Saturday, March 8, 2014

Making freemedia volunteers life easy ……

   Currently this process is having difficulties. Because most of the time it has to be manual. Overcoming those difficulties I will introduce a new system which make feemedia volunteers life easy as much as possible, by giving some automated mechanism to the process.
Following diagram will give brief idea how the process will behave. It also shows different user levels.

From the user level (requester), he/she needs to fill the form providing basic details. Then the question page which mostly like a survey will arrive. It include question like why the user wants freemedia and other useful things. Using the data given in the form and the question page, a ticket will be automatically generated. This can be also edit by the user. Then the ticket data will be stored in freemedia database.
From the volunteer level, he/she should first register as a freemedia member by filling a form. Then one of the admin will accept the request and the volunteers will be given a profile page. Then they can check the report page which is included the free media request tickets.  After they can assign the ticket to themselves and fulfill media requests.
An admin is also a free media volunteer who has above facilities as well as admin rights. As an administrator, he/she has to do is accepting the volunteer’s requests of joining to this program.

Following diagram will describe how the tool works in each user level

In the user level what user fill in the form is going through the duplicate checking and validation mechanism, so that any duplicated ticket will be avoided at the very begin. Main reason for closing ticket is not providing valid email addresses, region not matching the country and not correct address provided. From this mechanism these are avoided. So it makes volunteers life easy, because they have to do all the hard work  checking tickets.
Another good feature of this process is auto generating ticket. It is done by using data provided by the user in the form and the question page. This is also makes user life easy as well as volunteer’s, because manually created ticket will give some trouble to volunteers to identify the priorities and relevant tickets.

Statistic page and leader board

Currently Freemedia statistic page having above format. I suppose it should be more enhanced like providing many details.
Providing No of Requests from Sri Lanka for F19 DVD media in 2013.

Statistics data could be filtered easily because ticket creating is almost automated by this tool. So it can easily use keywords in the ticket to filter data.

In this system it also provide leader boar where the top list of donators appear.
This may be some moral up for the volunteers to contribute to the Freemedia.

Automated mailing system

This is fully automated mailing system. Volunteers no need to subscribe to a mailing list which is much troublesome that send mails when any single change done in trac ticket handling system. Volunteers can change the mailing settings as he/she wish.

Tool that use to handle this process has following features
       1)     Handling forms and ticket
            In this feature there are two special mechanism
                      *  Duplicate checking & user input validation mechanism
                      *  Auto generating ticket mechanism

       2) Mail handling System.(Fully automated)
       3)  Statistic data handling System.
       4)  Wiki

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Difficulties Due to the Current Process of Freemedia in Fedora Project

This process is almost done manually, that is the main difficulty in this. Actually following issues are most of the time basing on this difficulty.

  • Contributors have to go to the [1] and check the ticket relevant to them. He/She should be get email notification about relevant tickets unless they subscribed to "Freemedia Trac list". 
  • Freemedia trac list is high traffic where every single transaction on the trac system is emailed.This may be a burden for members.That is why I think it is optional.
  • Ticket handling process is almost manually done by contributors.
               1) Rejecting of the invalid ticket course following reasons.
                      * No valid email id is provided.
                      * The region does not match the country.
                      * No proper address is given

               This can be done by proper validation when user create the ticket.
              2) Finding duplicates also have to handle by the members, but it should be avoided when ticket                          creates.

  • This process is not much user friendly. 

Those are the difficulties I recognize in this process. I think it should be automated. Then it will be a good service.


image taken from

Process that Freemedia Group is Following to Fulfill a Media Request

What is Freemedia in fedora Project?

  "The Fedora Free Media Program is a volunteer initiative by local Fedora Ambassadors and contributors to distribute Fedora Media (DVDs) for free to individuals who can't afford to buy or download Fedora."

What is the process that Freemedia group following?

   Basically, when individual request a Fedora media, any volunteer from the requester's country or near by burn the media and mail them.
Following flow chart will describe the process done when requesting.

Flow Chart of the Freemedia Process
    First user has to fill the form [1] given , asking for free media. After that ticket for the request has  to be created.Then the contributors  are requested to visit [2]  and go through the tickets. They have to reject invalid tickets and accept valid tickets. If ticket is found as a duplicate, accept one and close the others.
All the accepted ticket are available in [2].
    Now the volunteers can search relevant tickets and assigned to them. Then they burn the media and send them to the requester Meanwhile an email is sent informing that the media is on the way. If accepted ticket which are not assigned withing a month by anyone will be closed.

What are the tools use in this process?

  •     For Freemedia form handling stuffs Puppet[3] (IT automation software) is used.
  •     For wiki and ticket handling trac[4] is used.


Interested in doing a GSOC Project ...


  Well, this is one of my dream .. :)  Last time I wanted to participate. But that time I was not confident enough. Ya this time got much confident .. ;) . First I interested in contributing to Mozilla Firefox even fixed bugs there. But now I'm interested in Fedora project. I'm not saying that now I'm not interested in Firefox. I always be proud of contributing to open source software.
         This time in GSOC  I'm interested in a project called  "Infrastructure for FreeMedia group" [1].In simply Fedora freemedia is a kind of donating fedora products to whom are not eligible to download or buy.A Good work done by Fedora (Y) . Still this process is manual, In this project they want to automate it as much as possible.
                 We'll see whether I will be able to take this project  . :)