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Community meeting: 2010-09-28

21 replies [Last post]
Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618

SETI Institute would like to convene a weekly meeting to discuss community building and the initialization of a setiQuest community board for supporting day-to-day operations of the project.

What are people's opinions on timing? And how would you prefer to meet? (I personally vote for meeting in the #setiquest channel on IRC, as did Karsten Wade.)

I propose that we produce a list of agenda items prior to each meeting, and that each meeting is to result in a list of action items with due dates and assignees, so everybody leaves with the same expectations of what is going to happen next.

We have agreed to meet Tuesdays, 11 AM PT (2 PM ET, 8 PM CEST) in #setiquest on IRC.

Joined: 2010-08-11
Posts: 9
Some alternate timing?

Since it's just us so far, I'll go ahead and be a bit more picky about the time -- once a meeting is set, it tends to stay that way until enough folks need it to change to get that consensus.

10 am on Wednesday is a bit tight for me -- our current fall schedule is to be leaving our house at 10 and possibly not being back online until 10:30.  I'd be tempted to suggest much earlier (8 am, for example), but I don't want to prejudice against West Coast hackers who might like to sleep in a bit.  (I'm used to meeting globally, so a 7 am or 10 pm meeting aren't that unusual.)

Perhaps just bumping to 11 am would be enough?  That puts us firmly beyond the dinner hour in Western Europe, too.

Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 278
Would Tuesdays 11 AM

Would Tuesdays 11 AM work?

There is a regularly scheduled ATA (Allen Telescope Array) meeting on Wednesdays that prevents many of the SETI Institute people from attending on Wednesdays. So, they would prefer Tuesdays.

sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733
Both Tuesday and Wednesday

Both Tuesday and Wednesday work for me. I've marked my calendar.

IRC sounds good. Too bad Google Wave was canceled.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
Both times are fine for me

Both times are fine for me too.

Joined: 2010-06-21
Posts: 6
Tuesdays 11am works for me

Tuesdays 11am works for me too :)

Joined: 2010-08-11
Posts: 9
Tuesday 11 am PDT works for me

Yes, I can do Tuesday 11 am PDT (and PST) as an ongoing meeting time.  If that works for everyone for now, let's stick to the wall with a pin.

BTW, one reason for using IRC is the extremely low barrier to entry in terms of software and network requirements.  There is, however, a higher barrier to entry to people who haven't used IRC before!

Please share with folks this page:


Let's do what we can to make that a good canonical location to point people interested in setiQuest whom we want to join us on IRC.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
VPS for temporary setiQuest mailing list server

Proposed agenda item: VPS for temporary setiQuest mailing list server

If you have comments with regards to the relevance of taking this item up on the meeting, please post them in reply to the present post. If you have inputs to the item itself, please post them in the thread linked above.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
Website redesign

Proposed agenda item: Website redesign

If you have comments with regards to the relevance of taking this item up on the meeting, please post them in reply to the present post. If you have inputs to the item itself, please post them in the thread linked above.

Joined: 2010-06-10
Posts: 11
This sounds good, I am

This sounds good, I am available during that time. I have a lab course that day, but I will probably be able to participate if I get my lab report done on time. Time to brush up on IRC for me =)

Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 278
As has been discussed in the

As has been discussed in the forum for the last few days, we are organizing a weekly meeting of people interested in setiQuest.  The aim is to discuss both strategic and tactical issues with setiQuest. In keeping with the goal of radical transparency, this meeting will be fully open to anyone in the world (universe maybe, someday).

The first of these meetings will be held on Tuesday, 11 AM, Pacific Time. We expect attendees from multiple places around the world, including people whose first language may not be English, so this will be an IRC-chat-only meeting. Tune into #setiQuest, or if you are not a regular IRC user, go to http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=setiquest.

While we can set an ambitious agenda, this being the first meeting, I suggest that we start with introductions, and talk about community leadership. One participant's view is at http://setiquest.org/wiki/community-structure. Since there is no official organizing body, and since the Wiki is open for anyone to write, there is no "official" view. These meetings will result in an organization that will create the official view.

Looking forward to having many of you attend the meeting tomorrow.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
Sounds good. I wasn't sure to

Sounds good. I wasn't sure to which extent you were ready to move forward on the overall issues, but since you seem prepared to discuss these things, let's just postpone the items I proposed.

I just want to submit up front that I support the proposal that Avinash linked to in the parent post, more or less as it is written. It is written by Karsten Wade, who is a community architect at Red Hat (perhaps the most important commercial contributor in the Linux space), and the book he has authored in collaboration with the community and others at Red Hat, The Open Source Way, resonates with a lot of my own experiences with open source.

I think it is important that SETI Institute has an official interface to the community, so they don't have to play favorites with individual members; the last thing we need is members having to work against each other to get work done. By insisting on complete transparency in this interface, the community can constantly audit it and ensure that it is always in line with the interests of the community at large, while still allowing it to have the privileges to work effectively.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
Reminder: meeting begins in

Reminder: meeting begins in 20 minutes.

