OSDPL Charter

Mission Statement

The primary goal of the Open Source Design Pattern Library will be to promote a set of collaboratively-created user experience (or UX) design patterns as a means to create usable, high-quality, inclusive user interfaces in specific contexts. These patterns will encompass interface, interaction, and visual design.

As a resource, the OSDPL endeavors to:

  • be the place for advice on open source UX design
  • have a practical focus: as a common source of UX design inspiration and a place to learn about best practices for both designers and developers, as well as serving as a focus of discussion for their collaborative efforts
  • help create a shared language/vocabulary for communities to discuss UX design
  • provide a taxonomy and design advice for the Fluid components

For the larger community, the OSDPL will:

  • be a truly open place for collaborating on UX design patterns
  • foster collaboration across disciplines, experience levels, and expertise
  • help communities design consistent interactions, both within and across projects, where it makes sense to do so

The OSDPL is Creative Commons licensed, and not in any way proprietary or managed by heavy top-down moderation that precludes outside contribution, reuse and modification.



Initially, the scope of the OSDPL will be confined to UI design patterns, although it may expand to cover other pattern categories where appropriate. Emphasis will be placed on nurturing a community that can sustain and drive the OSDPL's direction, and inform its future. If the community requires other kinds of patterns, the OSDPL may grow to accommodate them. Starting with a small scope will give the OSDPL the focus it needs.

Audience Specific Content

With its first offerings, the OSDPL will focus on providing content for novice designers, developers, and pattern authors; while acknowledging that within these groups there are many community affiliations, technology preferences, and variations in nomenclature.

The OSDPL should be flexible and adapt to the needs of the communities it services through content or website usability.

Licensing and Copyright

Content on the OSDPL is licensed under Creative Commons which allows remixing and adaptation of content (OSDPL license ). Contribution of content to the OSDPL should follow the OSDPL Copyright Policy . Administrators of the OSDPL will follow a sensible enforcement of both the OSDPL License and Copyright Policy.


Pattern originators, authors, and other contributors to patterns will be given the opportunity to "sign their work" – that is, have their names associated with their creations. The opportunity for individuals to be identified, and thus exhibit their creativity to their peers and other OSDPL visitors is one of OSDPL's incentives to contributing and collaborating on the site.

Lifetime and Duration

The OSDPL will exist as long as there is a will, commitment, and resources from the community to maintain it.


From date of finalizing Charter onwards, it is expected that the OSDPL website will be functional and usable by the public but may be occasionally unavailable due to maintenance or unforeseen technicalities. When possible, 24 hours notice of outages will be provided via the mailing list and website (see "Communication Mechanisms" below).

Sustainability through the community

An objective for the OSDPL is to be sustainable through members of the community. This means that users will contribute, moderate, and administer themselves - creating a microcosm.

Improvements to the site should be made to achieve that goal.

Continual Improvement

The OSDPL will endeavor to be in a perpetual state of re-evaluation and improvement. This includes improvement and evolution of the services offered through the site and the substance of content available.

Relationships to other communities, design pattern resources, and Fluid Project

Because the OSDPL aims to be an open resource where individuals and communities can collaborate on design patterns, the OSDPL therefore will intrinsically have relationships with those contributing parties.

To start, the OSDPL will build upon existing relationships established between the Fluid Project and Sakai, Moodle, uPortal, and Kuali Student communities by encouraging contribution of design patterns from those communities.

At its inception, the OSDPL will not have any formal relationship with other design pattern libraries. Future relationships are possible if such relationships benefit the user community and fosters the spirit of openness and collaboration.

The Fluid Project is responsible for initiating and funding the OSDPL project. Beyond this, the Fluid will be a consumer of design patterns on the OSDPL, a regular contributor of design patterns, and providing insights and revisions on existing design patterns.

Communication mechanisms

Mailing list

Daily communication about design patterns and other areas relevant to the OSDPL are carried out through the infusion-users mailing list. Visit this page for more information.

In the future, if necessary, a separate mailing list can be used to accommodate the OSDPL. For now, the OSDPL is using the fluid-talk mailing list for ease of administration.

OSDPL Website

The OSDPL website (http://osdpl.fluidproject.org) will be used to convey schedule of upcoming meetings and other important announcements. Relevant items will also be cross-posted to the fluid-talk mailing list and the Fluid Project wiki.

