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## Why move a project to IEEE SA OPEN
The IEEE SA OPEN platform was set up to provide a new level of support for the success of projects in computing, standards, and other areas. Our platform does this by helping you build your community of contributors, by providing a suite of useful free and open source tools, and by giving you resources for advocacy, marketing, and outreach.
Like the IEEE itself, the IEEE SA OPEN platform is a community project. Although guided by the Standards Association (which is the source of the initials SA), the project is designed to respond to its members. It relies on its members to develop procedures and add tools to the platform.
Many open source projects neglect to build and protect their community, devoting all their energy to narrow technical considerations. But a strong community is crucial to many goals of a healthy project: listening to a diverse range of users and other stakeholders, developing new code contributors, and getting help with related tasks such as testing and documentation. Some of the tools at IEEE SA OPEN that help you maintain a strong community include:
- Far-ranging documentation about recommended practices for community building.
- Issue tracking. This ensures that people can easily identify problems or request changes, and that progress on these issues is tracked. It's also valuable for identifying contributors, who can be rewarded and promoted to higher levels of participation.
- Chat through the open source [Mattermost ](https://mattermost.com/) tool, with archiving, notifications, and other powerful features.
- Video conferencing through the open source [BigBlueButton.org])https://bigbluebutton.org/) tool, which includes several aids to collaboration, including breakout rooms, and can support hundreds of participants in each session.
- A Community Advisory Group, open to all participants on the platform and devoted to guiding the projects in community-building.
IEEE SA OPEN also helps you manage your assets in a robust and accessible way. These assets are probably more numerous and valuable than they initially appear. Thus, your project may well involve:
- Source code
- Directions for use
- Tests for compliance and accuracy
- Records of meetings, discussions, and decisions taken
- Additional documentation
All these things should be stored under version control and be updated through well-understood, transparent processes. This is what IEEE SA OPEN makes available.
Some project leaders, particularly in the areas of standards, say, "We don't have much code. We don't need version control, testing, continuous integration, etc." But a closer look at the project may change their minds.
First, if you add the compliance tests, setup scripts, and other assets that accompany your project, you will probably find that you have more source code than you think. All of it deserves careful curation.
Second, even a small amount of source code needs good development and testing. Your project deserves to have correct and maintainable source control.
Third, documentation of the project and notes from discussions are crucial to the success of a project as well. Although they don't go through testing, they involve other processes for review and publication that IEEE SA OPEN tools can help with.
When you join the IEEE SA OPEN community, you get a site based on the powerful open source GitLab environment, enhanced with other tools to which we are continually adding. The platform includes, among other things:
- Source control (also called version control). This aids collaboration and helps you restore old versions of files if necessary. More benefits are described in the "Source control" section of [Activities of a TSC](https://opensource.ieee.org/technical-advisory-group/technical-steering-committee/-/blob/master/Technical_steering_committee.md).
- Testing and integration. All source code, even trivial scripts for maintenance or deployment, should be tested. Well-organized projects require this testing by integrating it into their process or accepting and deploying changes. More information can be found in the "Continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD)" section of [Activities of a TSC](https://opensource.ieee.org/technical-advisory-group/technical-steering-committee/-/blob/master/Technical_steering_committee.md).
- [Issue boards](https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/project/issue_board.html) to support issue tracking.
- A Technical Advisory Group, open to all participants on the platform and devoted to directing technical development and robustness
A Marketing Advisory Group, also open to all participants on the platform, guides the marketing, advocacy, outreach by projects.
The IEEE SA OPEN platform also contains many other tools and guidance for reducing errors and saving time in projects of all types.
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