2024-01-09 CC Working Group Meeting Notes (WIP)


Jan 9, 2024


  • @Xavier Antoviaque

  • @Ned Batchelder (Deactivated)

  • @Edward Zarecor

  • @Cassie Zamparini

  • @Sergiy Movchan

  • @Adolfo Brandes

  • @Sarina Canelake

  • @Angie Ruíz

🎥 Recording and Chat Log

🤖 AI-Generated Meeting Summary

Otter transcript & summary

Quick recap

The team discussed the importance of conducting a survey to gather feedback and adjusting their timeline or strategy based on the response rate. They also touched upon a working group document and the need for improved coordination and information sharing among the team. Later, Adolfo mentioned the introduction of new MSPs and the problems reported, with Jenna and the product team leading the initiative. The aim is to clarify what will be included in the Redwood product and what won't, with a focus on ensuring all features are ready in time. An action item was identified in a ticket, which Adolfo confirmed was already being addressed. Towards the end of the meeting, Xavier emphasized the need for technical coordination of a project.


Survey, Timeline, Coordination, and Technical Coordination

Cassie and Xavier discussed the importance of conducting a survey to gather more feedback and adjusting their timeline or strategy based on the response rate. They also touched upon a working group document and the need for improved coordination and information sharing among the team. Later, Adolfo mentioned the introduction of new MSPs and the problems reported, with Jenna and the product team leading the initiative. The aim is to clarify what will be included in the Redwood product and what won't, with a focus on ensuring all features are ready in time. An action item was identified in a ticket, which Adolfo confirmed was already being addressed. Towards the end of the meeting, Xavier emphasized the need for technical coordination of a project.

Engineers' Role in Technical Details and Product Lead Organization

Adolfo and Ed discussed the involvement of leads, leaders, and engineers in the BTR, emphasizing the importance of technical details being understood and prioritized by engineers. They agreed that engineers would be best suited to understand and address these details. Ed emphasized the importance of establishing a strong product lead organization and the role of the engineering lead in the process and implementation of changes into product releases. They also highlighted the need for early conversations in the release cycle and the consolidation of changes in one place for easier viewing. A discussion about a 3 repository in the GitHub organization and the status of some action items was also held. The team also identified debugging per system as a topic for the next discussion.

Translation, Departure, and Uncertainty

The team discussed several issues. Xavier highlighted a translation issue and the departure of a community member, Cassie, without elaborating on the implications. There was also mention of a back-and-forth situation, but the specifics were unclear. Xavier believed there were no new issues with a matter referred to as "Next" but still had some outstanding questions. Adolfo acknowledged the uncertainty about resources and technical issues. The team also discussed a mission involving a translator and access to new content, but specifics were unclear due to repetition and lack of details. Xavier expressed uncertainty about user experience issues. Adolfo confirmed that Frontendab Communications was translated and translatable. The team agreed to involve the translation working group in the next releases and planned to invite someone to an upcoming meeting to be aware of the scope. It was also noted that Ed was leaving the translation team.

UX Project Prioritization and Wiki Page Discussion

Xavier expressed uncertainty about the plan for the UX project and considered consulting with Ali. Xavier and Cassie had a discussion about a previously undisclosed topic and decided to make some comments. Xavier emphasized the importance of prioritizing tasks and suggested addressing less important or urgent issues after those in progress. They also proposed introducing a new topic in their discussion. Xavier discussed the process of adding a meeting to a wiki page and the alternative option of directly opening a ticket on a project. They also discussed the importance of maintaining a simple action item like posting. Xavier suggested considering people who haven't found work recently and proposed the idea of taking an action item related to creating a thread in the forms and on the meaning list. However, the conversation did not result in any specific decisions or action steps.

Core Contributor Time Commitment Unclear

The meeting discussed the average time commitment of core contributors, which was found to be unclear. Xavier noted a decrease in contributions over the past few months, particularly in December, and estimated that about half of the core contributors were busy, doing anywhere from a few hours to a significant amount. They also highlighted the need to examine these numbers more closely. Xavier discussed the contributions of core and co contributors, suggesting that most co contributors do not fulfill all the house work, but a significant proportion do substantial work. They estimated that approximately a third of the contributors might not fulfill all the house work. Xavier also discussed the need to revisit a topic that had been previously discussed, possibly related to a report and recent developments. They emphasized the importance of recognizing the gap between commitments and actual actions in open-source projects. Xavier proposed the introduction of an intermediate status for individuals who contribute to the organization but not as much as core contributors. However, the meeting lacked clear decisions or next steps due to the fragmented nature of the discussion.

