Working Group Minutes/EWG 2013-01-07

From OpenStreetMap Foundation


IRC nick Real name
RichardF Richard Fairhurst
tmcw Tom MacWright
zere Matt Amos


  • Review of the year:
    • Taking a strict view, 2/10 of the Top Ten Tasks were completed, which is poor.
    • However, 9/10 of the Top Ten Tasks have had some work done on them.
    • We need to manage these better (off-wiki?), and have a better range of tasks of various sizes for various ability levels.


18:02:41 <zere> #startmeeting
18:02:41 <ewg-meetbot> Meeting started Mon Jan  7 18:02:41 2013 UTC.  The chair is zere. Information about MeetBot at
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18:03:00 <zere> minutes of the last meeting:
18:03:41 <zere> i thought this meeting we could start doing a retrospective, with a view to building a plan / set of goals for 2013
18:04:22 <zere> going through the top ten tasks, it seems like:
18:04:59 <zere> 1. openstreetbugs / notes: there's been a fair amount of progress on this, but it's still not deployed and we can't really call it done.
18:06:00 <zere> 2. the support for i18n on - best route here seems to be to migrate to a different bit of software, but the migration path isn't exactly clear (what we'd need, what we'd lose, etc...). also not done
18:06:31 <zere> 3. clickable / inspectable POIs - there's been a lot of talk, but nothing that would be deployable. also not done.
18:07:06 <zere> 4. routing frontend - similar story; there's been activity, but not to the point that it can be deployed.
18:07:23 <zere> 5. deleted items call: afaik, not started.
18:08:29 <zere> 6. improved history/activity tab. ppawel has done a lot of great work on this, and i think some collaboration with mapbox folks too. my impression is that this is/was nearly ready?
18:08:57 <zere> there were 2 tasks completed: the PL2 i18n, and the ODbL migration tools.
18:09:23 <zere> there were 2 tasks deferred: PL2 tutorial mode and routing backend.
18:09:54 <zere> being very, very generous, it could be claimed that 50% of the tasks were done, but it's actually more like 20%.
18:10:08 <zere> so: what can we learn from this?
18:10:25 <RichardF> P2 stuff is, I think, largely on hold right now for obvious reasons. P2 will continue in new magnificent ways but there's no need to patch beginner-friendly stuff onto it any more.
18:10:44 <zere> we've talked before about the problems with granularity of tasks, and agreed that we should also be trying to promote "getting started" type, small tasks.
18:10:52 <zere> should we stop trying to promote these big tasks?
18:11:50 <RichardF> do we have any evidence that putting the tasks up there has encouraged people to work on them? I'd ask ppawel if that was the case re: 6, but he's not here
18:12:46 <zere> RichardF: absolutely. i wouldn't want to stick to some sort of rigid plan just because that's what we thought 6-9 months ago. the trick seems to be finding the right blend of flexibility and stability.
18:13:08 <zere> i don't think the TTTs did a great job of getting people involved in themselves
18:13:46 <zere> i think it was useful to point people towards to give them ideas, and useful for giving us a reference point.
18:14:17 <RichardF> yep. they're possibly useful for showing newbie developers the direction of travel for OSM, too
18:14:39 <zere> s/getting people involved in themselves/getting people involved simply from having looked at the TTTs/ - didn't mean to suggest people weren't (or were) self-involved ;-)
18:15:51 <zere> do you think so? because i think it's probably not the best way of showing direction, and probably weren't that useful for anyone unfamiliar with the OSM jargon
18:16:36 <RichardF> well, they (intentionally) didn't include "build a full GMaps-style API that encourages everyone to hammer our tile servers", for example. all the stuff on there was "good stuff we'd like people to work on"
18:18:47 <zere> ok. how can we keep the useful aspects of the TTTs, but try to perhaps make them more successful...
18:19:08 <zere> if we're looking at it one way, a 2/10 success ratio looks very poor
18:19:31 <RichardF> hm.
18:19:46 <zere> but if the positive aspect was more "direction setting", then that 9/10 of them have had some work done is pretty encouraging
18:24:09 <tmcw> the top ten tasks are pretty daunting, it's hard to imagine any of them being completed by true newbies
18:25:01 <RichardF> maybe a list of "projects to get involved in" would be useful - as per the guy on /diary the other day who was interested in iD
18:25:12 <RichardF> (though I realise we're then back into rewriting the wiki developer docs)
18:27:00 <tmcw> yeah, that's kind of the
18:27:03 <tmcw> stage of the develop page
18:27:35 <tmcw> antedilluvian and all
18:29:39 <zere> i guess the important bits of information for "projects to get involved in" would be: general description, skills, contacts, where can i learn more?
18:30:10 <zere> so is it worth doing that instead? looking at projects which exist - or we'd like to exist - and bringing them together?
18:30:25 <tmcw> yeah, hence that style of that page
18:30:43 <zere> and how would we avoid the wiki tar-trap of keeping these things up-to-date?
18:31:05 <tmcw> I wish the tar-trap was about keeping things up to doate.
18:31:22 <zere> sure, it's not just about keeping things up to date.
18:31:36 <zere> but stuff bit-rotting on the wiki is a big concern for me
18:44:45 <zere> it seems that we're looking at completely separating the "getting started" and "things we'd like people to work on" parts of this. the former would seem to be better served by linking to specially tagged tasks in project backlogs, and the latter... by having something similar, but with a different focus to, the TTTs?
18:45:07 <zere> is it worth repeating last year's exercise of gathering ideas and voting on them?
18:45:47 <tmcw> gathering ideas for... projects or tasks or?
18:49:19 <zere> "things we'd like people to work on" - we did 'tasks' last year to form the TTTs, but some of those were clearly 'projects' rather than tasks.
19:04:26 <zere> the other possibility is, of course, that this is a waste of time and EWG isn't worth continuing with. but we can talk about that next time.
19:04:39 <zere> thanks for coming, and see you next monday!
19:04:42 <zere> #endmeeting