WikiDev'17 Program committee IRC meeting

Hosted by Qgil on Nov 9 2016, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM.


First real-time meeting of the Wikimedia developer Summit Program committee! A majority had a slight preference for IRC.

Let's meet on IRC, #wikimedia-office at Freenode.

Just in case, the meeting time is 19:30 UTC.


Tasks of the Program committee before the Summit:

  1. Define the structure of the table (the empty table with rooms and times)
  2. Select the sessions pre-scheduled.
  3. Define the rest of pre-scheduled activities (opening, closure, maybe a keynote, maybe some other exception)

Define the structure of the table

  • @Rfarrand to share details about the rooms available

Select the sessions pre-scheduled

  • In order to decide how to oprganize the schedule (which main topics move forward, pre-scheduled vs Unconference, tracks or not...) we need to check first which proposals submitted are good to make it to the pre-schedule.
  • We have a timeline with deadlines.
  • Coming next: 2016-11-14: Deadline for defining a good problem statement, expectations, and links to relevant resources.
  • We are not changing main topics now, but facilitators can fine tune their main topics, even if what counts at this point is which proposals have been submitted.
  • Idea about making a call to all registered participants + related online spaces to go through proposals and assign tokens to them, as a way to register interest beyond comments.

Define the rest of pre-scheduled activities

  • Interest in having a session with the new CTO, but different opinions about which type of session.
  • There is time to discuss these details.

Next meeting

There are not going to be regular meetings. We have a wiki page and a Hangout chat. Whenever there are topics better resolved in a meeting, we will meet.

