[sword-devel] Project management issues with the Sword Project

Andrew Sterling Hanenkamp hanenkamp at gmail.com
Wed May 9 20:24:06 MST 2007

Disclaimer: I'm exposing my newby perspective on the project. I know nothing
about the long term plans of the contributors/maintainers in reference to
the web site and project management. I'm new to the project and am risking
stepping on someone's toes by saying this before I understand the project
culture a bit more, but since this would be the area I may be best qualified
to contribute, here goes...

I've been looking through the project resources related to Sword and it
looks like Sword has dabbled in a little bit of this and that over time for
project management. It looks like Source Forge was employed to some extent
for a bit, there are forums that seem to have mixed success, the mailing
list seems to be consistently useful, JIRA seems to have a smattering of
tickets that are more or less used, and the web site is a mixture of
somewhat recent and somewhat ancient information with a number of broken
links. All in all, it's a bit disorganized, a bit sparse, but not in
horrible shape.

The documentation of the Sword Project is spread thin and the web site
organization has a feeling of a structure that was initially sound, but has
slowly become mixed up over time. There are a lot of back and forth cross
links, for example, that make it difficult to figure out what's going on.
Several times I've thought, "I remember seeing a link for X, but where is
it," and then had to click on several links back and forth until I found the
page that had link X on it.

I would be very interested in helping with the site and project
infrastructure and trying to get it into better shape. I think if there was
a little more front-end organization here, the project might manage to pull
in more volunteers a little more easily. Some better organization could also
be a help to the existing community. As it is, it kind of feels like you
have to be an expert in the internals of Sword before you can become an
expert in the internals of Sword. (At least, this has been my experience so
far trying to learn more about the development side of things.)

My recommendation would be to restructure the site and try to collapse out
all but the key pieces. I'd consider using a tool like Trac or Drupal to
provide the infrastructure for building the site. I wouldn't want to
eliminate anything someone really is using. For example, if one or two of
the JIRA queues are being used well, leave them, but move the rest into the
other system---this is just an example, I'm not really proposing that JIRA
is something that should go away. Basically, I'm just suggesting that the
structure of the site, documentation, and project tools be evaluated and
then attempting to reduce the infrastructure into a small kernal that is
useful and concentrates effort into one place so that things aren't quite so
spread out.

Anyway, I develop web sites, organize them, and occasionally design them for
a living. I would be willing to help here if there is any interest in such

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