Tech Committee Meeting Minutes 20 Aug 2013

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August 20 1:30pm, Mexico City

Present: Bozana Bokan, Brian Gregg, Rachael Hu, Barbara Hui, James MacGregor, Mark Newton (Columbia), Jason Nugent, Brian Owen, Alec Smecher. (Marc Bria and Lisa Schiff were telepresent for the 1st 5 minutes of the meeting, then had to drop out because of technical difficulties.)

Minutes: Alec.


  • Mark Newton, Columbia University. Sitting in on this meeting.
  • Jayne Dickson (CDL) will be helping with the UI/UX review

PKP Development Priorities

  • Alec:
    • Came from PKP internal discussions over the last month or two
    • Attempt to identify potential dev targets for OJS 3.0
    • Many are already "baked in" (UI/UX; upgrade; back-porting)
    • Some dependent on grants/specific funding
    • Some depend on resource impact on team (some have external resources)
    • Also motivated by desire to better expose "mid-size" development priorities
  • Barbara: May be possible to use UI/UX review to guinea-pig implementation decisions
    • Rachael: via Members committee, take findings out to community? Have members/advisory board/John validate/vet? Present as package deal with community feedback
    • Alec: Agree in principle, but concerned about potential for community feedback process being an unknown time cost. Feeling time pressure leading up to OJS 3.0.
    • Brian O: Is members committee a sufficient proxy for the community?
    • Moving on many of the recommendations may be self-evident

Process for Managing Contributions from Tech Committee and Larger PKP Community

  • James: [redacted] presented this AM; they want to contribute back
    • UI improvements; XML authoring; OAK integration; ORCID (by 2014). They want to get moving.
    • Barbara: Make sense to include them in at-large group? Still have one spot available.
    • They might be interested in push access.
    • Brian: Commercial vs. open source; lots of dynamics to consider.
    • Barbara: Community leadership summit had lots of examples.
  • Barbara: People want to commit but the process is not clear.
    • Alec: Have a fairly simple mix: most do pull requests; Bozana/Free University Berlin has commit access but checks with Alec informally before pushing code up.
    • Barbara: Need to actually document it clearly.
    • Alec: Ran tech session including Brian. Presented github workflow. Suspect that Google hangouts for tech sessions is not enough; need to follow up with persistent documentation (e.g. wiki).
  • Ideas on how to proceed:
    • Quantify availability of various team members
    • Deputize Tech Committee members to manage subprojects
    • Work specifically on:
      • on-ramping
      • refining UI/UX into more specific details as a prerequisite to defining decision-making process
    • James: use Asana task management system? (PKP already has this installed).
  • Mark Newton: How formalized is the time contribution?
  • Alec: Not formalized. But would like to start providing structure.
  • Mark: Fedora feedback: If you could go back in time, could you change anything? Yes: integrate committers with governance.
  • Brian Owen: Early days; want to farm off some responsibility if it makes sense, but need to be aware of pitfalls.
  • Barbara: Structure necessary but think it has to come from PKP.
  • Alec: i.e. project-managing based on specific assignments and hours-per-week?
  • Rachael: Not exactly. Like e.g. room for brainstorming in the meeting.
  • Brian O: e.g. adding reports to head of agenda, where sub-groups could report on progress.
  • Jason: Trust implicitly that groups are contributing?
  • Brian O: Need to step up gradually.
  • Alec: Did go further with CDL: Back-porting work from Barbara, and also UI/UX review, which is a huge priority.
  • Brian O: What about Bozana's experience?
  • Bozana: Process has worked well. We exchanged about scheduling, etc.
  • Brian O: Contributing element might be grant funding with specific dates. Provides FUB with deadlines, also passes them onto us. We've managed that OK. Organic development exchange has happened through gradual build.
  • Brian G: Way for members of the group to communicate what they could potentially give, time-wise. a) not setting someone up for failure; b) not messing up timelines.
  • Alec: Need self-interest. (Brian: yes, enlightened self-interest.) Berlin contributes what they clearly need solved; not sure farming out priorities that don't have immediate, $-related impact will succeed as well.
  • Brian G: Need github documentation as priority.
  • Rachael: Met Carol working with Coaction. They've just hired a UI person. Would like to identify synergies.
  • Brian O: Thought we contacted them?
  • James: They're a good example: they're interested in testing; asked them for test data; etc. Good partners.
  • Brian G: Could we document what members are interested in working in?
  • Barbara: Good idea. Wiki is a good place; James can give logins.
  • Alec: What about for broader community?
  • Brian G: That might spark more developer interest.
  • Discussion about tooling. James: Wordpress?
  • Rachael: Setting up organization model in advance on wordpress is a good idea.
  • Brian: It's often a feast/famine cycle; e.g. conference turns up tremendous amount of leads.
  • Brian: Commit to tackling coordinating leads raised by the conference. Correlating against development priorities, for example. Internally will do; can share. COMMIT.

Rachael: UI/UX update

  • Really heavily into mapping out tasks; intensive sessions with Alec.
  • Make sure we're not running into drop-dead bugs.
  • Next comes recruitment.
  • Environmental scan of existing scholarly publishing software: Will present tomorrow AM. Will feed UI/UX in terms of problem-solving.
  • Documentation. How do I convey this to you? Can show previous documentation with Alec. Previously, tend to do weekly meetings to supplement documentation.
  • Alec: Can set up specific OJS 3.0 alpha fork to use for UX review. COMMIT.


  • Alan Bell (UBC): Spoke with Brian. Local resource shortfall.
  • via Brian O.: LOCKSS PLN potential.

Commitments made during the meeting

  1. James will start talking with [redacted].
  2. Alec will set up specific OJS 3.0 alpha fork to use for UX review.
  3. Brian O.: Commit to tackling coordinating leads raised by the conference. Correlating against development priorities, for example. Internally will do; can share.
  4. Document describing member interests. Barbara will kick off internal documentation to keep track of tech committee member contribution interests. Brian G will help.
  5. Jason will kick off some github documentation; work with Brian G. Barbara happy to help with review and editing.
  6. Brian O.: Volunteers taking some of these topics to advisory/members.
  7. Alec: talk theming with Marc Bria now that Alpha is out.
  8. Alec: Will ask Marc about running a session on his multi-journal set-up at U Barcelona. Will plan to base the presentation on documentation rather than simply ephemeral hangout.