Sunday, June 29, 2008

The CDK Community: Developers, Members, and Users

An open source project is as good as its community. Jmol has a brilliant community, but CDK is not doing bad either, in general at least; some CDK projects could use some more user feedback, such as CDK-Taverna (site down at the time of writing, but see the blog).

There are actually quite a few things going on within the CDK Community. There are a few active or less active projects: (Even withing the CDK Library, several threads are ongoing, but I will report on that at some later stage).

A full list of projects is found in SVN. A recent new project is CDK Policy, which will attempt to formalize code development such that the library becomes better maintainable. One of the first things the draft does, is formalize roles withing the community.

CDK Members and CDK Developers
Basically, anyone with write access to CDK's SVN may call himself CDK Developer (57 in total). So, what if you contributed patches? Then you may call yourself CDK Member (well, as suggested in the draft policy), like anyone else who is subscribed to the cdk-devel mailing list.

This is an important fact. Anyone can subscribe to the list, and directly becomes active CDK Member; He/she gets a voice. The policy proposes that difference between member and developer to be in the fact that the policy has been accepted by the person. Therefore, according to the draft policy, anyone who accepts the policy gets SVN write access, making the CDK not just Open Source, but an Open Community too. The policy then organizes the maintainability of the software development.

CDK Users
A CDK User is basically anyone who uses any of the CDK products, but in particular those subscribed to the cdk-user mailing list.

A limited overview of developers, members and users can be found on this Google map:

Just email me (or cdk-user) your latitude/longtitude to have yourself or your research group (URL) linked on this map as user or developer.