ODK TSC 1 Call - 2019-09-18

These calls bring together the Technical Steering Committee for the ODK suite (@TSC-1) to discuss roadmaps, working groups, and other issues of technical governance. Everyone is welcome to come to these calls, but only TSC members may talk.

The calls are held every two weeks in our UberConference room. We put the agenda, audio, and transcript of every call in this document.

Our next call will be Wed, 18th September 2019. The meeting time should be shown in your timezone above.

The agenda is tentatively as follows:

  • Prioritizing Convening Agenda Topics - Draft Agenda
  • Create a policy around what repos committers have access to and when that access is removed.
  • Can we consider an OpenID Connect support within Collect, Briefcase and perhaps Central? Any workflows to consider?

The agenda can also be seen in the agenda document

If there are topics you would like to add to the TSC's agenda, please comment below. :point_down:

Since @Xiphware won't be joining us this time, maybe we could move this call back a couple of hours for the benefit of those on the west coast?

From the call with We Can Work It Out about the Convening (w/ @tomsmyth , @aurdipas , @adam.butler , me), it was mentioned that we thought it would be beneficial to discuss in more depth how we will decide on the prioritization of agenda topics and time allotments.


Here is the tentative agenda for the 2nd and 3rd day:

@adam.butler Let's keep it at the same time. I'm awake before 6 am anyway because of the :baby:t4:.

@danbjoseph I agree that our priority should be the agenda topics and time slots. The current agenda has 8.5 hours of "work" time.

From the conversations I’ve been a part of and the posts I’ve seen, I see the following sessions emerging:

  • Longitudinal data spec (possibly multi-session)
  • How ODK is funded currently and where we want to be
  • Geo features roadmap
  • How a tool joins/leaves ODK (e.g., pyxform, Enketo, iXForms)
  • pyxform engineering next steps (e.g., architecture, depreciation)
  • Collect user experience
  • How to more smoothly onboard new contributors
  • Documentation hackathon/sprint
  • The future of Build
  • Demos of cool/auxiliary tools

As to the prioritization of topics and time, my preferred structure is to have a few core sessions decided on and scheduled beforehand by the TSC by next week. These sessions should have a point person and clear inputs/outputs. Then the rest can be more Unconference style.

I’d also like to propose concurrent sessions inside the ODK track. I'm suggesting this because small group brainstorming sessions are more likely to be productive, especially when a lot of context is required (e.g. spec knowledge). We also have sessions that don't have interest overlap. We just have to make sure that all concurrent sessions are valuable and interesting so everyone contribute meaningfully.

That session list looks good to me @yanokwa. How about creating a survey so that we can gauge the level of interest for each session? That would hopefully make it easier to plan serial/parallel sessions.

I've reviewed the draft agenda and since I'm not going to be in the TSC call, I wanted to share my thoughts here.

  • In order to optimize for in-person synchronous collaboration I'd like to suggest we repurpose the Sat 1 pm reporting session into a work session. Reporting can be done after the fact and no in-person sync collaboration should be required for that.

    I'd also suggest we don't specify in advance whether topics from the TSC or from the broader community will be discussed. See the next point.

  • It looks like there's a common agenda and each TSC is free to choose how to spend their allotted work time. With this in mind, I think that an OpenSpace-like organization process could work well for us.

    Given that we can repurpose the Sat 1 pm session, this would be the scenario:

    • Sat 9 am - 90' - Work session 1
    • Sat 10:45 am - 90' - Work session 2
    • Sat 1 pm - 120' - Work session 3
    • Sat 3:15 pm - 105' - Work session 4
    • Sun 8:45 am - 90' - Work session 5

    That gives us a total of 8 hours and 15 minutes of work time that could be divided into 15' or 30' slots

    To decide what to do, how many slots will require each topic and whether we will have parallel tracks or not, we could spend the first 45'-60' presenting topics. Anyone can present topics.

    Each topic should be presented pointing out the indispensable people that should be involved and how much time would take to produce a reasonable output. That can be anything from 15' to 8 hours.

    Then, the TSC assigns slots to the presented topics and writes down the schedule somewhere visible so that everyone knows what's going on and where at any point in time. Here's when the TSC takes into account importance/priority of topics, where they come from, etc. There could be not enough slots for all the topics as well.

    If two topics require a different set of people, then parallel tracks can be arranged.

    To expedite this process we should have a facilitator guiding the process (I can do that) and then 3 volunteers from the TSC (instead of the whole TSC) could arrange the topics into slots.

    We can also start doing this now asynchronously if we want so that everything is set up in advance.

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We had a longer meeting than was scheduled and folks had to leave, so I wanted to report back to everyone in @TSC-1.

We started with the tentative outcomes list and vetoed a few of the sessions we aren't going to pursue and documented the reasons why.

We've published a sessions list with honchos (topic champions), descriptions, inputs, outputs, and time needed. We've identified which ones are concurrentable (e.g., either not broadly relevant or best for small focused groups). We'll leave some open slots so some of these discussions can be attendee-driven.

The rough timeline to get these sessions on the official agenda is:

  • Thu the 19th: TSC comments on the sessions list
  • Fri the 20th: Honchos approve their sessions
  • Mon the 23rd: Yaw puts into two track schedule
  • Wed the 25th: Yaw slots into the public agenda

@ggalmazor Thanks for sharing your thoughts! There was agreement on the call that since we know the topics folks want to talk about, who could lead the sessions, and who might attend, we should just put together the session list and gather feedback async. I'm hoping that over the next few days, that feedback will come to tighten things down.

Agreed that the reporting back session on Sat is too long, so I'll talk to the facilitators about that on Tuesday so we can reclaim some of that time.