Joined: 2010-08-11
Posts: 9
Chat log from 20100928 meeting

(Not having a better place, I'm going to paste the converted-to-HTML log right here.)

avinash Welcome everyone. 10:59
avinash We can start off with everyone saying one sentence about themselves. 11:00
-!- janebird [1806ae72@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #setiquest 11:00
avinash I will start - My name is Avinash and I am responsible for co-ordinating various activities for the setiQuest project. 11:01
Moradzadeh Hi there.  Michael Moradzadeh here: retired technology lawyer/exec and member of SETI board 11:01
-!- Jill [4b6db52e@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #setiquest 11:02
afeder I am Anders - I have been interested in SETI since SETI@home and have been programming and using open source for fun for at least as long. 11:02
robackrman SETI Inst. staff, team member ATA design & build, setiQuest contributor 11:02
sigblips Hi there. I like analyzing signals and I am the author of http://www.baudline.com 11:02
avinash I am hoping that today we can identify things that need to be done for setiQuest - the highest priority things. 11:04
Up2 Jeff Uphoff here.  I'm based in Charlottesville, Virginia and am a Platform Engineer for rPath, a Raleigh-based Linux startup.  Long-time Linux community member & former NRAO employee (3x). 11:04
quaid hi, I'm Karsten, I work at Red Hat on community organizing, and am the lead author of http://TheOpenSourceWay.org/wiki 11:04
quaid avinash: remember that for a first IRC meeting, just about anything will make it successful except a mud fight :) 11:05
quaid but can you link to the topics/agenda? 11:05
quaid there is a thread with all the suggestions, right? 11:06
-!- PeterB [4b37dea5@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #setiquest 11:06
Up2 The AI's thread? 11:06
afeder quaid: There is, but we agreed to deal with the organization issues first. 11:07
avinash One thing that we need to discuss is the community structure - at least start talking about it - http://setiquest.org/wiki/community-structure 11:07
avinash But, that is only one of the issues. Let me attempt to list them. 11:07
-!- funkmyster [~root@] has joined #setiquest 11:08
quaid ok, folks who just joined we are just getting started, we are logging the meeting and will post it to the thread when done 11:08
quaid if you want to say a one sentence about yourself and setiquest interest, go ahead 11:08
quaid avinash is about to pull up a list of topics we are going to discuss today 11:09
avinash 1) Community leadership 2) This meeting itself - time and technology 3) Website - there has been a lot of discussion about it. 4) Mailing lists, ... 11:09
quaid avinash: URL as well, if we have one 11:09
avinash Anything else that people want to add? 11:09
Moradzadeh While Avinash is typing, let me offer a question:  how many folks do we envision will be involved in code development in the next, say, 18 months?  I ask because I think it is relevant to community structure and organization 11:10
avinash quaid: Which URL? 11:10
quaid the thread with the topic ideas for this meeting 11:10
afeder avinash: roadmap / overall direction / plan 11:10
quaid or are you working from your own list?  I can get that URL ... 11:10
afeder quaid: http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/community-meeting-28092010 11:10
quaid thx! 11:10
Up2 Moradzadeh: actively developing and submitting substantial amounts of code...or everyone, including those who might toss in a small patch or two? 11:11
Moradzadeh good question.  The formar mainly, but I think the latter crowd is obviously an important group as they can become major "playas" in time 11:12
afeder Moradzadeh: I think this is relevant too. I've been thinking that we maybe also want to use opportunities like Google Summer of Code, which is good to plan well ahead (quaid probably know a lot more about this than me). 11:12
avinash Shall we go to the community structure. Let us figure out the process for selecting the leadership. 11:13
Jill since our current code development team is so small - i'd consider 3 commited developers to be a huge win 11:13
Up2 :) 11:13
avinash There has to be a basic structure to participate in Google's SoC. We don't have it yet, but can build it before applications are due - early in the calendar year. 11:14
* afeder nods 11:14
avinash But, I would like the community leadership to decide these things. 11:14
afeder sure 11:15
avinash Maybe we start with the philosophy http://setiquest.org/wiki/community-structure 11:15
quaid by focusing on enabling _anyone_ to do _anything_ they care about, we create participation 11:16
quaid and the code committers arise from there, for example 11:16
quaid (and all the other jobs) 11:16
afeder quaid: I am curious about how we'd appoint people to the board, too - you have any thoughts on this? 11:16
quaid about GSoC, I've lots of experience there (we started a parallel program in Fedora this year, too); definitely plan on applying next January-ish. 11:17
quaid afeder: I've always preferred a lightweight model 11:17
funkmyster What's the current process to contribute code? 11:17
avinash How do we deal with resource requirements to support  enabling _anyone_ to do _anything_ they care about? 11:17
quaid create one by consensus from those who show up and will commit to doing the work for 6 months 11:17
Moradzadeh Generally, organizations appoint initial board membership based on demonstrated ability, commitment, and skill. 11:17
quaid just like a 501c(3) board does fund raising, the people on this board/council will do actual work to make it possible for others to participate 11:18
Up2 The org structure for SoC isn't a high bar.  We had SoC folks at kernel.org this year, and kernel.org is almost entirely volunteers (only one FTE). 11:18
quaid that's why I think it's crucial that it be at least 50% from the active current community, and have an equal presence of SETI Institute folk. 11:18
Moradzadeh I think that if we pause briefly to see if we agree on what the board will be responsible for, it will be much clearer who they should be 11:18
Jill does 'do work' then define minimal skill set for Board members - if so, what? 11:19
quaid Up2: agreed; it's more about one or two people getting all the paperwork in on time, recruiting mentors who have ideas, and making sure paperwork is filed on time. 11:19
Moradzadeh OOooh, you make it sound so fun! 11:19
quaid I think Moradzadeh and Jill  are talking two sides of the same question 11:19
quaid Moradzadeh: but it iss 11:19
sigblips What will the board be responsible for is a good question. 11:19
quaid yes, let's talk about that 11:20
Moradzadeh Custodianship is one thing,  Leadership is another.  Advocacy is a third 11:20
quaid knocking down any barriers they can to make it easier to participate :) 11:20
Moradzadeh Any or all of these are up for grabs, I think 11:20
quaid Moradzadeh: yes, and especially enabling others to do all those roles 11:20