Task Prioritization and Work Cadence

Xavier and Sergiy had a conversation about the importance of prioritizing tasks and establishing a work cadence. Sergiy suggested a commitment to contribute in a certain timeframe, similar to their strategic work in Raconda and Rock and G. Ed emphasized the need for maintainers and suggested creating a rubric for repositories based on complexity levels. Xavier discussed the concept of sprints and the importance of having people commit to them. The discussion also touched upon community contributions and the potential amount of work involved in maintaining a repository. However, no clear decisions or next steps were identified in this segment.

Task Point System and Maintenance Revamp Discussed

Xavier discussed the frequency of certain events or tasks, the importance of tagging issues, and a selection process for specific issues. They proposed a point system for each issue and emphasized the significance of committed tasks. Ed suggested adding this topic to the agenda for the kickoff of the maintenance and upgrade working group. A new task related to the 'Maintainership program' was discussed, focusing on taking more permission rights and responsibilities. There was also a discussion about advertising for maintenance and a possible general revamp of their processes. However, the transcript was unclear in certain areas, making it challenging to accurately summarize the discussions.

Project Feedback, Maintenance, and Upgrade Plans

The team discussed feedback and interviews related to an unspecified project. The team also touched upon a maintenance project planned by Jeremy and another person. A kickoff for a maintenance and upgrade working group was confirmed, with Ed mentioning they would ask for a specific date under separate cover. The team agreed to push out the date slightly and discussed the importance of simple upgrades, security patches, and full request reviews. Ed proposed the creation of a new working group to consolidate tasks and make them more broadly distributed, emphasizing the importance of establishing a robust project management delivery system. Xavier concurred with Ed's proposal and expressed their wish to renew a particular topic they felt was being overlooked. The discussion concluded with Xavier proposing the need to be mindful of how synchronous tools like Slack are used in future communication strategies.

Team Communication and Visibility Improvement

The discussion was led by Xavier, who sought to understand the team's views on an unspecified topic. Cassie raised concerns about communication issues, particularly on Slack, that could potentially affect their team's visibility for review requests. They suggested the use of the wiki for requesting reviews and the importance of involving the product team. Xavier proposed the idea of pinging individual team members and using a form as potential solutions. However, no clear decisions or next steps were identified. Towards the end of the meeting, Cassie and Xavier discussed the idea of a reminder system for new tasks and the importance of maintaining awareness of new opportunities. They also considered configuring their system to receive an email whenever a payment is made and to have visibility of the team's activity. The idea of enabling team pings was also proposed.

Confusing Communication Channels and Team Configuration

The meeting was characterized by audio problems, making the discussion unclear. Ned expressed concerns about the overwhelming number of communication channels, such as Slack, GitHub, and reviews, which they felt were causing confusion. They suggested the need to configure these platforms to make them more manageable. Ned also proposed the idea of configuring teams as pingable, suggesting the possibility of pinging BTR on a pull request. However, the discussion was not clear enough to provide a concise summary. Towards the end of the meeting, Ed proposed initiating a discussion to gather input on a particular issue. They suggested the idea of having at least one person in each group on the notified list. However, the details still needed to be decided upon.

Transition to Individual Tickets, Feedback Analysis, and Increased Collaboration.

Xavier discussed the transition to individual tickets for ongoing issues and mentioned that they would go through these. Xavier then moved on to a task that Cassie was taking over from Ali, which involved analyzing feedback and improving the core report. Cassie mentioned that they were working on a survey to gather more feedback, with expected results in the next two weeks. The team also briefly discussed the need for increased collaboration and information sharing. Lastly, Adolfo mentioned an upcoming meeting on Thursday to address problems reported with the introduction of new Mfs.

Project Distinction, MFD Improvement, GitHub Issues, Persistent Grade Review

Adolfo discussed the project led by Jenna and the product team, with the main objective being to distinguish between what will be in Redwood and what won't. Adolfo assigned an action item to improve MFD documentation. Xavier suggested discussing with Jenna about the last public working group and emphasized the need for better follow-up and coordination. Ed highlighted the importance of a product-led organization and the need for early conversations in the release cycle. Ned mentioned that two out of three issues regarding repositories in the GitHub organization had been resolved, with one still pending. Lastly, Xavier brought up the need to review persistent grade issues for debugging.

Translation, Departure, and UX Involvement Discussion

Xavier discussed a translation issue, Pierre's departure from the community, and some outstanding questions for Umar. Adolfo suggested asking Brian for more information about the issue. EduNEXT proposed involving the translation working group in future releases and suggested inviting Ed to the next meeting. Xavier agreed and decided to check with Ali about it. Cassie offered to follow up with Ali in their meeting the next day. The team also discussed the involvement of UX in the project and agreed to double-check with Ali about it.

Working Group Coordination Project Progress

Xavier discussed the progress on the working group coordination project, mentioning that they had closed several issues and encouraged team members to inform him if they felt updates were missing. They also suggested ways to add meeting agenda items and mentioned the need to delegate more responsibilities to contributors, such as additional permission rights and repository maintenance. Xavier also mentioned the importance of expanding maintenance across all parts of the codebase. EduNEXT expressed interest in joining future meetings and recommended starting with unassigned repositories. Ed mentioned that Finial was working on a list of these unassigned repositories, suggesting that the team should collaborate with them on this task.

