We have a host of community initiatives, where members in the community get an itch, identify the most important issues that relate to their initiative, and call them out. See for example Accessibility or the HTML 5 initiatives.
These initiative pages were invaluable during Drupal 7 code thaw for rallying people around various development efforts. However, they have a number of problems:
- Each initiative is captured as an unstructured wiki page, meaning information on these pages is totally uneven, depending on who wrote it. Some have meticulously detailed and carefully categorized issues, other just a quick bullet list of 3-5 things, others a sentence or two. Some go to great lengths to document who to talk to, where to talk to them (e.g. a particular group or IRC channel), others overlook this information.
- Because the "to-do" items here are hard-coded [#xxx] links, the list can get out of date super fast, and often does without the maintainers of the pages paying careful attention to them (which, as you can tell from clicking around, most don't and haven't updated their lists since 2009). Because of this manual update requirement, it's really difficult to tell how close to "done" a particular initiative is.
- The "findability" of these initiatives is horrible. We have a link to the top-level page in the contributor links on the dashboard, but if I was someone interested in HTML 5, I'm not sure how I would ever find my way all the way down the tree to where those pages are.
(I'm sure there are other downsides which we can add later. :P)
So, I think we could fix this in the following way:
- Develop a list of page elements that our ideal initiative page would have. For example: Title, Description, Leader(s), IRC channel(s), group(s), categories, etc.
- Create a node type that provides a standard data entry form / template for capturing this information.
- Instead of hard-coding a list of individual issues, generate views based on designated issue tags for the initiative.
- Generate a clear, big-ass "XX% done" indicator, based on the number of issues in those tags that were complete vs. open that makes it clear to everyone how far along things are going.
- Maybe also a means of feeding in "news" about the initiative, so providing a field to enter an RSS feed for that info.
- A big-ass search page on http://drupal.org/community-initiatives to help people find initiatives they could help with.
Note: This idea is similar to, but not quite the same as, Topic Pages. While topic pages are excellent for drawing people into a particular category of discussions, issues, people, and so on, they are not a means of telling at a glance how "done" something is, nor for calling out places to help. "Design" will never be "done". It will always be a "topic" of discussion. And if topic pages are a constant activity stream, it's difficult to know the "big picture" of what's being worked on.
Throwing this out there to get some general thoughts. I'll try and come up with some basic mocks in the next few days.