POSSE APAC starts tomorrow morning - or rather, this morning, in about 6 hours at Nanyang Polytechnic. Harish Pillay and I are going to be leading a contingent of lecturers from across Asia into becoming Fedora Project contributors so they can go back and incorporate teaching open source into their home institutions.
It'll be an intense week full of a lot of improvising on everybody's part, and we'll do our best to keep everyone up to date as we proceed. Right now we're taking the schedule one day at a time, with the expectation that it'll change quite a bit from what is written down right now - the cultural immersion and the ability to navigate this world (as Dave Humphrey says, "the ability to be productively lost") is far more important than specific skills, though we'll cover those (wiki editing, version control, IRC, bugtracking, etc) in spades as well.
Join us! Listen in on #teachingopensource-posse on freenode, as well as #teachingopensource-posse-zh for a backchannel in Simplified Chinese (other language backchannels will be added as they're needed). HELP WANTED: If someone can get lingobot up and running between these two channels, I will love you forever.
Help us! We're going to need a lot of it (hence part of my motivation for making these constant updates). We're not exactly sure what help we'll need yet - but if I had to guess right now, it'd be package reviewers, testers who can give feedback on how good a bug report is, folks from Websites and Translations who can help us set up for translating F12 webpages and release materials. That's one idea we're considering for our Big Project - it would teach version control, patch-making, our translations workflow, and a host of other things, plus be a big help for the F12 release, and give them marketing-fu in their native language to bring back home just in time for a F12 release party at their university... still just an idea, though, and very strawman - feedback welcomed.
Help us help you! It's almost release time, which means there's a ton of stuff to do. Well, Fedora folks, we've got something on the order of thirty people full-time for nearly a week. Conservatively estimating 20 people x 4 days x 8 hours per day, that's 650 work-hours. Even half of that is a lot of work-hours. We've got a lot of stuff to work on already, but if there's something for which a host of newcomers would be helpful, put us to work. Drop into #teachingopensource-posse and ping me (mchua) or Harish (harish) and we'll work something out - ah, good ol' learning-through-apprenticeship.
Random notes from tonight: The thing that's most interesting to me right now is the issue of language. Everyone from our first POSSE was a fluent English speaker. Since most Mozilla and Fedora conversations, docs, and tools are also in English, this worked out great - there were reams and reams of information for people to swim in. But what if you speak Mandarin? Or Korean? All the lecturers attending this POSSE can communicate in English, but I got the strong impression at tonight's mixer that talking in $nativelanguage is just... much easier.
Which is awesome - and the reason for the #teachingopensource-posse-zh backchannel - that way we can capture conversations in that language too, and folks who are more comfortable in that language can trade notes with each other and clarify our rapid-fire technical English, and... in general, it's one way we can start thinking about internationalizing (i18nizing?) POSSE and other programs like it. What else can we do to take advantage of this language diversity? Should we give folks a tour of Transifex? (Neither Harish nor I know anything about Transifex, so we'd need help here.) Should we give feedback about the i18nability of any aspects of Fedora's design? (Text input for non-Western character sets? How well our slogans translate? Anything?)
O metabrain, what are your thoughts?
We'll be hitting up IRC channels, and you can also watch ours (above) and let me know (via email, or a comment on this blog, or IRC, or something) if you're willing to be on standby or to be pinged about particular topics this week, or with any ideas, or what-have-you. You can also join our mailing list.