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A Governance Model for OpenRefine

Posted on April 27, 2014 by magdmartin

From its inception until October 2012 Refine development was driven mainly by corporations. Metaweb and Google have committed resources to support and grow Refine for more than two years until Google Refine 2.5 release. With the end of Google support 18 months ago, OpenRefine is working as an indepedant community, relying only on volunteer to maintain the code and support user and contributors.

In Fall 2012, I wrote an article on the history of OpenRefine and the need to build a framework for the community. At this time the discussion was focused more on the technical aspect to structure the community (ie moving the code base and documentation to Github) and less on defining a way to work together.

Today, I feel that we are missing a piece to make this community work. A reference document that will guide our decision and provide visibility for existing and new user on how this community work. Having a governance document will help us to:

  • defined responsability within the community,
  • have a way to work together and build consensus,
  • provide visibility for new user joining the project.

I drafted an governance document on the openrefine.github.com project. The document is not available through the main website.

I’ve build the first section based on the “Meritocratic Governance Model” by University of Oxford and the OWIN Project Governance model. Moreover the section regarding Consensus building remained to be defined by the community. You comments and pull request are welcomed (and needed).

Once the governance model defined I wish to see new committers joining the project to help:

  • Releasing the final 2.6 version (we are in beta since October 2013)
  • Clear the pull request queue (10 pull request are currently pending)
  • Help develop the road map for the version 3.0

magdmartin

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