afeder a concrete example might be as a license/copyright steward (ownership of IP is assigned to board, not individuals or SI) 11:21
Moradzadeh That's a good strawman. 11:21
afeder Moradzadeh: what is? 11:22
Moradzadeh On the other hand, if it is truly open source, ownership of the IP resides in its author, and the subsequent users are merely licensees 11:22
Up2 current codebase is copyright SI. 11:22
quaid it's about building scaffolding for participation; it will be somewhat organic to the situation 11:22
quaid afeder: be very careful of copyright attribution 11:22
quaid yeah, what Moradzadeh said 11:22
afeder quaid: sure, just an example 11:22
Moradzadeh I think quaid is right.  Scaffolding is a good metaphor 11:22
quaid the license should be strong enough 11:23
sigblips Open source software is just one part of the setiQuest project.  What about the other parts? 11:23
avinash Is copyright and ownership the first thing for us to discuss here. I was hoping that we would have some leadership who can make the right decisions, including how to go about doing copyright assignment. 11:23
Moradzadeh So the "entity" would take responsibility for managing the code acceptance process and keeping participants informed about stuff, even if it's volunteers that serve as the annointed gatekeeoers 11:24
quaid Moradzadeh: I've learned a lot in the last 18 months from professors in terms of thinking of what we do as a similar role 11:24
Moradzadeh quaid: go on... 11:24
afeder Moradzadeh: I don't know what you mean it is a "strawman", but I agree with avinash, it was only an example 11:24
quaid being the gateway to a world for a student, except the mentor/participant 11:24
Jill other parts: new algorithms, platforms to support citizen science, serving up raw data to cloud S3, above all - keeping observing going 11:25
Moradzadeh What I meant by strawman is that "copyright assignment" is a topic that can be discussed to help flesh out the role of the future entity and its future board.  We do not have to decide whether to "assign" copyrights, but can still use it to shape our understanding 11:26
quaid afeder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man_proposal 11:26
afeder ah okay thanks 11:27
Moradzadeh But, the last thing I heard is we are talking about 3 people actually participating in the development itself.  Is that right?  Because if so, we don't need to be all fancy-pantsy on the org structure. 11:28
Moradzadeh (that's a legal term) 11:29
quaid Moradzadeh: http://opensource.com/education/10/9/can-academia-release-early-release-often has some moreon the topic 11:29
afeder ^^ 11:29
PeterB There are 2.8 FTE working on sonata code now 11:30
afeder i agree Moradzadeh, no need to make it hugely bureaucratic right now 11:30
quaid are there folks here who are from or work with citizen scientists? 11:30
Up2 What restrictions, if any, is SI under re its current codebase and copyright assignments?  (Note: I already contributed some code to sonataInfoDisplay, and I just assigned copyright to SI out of simplicity.) 11:30
Moradzadeh I plan to be a CC 11:31
Moradzadeh oops, cs 11:31
avinash We need to look at both strategic and tactical areas. Getting 3 engineers to help is a tactical thing. Getting the board to set direction is strategic. 11:31
quaid in my make up of a leadership council above, some of the folks from the open communities should be from/able to represent the citizen science side 11:31
quaid I'm confident that actual programmers will figure out how to get code in, so whatever we do to make it easy for $anyone will work for them, too 11:32
-!- Waldir [~chatzilla@wikipedia/Waldir] has joined #setiquest 11:32
afeder welcome Waldir 11:32
Up2 [Ugh. I'm getting some power fluctuations; if I drop off, it's due to that.] 11:32
Waldir hi everyone 11:32
Waldir am I too late? 11:32
avinash Welcome waldir 11:32
Moradzadeh not too late 11:32
Waldir hello afeder and avinash :) 11:32
afeder quaid: I don't think there are a lot of citizen scientists in the project right now because there is not much to do yet. 11:32
Jill we haven done the CS yet - but i'm very impressed by the Galaxy Zoo http://www.galaxyzoo.org/ model and i think we can get their help on a board 11:33
quaid Up2: my log should be good, I'm logged in to a remote host independent of my laptop 11:34
-!- jrseti [d12163a2@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #setiquest 11:35
Waldir do you guys think we could log this channel? 11:35
quaid ok, I just want to be sure we aren't missing any constituents 11:35
quaid Waldir: got it myself, I'll post when we're done 11:35
quaid probably back to the forum thread, for now 11:35
avinash We have been talking about CS reps for the board. Should we be thinking of all areas - os, cs, data, algorithms, website, 11:35
Waldir quaid: great :) avinash thanks for the recap 11:36
quaid avinash: also, what we mainly want to tell those folks, IMO, is, "Hey, you can start doing your stuff, we aren't going to get in your way with needless bureacracy, just tell us all who to talk to when we want to interface, and make sure to report loudly and openly about whatever you are doing, thanks." 11:36
avinash But, before we set these expectations, I want to make sure that we can live up to them. And, it is not about philosophy, it is about resourcing to give them what they need. 11:38
afeder maybe one objective for the board would be to reach out to those groups that are missing 11:38
afeder i.e. talk to galaxyzoo or DSP community websites etc. 11:38
avinash Remember - our current discussion is about the initial board - whose role is to constitute the real board and disband itself. So, I like afeder's suggestion. 11:38
Waldir avinash: I think one of the resources needed to let people self-coordinate is the website/forum/wiki. There's no rss for the forum for example, which would help tracking discussions, etc 11:40
Jill rss? 11:41
afeder site feeds 11:41
Waldir afeder: thanks :) 11:41
afeder so you can see new items from a feed reader without having to actually visit the website 11:42
jrseti An RSS feed would be VERY good for me. I find it very time consuming to browser the forum seeing if there was anything new I should reply to. 11:42
avinash I have a discussion with the website team today. I will report back on our progress - my desire is to include all the suggestions that have come in. But, I don't expect that the suggestions will be implemented right away. 11:42
afeder jrseti: yeah exactly, i think probably many people feel that way 11:42
Waldir jrseti: and it is frustrating to visit a thread and see nothing new. we should avoid that. 11:42
jrseti yes, avoid no activity 11:43
Up2 Anyone familiar with what, if any, sort of coordination exists between comet hunters these days? That's a CS-dominated community. 11:43
afeder CS? 11:43
Moradzadeh it should be pretty easy in Drupal.  While we are nitting, I'd like to see identity of author postings like http://setiquest.org/wiki/community-structure, which are, at this point opinion, right? 11:43
