I am posting the points I have written down during our live session regarding the role of the ERPNext foundation during the ERPNext Conference 2018 in Mumbai.
I am not claiming this is without bias or a 100% representation of what was said but I do believe I tried my best to include all relevant points here. This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion. If you disagree or believe something is missing please add to this. Edits have been made afterwards for clarity.
I would like this to be a starting point for our foundation reboot!
Role of the ERPNext Foundation
These are not easy things to fix!
What are the goals of the foundation?
- The foundation survey results show that 65% of users gave the reason for joining the foundation as “to give back”
- We should be a foundation for the end user rather than a platform for the service providers
- Service providers can not be expected to do charity work
What should we not be doing?
- Should not develop features
- Should not be marketing ERPNext
What should be the role of the foundation?
- Make sure that we have a sellable, stable product
- Act as a moderator between users, developers and service providers
- Making informed decisions of what should be included and left out
- Counter argument: This should be done by the maintainers
- Be responsible for quality checks because we don’t want the product to deteriorate
- Protect Frappe Framework and ERPNext (including from commercial interest) for years to come
- Hire developers to do
- Marketing of ERPNext
- Counter argument: foundation should not do marketing
- Certification for Developers (some time down the road)
- Make sure we have good documentation
- Promote open source software
- Help train developers
- Real user testing, not just test cases
- Organize code sprint events and meetups
- Hire technical writers to improve documentation
Should the foundation hire more developers?
- We need to define who manages the foundation developers
- We need to define the goals of what the developers should do
- Developers should be hired for cleanup, testing, documentation
How should the foundation be governed?
- We should be careful to not have commercial interest completely control the foundation (reverse incentive)
- There is currently no way to explicitly vote in the bylaws, we have 4 directors, Rushabh with 99% voting rights
- We should consider a leadership council
- Service providers are being alienated, they are also part of the community
- Leadership of the foundation should be organized from the users
- We should consider outsourcing development to service providers as the foundation
- Nobody has time to volunteer
- Nobody is taking responsibility
Again! This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion.