The Symfony project relies on volunteer efforts from many people around the world. As of today, more than 310 developers have contributed in one way or another to the Symfony2 code base. But that's just one example. There are many other ways you can contribute to the project: creating plugins or bundles, writing documentation, publishing blog posts, translating books, speaking at conferences, helping people on the mailing-lists, forum, or IRC, etc. And even the smallest contributions are very much appreciated... like wearing a Symfony t-shirt in the street!
I'm very grateful to everyone who contributes to the Symfony project but unfortunately, not all contributors are equal. The contributors who write code are the most well-known but how can we also reward all the other community members who dedicate some of their precious time to the Symfony project?
What about allowing each community member to build his own online profile? What about introducing some "gamification" strategies to reward community members who deserve it the most by awarding them some nice badges? That way, we will have a simple way to thank the community and each member will be able to use his online profile as a proof of his commitment and involvement in the community.
When I say "community", I'm not talking about just the Symfony community, but I'm talking about all the people that are part of a larger ecosystem that makes Symfony better. I'm talking about the ones who are contributing to third-party libraries that are heavily used by Symfony like Swiftmailer, Twig, Propel, Doctrine, Composer, Assetic, ...
The corner stone of such a system is a unique account where all information are gathered and aggregated. We already have such a system on symfony-project.org but it is quite limited as it is only used for authentication.
Today, I'm happy to introduce you to SensioLabs Connect, a replacement for the current symfony-project account management system... but on steroids.
Besides authentication, SensioLabs Connect also comes with a built-in badge system. Each connected application is able to award badges based on some algorithms that are up to the application. The symfony.com website is the first such application to benefit from the system. Comment on this post to see it in action and get your first badge!
Right now, the number of badges you can gather is quite limited, but we will add more in the coming weeks from serious ones to more fun ones... and yes, you will even get a badge if you send me a postcard! Don't forget to write your account username on the postcard.
Behind the scene, the system implements the OAuth 2 protocol ("the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol enables a third-party application to obtain limited access to an HTTP service") which means that third-party applications will also be able to interact with the system and award their own badges.
And there is more as I'm even more excited to announce the first edition of the Symfony Community Awards.
The Symfony Community Awards are a great way to offer recognition of work which, in the community opinion, significantly improves the Symfony project.
This year, we have opened seven categories:
Best blogger: The Symfony community member who best exemplifies support for the community through blogs.
Best support on mailing-lists: The Symfony community member who best helps people through the Symfony mailing-lists.
Best support on the forum: The Symfony community member who best helps people through the Symfony forum.
Best support on IRC: The Symfony community member who best helps people through the Symfony IRC channel.
Best evangelist: The Symfony community member who best exemplifies support for the community through conference presentations and connections with other communities.
Best contributor: The Symfony contributor who best exemplifies support for the community through code contributions and fixing bugs.
Personality of the year.
The award winners will be determined by the vote of the community. Each person will get to vote once per category from November 7, 2011 to December 24, 2011 on the dedicated website. The winners will be announced in January 2012.
Beside recognition of their work, winners will of course also win a nice badge that will be assigned to their SensioLabs Connect account.