Working Group Minutes/EWG 2012-01-30

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC nick Real name
apmon Kai Krueger
Firefishy Grant Slater
gravitystorm Andy Allan
migurski Michal Migurski
RichardF Richard Fairhurst
SteveC Steve Coast
zere Matt Amos


  • Some time was spent reviewing what EWG has been discussing over the past few months, including the process for TTTs, the 2012 plan & budget.
  • apmon reports some progress on the routing front-end, and starting the process for getting more information about the requirements of back-end software.
  • An attempt was made to find a deputy for the management team meeting, but no-one was available.
  • SWAG estimates were given for the probability of completing each goal on the 2012 plan.
    • Mean estimates were: 80% for completing the TTTs, 65% for the site redesign, 60% for the license change, 66% for the developer meetings (before change below).
    • There was discussion, inconclusive, on whether it's better to set goals which are easy to achieve or ones which will need more effort to get done.
    • There was a general consensus that the target number of developer events would be better reduced to 5 for this year.


18:02 < zere> minutes of the last (short) meeting are up at for your approval. please let me know if there's anything objectionable.
18:03 < SteveC> Was there something special making the last meeting so curtailed?
18:03 < zere> there was nothing pressing on the agenda, and no-one raised any new topics.
18:04 < SteveC> huh
18:04 < apmon> Morning
18:04 < SteveC> So what is the EWG doing, if anything?
18:04 < zere> what a wonderfully constructive way to start the meeting.
18:05 < SteveC> Let;s start by not taking things personally. If you didn't really have a meeting last time, is some other work happening? Is the EWG being dissolved?
18:05 < SteveC> Is it needed?
18:05 < apmon> Better than SWG, that didn't meet for nearly a month... ;-)
18:06 < zere> recent items have included a review of the TTTs, brainstorming about clickable POIs, planning for 2012, and starting to talk about patch processes.
18:06 < SteveC> What are TTTs?
18:06 < zere> Top Ten Tasks
18:07 < apmon>
18:07 < zere> i'd like to thank the members of this WG for being one of only 3 WGs to actually complete a 2012 plan before the appointed date.
18:08 < zere> and, even though last week's meeting was short, most of the meetings we've had have run the full hour.
18:08 < zere> it might be worth considering moving to a bi-weekly schedule if we see many more meetings with little to discuss, though.
18:08 -!- gravitystorm [] has joined #osm-ewg
18:09 < apmon> yes, that is an option
18:09 < zere> welcome, latecomer ;-)
18:09 < apmon> but so far if I remember correctly most meetings have run for the full hour
18:09  * SteveC reads through the TTTs
18:10 < apmon> But anyway, what is on the agenda for today...?
18:10 < zere> the first item is to find a willing volunteer to deputize at this week's management team meeeting, as i'm unable to make it.
18:10 < SteveC> What was the process for deciding the TTTs?
18:10 < zere> we discussed here, and voted.
18:11 -!- Firefishy_ [] has joined #osm-ewg
18:11 < apmon> The details are somewhere in the minutes
18:11 < SteveC> So each one has a number of votes associated with it that isn't in the wiki but is reflected by the order of the tasks?
18:11 < SteveC> Or are they unordered?
18:12 < zere> no, the voting determined which were TTTs and which got "backlogged". the TTTs themselves aren't ordered
18:12 < zere> we want to complete them all, so ordering them didn't seem to be necessary or helpful.
18:12 < SteveC> Is this the backlogged list?
18:13 < RichardF> that's a bit of wiki archaeology :)
18:13 < RichardF> "Ultimately Potlatch should probably move from its current ActionScript 1 to ActionScript 3" think we can tick that one off...
18:13 < apmon>
18:13 < apmon>
18:14 < SteveC> ok so there is little overlap between our board meeting and these tasks, will the EWG take direction from the board or does it wish to be self-determining?
18:14 -!- Firefishy [] has left #osm-ewg []
18:15 < SteveC> apmon: nice, I like using google docs forms for these things, there's nothing simpler
18:16 < apmon> zere: The ordering of the Tasks on the wiki are the same as you reported as the results. But I guess you didn't specify if they were ordered by votes
18:16 -!- Firefishy_ is now known as Firefishy
18:17 < apmon> With regard to the TTT, I have done some more work on the routing front end, trying to make it more user friendly ( )
18:17 < apmon> I have also tried to start the process of determining hardware requirements for a backend
18:17 < zere> apmon: no, i might have copied & pasted in that order, but it was an artefact of the process, not an intentional ordering.
18:17 < apmon> ah ok
18:18 < SteveC> I'm going to assume that the EWG, like the OWG, wishes to self-determine unless you tell me otherwise guys
18:18 < apmon> but I guess that will need some input from the operations working group to come up with some requirements the backends need to meet
18:18 < zere> SteveC: if you think there is little overlap because of the site redesign, it's because the site redesign isn't a "TTT". we're managing that separately.