avinash OK. RSS is now on my list for the website. 11:43
Moradzadeh CS= citizen scientist 11:44
Up2 CS == Citizen Scientist. 11:44
afeder ah ok 11:44
Jill i believe its still the minor bodies office at Harvard and IAU telegram system 11:44
Waldir avinash: how would the website part of the board work with the website team? 11:44
avinash Waldir: I guess, they can direct the website team's priorities, rather than me doing it, or the website team deciding themselves. 11:45
Up2 Jill: tnx. 11:45
avinash And, priorities need to be decided because the website team is doing it as a donation to us; their time has to be treated carefully. 11:45
Moradzadeh who IS the website team right now? 11:46
avinash It has been done by LastExit.tv so far. Nick Hodulik of General Things is doing the next version. 11:46
afeder one thing quaid mentioned a while ago is that we want to avoid people creating 'forked' websites, because of main setiQuest IT people not being responsive enough 11:46
Moradzadeh tx 11:46
avinash afeder: Would it help if we created a sandbox website, for people to experiment, and we pull in the stable features from there to the production website? 11:47
Waldir avinash: I was going to say exactly that! 11:47
avinash That way people do not need to fork anything - they can just try out in the sandbox. 11:47
afeder avinash: yes, it probably would 11:47
Waldir There are plenty of talented peopleout therein this area. We could think of an open-source, versioned system, with some people given committer rights, and the team/board approving changes to go live 11:48
afeder yeah 11:48
jrseti This may be a silly question, but is it ever appropriate to put the website into a git repository? 11:48
avinash So, we are back to the board :-) 11:48
avinash jrseti: Drupal provides its own content managmenent system. 11:49
afeder jrseti: I believe that is not entirely unheard of 11:49
Moradzadeh I am confused on this point... Is this a real problem?  with forum and wiki and IRC is there a temptation to create yet another site? 11:49
afeder Moradzadeh: yes, wiki for instance has a couple of shortcomings at the moment 11:49
avinash Moradzadeh: People come up with new features all the time, and we are not able to implement them. 11:49
afeder and people would rather just go ahead and fix it themselves rather than wait, if possible 11:50
Waldir Moradzadeh: I personally don't use the website much because of its usability problems 11:50
avinash If we let the community implement them, then it makes it much easier for the website team to pull them. 11:50
Jill are we sure Last Exit or now, i guess, Nick would be happy with doing things this way? 11:50
avinash It is on my agenda to talk to them. Remember though, if relieves pressure on them. 11:51
avinash We also de-risk Nick's stuff. We try it out, and it is a bust, not effort from him. If it succeeds, we ask him to implement the feature in the production site. 11:52
* afeder nod 11:52
Jill Avinash: maybe yes, maybe no if there is continuous stream of new and improved stuff that needs to get pulled NOW 11:52
afeder yes it could conflict with web teams own plans/vision 11:53
avinash That is the purpose of the sandbox. People who want these features go the sandbox. People who want stable features wait until NIck implements them. 11:53
Jill so - we should ask 11:53
Moradzadeh I rather think that whoever is the lead web person will not particularly welcome a stream of "features" 11:53
avinash There is no commitment to implement every feature. Just like there is no commitment in OS to accept every contribution. 11:53
afeder they would get to pick the best stuff from the sandbox basically, i think is avinash' suggestion 11:54
avinash The board can decide what to implement - based on Nick's resources. 11:54
Moradzadeh Seems  like a distraction from our goal here.  This is just the website ABOUT what what we are doing, right? 11:54
avinash By the way, this is routing in OS, where some people take the latest release, and some take the last stable release. 11:54
Up2 Moradzadeh: agreed.  Seems we're starting to bike-shed this. 11:54
sigblips The website is also about communication. 11:54
Moradzadeh Bike-shed? 11:54
avinash Moradzadeh: The website is the hub of activity. 11:54
afeder Moradzadeh: being nitpicky 11:55
Waldir maybe a separate group could take care of the issue 11:55
afeder agrred 11:55
afeder agreed* 11:55
avinash Bike-Shed - Karl Fogel's OS book - I can send you a link. 11:55
Up2 Moradzadeh: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_Law_of_Triviality 11:55
Waldir btw I wanna be on it, there's not much more I would be able to help with anyway :) 11:55
avinash OK. So we pop the stack - where are we now? 11:56
* quaid is back, network problems, reading back up in the buffer 11:56
afeder should we get some people together for initial board? 11:56
avinash Sounds like a good idea - to get some people. The board can then report at these meetings. 11:56
afeder indeed 11:57
avinash Folks - I had set aside one hour for this meeting. While I can go on, I am also aware of the fact that there are 15 people here. Shall we try and conclude it? 11:57
Up2 wow...already been an hour? 11:57
Up2 *blink* 11:57
Jill anybody keeping list from this meeting of first actions for board? 11:57
avinash One AI could be for us to discuss on the forum, and bring suggestions about the initial interim board. 11:58
-!- tonyw [500e731b@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has joined #setiquest 11:58
avinash ,,, to the next meeing, I mean. 11:58
avinash Welcome Tony. 11:58
tonyw Thanks.  I'm in France at the moment, and missed the starting time by an hour ... 11:58
Jill Waldir has opted in to be on interim board - who else? 11:59
avinash So, my proposal - be thinking of board members, and we will discuss them, and set them in place at the next meeting. 11:59
afeder Jill: i am in too 12:00
Jill OK 12:00
afeder ok 12:00
afeder avinash: will you create a thread on the forum? 12:00
avinash Yes, will do. 12:00
afeder ok 12:00
Jill thanks everyone - i've got another telecon now 12:00
Up2 Jill: I'd be willing to help out on the code-contribution/infrastructure aspects. 12:00
avinash Thanks Jill. 12:01
afeder thanks, see you Jill 12:01
-!- Jill [4b6db52e@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has quit [Quit: Page closed] 12:01
avinash What else can we achieve today - other than the AI to postpone board decisions until next week? 12:02
-!- janebird [1806ae72@gateway/web/freenode/ip.] has quit [Quit: Page closed] 12:02
quaid I think we'll have to come the logs for action items 12:02
Up2 I'm curious what folks thought of this format. 12:02
Moradzadeh I'm wondering about the code contribution process 12:02
quaid Up2: having a bot will help, then you can use commands to get stuff like this: 12:02
funkmyster I'm wondering about the code contribution process too 12:02
avinash Up2: In think it will take time for us to get used to it. 12:03