Core Contributor Status and Performance

Ed asked Xavier about the average time core contributors are meeting their obligations. Xavier explained that the contribution rate has decreased in the past few months, with around half of core contributors fulfilling their hours. They suggested that about a third of contributors might not be fulfilling all the hours, and there was a gap between what people committed to and what was being done. Xavier proposed the idea of introducing an intermediate status for contributors who contribute but not as much as a core contributor. They also suggested the idea of an inactive status for those who were previously active but have now reduced their contribution. Sergiy questioned how the contribution of a core contributor was measured, to which Xavier responded that it was based on voluntary reporting.

Work Organization and Planning Improvement

Xavier and Sergiy discussed the idea of implementing a system in which contributors commit to work on specific tasks over a certain period. Sergiy proposed that this could help prioritize work, while Ed suggested establishing a rubric to define the expectations and required workload for maintainers. Xavier suggested a hybrid model, combining sprints and hackathons, where contributors commit to tasks and are rewarded based on completion. The team agreed to explore these ideas further to improve work organization and planning.

Working Group Kickoff and Maintenance Upgrade Plans

The team decided on the next steps for a maintenance and upgrade working group initiative. Ed proposed the idea of adding it to the agenda for the kickoff of the working group, with the goal of making it easier for core contributors to earn their hours. Xavier agreed to bring up the topic in the context of the working group. The team also discussed creating a separate ticket to discuss the general revamp of how sprints are run, based on feedback and interviews. Ed mentioned that Jeremy and Finial were planning a kickoff for the maintenance and upgrade working group, with a tentative plan to push forward on maintenance.

Synchronous Communication Exclusion Concerns

Xavier raised a concern about the potential disconnect created by using synchronous communication tools, such as Slack, for community discussions. They highlighted that this method may exclude those not constantly monitoring the platform, particularly those in different time zones. Cassie agreed, sharing their experience of missing review requests posted on Slack. They both suggested the possibility of using asynchronous tools, like the Wiki, to increase inclusivity and avoid missing important discussions or requests.

Tools and Teams: Notification and Usability Concerns

Xavier and Cassie discussed the idea of using tools like Github and Slack to notify teams about new reviews or issues. They considered the idea of creating specific groups with members who could be pinged. However, there was a concern about the overwhelming number of channels and the difficulty of tailoring each one to display only relevant content. Ned mentioned that many people find their inboxes impossible to manage and suggested that helping each other configure their channels could improve usability.

Implementing Github Ping System

The team discussed the potential of implementing a system where team members could be pinged on Github. Ed expressed concerns about the potential for increased noise and traffic in the inbox. However, Ned and Adolfo suggested that people might not realize the ability to unsubscribe from specific notifications. The team agreed that starting a conversation about this idea in discourse to gather input would be the next step. Sergiy also mentioned the possibility of configuring Slack channel notifications based on specific words.

Synchronous Work Challenges and Solutions

The team discussed the importance of synchronous work in their projects and the difficulties they face in maintaining discipline and organization. Sergiy proposed the idea of setting up rules or guidelines to foster a more synchronous work environment. Xavier highlighted the challenges they have faced in incorporating asynchronous elements into their workflow. EduNEXT suggested the creation of a handbook to provide guidelines on effective communication and task management. Xavier and EduNEXT agreed to work on this project. Cassie also offered their help from a product perspective. The team decided to address the topics in their backlog in their next meeting.

Next steps

  • Ed will add the discussion topic to the agenda for the kickoff of the maintenance and upgrade working group.

  • Ed will forcefully ask for a date for the maintenance kickoff under separate cover.

  • Consider configuring Teams and grouping tools on GitHub and Discourse for better collaboration and communication.

  • Xavier and eduNEXT will consider working on creating a simple, smaller communication tool handbook for the community.

  • EduNEXT will put the next step in writing.

  • Adolfo will get in touch with Neil.

  • eduNEXT and Adolfo will reach out to Neil to see where he stands on the project.

  • Cassie will follow up with Ali about the UX working group joining the project working group meeting.

  • Ed will add the sprints discussion to the agenda for the kickoff of the Maintenance and Upgrade Working Group.

  • EduNEXT will work on creating a handbook for asynchronous communication with Xavier.

 Discussion topics

Discussion topics for the agenda are tracked at https://github.com/orgs/openedx/projects/62/views/1 - to add a topic to the agenda, add a ticket to the project, in the column “Upcoming meeting agenda”. Alternatively, add it to the table below and ping @Xavier Antoviaque or @Jorge Londoño .



Meeting notes

  Action Items



Meeting notes

  Action Items