18:19 < apmon> SteveC: If the board has comments and input, it should surely give it to us
18:19 < zere> if there are other areas you think are out of alignment with the board's wishes then we'd like to hear about it.
18:19 < SteveC> Ok, can you help me to understand that process?
18:19 < apmon> I'd also assume that the ewg would take it into advice, given the usual caveats of "all voluntary work, so no guarantees" 
18:21 < apmon> Given that zere and RichardF are both on the board and on ewg, I'd assume it isn't entirely out of line with the board to start with?
18:21 < RichardF> yes, historically the board<->WG conduit has been by having board members on the WGs.
18:21 < SteveC> Richard wasn't in Redmond and Matt voiced concerns so it's not unreasonable to expect some discrepancy. I'm trying to understand if there is, and what it is.
18:22 < zere> apmon: yes, in the meeting you linked to earlier i thought we went through the items minuted from the board meeting, but it's possible i missed something.
18:22  * SteveC takes a look
18:23 < SteveC> Ok so the first three sub-bullets don't actually summarize any decision or action but just say things were discussed. Would it be possible to summarize what the result of the discussion was, if anything? This can of course include "more discussion is needed" or whatever.
18:25 < apmon> The full log of everything talked about is in the irc log
18:25 < SteveC> So when we have our board meeting in 35 minutes you want me to say to all 7 people that they should read 30 page IRC logs, or can you summarize?
18:26 < zere> i can summarise.
18:26 < SteveC> :-)
18:27 < zere> there's some more detail in the 2012 plan, tbh.
18:28 < apmon> do you have the link to that?
18:28 < zere> if we could move on to the agenda, first item is that i'm looking for a volunteer to attend the management team meeting on wednesday. do we have any volunteers?
18:28 -!- migurski [] has joined #osm-ewg
18:28  * migurski arrives late
18:28 < zere> apmon: i'll get one - i think i emailed PDFs to the management team...
18:29 < SteveC> Where is a link to it?
18:29 < zere> SteveC: you'll have a PDF in your mailbox for management team.
18:29  * SteveC looks in the basement and ignores the "beware of the leopard" sign :-)
18:29 < apmon> zere: when are the management meetings?
18:30 < SteveC> Searching for "matt management ewg" fails to find it, is there some other string I should use?
18:30 < zere> apmon: wednesday, 7pm GMT, midday mountain time
18:31 < apmon> I don't think I can make it at that time, as I have work meetings
18:32 < zere> EWG 2012 plan:
18:32 < gravitystorm> zere: I'll be at management for OWG, but it's really a good idea to have different people for different working groups. Helps massively with quorums, for a start.
18:32 < zere> yes, that was something we agreed at the last one...
18:33 < zere> anyone else willing to volunteer to be at management team meeting on behalf of EWG?
18:34  * Firefishy not available on Wednesday.
18:35 < zere> anyone? RichardF, migurski, perhaps?
18:35 < RichardF> I'm on the road this Wednesday, I'm afraid
18:35 < SteveC> What is it, if anything, that needs to be reported to MT?
18:36 < zere> last meeting wasn't exactly full to bursting with people, so i believe that the 2012 plans need to be discussed & agreed.
18:36 < zere> ^^ last MT meeting, i mean.
18:38 < SteveC> Don't the numbers quoted exceed the MT remit?
18:39 < zere> no. it was my understanding that the MT would discuss and agree the plans and pass the budgets (as far as they'd been agreed by MT) to the treasurer who would have the final say on approval.
18:40 < zere> so, for this planning process (and presumably only this planning process once a year) there are no budget caps. if stuff needs to be taken off the budget then that's something that the treasurer can discuss with the board, MT & relevant WG(s).
18:41 < SteveC> Hm. Is there some way to speed things up given we have three board members here?
18:42 < zere> given we don't have a view across the other WGs plans (mainly because most haven't submitted them yet), i'd say it's worth discussing overall priorities at the MT level before having a board discussion.
18:42 < zere> after all, that's what MT is for, right?
18:43 < zere> and in the absence of other WGs plans, we'd need to discuss with the MT representatives at least.
18:43 < SteveC> Ok
18:44 < SteveC> So if you had to wave your hands and assuming general agreement, what is your % chance you feel the EWG will achieve, individually, the 4 goals outlined?
18:44 < SteveC> I say individually since some are bigger, some need help from other WGs, things like that
18:47 < zere> that's an interesting question. perhaps we should all give our estimates? worth setting up a quick gspreadsheet for that?
18:47 < apmon> I'd say the TTT should be doable in a year. Each individual task isn't that large. And a number of them have more or less working prototypes already
18:48 < SteveC> I'd say 80%, 40%, 60%, 100% off the top of my head
18:48 < SteveC> apmon: that makes sense however you've already lost 1/12th of your year
18:48 < zere> in order of TTTs, site design, license change & dev meetings.
