ODK TSC 1 Call - 2019-10-30

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, October 30th. The meeting time should be shown in your timezone above.

The agenda is tentatively as follows:

  • Planning for migration to a new foundation

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

Reminder to all, please take note of the new time slot.

1 Like

I might propose, since we seemed to be getting pretty close to a strawman/MVP for longitudinal surveys at the convening, that it could be worth some further discussion time on this TSC call, whilst it is still somewhat fresh in people's mind?

I agree that it would be good to keep our longitudinal momentum from the Convening, but I have a feeling that the governance issue might keep us going for at least an hour. I'd rather propose that we save longitudinal for the next call. What do others think?

1 Like

I'd also like to have for this or one of the next call the discussion on future deprecation of Validate/Aggregate/Briefcase etc.. and some more better understanding about the google analytics slide from @yanokwa at the Convening.
PS: any chanche to get that slide?

1 Like

I'm going to be in Ethiopia during the call and that could be a good thing for the group!

The TSC could discuss our best next steps (e.g., migration to a new foundation) in a Yaw-free™ environment. Again, it feels like our goal should be to get tools on sustainable footing without compromising too much of our mission and values. This feels to me the most urgent challenge we face.

@LN will be available for this call, so she can join for the above, if helpful.

@aurdipas I'll be sending out a convening update to the community, but you can find the things I talked about here.

Indeed. Let's make this the main topic for the forthcoming Yaw-free™ meeting. I would like to gladly accept @LN's offer to join to help us with this. Have a good trip to Ethiopia (and especially enjoy the fabulous food) @yanokwa.

I'd like to propose everybody starts thinking really hard about the funnest part of the migration: the new name for the Foundation/ecosystem. If you have an idea, please suggest in this thread (or save it as a surprise for the meeting if you prefer), so we can let them simmer.

1 Like

My $0.02...

Umbrella: "The Open Data Kit Project" [foundation/whatever controls usage of 'ODK' trademark by subprojects]
ODK(1) -> "ODK XForms"
ODK(2) -> "ODK Sync"

[obviously requires the ODK-X renaming, which received no traction at convening]

I'll be there, thanks for the invite!

Spicy/provocative suggestion: Enketo :hot_pepper:

1 Like

Suitably inspired, I fed "ODK", "Enketo" and "Kobo" into https://www.wordunscrambler.net/word-combiner.aspx

I rather like "enketoobo"... :rofl:

This would be possible if we also adopt the Enketo project :smiley:

Made me curious about Open Data Kit in Esperanto, which turns out to be "malfermita datuma ilaro" according to Google Translate. Too long? :wink:

1 Like

Malfermita sounds too much like “malformed” to me, which is not a great association!

Just read an interesting interview with the guy behind Ghost, the JavaScript blogging/publishing platform. Here’s a relevant extract:

How many employees does Ghost have?

JO: Fifteen, full time. And a range of other consultants and contributors.

So what is the business model for Ghost? How does Ghost pay those fifteen employees?

JO: We provide a managed hosting service for the product itself, something that has worked very well in the WordPress space. Our business model is to capture the even smaller part of the market that values managed hosting, being able to run an open source product without any of the hassle of having to self-host. So people pay a recurring monthly fee of between $29 and $200 depending on the size of the business, the size of the site. And then we take care of all of the hosting, all of the upgrades, all of the maintenance, all of the backups, and in doing so we have built a very healthy business. We have been profitable since the first year that we launched, but still in the structure of a totally independent business which will be around for a long time to come. Philosophically, that’s what makes me feel good.

I can post the rest of the interview if people are interested (it’s from an subscription newsletter)


Just throwing out a few:

  • Open Survey Tools (OST)

  • F[abulous] Open Survey System (FOSS)

  • DataMule

  • SurveyRabbit

Perhaps you'd prefer "Data Aperta Ornamentum" ? (Latin) :grin:

Actually, can I add a motion to the agenda to reinstate @LN as a permanent member of the TSC? It seems a little crazy to have a Technical Steering Committee without the CTO.

1 Like

In the case of discussions about features I am involved in the specification and building of, not being on the call has added overhead. If the time of the meetings continues to be within childcare hours, I can certainly commit to participating as a non-voting guest when invited. For permanent membership, I think the right thing would be for me to run again in an upcoming election cycle.


Ya know, this would be so much easier for everyone if y'all would just move downunder! :wink:

1 Like

For what it's worth, here are some of my criteria for names:

  • must be easy to pronounce in English and at least a few languages with lots of users (Hindi, Spanish, French, Arabic come to mind. It's hard to get it right for all but acronyms are helpful for this)
  • must have reasonable domain name available
  • must not already be the name of a major product/pop star/software project

My bias is to stay away from Open/Libre/Free to give ourselves a bit of flexibility and shake some of the negative connotations of open-source.

I'm also not a huge fan of acronym names because I think they are harder to brand. You'll always be forever writing "Open Survey Tools (OST)" and having a letters only logo.

I prefer something short, fun, and easily logoable. Magpi is a data collection product in this space that I think has a pretty great name.

Do folks on the TSC know branding or marketing folks who would be willing to help generate some ideas?