Up2 (Today seemed a very slow brainstorm more than anything else.) 12:03
quaid http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/teachingopensource-posse/2009-11-12/teachingopensource-posse.2009-11-12-00.25.html 12:03
afeder Up2: I liked it, it will be better when we get more concrete stuff to discuss 12:03
quaid yeah, we need to give ourselves a chance to move this meeting in to a rhythm 12:03
quaid it's a new format for many, but it has many advantages over other formats 12:03
Up2 [nod] 12:03
quaid instant logging, for example :) 12:03
avinash Remember, what Quaid said at the beginning ... mud fight etc. 12:03
quaid yeah, I see lots of good stuff here 12:04
Moradzadeh oops, forgot to have a mud fght 12:04
afeder :) 12:04
quaid Moradzadeh: you had one question I wanted to address 12:04
Up2 Oh, I use irc day in and day out; we stitch our eng teams at rPath together via irc. 12:04
quaid about the enabling people to contribute to the website 12:04
Moradzadeh k 12:04
sigblips There is a old thread on the setiQuest website that lists the different layers for code acceptance. I'm searching for that thread now. 12:04
quaid I think the first principle is that we want to let people do what they like as long as it's not detrimental, then see what comes of it 12:04
quaid but also, the current web structure is only "the beginning" 12:05
quaid another random example ... 12:05
quaid http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/ 12:05
quaid that is Fedora's build system, lots of functionality written by community members 12:05
Moradzadeh Oh I agree with that absolutely on the conrributed code modules,  I wonder more about changes to contributed code 12:05
quaid https://admin.fedoraproject.org/community/ 12:05
quaid that is a personalized aggregate of useful web stuff 12:05
quaid all of that kind of thing are useful to contributors, by contributors; and comes from enabling people to try out crazy new ideas :) 12:06
avinash For those of you at the summit a few weeks ago, David Strauss has a strawaman of a process. 12:06
avinash Work with Git, have people contribute, and ask the gatekeepers to pull their patches. Gatekeepers accept, reject or redirect. 12:06
Waldir quaid: if there is a permanent channel log location, we can add it to the topic 12:06
Waldir the people who come late or when there's noone around can check what has been going o here 12:07
Waldir *on 12:07
Waldir *then 12:07
Up2 Moradzadeh / funkmyster: So far, the code contribution process has been more or less "push your contributions through Jon Richards / Avinash."  (I've used both emailed patches and git pushes.) 12:08
afeder gatekeeper pull is definitely the way to do it, IMO - i believe that is what most projects do? 12:08
PeterB But for any code in the observing system there will have to be further tests before it is installed 12:09
Moradzadeh right.  An early job to get done is to regularize and expand that process so that the community can work with confidence that their efforts are not wasted. 12:09
avinash PeterB: That would be under the gatekeeper's responsibility. 12:09
Up2 That sort of QA should live behind the gatekeeper. 12:09
Up2 (What avinash just said.)  :) 12:09
avinash Moradzadeh: There will be times when some people's efforts are not accepted. All communities do that. 12:10
Moradzadeh Of course. 12:10
PeterB Avinash: The gatekeeper would have to have intimate knowledge of the system, radio astronomy, statistics, etc. 12:10
PeterB Avinash: that's not someone from the community. 12:10
avinash PeterB: Agreed. Knowledge is essential. 12:11
avinash OK folks - one last question from me. What tool are you using for this IRC? I am doing webchat, and it is OK, not great. 12:11
funkmyster irssi 12:11
afeder I am also currently using webchat 12:11
Moradzadeh webchat 12:12
jrseti webchat 12:12
PeterB Avinash: and testing for effect on all aspects of the system.  not as simple as the code additions to the sonata display 12:12
Waldir chatzilla 12:12
sigblips Colloquy 12:12
Up2 Colloquy 12:12
avinash So, we have a bit of an informal survey of tools. Presumably most of these are clients that can be downloaded for free. 12:12
afeder PeterB: but many of these things SI staff would do for their own code anyway, so I think they would naturally be gatekeepers? 12:13
PeterB afeder: Yes, but I don't want people to think that it's a simple process and wonder why it takes a while fro code to be implemented 12:14
quaid Waldir: no continuous log yet, but we'll get a bot setup soonish 12:14
quaid I think mailing list is crucial, which we haven't got to today (that's OK) 12:14
Moradzadeh afeder: seems to me that SI is no less a worthy gatekeeper of the code it contributed than any other contributor' 12:14
afeder PeterB: okay 12:14
Waldir quaid: ok 12:14
afeder Moradzadeh: i suppose, but they do have the actual hardware equipment 12:14
Moradzadeh afeder: and that's a good thing, no? 12:15
avinash Quaid: Cue it up for next week. 12:15
quaid afeder: avinash yeah, the gatekeeoper poll works great -- esp. with a mailing list to email patches to and discuss/ack/nack 12:15
afeder Moradzadeh: yes 12:15
quaid avinash et al - there are GUI IRC clients for all operating systems 12:16
Up2 Out of curiosity, is there a simulation environment for the ATA monitor & control system?  Or is all testing done on actual antennas? 12:16
quaid Xchat for Linux is good, for example ... and many IM programs have IRC integration. 12:17
avinash Up2: Very basic simulation, but much of the testing is on real antennas. 12:17
avinash Does anyone know if Pidgin does IRC? 12:17
quaid PeterB: ultimately, developers from SI and the open community are going to need to be on one big email list where all of this is discussed 12:17
quaid that's the first, more chaotic way to create radical transparency 12:18
Up2 Very basic simulation meaning the control systems can be dummy-loaded instead of swinging hardware around? 12:18
afeder avinash: it does 12:18
quaid but it will evolved :) 12:18
quaid avinash: I think pidgin does IRC ... 12:18
afeder Up2: in the recent doc update, jrseti asked if anyone would be interested in helping create a better simulator 12:18
Waldir who else is interested in the irc topics? I had some other ideas I already told quaid about 12:19
avinash Great - thanks Quaid and Afeder. 12:19
quaid well, i think the mailing list discussion has evolved 12:19
Up2 pidgin does IRC; that's what I usually use under Linux. (I"m on a mac right now.) 12:19
PeterB quaid: there's not much to discuss.  we (SI) have to determine whether the code is ready for the observing system. 12:19
quaid PeterB: right, and by having SI do that determination in public, on the mailing list, the community is brought along in the decision. 12:20
quaid able to understand what to do differently next time, for example; able to fix code in near real time to match requirements (previously missed, unknown, etc.) 12:20
afeder totally agree with quaid 12:20