Meeting log

<qgil> #startmeeting
<qgil> er... nope :D
<thedj> is it even online /
<DanielK_WMDE> not here...
<qgil> OK, letś forget about MeetBot
<greg-g> wm-bot: help
<qgil> Hi there, this is the Wikimedia Developer Summit Program commitee meeting! First one in real-time!
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: let's pretend it's here. then we can grep for #info and #link in the log
<qgil> First of all, who is here for the meeting?
<qgil> o/
<greg-g> o/
<DanielK_WMDE> \o
<rfarrand> o/
<thedj> \o/
<Birgit_WMDE> me
<halfak> o/
<cscott> me
<halfak> leila is
<qgil> OK, let's say we have quorum. (If you arrive later, please still say Hi!)
<leila> \o/
<leila> ;)
<qgil> I feel like having talked / communicated a lot in many venues already, probably half-confusing most of you.
<qgil> For this reason, I think it would be good to start by simply you mentioning topics you want to discuss right now
<qgil> or questions, etc.
<qgil> We take note, and then we move forward.
<qgil> ok?
<leila> ok
<rfarrand> I would like to hear what the program commitee needs from me. I will be providing details on the rooms that can be prescheduled, working out timing & providing a list of the interests of the participants
<cscott> i'd like to hear more about next steps for organizing/scheduling/winnowing down sessions
<leila> qgil: one thing I'd like to ask is whether we have a timeline and clear set of tasks for each of us.
<Birgit_WMDE> maybe one goal of today's meeting should be to come up with a timeline
<greg-g> I'm hearing timeline...
<greg-g> :)
<qgil> OK, all these questions have a common theme
<thedj> i note there is a partial timeline here: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Call_for_participation#Selection_process
<DanielK_WMDE> when scheduling, some key questions are: how many (and what kinds of) sessions do we have in parallel? What breaks do we have for room changes? How far are the rooms apart, how big are they? What equipment is available in which room?
<qgil> Between now and the beginning of the Summit, the main goal of the Program committee is to produce... a Program. :)
<qgil> #link https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Program
<qgil> The closest we have to a timeline today is https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Call_for_participation#Selection_process
<leila> based on the current proposals, qgil? or are we accepting new proposals? inviting keynote speakers? etc.?
<greg-g> #link https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Call_for_participation#Selection_process
<qgil> That refers to the selection of proposals that are willing to be pre-scheduled
<halfak> The proposal deadline was a long time ago
<qgil> We have enough proposals already.
<thedj> so, we have a ton of tickets, a rought timeline for proposals, a set of timeslots and rooms
<kaldari> what's the next step?
<qgil> In fact we got two beyond the deadline, and I will ask what should we do about them. (let's not get stuck with this detail now)
<thedj> are there more requirements that need to be considered ?
<qgil> i sec
<qgil> 1
<qgil> There are somme tasks that depend on each other, and we need to solve.
<DanielK_WMDE> rfarrand: is there an overview of the available rooms? a floor plan maybe?
<qgil> The selection process depends on how the grid looks like
<qgil> And the shape of the grid (how many rooms, how long the sessions, where are the breaks...) also depends on us
<thedj> http://www.presidio.gov/venues/golden-gate-club
<qgil> considering the limitations of time and space that rfarrand will provide
<DanielK_WMDE> thedj: yea, i was just looking at that. not much detail, but it's a start
<rfarrand> yeah, I can provide a better on
<qgil> So one conversation we will need to have in the next days is: how does the grid look like?
<thedj> do we have all spaces ?
<rfarrand> with the intended uses for each room
<qgil> The good news is that (afair) nobody had big objections with the grid last time, so we have a default to start with.
<rfarrand> some will be avalible for the pre-scheduled sessions, others will be for unconference and others have other uses alocated. We have the entire venue, both floors.
<halfak> "the grid"?
<qgil> Any questions about the skeleton of the schedule
<qgil> grid = skeleton
<cscott> there's always the meta-question of "tracks"
<halfak> "the skeleton"?
<rfarrand> I can send a first draft (which can be modified) of intended uses of the space out to this group later today.
<cscott> how many, are topics mutually exclusive in audience, etc
<halfak> +1 cscott, I'd also like to talk about tracks
<qgil> Good, this brings us to the content to fill the schedule
<halfak> qgil, what schedule?
<DanielK_WMDE> i'm looking at the 2016 schedule for guidance: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit_2016/Program#Schedule
<qgil> tha content will come from a selection of proposals submitted plus other sessions we will inject: opening, closure, perhaps a keynote...
<halfak> DanielK_WMDE, wrong year?
<DanielK_WMDE> so this year, we had up to 6 sessions in parallel. But mostly 4.
<qgil> halfak, that is our reference for this year
<halfak> Oh!
<halfak> so qgil asked if there were questions about the skeleton of the schedule. Where is that?
<rfarrand> Just as a start: at the moment we are allocating two rooms to the program commitee to fill with pre-scheduled tracks. One is the main room that fits 200 people and the other is a large room fitting 70 people. DanielK_WMDE
<qgil> DanielK_WMDE, note that we only need to take care of the pre-scheduled rooms (1? 2? 3?)
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: do you think last year's grid worked well? doe we need to change it due to specifics of the location?
<qgil> all the rest will land there as part of the Unconference
<quiddity> Does "skeleton" = "tracks"?
<halfak> I'm so confused
<qgil> ok
<halfak> I feel like there was a call for questions and then we didn't stop
<cscott> fyi URLs for this year should be in format https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/<foo>
<qgil> A schedule consists of a table (empty) and then sessions to fill the table, right?
<cscott> maybe we need an agenda for this meeting, based on the qs asked?
<Birgit_WMDE> +1 for agenda
<Birgit_WMDE> We've got 30 minutes left
<DanielK_WMDE> sorry for jumping ahead
<qgil> Well, I was still trying to explain the work that needs to be done.
<qgil> Which, if you wait a bit, is not that difficult to explain.
<greg-g> (don't you love IRC meetings?)
<qgil> 1. Define the structure of the table (the empty table with rooms and times)
