SC members are up for election. On odd years, 3 SC members are up for election. In addition to overall direction of the Alliance, the SC approves any new Members, decides on the formation of committees, and approves publication of Specifications in accordance with the Members Agreement.

Development process

The members and Steering Committee have a process document (see Development Process that describes how Working Groups are chartered and managed and how Material (such as Specifications) are developed and approved.

Discussion and decision-making

Most of the discussion and decision-making at the Alliance is done in committees. The committees develop most of the Materials produced by the Alliance.

Meetings

Most of our meetings are done via conference calls. There is usually an IRC channel active during the time of the call. In advance of each meeting, a reminder email is sent to all participants in the meeting with call-in and IRC information.

We also have face-to-face meetings, usually two per year, usually designed to coincide with one of the big Ajax conferences.

Collaborative work via this wiki

Most of the documents produced by the Alliance are developed collaboratively through this wiki. If a new document needs to be created, someone in the Alliance creates the page and starts adding content. If an existing document needs fixes, then anyone can fix the document. We trust that the participants in the Alliance will use good judgment about any changes that they make. If you have doubts about appropriateness of any proposed changes, do not hesitate to ask an Alliance veteran or send email to [1].

There are some exceptions to this "open editing" approach where certain wiki pages will have instructions at the top that might tell people whether to avoid changes to the given page.

At this moment, we avoid use the MediaWiki feature that enables (pseudo) subdirectories from creating pages with "/" characters in the page name.

Email lists

Right now we have a deficient email list facility. Each committee has its own email list (member-marketing@openajaxalliance.org, member-interop@openajaxalliance.org, and member-markup@openajaxalliance.org). If you are a member of the respective committee, you should be able to send emails to these lists, but there are known problems. If emails fail, they bounce to mailto:jferrai@us.ibm.com, who will then try to fix things and forward the contents of the mail to the appropriate group.

At the upcoming face-to-face meeting on Oct 5-6, 2006, we will discuss possible changes in our approach to email lists. There have been tentative decisions to switch to email groups managed by Yahoo! Groups, but final decisions won't happen until the face-to-face meeting.

Collaborative source code development at SourceForge

The Alliance has its own open source project at SourceForge: http://openajaxallianc.sourceforge.net. This project is managed by the Alliance and has the sole purpose of developing open source reference implementations of Specifications developed by the Alliance and any other open source efforts that are consistent with the Purpose of the Alliance (as defined by the Members Agreement and the decisions of the membership and the Steering Committee).


Catching up on history

If you want to learn about all activities in the past in order to be fully prepared to participate in the future, here are some things you can research.

History and Mission

There is a good executive summary at: http://www.openajax.org/about.html.

Some of the important press activity around "OpenAjax" can be found at: http://www.openajax.org/news.html.

In general, it makes sense to review the public Web site: http://www.openajax.org.

Committee Activities

Each commitee has its own home page:

These committee home pages list the important documents that are under development by that committee. Also, at the bottom of each committee home page is a link to the minutes for all meetings that have occurred so far.

Helpful wiki hints for beginners

  • Adding/changing information on wikis are easy and MediaWiki (which is what we are using) is no exception.
  • Try things out on your personal wiki page (which can be reached by clicking on your name at the top of the window).
  • When in edit mode, notice the toolbar above the edit window. Experiment with the toolbar and see what markup it generates.
  • User manual can be found at MediaWiki User Guide.
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