quaid so, yes, for a long time, it's people lurking on SI discussion on an open mailing list 12:20
quaid and people like me there to answer the easy questions, "Where is the code to download?" 12:21
quaid so the SI developers don't have to bother 12:21
Moradzadeh practical question:  who are the actual coders at SI dointg this work, and how far down this path have they been brought? 12:21
Moradzadeh *doing 12:21
Up2 quaid: full transparency on something like a telescope M&C system means the public being involved in physical engineering discussions, etc., to truly understand it.  These types of systems have a very long tail. 12:21
quaid Up2: agreed; it's a longer term process; but putting it out on a roadmap with a TBD and stuff that has to happen first makes it clear to people 12:22
quaid it's OK to disappoint, but try not to surprise people. :) 12:22
Moradzadeh quaid: agree 100%  it is critical that we be clear about what we are opening and when 12:23
quaid tbd = to be decided (for dates, etc.) 12:23
quaid Moradzadeh: and why - if it's resources, for example, people can see right away that if they can help over here, they can get that portion moving faster, etc. 12:23
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Up2 Plus, antenna system construction is often done by a subcontractor for whom a public feedback process is less than 0% interesting.  (just to set a reasonable expectation here...) 12:23
Moradzadeh quaid: excellent point.  Even if the reason for not "sharing" is "we don't want to" 12:24
Up2 (Don't know if that's the case at ATA though.  PeterB?) 12:24
quaid Up2: yeah, maybe in 5+ years we can expect to see people doing more there -- subcontractors working in the community to gain expertiese, influence, etc. 12:24
quaid but we have a hard time with other software vendors in regular open source not doing that, so I won't hold my breath. 12:24
Up2 It gets really interesting when the org and the contractor wind up in a litigation face-off.  (Ref. NRAO & GBT construction.) 12:25
quaid "not doing that" == "continuing to work behind closed doors when they could make it better, faster, and cheaper with the open community involved." 12:25
Moradzadeh I have a hard time imagining an antenna designer, with visions of defense contracts, welcoming an open process, but that does not mean we cannot have a hardware abstraction layer to serve the community 12:25
quaid Moradzadeh: considering where GOV procurement is heading in certain areas, it might actually turn in to a sought after skillset -- ability to work as a sub-contractor with an open community. 12:26
Up2 Moradzadeh: they may also have contract deadlines, with $ penalties for misses. Open process loses that trade-off very early. 12:26
quaid anyway, that is definitely far off 12:26
Up2 [nod] 12:26
quaid can we brainstorm for a minute about mailing list solutions? 12:27
afeder so, i am not really sure what exactly the disagreement is here, but i agree with quaid that dev mailing list is great for teaching the community how things work in practice 12:27
Moradzadeh [settles in to listen] 12:27
afeder quaid: and i like mailman 12:27
quaid aside from all the idea of remaining free and open by being on a free/open infrastructure, I also have a strong concern about the setiQuest brand being lost if we use outside services. 12:28
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quaid so, yeah, afeder and I and now avinash have discussed how to do run an outside server to do Mailman 12:28
quaid the content can be migrated to a more official infrastructure in the future, or the system could become part of a more official infra run by a community team. 12:29
quaid I'd be happy to be first-with-root on the box and try to set some standards to make it possible for multiple people to run it; afeder I believe has said he wants to help there.. 12:29
sigblips How would the mailing list be different than how communication in the forum currently works?  What is the advantage? 12:30
quaid good question 12:30
quaid and I should write this one down somewhere to point to :) 12:30
quaid developers and other types of open source contributors have made mailing lists workhorses for a long time 12:30
Waldir while the forum doesn't have rss, mailing list is better in that it actually notifies people of activity/replies (but this is a temporary condition) 12:31
quaid where forums are good at exposing a conversation to casual search and understanding, and good at merging, breaking off, and controlling threads ... mailing lists are: 12:31
sigblips Some forums have RSS and can email replies. 12:31
quaid * Push model, you get the email and have to do something with it.  If it's a patch, and your area, you can quickly scan it, and right back "ACK" (acknowledge that it is good and can go to he gatekeeper as is) or "NACK" with an explanation of why you are rejecting it and how to fix it 12:32
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quaid * Non-scientific research (I haven't looked for scientific research) shows that many developers prefer email lists and will avoid forums like the plague :) 12:32
* quaid gets the rest of his good list 12:33
quaid sigblips: for it to work, a forum would need to act like a mailing list to those who need a mailing list, and then act like a web forum to those who prefer that 12:33
quaid I haven't seen that in FOSS yet, but would love to 12:33
Waldir quaid I think google groups did something like that 12:34
quaid Waldir: note the "in FOSS" :) ... I haven't looked but I presume they haven't released all the source that does that. 12:34
afeder sounds like this could turn into a real bikeshedding issue :) but i too like getting notification about incoming patches for instance in mailbox 12:34
quaid well, I guess what I'm thinking is ... 12:34
Moradzadeh I like subscribing by node or topic 12:34
Waldir though I'm not sure how good the forum side of it is (e.g. merging, etc) and yes, I'm aware it's not FOSS, just trying to get what you mean exactly :) 12:34
quaid if we want to get people who are already immersed in FOSS to be involved, mailing lists are a must 12:35
quaid Moradzadeh: yes, email is a firehose with server and client side filters; 12:35
quaid Gmane or something else is good at presenting a read-only subscriber model 12:35
quaid Moradzadeh: because subscription == read only, right? 12:35
afeder sigblips may have a point that non-FOSS people (like scientists) may be intimidated by mailing lists though - they are kind of archaic 12:36
Moradzadeh hmm.  good point. 12:36
quaid afeder: yes, sigblips is right there 12:36
quaid just like IRC :) 12:36
afeder indeed 12:36
sigblips Maybe we could have a dual forum / mailing list that is not just interconnected but is actually both.  I'm just concerned about too many different parallel communication channels. 12:36
Moradzadeh There are easier front-ends to some of the mailing lists, though, arent there?  I seem to recall a Drupal face to mailman 12:37