<qgil> 2. Select the sessions pre-scheduled.
<qgil> 3. Define the rest of pre-scheduled activities (opening, closure, maybe a keynote, maybe some other exception)
<qgil> That's it between now and the beginning of the event.
<qgil> And I would leave our tasks during the event for another meeting, a month or so from now.
<qgil> OK, then the agenda can be one point for each of the 3 tasks described above.
<qgil> Comments>?
<thedj> let's just start with that
<qgil> Any questions still open about 1?
<brion> agh, didn't see the calendar invite until just now :)
<leila> ( greg-g :D)
<qgil> Any questions still open about 1. Define the structure of the table (the empty table with rooms and times)?
<cscott> well, we need to know the room list, right?
<thedj> so, copy paste schedule table last year, empty it out and past in new location is task 1 I guess :)
<Birgit_WMDE> :D
<qgil> Yes, we will know the room list.
<qgil> thedj, that would work for me as a start
<cscott> then given how many rooms, we need to decide whether to fill them all with separate tracks, or just have a single track and the rest unconference or hacking space, or some middle ground between those two extremes
<thedj> there are 7 rooms, 2 rfarrand just said targetted for pre-scheduled
<thedj> list of rooms: http://www.presidio.gov/venues/golden-gate-club
<qgil> I don't think the measurement for tracks or not tracks is the number of rooms, but the nukmber of good proposals for each candidate for a track
<DanielK_WMDE> cscott: this year, we mostly had two pre-scheduled sessions in parallel.
<qgil> BUT this is point 2
<qgil> Any more questions about point 1?
<cscott> we also have two days of sessions, so we have to decide whether we're doing the "same thing" (same structure) both days, or else one thing the first day and a different thing the second day
<thedj> ok, i'll copy and past the old table into a new location
<qgil> thedj, can you plais just wait a sec?
<cscott> this isn't point 2, this is point 1. i'm not sure there's consensus on "two tracks in two rooms" yet.
<cscott> and that's the "structure of the table"
<qgil> srishakatux, had some feedback about that table vs other presentations
<qgil> "tracks" = content
<DanielK_WMDE> thedj: i vote for shifting the schedule to one hour later...
<cscott> "tracks" = simultaneous sessions
<cscott> which is the number of columns in the table
<rfarrand> thedj: correct. the program commitee currently has 2 rooms of the sizes I listed above for pre-scheduled sessions. 3 smaller rooms will be allocated to the unconference tracks and 2 very very small rooms will be for other uses (not sessions).
<qgil> sessions = content
<rfarrand> that means at any one time we could have 5 sessions ongoing at a time. Probably wont, but could.
<qgil> Question: is it understood that the program committee needs to define the structure of the schedule (something that we will not do here and now)?
<cscott> just to throw a wrench in: we could decide to have 2 main tracks and 1 minor track of scheduled content, and 2 tracks of unconference, right?
<DanielK_WMDE> cscott: usually, tracks refer to content topics. and usually, you don't have two sessions for the same topic in parallel. and often, all sessions about a topic are in the same room. But often, you have fewer rooms than (content) tracks.
<cscott> having simultaneous unconference tracks and pre-scheduled session tracks seems somewhat fraught
<rfarrand> cscott: yes, that is totally fine if you guys want that
<cscott> how would i be able to participate in the unconference w/o having it potentially conflict with a scheduled session on the same day
<qgil> cscott, let me insist: discussing specifics about tracks without having any idea of the sessions we have to fill them outt seems premature to me.
<DanielK_WMDE> cscott: i'd speak of columns, or just rooms, to avoid confusion
<halfak> cscott, I think that's on whoever schedules the unconference event
<cscott> DanielK_WMDE: sure.
<halfak> So it's a non-concern now
<rfarrand> cscott: also possible to do scheduled sessions in the mornings and unconferece in the afternoons
<cscott> DanielK_WMDE: we have 5 columns in the table
<cscott> can we say anything about how many rows? ie, how long each "session" would be?
<DanielK_WMDE> i see 6
<halfak> The scheduler of the unconference event should make sure it doesn't overlap with anything super relevant.
<cscott> halfak: that doesn't work very well in my experience
<qgil> OK, I see that you got 1. right. Let's move onto 2.
<cscott> we tried that last year, and i was severely overbooked and the scheduler hated me
<qgil> Let me cut, as timekeeper.
<DanielK_WMDE> cscott: you are just interested in too much stuff ;)
<qgil> 20 minutes left,.
<qgil> Any questions about 2. Select the sessions pre-scheduled.
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: yea. how.
<cscott> well sure, but it's a common complaint for tracks in general, can't do X because of Y
<DanielK_WMDE> i mean, beyond personal preference
<cscott> i'm trying to start the meta-conversation about whether or not there's anything we can do about it, or do we just say suck it up
<qgil> Sure, have you seen the milestones at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Call_for_participation#Selection_process ?
<halfak> qgil, do you have a proposal for how we'll select?
<rfarrand> I would like the program committee to tell me if they would like to do prescheduled sessions in the morning and unconference in the afternoon OR both at the same time. Don't have to decide now though.
<qgil> They suggest a first cut next week based on quality of the proposals.
<qgil> Then a second cut a buit later based on registered interest.
<qgil> What do you think?
<halfak> rfarrand, I think both at the same time, but that depends on how many pre-scheduled sessions we have.
<halfak> If they can fill the day, let's do that.
<rfarrand> OK, just like last year
<halfak> qgil, sounds OK to me.
<qgil> rfarrand, I'll take note of your questions, but we cannot answer them today.
<rfarrand> OK
<rfarrand> no problem
<DanielK_WMDE> i'm wondering what happens between "consolidating a discussion, regularly summarized in the proposal" and "The Program committee publishes the draft schedule"
<qgil> According to the timeline proposed, by the end of this month we should know which proposals are well formulated and have discussions already started.
<DanielK_WMDE> and in this context, i'm wondering if we are happy with our Main Topics as they are now. Maybe some are too broad, or too narrow?

