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Worthwhile Read/Watch - CiviCRM's Draft of Service Provider Association

This detailed blog post by Michael McAndrew (CiviCRM's Community Manager) is a follow up to a Strategic Planning Sessions that happened at CiviCon.

I know this is a lot to suggest as required reading/watching before CMDrupal camp, but it would really help avoid having the same conversations again.

The main issue the CiviCRM team is trying to address is how to fund core CiviCRM development and the infrastructure required to facilitate that development. They want to raise more $$ to address a list of issues are similar to many issues surrounding CMDrupal that come up over and over again...

  • Co-ordinating contributions (technical and non technical) from the community
  • Development and testing 'core' features
  • Managing the release cycle and ‘make it happen’ (currently two releases per year)
  • Critical bug fixes
  • Running infrastructure (including our websites, documentation, server hardware, and so on)
  • Technical support via the forums...
  • Community support for meet ups, training, sprints, camps and conferences

I've removed specific references to CiviCRM in that list and replaced CiviCRM w/ CMDrupal in the following statement...

All of us in the CMDrupal community strongly believe in free, libre and open source software. However software is not 'free to produce'. The layer of the Drupal/CiviCRM based solutions that is CMDrupal has been made possible primarily through generous contributions of foundations and forward-thinking stations.

When comparing and contrasting the discussion happening around CiviCRM, it is important to note that CiviCRM’s current annual budget is $550,000. It's not really productive to point to a system or process that exist on Drupal or CiviCRM core and say "we need that for CMDrupal".

I'm not saying that we can't do more, but it's important to recognize that most of what has already exists is only there because someone volunteered or contributed funding to do it, someone did it, and someone continues to maintain it.

Some of these conversations will center around expanding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) channelAustin and Manhattan Neighborhood Network that govern how developers working for the largest stations contribute and communicate changes, but these conversations shouldn't be limited to just the large stations.

Everyone should take a few minutes to thank Aric Rubel/AccessVision for starting and Jason Daniels/ECAT for maintaining the modules that get into the Easy Starter Kit. If you've already thanked them once, thank them again. It would be very hard to have organized the upcoming camp if that wasn't already in place. Instead of telling Aric your ideas about what would make even better, try to frame your suggestions in the form of an offer to help implement your idea as well as maintain it.

The same for modules, features, improvements to the kits. It's easy to say that Reservations should part of the Moderate Kit, but it's much harder to improve the code, update the documentation, and support users after a change is made.