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quaid the problem is, no one has cared enough to solve this in FOSS, and the non-FOSS solutions lock our community in to something that cannot be replicated, so we always have a broken part of "be able to build from source" 12:37
quaid Moradzadeh: wow, that would be cool 12:37
Moradzadeh http://drupal.org/project/mailman_manager 12:37
quaid sigblips: so, my proposal is that for contributor-related discussions, the mailing lists become the canonical 12:38
quaid and that would be 3 main lists -- devel@, commits@ (firehose of all commit messages,everywhere - wiki, too, if possible), and community@ 12:38
quaid right now, if a thread on any of those topics comes up on the forums, good luck knowing about it 12:39
quaid a mailing list puts all relevant conversations in to one firehose, then lets you filter yourself. 12:39
sigblips Could this be solved if every forum post and reply was emailed to you? 12:40
quaid fwiw, all of this discussion, the logs here, and the whole "how to create a leadership council" are all topics for community@ 12:40
quaid sigblips: only if I could reply via email as if it were a mailing list 12:40
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quaid and if they were generally tagged to one of those topics areas 12:42
quaid but I don't think we want to send commit messages to forum 12:42
quaid here's a workflow example of why a commit list works: 12:42
afeder Not sure if you mentioned this, but there is also the problem with forums that they don't have an API - computer programs like source repositories can't post to the forum, but they can often send mail to a mailing list 12:42
quaid 1. A commit has a bug in it; 12:42
quaid 2. Someone spots the bug in the commit flow and writes a patch; 12:43
quaid 3. That patch is submitted via the devel@ list, using the original commit message email forwarded with the patch attached (shows the whole story in one easy package). 12:43
quaid ok, sigblips, afeder suggested that mailing lists are archaic, is that a point you are making? 12:44
sigblips Don't we already have this with the issue tracker? http://issues.setiquest.org/ 12:44
* quaid agrees they are perceived as archaic, but not email itself 12:44
quaid esp. in terms of being a very low barrier to entry and usage, email is hard to beat -- packet radio on a sailboat or OLPC classroom in rural India. 12:44
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sigblips Archiving the mailing list is essential but I was trying to describe a hybrid forum / mailing list. 12:45
Moradzadeh Drupal claims it can be done, replicating google groups which does it well 12:45
quaid sigblips: I have been looking for one for years, because it's needed as a way to bring developers and non-developers together; I haven't seen a good FOSS On eyet .. 12:45
quaid Moradzadeh: excellent; I'm sure my research is out of date here. 12:45
Moradzadeh oh soup is on here... I gotta run. 12:46
quaid word 12:46
afeder later Moradzadeh 12:46
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quaid so I'm wondering if it would help people who are used to iPhones and slick web apps if we said that we want to make the mailing list a canonical discussion location, "If it's not on the mailing list, it didn't happen," because that is the lowest barrier to entry to get the whole world involved. 12:47
quaid I mean, I keep coming back to Jill's wish, and iPhone apps are not going to reach that remainder of the world's population for a long time :) 12:47
quaid also, "Many open source developers prefer mailing lists, so this appeases them, too." 12:48
sigblips What do you mean, iPhones have been selling like crazy in China.  (: 12:48
sigblips Well a couple mailing lists won't do any harm. They 12:50
sigblips They'll just be another communication channel to monitor. 12:50
afeder it is true 12:51
afeder but i think the communications on at least the dev and commit list are mainly of interest to traditional FOSS folks anyway - it is a way to reach that specific audience. 12:51
Waldir I have to go now, I'll read the rest in the log :) 12:52
quaid sigblips: ideally, we make them the canonical location, so anything important on the forums that the developers need to know about, goes to devel@; anything about the community of participation, community@ 12:52
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quaid afeder: as I've said, I admit to being stuck by not having a mailing list to e.g. send these logs to. 12:52
quaid I know the forum works that way, but ... somehow it feels wrong ;-P 12:52
afeder right 12:52
afeder it is a bikeshedding kind of thing :P 12:53
sigblips but the mailing list would just archive the IRC log to a webpage!  (: 12:53
quaid sigblips: also, it's an experiment; we'll either improve or hurt participation (or it remains steady), and we can reassess mailing lists, forums, and other tooling as we go 12:53
quaid sigblips: ha! 12:53
quaid well, the irc bot will do that once we get it to happen, and we'll just send that set of links to the list :) 12:54
sigblips Well I'm fine with a couple mailing lists.  What I'm concerned about is apparent lack of communication the the setiQuest forums. There just doesn't seem to be the depth of discussion that I'd like to see.  Maybe people are busy.  Maybe the concepts are too technical.  I don't know. 12:57
sigblips I meant "lack of communication in the setiQuest forums." 12:58
afeder i think it is mostly lack of focus, but we are trying to address that with what is happening now 12:59
quaid yeah, a pet peeve of mine about forums is that a thread can go sideways and off-topic and you have to plow through it to find something good to read 13:01
* quaid uses a mail client that lets him split threads and delete entire threads easily 13:01
afeder yeah mailing lists are flame war resistant ... wait, what? :) 13:01
quaid sigblips: also, what I'm thikning is that if we as a group agree, "if it's not on the mailing list it didn't happen" (as my friend mchua puts it) 13:02
quaid ... and we get other people to understand that, slowly we get it so people know there *is* a place for deep discussions 13:03
quaid afeder: agreed, a mailing list can actually go off-topic just as easily and more easily stay off-topic, but just on that part of the thread 13:03
quaid if you use a threading mail client, you can ignore those branches (after a quick visual check to know to ignore them) 13:04
* afeder nods 13:04
afeder anyways, it was nice meeting everyone - hope this channel will become a little more active in between meetings, also, in the future 13:05
afeder later 13:05
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sigblips bye afeder 13:05
mikedavis bye 13:10
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quaid ok, we're clearly pretty done with the meeting :) 13:11
quaid I'm going to make the meeting end for myself, using the same command my favorite bot uses :) 13:11
quaid #endmeeting 13:11
quaid and I'll post this back to the forum somehow 13:12