  • halfak goes to other meeting

<qgil> Ideally, all those would make the pre-schedule. If they are too many or too little, we will need to apply other criteria (each of you on your main topics, the ArchCom guiding too...)
<qgil> DanielK_WMDE, we are not touching the main topics.
<qgil> Or better said
<qgil> Each facilitator can touch their main topic as much they want.
<cscott> as a strawman, let's say that *all* sessions are unconference sessions. that is, we put on thumb on the scale by ensuring that our selected "topic" sessions "win" the unconference selection process, but so do a bunch of other things
<cscott> and then we come up with some mechanism to schedule actual slots for these things based on participants on the fly
<cscott> like, say, someone writes a little web script that lets everyone list the sessions they are interested in and it cranks out a schedule w/ minimum overlaps
<cscott> that is, tries to schedule things so that people can go to the maximum number of sessions they expressed interest in
<cscott> that's a strawman proposal. it involves someone doing coding. ;)
<cscott> in the interest of fairness, let's float the other strawman: we pick two tracks, unconference topics on the first two days are "best effort" only, and the unconference schedule manually tries to pick times that agree with those who expressed interest, and we acknowledge there will be conflicts but alas that's life.
<qgil> But we are past the point of questioning them as awhole.
<qgil> I had one idea that might or might not be related to cscott ideas...
<qgil> By the deadline on 2016-11-28,
<cscott> here's another meta question, forgive me for coming in last to this whole process, you may have discussed this already: are we talking big "discuss themes" sessions that combine a bunch of specific proposals, or more WMF-like sessions which have slides and are led by a specific proponent?
<qgil> We could make a call to all participants registered + wikitech-l and neighboring regions...
<cscott> (oops, pls table my question until qgil has a chance to finish this idea)

