[Bf-committers] Weekly meetings and communication channels

Julian Eisel eiseljulian at gmail.com
Tue Sep 5 15:17:17 CEST 2017

TL;DR: +1 for alternating Monday meetings; development forum is an
interesting idea; big +1 for a weekly activity log.

---- Re: Alternating meeting ----

Alternating Monday meetings make sense to me.

---- Re: Dev forum ----

The idea of having a forum specifically for development sounds really
interesting to me. However I agree we'd had to make sure it stays on
topic and maintenance burden is minimal. There are many ways to
approach this, but I'd suggest we first try it without special limits
(as in, restricting access to devs only or such). I'm optimistic that
it'll be a civilized place, just like our mailing lists are.
If the forum works well for us, we can still decide to drop mailing
lists at some point. But that's not the goal it's a possible future

On IRC the very valid point was raised that it doesn't make much sense
to think about a forum as an onboarding platform while numerous
ignored patches are sitting in the patch tracker. I absolutely agree
this is an issue. I don't think that invalidates the forum idea
though. In the forum we could communicate our issues with reviewing
and give patch authors a chance to speak up. E.g. we could have an own
"Patch Review" category with a pinned thread in which we describe and
talk about our reviewing process issues.

Don't want to do a ML bashing here, but I do think a discourse forum
would have a whole bunch of features that ML's miss (markdown support,
embedded images, hyperlinks, thread pinning, notifications, mobile
friendly, ... - just to name some basic ones). That's what makes the
idea most interesting to me.

Anyway, I'm keen to see some experiments on this!

---- Re: Activity log ----

Huuuge +1 for a weekly activity log. There is indeed a communication
gap that needs to be filled. I was hoping for something like this for
ages ;). But yes, it takes time and someone has to actually do it
every week.

> Having said all this, added communication takes time - the author of
> this-week-in-rust said it takes between ~4-6 hours a week.
> A Blender equivalent would be much smaller since we wouldn't be
> including general news (things BlenderNation already covers).
I'm not sure if this is true, Blender has many areas and developers
work on completely different things. From working on the release
notes, I recall I really had to understand the new features to explain
them properly in the notes. It was quite time consuming, usually I had
to dig into commit messages and code of each feature.
Of course, it won't be so much of a burden if we team up and work on
it together.

In general, I see some similarities to release notes. And since the
suggestion came up to automate the activity log as much as possible,
maybe we could use this automation for release notes as well.

On 3 September 2017 at 18:35, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> Totally agree on this:
>> Activity log: It would be nice if this helped users see what is being
>> funded by the dev fund, cloud, etc.
> Not to belittle contributions from volunteers (these are essential), but to invite more companies to hire developers or to support the foundation. A lot of essential development work is being done this way nowadays.
> Laters,
> -Ton-
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org
> Chairman Blender Foundation, Director Blender Institute
> Entrepotdok 57A, 1018 AD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
>> On 1 Sep 2017, at 20:37, Brecht Van Lommel <brechtvanlommel at pandora.be> wrote:
>> Activity log: It would be nice if this helped users see what is being
>> funded by the dev fund, cloud, etc.
>> Discourse: I wouldn't mind if this replaced mailing lists in the end. It
>> seems mailing list archives can be imported and you can also interact with
>> it through email.
>> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 2:53 PM, Aaron Carlisle <carlisle.b3d at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> For a developer forum/general questions Phabricator as a feature called
>>> Ponder https://secure.phabricator.com/ponder/
>>> Aaron Carlisle
>>> Picture taker | Bit cruncher | Pixel pusher | Document writer | Artist
>>> Project administrator for the Blender 3D Documentation Project
>>> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 12:22 AM, Campbell Barton <ideasman42 at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 6:31 PM, Stefan Werner <stewreo at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> answers are inlined:
>>>>>> On 28. Aug 2017, at 14:27, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
>>>>>> Proposal: alternate Monday meetings to be 10:00 and 18:00 Amsterdam
>>>> time. Drop the Sunday meetings.
>>>>> I like the alternating time idea, that should allow people from more
>>>> time zones to participate.
>>>>> Picking a right day is hard though - weekdays are good paid
>>>> contributors, weekends better for volunteers.
>>>>>> 1) Forums: (discourse)
>>>>>> https://internals.rust-lang.org/categories <
>>>> https://internals.rust-lang.org/categories>
>>>>> Some kind of developer focussed forum is helpful, I would think. Right
>>>> now, we’re abusing the bug tracker
>>>>> as forum: https://developer.blender.org/T46258 <
>>>> https://developer.blender.org/T46258>
>>>> This looks like proper tracker use to me, focused design tasks for
>>>> planning is fine.
>>>> There are a few times I've seen people try and use tracker more like a
>>>> forum for asking questions or submitting a patch which is really a
>>>> question about code. I don't think its much of a problem.
>>>> Even so, could be nice to try out a forum for developers.
>>>>> Discussions like this don’t work at all on IRC and not very well in
>>>> mailing lists.
>>>>>> 2) Weekly activity log
>>>>>> https://this-week-in-rust.org/ <https://this-week-in-rust.org/>
>>>>> Helpful, we should do that.
>>>> While it would be nice, are people interested to write/manage this?
>>>> Maybe best to do a trial-run for ~5 weeks or so, continue if it's working
>>>> out.
>>>>>> 4) No mailing lists!
>>>>>> https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/rust-dev/2015-January/011558.html
>>>>>> Now I don't think we need to drop mailing lists, but the forums and
>>>> activity log sound great.
>>>>>> Discourse also might help making our onboarding process better.
>>>>> If we use a web based forum, please let’s pick one that works well on
>>>> mobile devices
>>>>> (including the ones that are not the latest and greatest) and sends
>>>> server-side generated
>>>>> static HTML. Responding to email on a smartphone is quick and easy and
>>>> works even when
>>>>> you have a terrible connection. “Modern” HTML pages sometimes require
>>>> several MB
>>>>> just to display essentially a couple of paragraphs of text.
>>>>> For example, one of the forums I visit sometimes runs on nodeBB. Just
>>>> the forum start page
>>>>> comes in at 1.17MB. That’s ridiculous and I pretty much never read it
>>> on
>>>> my phone. BA, even
>>>>> with the features images, is only half as big, simple phpBB sites come
>>>> in at 300kB. Plain text
>>>>> contents of these pages is just a few kB, the rest is mostly decoration
>>>> and oh-so-useful features
>>>>> nobody uses.
>>>>> I know, we need to have fast connections to begin with (wouldn’t want
>>> to
>>>> git clone over GPRS)
>>>>> but I like to make my time on the road useful too. From here to BConf
>>> is
>>>> roughly 7 hours on a train
>>>>> that promises WIFI but doesn’t always deliver. Don’t want to let that
>>>> time go to waste.
>>>> Did you look into https://try.discourse.org ?
>>>>> -Stefan
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>> Bf-committers at blender.org
>>>>> https://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-committers
>>>> --
>>>> - Campbell
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