Teleconference / Web conference

The OSDPL working group and interested participants will regularly meet for a teleconference or web conference to discuss issues. The frequency, schedule, and duration of these meetings will be determined by consensus.

A meeting chair will be responsible for posting a meeting agenda, time, location, and other relevant details at least 24 hours in advance. Meeting notes, if taken, should be posted to the Fluid wiki within 24 hours.

Meeting notes and other working documentation

Notes from OSDPL meetings will be posted on the OSDPL website for viewing at any time. Other working documentation, may also be considered for posting on the OSDPL. However at this time documentation of that nature resides on the Fluid Project wiki.


Contributing content to the OSDPL is open, free, and encouraged. Contributors can have different roles and each with privileges and responsibilities.

Formal Roles

Unregistered user (Content consumer)
Any user using the OSDPL should be able to perform basic collaborative activities easily and quickly. Maintaining this low barrier to participate is essential and is available to any user of the OSDPL, registered or not.

Registered user (Content author)
Due to the feedback and iterative process of creating a design pattern, registration will be required to create content on the OSDPL. There is no restriction as to who can register.

Reviewer (Content editor and moderator)
Reviewers are critical to the support of content authors. These individuals are responsible for facilitating, mentoring, and editing design patterns. They are also responsible for moderating content and will have the appropriate privileges.

Patterns Administrator (Content Administrator)
To ensure that the content side of the OSDPL functions smoothly, there is a Patterns Administrator whose role is to oversee and address any content issues or needs.

Site Administrator (Technical Administrator)
A site administrator will be responsible for maintaining the OSDPL site, implementing improvements, and ensuring continued operation of the site as a whole.

Informal Roles

An author is any registered user of the OSDPL system who has created a design pattern on the site and intends for it to be published.

An editor is a Reviewer who acts as a mentor or facilitator to a pattern author. The Editor's role is to help an author bring their design pattern from a draft state to a published state. The Editor will also help bring together other individuals who may be able to help in revising a particular design pattern.

Each design pattern should have at least one editor.

OSDPL architect
An individual or a group of people responsible for directing the technical implementation of OSDPL features.


  • Pattern Creation: At the core of the OSDPL are design patterns, therefore it should be easy for a user to begin contributing in this way. To support pattern authors, there will be a group of Reviewers (see above) who can assist where needed.
  • Pattern Revision and Refinement: Creating a pattern can be an iterative process. Authors and Reviewers can revise a pattern at any time. Modifications to an existing pattern can be suggested using various communication methods. If an established pattern is to be changed significantly from its original, then the creation of a derived alternative will be considered – that is, a forked version.
  • Pattern Publication: Once a design pattern reaches a state where the author and reviewer(s) are satisfied, the pattern can be published for everyone else to view.

Alternatively, any given draft pattern may also be published as a way of increasing interaction, collaboration, and educational value. Such patterns will be clearly marked as content that is work in progress.

  • Commenting: Comments are an integral feature of the OSDPL as it serves as a communication tool between parties, as well as providing a critical feedback loop for improving design patterns. Any user, registered or not, can comment on a design pattern - thus the barrier to entry to begin collaborating is very low.
  • Content Ranking: Through community-driven ranking of comments, design patterns, and possibly individual users, the OSDPL system will provide a way for readers of the site to filter content. Also by ranking comments, a pattern author or reviewer can identify comments that are worth considering if revising their design pattern.

Governing Body

The governing body of the OSDPL project is composed of a board of governors and a working group. The board of governors is responsible for overseeing the direction of the OSDPL and advising the working group. The working group is responsible for the development and upkeep of the OSDPL.

The board of governors currently consists of: Jess Mitchell, Colin Clark, and Daphne Ogle.

The OSDPL working group currently consists of: Allison Bloodworth, Jonathan Hung, Gary Thompson, Erin Yu, and Paul Zablosky.

Working Group Membership

Participation in the OSDPL working group is open to anyone who has demonstrated a practical interest in developing or improving the OSDPL. Membership is voluntary and carries responsibilities.

Working Group Responsibilities

Working group members are responsible for developing, implementing, and improving the OSDPL. Participants are also expected to monitor the fluid-talk mailing list for discussions, attend web/teleconferences, and to contribute meaningfully in these media.

In general, the Working Group is tasked to:

  • Ensure the OSPDL site is well supported
  • Ensure the site content meets the standards set for it
  • Evaluate opportunities for improvement and carry them out
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