  • DanielK_WMDE seems to remember that this scheduling problem is NP-complete

<qgil> ... asking them to express their opinion about each session using Phabricator tokens
<cscott> DanielK_WMDE: sure, like many things NP-complete but there are reasonable heuristics
<qgil> This way
<qgil> we could have a sense of interest beyond "comments The tokens also have some meaning themselves.
<qgil> This would also give a chance to unconference sessions to actually register high interest
<qgil> and become candidates to be pre-selected
<qgil> What do you think?
<cscott> I'm having trouble getting participation on the phab tasks in general. I'm not sure how many votes i'd actually be able to solicit.
<qgil> That's the point, you don't have to solicit.
<qgil> We make a list with all the sessions organized by main topics + other
<qgil> We ask everybody to take a lot and give tokens
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: if we can get many people to actually do this, i think it's a good basis for session selection
<qgil> and see what happens
<qgil> I'm not saying we would make decisions based on that
<cscott> i like the general idea, i'm just saying i'm not sure that phab is the right mechanism.
<cscott> but it might be worth a try, and if we don't get participation we can try something else
<qgil> but it would be an element additional to your criteria as program committee and number / speed of comments
<qgil> All the session proposals have phab tasks, and all those tasks have a collection of tokens at a single click
<qgil> simple
<cscott> simple for people that live in phab
<qgil> well, if you are attending the summit or interested in the evolution of MediaWiki etc...
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: is it fair to record that "have the unconference in parallel" vs "have the unconference after the scheduled stuff" is undecided?
<cscott> qgil: i don't think that characterization is at all fair
<qgil> totally undecided
<cscott> assuming the goal of the summit is to broaden participation
<cscott> DanielK_WMDE: i think we've "decided' that at least one day of unconference is "after the scheduled stuff"?
<qgil> turns out that people out there use things that look like tokens in pages that look like phab tasks
<cscott> i think it's just the programming of the five rooms which is undecided
<qgil> Wednesday is not unconference
<qgil> is non-structure
<qgil> or at least that is the initial idea
<qgil> Wednesday is for hacking and meetings and whatever reults from the first tweo days
<qgil> That is why we came with a third day, because people asked for "non-structured"time after the two days.
<thedj> which mean find a spot, find your peeps (or not if u wish) and get stuff done (be it discussion, code, governance etc).
<thedj> right ?
<qgil> This is how I see it, yes
<cscott> hm. that could well be too much freedom, it may be hard to get the people you need together at the same time in the same place. but i guess we'll find out.
<thedj> based on last year, we might want to at least encourage people to note down plans they make for that day somewhere.
<qgil> well, the good news is that we have time to plan Wednesday better.
<DanielK_WMDE> cscott: you can still schedule a session by posing it on the wall and/or wiki
<qgil> time check: 7 minutes
<cscott> i was thinking a small-scale optional unconference, mostly for the proposing things-to-work-on and picking-a-time-for-them parts.
<qgil> Any questions about 3. Define the rest of pre-scheduled activities (opening, closure, maybe a keynote, maybe some other exception)?
<cscott> but i guess that can be run independent of any actual organization for the final day
<cscott> qgil: is the CTO interested in talking?
<cscott> i think we'd all be interested in hearing her take, either as an intro or a wrap up
<qgil> I don't know, but Rachel and I have thought about it.
<cscott> i'd like to propose a single unified session for kickoff and wrap up regardless, actually.
<cscott> assuming we can all squeeze into a single spot in the venue.
<qgil> I think we have to leave behind the model of having our hughest managers opening the summit with a keynote
<qgil> highest :)
<rfarrand> participants last year and the year before asked for unscheduled time to meet with people, unless we have really good reason to do so lets not start scheduling out Wed at this point
<cscott> i'm not thinking keynote so much as "introduction"
<cscott> but it would also be very interesting to hear her thoughts at the conclusion of the event. what sessions did she attend, what did she learn
<qgil> I think a non-plenary Q&A with the WMF CTO and the VP of Product would be useful
<cscott> hm.
<rfarrand> qgil: thats what I tried to do with Terry at the Mexico City wikimania hackathon and it did not work super well for a few reasons
<rfarrand> a completely unscheduled Q&A
<cscott> well, i'm looking for events that would bring us together as one org, given that the rest of the schedule will divide us into our parochial interests
<qgil> Well, the good news is that we don't need to decide this either. :)
<thedj> Right, empty table: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Schedule_table
<qgil> What else can we discuss here and now?
<cscott> and hearing from our management would certainly be a unifying opportunity.
<thedj> no times, just rooms
<qgil> in the few minutes left.
<qgil> thanks thedj
<DanielK_WMDE> qgil: when do we meet next, and what's our homework?
<qgil> Do we need meetings?
<rfarrand> thanks thedj: ill mess around with that a bit later today
<qgil> I mean regular meetings.
<DanielK_WMDE> i'd suggest at least one more
<qgil> Current homework can be found and discussed at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Topic:Teiv1oh680cvw876. If you have questions or comments, post them there please.
<cscott> are we going to do the token-voting thing?
<qgil> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Developer_Summit/2017/Program_committee is where our discussion and our activities happen. Please watch those pages.
<qgil> that page
<DanielK_WMDE> ...during the period in which we are supposed to come up with a draft schedule. so, first week of December.
<cscott> i have concerns about the self-selection that will occur when using phab as the mechanism, but i'd rather use phab than not do the experiment at all
<qgil> " are we going to do the token-voting thing?" is something that I will comment in that page, and then the rest can give opinions
<qgil> remember that nmany program committte members were not here today, so no decisions.
<qgil> DanielK_WMDE, yes, we can have more meetings when we need them.
<qgil> This was was needed, and I hope it has been useful.
<qgil> I am just resistant to schedule today another meeting just because...
<cscott> let's try to hammer out an agenda first next time?
<qgil> cscott, yes, we cans ay that when we have enough topics for a meetings, we will schedule the meeting. No topics, no meeting.
<cscott> works for me
<qgil> Any other questions / comments? We need to finish.
<qgil> I will post logs and summary in the page linked above.
<thedj> K
<qgil> (I'll do it tomorrow morning, if you don't mind)
<qgil> 5
<qgil> 4
<qgil> 3
<qgil> 2
<qgil> 1
<qgil> #endmeeting :P