XOOPS: The XOOPS Foundation Manifesto

Posted by: Foundationon 2007/10/11 22:11:37 18873 reads The Board of the XOOPS Foundation publishes its Manifesto, addressing our vision of the XOOPS universe and the role of the Foundation within this. In this statement, issues raised by the XOOPS project Council are also addressed.

The goal of the XOOPS Foundation is to provide the basic means for XOOPS to grow. It is the Foundation’s belief that XOOPS is made up out of three separate but entwined units: the XOOPS Project, where the core of the XOOPS system is defined and developed, the XOOPS Communities, where support is being provided for the user base, and the XOOPS Foundation, who provides support and continuity for both the project and the community. We call this the XOOPS Trinity, in which each unit focuses its (limited) resources on specific areas of expertise. Together, they all work and collaborate to make XOOPS better. They do this as equal partners, in a professional, mature and open source spirit. That is the core of the vision the XOOPS Foundation has for XOOPS.


For almost two years now, the XOOPS forums everywhere have been dominated by discussions about leadership. These discussions focussed mainly about two things: who are the people in power, and who is responsible and accountable for everything that is not happening or has been done wrong. These discussions have cost XOOPS tremendous amounts of time and energy, which should have been spent on improving the XOOPS system core codes and the quality of support provided by our community to our users.

Our vision on leadership relies on the XOOPS Trinity. Leadership is different for each unit, and there is no overall Supreme Leader. Each unit runs itself, and does not interfere with managing the other units, other then what collaboration agreements decide.

The Project

The XOOPS Project unit is an open source software development project. For open source software development projects, decision making processes and conflict management mechanisms are widely available and implemented in the tools the project already uses, such as the SourceForge.net subversion system and trackers. The Foundation does not have any preference as to the mechanisms the core development project uses to reach its decisions on the development roadmap and code contributions, as long as they are in the spirit of open source.

The Community

Who knows best what the XOOPS users’ needs are? Who knows best how to provide quality end-user support? Who knows best what it takes to create a great XOOPS powered website? Who better to give valuable feedback on developments and releases? The answer to this question is the XOOPS Community. The Foundation believes that the XOOPS Community is the engine of XOOPS. Its contributions, big and small, is the blood in its veins.

The XOOPS Foundation feels that the talent within the XOOPS Community should be acknowledged, and in order to make XOOPS better, that the Community should be allowed to showcase its talents. This means, in the vision of the Foundation, that the XOOPS Community should not be managed by a (group of) Supreme Coordinator(s), but that the modus operandi is self-organization.

If the Community feels a need, and the need is big enough, then the talents within the Community should be able to address this need, and organize this themselves. The XOOPS Foundation makes resources available to those Community initiatives that address a need that make XOOPS as a whole better.

This works on the assumption that if a need is big enough -and therefore shared by a part of the Community, then the talents within the Community should be able to self-organize an initiative to meet this need. If extra resources are necessary, then the Foundation can make these available.

However, if the need is only shared by a few members of the Community, and a Community initiative fails to be self-organized, then this means that the need (apparently) is not big enough. The initiative had a high failure risk, because the Community was unable to provide the basic organization and resources to make it work properly.

This modus operandi gives true meaning to the slogan Powered by you!. Not just a handful of people are responsible for everything that doesn’t happen, but everyone is responsible for everything that does happen. This is a fundamental paradigm shift in how the XOOPS Community is involved within XOOPS, and a change the XOOPS Foundation feels is necessary.

The Foundation

The third unit is the XOOPS Foundation. The Foundation is there to provide continuity to XOOPS by managing and protecting the main assets and supporting the XOOPS Project and the XOOPS Community in its tasks of developing the XOOPS System core and providing quality end-user support respectively. In this, the Foundation does not lead the Project nor the Community, but provides the platform where the interests of all 3 units can be discussed and issues about collaboration addressed. The Foundation also provides the means for all units to represent themselves to the outside world as One XOOPS.

The resources the XOOPS Foundation manages are the building blocks that make it possible to have an active Project and Community: the webservers the XOOPS project and community websites are hosted on, the international trademark of the name XOOPS, the income generated by sale of ad space and merchandising, the domain names related to XOOPS, etc. All these the Foundation manages so the XOOPS Project and the Community can exist and do what they do best. Resources donated to XOOPS are managed by the Foundation, so they are available for the XOOPS Project and the Community initiatives, in order to improve all of XOOPS.

The XOOPS Foundation provides, as the type of organization already claims, the foundations on which the XOOPS Project and the XOOPS Community can build a better XOOPS.

This is the vision the Board of the XOOPS Foundation has of the XOOPS universe, and the one that it wants to share with everyone. It is not a roadmap for the organization of the XOOPS Project and the Community. But it is what the Foundation will base its decisions on in the work it does, as described on the xoopsfoundation.org website.

Note: The original article has been edited for clarity.