18:48 < RichardF> and completed one of the tasks :)
18:48 < apmon> Well, one of the ten has been more or less completed (P2 I18n)
18:49 < RichardF> I think the nice thing about the TTTs is that there's several discrete skillsets there. So it's not just drawing on one person for every single task. That's good.
18:49 < zere> i'd say 80%, 95%, 70% and 50% off the top of my head.
18:50 < zere> the last one on the basis of previous developer meetups - we will try and stimulate them, but there historically haven't been that many.
18:50 < apmon> 80% 60% 50% 50%
18:50 < RichardF> TTTs I think we'll get most done; I'd be surprised if we got all 10, but hey. The challenge for the redesign is deciding on it rather than implementing it - after all we already have an alternate design almost ready to go. Licence change - lots of momentum towards that but no-one's pretending it's going to be easy technically.
18:50 < zere> although, i guess "more" is a pretty easy target. the 50% was for the assumption of 10 events (in different locations).
18:50 < RichardF> not qualified to talk about developer meetings.
18:51 < SteveC> Okay, I know it's a low sample size but given the low % numbers it would appear to make sense to cut some things so you can claim 100% on 2 of them instead of 50-odd percent on 4 of them?
18:52 < apmon> I guess the site redesign depends on how ambitious or how incremental it is with respect to the current code base
18:53 < apmon> In some ways, the problem is actually completing things. A lot of the things have been partially started to a decent stage, but then rather than finishing it, a new project was partially started
18:54 < zere> i'd rather try and do all those things - but maybe i'm being too ambitious? i'd like us to stretch ourselves rather than just set up targets we know we can hit.
18:54 < gravitystorm> SteveC: isn't the difficulty there in forecasting which ones are going to be completed? And I thought the board was looking for WGs to set ambitious targets this year?
18:56 < apmon> If we can get a bit of momentum going again, all of the tasks are well within the realm of technical possible.
18:56 < apmon> So I wouldn't even consider them overly ambitious.
18:57 < SteveC> Sure, there's a tradeoff. But if privately we're acknowledging such numbers it looks like 4 is too challenging. I  think just one or two of those if the EWG could guarantee it is somewhat more valuable than a vaguer set of goals in terms of showing to the world what we're capable of and so on
18:57 < SteveC> Each one of those is pretty ambitious remember, if you look at the last 4-5 years of activity as a comparator
18:57 < apmon> 4 is imho too challanging if
18:58 < apmon> 4 is imho too challenging if we set 10 events as the goal. Less is definitively possible
18:58 < zere> well, i think developer meetings is a target that we can stretch for. if it doesn't happen then we'll have to re-examine how we're promoting these events and try something different.
18:59 < apmon> 3 is at least partially still a social issue
18:59 < zere> but maybe 10 is too high. if we reduce it to 5, does that make it easier?
18:59 < zere> assuming dev meetings in london don't count - the idea is "more locations" not "more meetings".
18:59 < RichardF> (I need to excuse myself now as the board meeting is about to take place and I don't have IRC client and touchtone phone in the same room)
19:00 < SteveC> For very specific reasons I want to be able to say "OSM decided to do this, and we actually did it" because I don't have many examples of that to wave around to people who are either donating or want to donate things to us.
19:00 < RichardF> s2o :)
19:00 < apmon> If London ones don't count then imho 5 is a much more reasonable goal
19:00 < RichardF> anyway, off
19:00 < zere> does 5 give us a >80% chance of success?
19:01 < gravitystorm> zere: depends if you're claiming karlsruhe and washington as the first two - they're both in feb.
19:01 < zere> i know emacsen is planning one in DC and there's another taking place in germany... yeah, what gravitystorm said.
19:01 < apmon> One can probably get one going on the US westcoast, e.g SF
19:01 < zere> karlsruhe i'm not sure about - i think there have been events there before.
19:01 < apmon> Where else would likely candidates be?
19:01 < gravitystorm> zere: I'd say 10, including London, and we should aim for at least three in London this year.
19:02 < zere> DC definitely, and west coast, sure.
19:02 < apmon> Russia?
19:02 < zere> hopefully elsewhere in the world as well.
19:02  * SteveC exits
19:02 -!- SteveC [~SteveC@] has left #osm-ewg []
19:02 < zere> that would be cool. russia, france, spain, italy, australia - anywhere, really.
19:03 < apmon> Well, where are there likely to be sufficient numbers of developers to make it happen?
19:03 < zere> gravitystorm: i think the point is to have them in new places. i hope to have 3 in london too - but there have been that many in london before.
19:03 < zere> apmon: we have to figure that out. ;-)
19:05 < apmon> I need to go now too.
19:06 < zere> ok. thanks to everyone for coming and we'll resume talks next week.