The purpose of this group is to develop open web technologies that advance teaching, research, and administration in higher education.
We believe in open source, and we believe in reusability and remix culture. There are a great number of dedicated Drupal developers working in isolation in higher education, and it is our mission to establish a strong community of practice around Features-based development, a network of colleagues supporting one another, and freely sharing shippable code. By pooling our collective expertise we expect to elevate the profile of Drupal in academia and generally improve the online environments that support scholarship, research and teaching.
Our platform of choice is Drupal, and within the myriad possible directions that Drupal affords us we choose to hone one in particular, Features-based development, which provides a ready mechanism for sharing among colleagues and the broadest possible re-use value.
- Sharing is good
- Features-based development is smart. The Features Module is the basis of the modules we share.
- Individuals, not institutions. Members are professional technologists that work for institutions of higher education, that is the basis of our solidarity.
- Interoperability and Standards
- Kit Compliance - so that all Features comply with interoperability best practices. We will start with Kit as a basis for interoperability and define a more narrow spec that suits our needs.
- Atomicity - we have to establish best practices about which components should be included in single Feature, and which should be broken out into multiple smaller Features. This will be an ongoing conversation.
- If any hand-coding is included in a Features module, that code will adhere to Drupal coding standards.
- Messy, Hasty Pluralism - we want to foster a culture of sharing and openness, everyone should share what they have, whether they think it’s ready or not. It doesn’t have to set the world on fire, it just has to work. This may require institutional and cultural change. Unconsortium members are change agents.
- Support the Ecosystem
- Foster Drupal usage in Education - Encouraging other members of education to join and contribute to our vision actively and passively through IRC, groups.drupal.org and drupal.org.
- Zero sanction - we are doing this without official sanction from our home institutions, and without any kind of monetary reward, we are simply doing it because it makes sense, and rewards everyone who participates.
- Zero warranty - none of Features shared via this group have any warranty or promise of support of any kind. Use at your own risk. Since all participants are designers, builders, and developers, we expect that no one will test unknown Features in a production environment. If you do, then you had it coming.
We will have two levels of membership: "Member", for people working at institutions of higher ed, and "Affiliate", for Drupalers that work in Drupal agencies, but share our values and commitment to higher education. Members have voting rights on issues related to the Unconsortium, and how it is run. Affiliates do not. Everyone has access to the common pool of Features.
The operation of the Unconsortium, in addition to activities related to its promotion and advocacy is conducted by a Steering Committee. In the first two years the steering committee will be comprised of the co-founders, after that committee membership will be opened up to all members though a democratic election process.
- All new items for consideration by the committee have to pass a majority vote
- Committee members can propose opening a new seat for a colleague to join the committee
- All major changes to the website or the group have to pass committee vote
- Members can leave the committee at will