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sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733
Moradzadeh brought up the

Moradzadeh brought up the topic of the community board's responsibilities:

  1. Custodianship
  2. Leadership
  3. Advocacy

 The last one, Advocacy, is fairly straightforward but the other responsibilities are less clear. Custodianship of what? The code, the data, the website, the roadmap, and/or the hardware? Leadership of just the community or did he mean something bigger? I think the most important question is what authorization will the board have? The scope for everything else should fall into place once that is answered.

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
I can recommend reading a few

I can recommend reading a few pages of The Open Source Way, the online book that quaid is main author of. You will see that what is meant is very much a "servant leadership" kind of role. Initially, I believe it will have no authorization at all. The authorizations granted to it will be given on a case-by-case basis by decision of the community and SETI Institute in unison. An example of an authorization that could be given is for instance edit rights to the website or parts of the website. This will allow the community to suggest changes to the website and have them implemented by the board fast.

Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 278
Thanks everyone for the

Thanks everyone for the stimulating (at least much of the time) discussion at the first meeting.  The second meeting will be - same time same place, next week.

At this second meeting, we will spend some time talking about, and possibly selecting people for the board. Since there is no clear consensus on the role of the board, if we can discuss it here before the next meeting, the meeting iself can be more productive.

As Anders mentions below (sorry, the sequence of answering is a little messed up), Moradzadeh has suggested three roles for the board:

  1. Custodianship (I assume that this custodianship will come into play at some time in the future - initially, there is nothing to be a custodian for, except the project itself.)
  2. Leaderhsip - yes
  3. Advocacy - yes

Quaid, on the other hand has indicated that board is there to facilitate what community members want to do. This would encourage participation, and eventually, contribution. So, the board's role is to say "yes" to what the community wants to do - while protecting the integrity, infrastructure, resources etc. of the project.

This may be perceived as a passive role. Can we expect the board to do active things like increasing participation - because in a project like this, the more people, the better it is. But, expecting the board to do much would require the resources - an issue.

What are other views?

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
I don't necessarily see this

I don't necessarily see this as conflicting roles. I see no problem in the board taking upon tasks that otherwise might be neglected. Only thing I would like to avoid is that it becomes a top-down entity that attempts to dictate what the community should do. This can be prevented by exercising full transparency and expecting of the board that all actions it takes are in line with community consensus.

sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733
Advocacy should be the job of

Advocacy should be the job of every registered setiQuest member and not limited to being solely the board's domain. Blog, post, tweet, tell your friends, ...

Anders Feder
Joined: 2010-04-22
Posts: 618
Nothing should be solely the

Nothing should be solely the domain of the board, except when practically necessary. But often tasks like outreach are not done sufficiently well by indvidual community members - in short because they aren't interesting enough. Also, it is good to have some official contact for e.g. media to talk to.

Joined: 2010-08-11
Posts: 9
Saying "yes" takes more work than saying "no"

Believe me, there is plenty of active work in making it possible for people to do what they are interested in.  Many people say no by default because that is the easier, passive way.

Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 278
Thanks everyone for the

Thanks everyone for the stimulating (at least much of the time) discussion at the first meeting.  The second meeting will be - same time same place, next week.

At this second meeting, we will spend some time talking about, and possibly selecting people for the board. Since there is no clear consensus on the role of the board, if we can discuss it here before the next meeting, the meeting iself can be more productive.

As Anders mentions below (sorry, the sequence of answering is a little messed up), Moradzadeh has suggested three roles for the board:

  1. Custodianship (I assume that this custodianship will come into play at some time in the future - initially, there is nothing to be a custodian for, except the project itself.)
  2. Leaderhsip - yes
  3. Advocacy - yes

Quaid, on the other hand has indicated that board is there to facilitate what community members want to do. This would encourage participation, and eventually, contribution. So, the board's role is to say "yes" to what the community wants to do - while protecting the integrity, infrastructure, resources etc. of the project.

This may be perceived as a passive role. Can we expect the board to do active things like increasing participation - because in a project like this, the more people, the better it is. But, expecting the board to do much would require the resources - an issue.

What are other views?