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AWS Open Sources 'Week in Review' Blog, Seeks Contributors

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) spokesperson Jeff Barr has become too busy to keep up with his detailed AWS Week in Review blog posts so the task has become an open source project on GitHub and Barr is seeking contributions.

Barr, who basically announces everything AWS-related on the company's main blog site, has been doing the AWS Week in Review posts since the spring of 2012. It took about 5 minutes then.

"Unfortunately, finding, saving and filtering links, and then generating these posts grew to take a substantial amount of time," he said last week. "I reluctantly stopped writing new posts early this year after spending about 4 hours on the post for the week of April 25th."

That prompted a lot of inquiries about the series, so it has become a community endeavor.

"The AWS Week in Review is now a GitHub project," Barr said. "I am inviting contributors (AWS fans, users, bloggers and partners) to contribute. Every Monday morning I will review and accept pull requests for the previous week, aiming to publish the Week in Review by 10 a.m. PT.

"In order to keep the posts focused and highly valuable, I will approve pull requests only if they meet our guidelines for style and content. At that time I will also create a file for the week to come, so that you can populate it as you discover new and relevant content."

In addition to content, AWS is seeking advice about other aspects of the blog series, such as its design and advice on how to do things better with the Git style of collaboration, which is new to Barr.

Barr provided content and style guidelines in his post and detailed the various sections of the posts, such as daily summaries, upcoming events and help wanted. He also related how he finds news, scanning sites such as Reddit and Hacker News and conducting GitHub searches.

"Over time," he said, "it is possible that groups or individuals may become the primary contributor for a section. That's fine, and I would be thrilled to see this happen. I am also open to the addition to new sections, as long as they are highly relevant to AWS."

No shell commands or text editors are necessary to participate, Barr said, with potential contributors needing only to set up a GitHub account.

A post today marked the first community-driven Week in Review write-up. "Nine other contributors helped to make this post a reality," Barr said. "That's a great start; let's see if we can go for 20 this week."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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