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openFIRST Portal System

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Welcome to the openFIRST Portal Development Website!


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What is openFIRST?

The openFIRST Portal System is an integrated set of modules which may be used together to create or enhance a web site. It is directed towards teams participating in the FIRST robotics competition. The openFIRST Portal System is a completely student-developed project that has had contributions from a wide variety of teams from Brasil, Canada and the United States.

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Developers?

openFIRST is developed by a number of students from the FIRST Robotics competition teams #1006, #1049, #781, #1075, #1501, #1227, and #1257. You may read more about the developers here. To learn how to contribute to the project, and for a technical reference about writing modifications / patches / enhancements for the openFIRST system, read the openFIRST Contributor's HOWTO. New contributors are always welcome.

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USFIRST Robotics

USFIRST is the largest North American robotics competition that has over 800 teams and many competitions yearly. Read more.

USFIRST Logo

openFIRST was developed with:



XHTML 1.0
Apache
Microsoft IIS
Sambar
PHP
MySQL
(Other databases are also supported)

FIRST Top Site

Bugzilla Stats

The Roles

Brief Outline of the Roles

Applies to: All

It's important to the project that everyone who's contributing has at least a general idea of what the other contributors are doing. People who are interested in starting to contribute to the project may not be entirely clear on how they can help. The following paragraphs give a brief overview of each position. More detailed information, including information about what people who are considering taking on a position should now, is included below the brief overview paragraphs.

Administrator - Administrative positions are open to anyone who meets the requirements of the position. Administrators make sure that the servers which the openFIRST project use remain operational, and add/manage users and permissions for other contributors. An administrator is expected to commit patches to the Subversion repository on behalf of patch writers. In general, if a particular role is not being filled, it is expected that an administrator will take over that role on a temporary basis.

Developer - Development positions are only open to students who are at the elementary or high school level (and not to University/College/alumni). Developers are the ones who actually write the code for the openFIRST project. A developer produces the modules that are used by teams which use the openFIRST software. A developer is also expected to audit other developers' code, and to commit patches to the CVS repository on behalf of patch writers.

Documentation Writer - Documentation writer positions are open to anyone who meets the requirements of the position. Documentation writers create user and contributor manuals, README files, and other similar content. Documentation writers are responsible for proof reading and keeping up to date existing documentation.

Patch Writer - Patch writer positions are only open to students who are at the elementary or high school level (and not to University/College/alumni). Patch writers primarily fix bugs found on Bugzilla, but may also introduce new features. Patch writers do not have direct access to CVS, and must pass their patches through a Developer/Administrator before code enters the project repository.

Publicity - Publicity positions are open to anyone who meets the requirements of the position. People in a Publicity role are expected to spread the word of openFIRST to those who may be interested. Possible ways of doing this include posting on relevent FIRST Robotics forums, giving workshops/tutorials about using the openFIRST system, and running openFIRST slide shows in the pit area at Regional/National competitions.

Release Technician - Release technician positions are open to anyone who meets the requirements of the position. A release technician is responsible for packaging the openFIRST modules for distribution through the Source Forge file release system. Release technicians operate on formal releases only (testing and ensuring that all developers have contributed all features that are expected to be present in a version, before packaging it), nightly builds are automated and do not involve a release technician.

Webmaster - Webmaster positions are open to anyone who meets the requirements of the position. A person in the webmaster position is responsible for maintaining and updating the openfirst.org project site and/or other sites operated by the openFIRST project.

Administrator

Applies to: Administrator

Please read the Administrator section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

Administrators require not only technical skills, but also communication and team work skills. It is important that you, as an administrator, are capable of acting as a sort of mentor for the other members of the project team. Always be kind and courteous. Clearly justify your position on issues, and your reasons for making decisions if questioned. It's not enough that you know the reasons; you must be able to convey them to others, doing so aids in the learning that others will receive from the project. Kepp in mind that people questioning your decisions is a good thing, it means they care about what's best for the project; not that they wish to insult you. Perhaps most importantly always be open to and accepting of new ideas, and alternative approaches to doing things. Never dismiss any idea without carefully considering it regardless of how much or how little experience the person suggesting it has.

Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Administrator role.

Developer (open to students only)

Applies to: Developer

Please read the Developer section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

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Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Developer role.

Documentation Writer

Applies to: Documentation Writer

Please read the Documentation Writer section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

Write documentation clearly and sensibly in the English language. Canadian English, British English, and yes, even American English, etc. are all fine, but work to avoid analogies/metaphors/similies that are dependent on cultural experiences which are only common to North America, but not necessarily elsewhere. The rationale for this is that while FIRST may now be primarily a North American affair, it, like the Lego League is expanding internationally. If you are able to write documentation in a language other than English, contact an Administrator to discuss the possibility of translation of the project/documentation into that language.

If you're not sure what to write documentation about, check Bugzilla (http://bugzilla.openfirst.org/) for an open bug requesting documentation or ask an Administrator.

Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Documentation Writer role.

Patch Writer (open to students only)

Applies to: Patch Writer

Please read the Patch Writer section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

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Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Patch Writer role.

Publicity

Applies to: Publicity

Please read the Publicity section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

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You may also wish to read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Publicity role. You may or may not have to actually use any of these technologies depending on the method you choose to pursue for publicising the openFIRST project; but, it having a working knowledge of them may be useful. Alternatively, you may wish to use the technology section only as a reference.

Release Technician

Applies to: Release Technician

Please read the Release Technician section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

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Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Release Technician role.

Webmaster

Applies to: Webmaster

Please read the Webmaster section of the Brief Outline above before reading this section.

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Please also read the parts of the Technology Section relevant to the Webmaster role.

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