[Bf-committers] BF coordination meeting notes - 2019.08.26

Dalai Felinto dfelinto at gmail.com
Mon Aug 26 15:04:31 CEST 2019

Hi all,

Here are the notes from our private weekly meeting about the Blender
coordination work. If anyone has any point that would like us to
discuss, please let me know via email or #blender-chat.

Participants: Brecht Van Lommel, Dalai Felinto, Nathan Letwory
August 26th, 2019

Discussed Topics
* Last week overview
* BCons revisited
* Coordinator tasks communication
* Read-only threads on phabricator
* Mentorship proposal
* Bug tracker
* Modules

Last week overview
* Nathan started his work on phabricator so initial patches by Brecht
may land this week, followed by understanding Harbour Master and later
workboards/nested projects
* We need a server in the institute for unittest/continuous integration
* Brecht worked mostly in patches review, could benefit from
continuous integration (buildbot)
* Dalai worked with Brecht on new tasks for the modules, retagging and
workboard changes are yet to come.

BCons revisited
* https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/User:JesterKing/ReleaseCycleNotes/ReleaseCycle
* We only really have 3 BCon stages
* Need to include 2.81 and 2.82 specific dates in the bcons page
* Need to mention Python API and UI freeze - for the release cycle,
not going in the discussion of long term Python API breakage.

Coordinator tasks communication
* It is not clear to everyone who is responsible for what (it was
clear in an email to bf-committers, but we need this in a prominent
and permanent place).
* The modules wiki page is the perfect place for that.

Read-only threads on phabricator
It is hard to find the line between our openness and falling in the
design-by-committee scenario, where the open-to-everyone medium
doesn't help small teams to work in the early stages of the design
discussion process.

Food for thought: have tasks in phabricator where only a few members
can write, but where everyone can see. The idea would be to provide a
place with controlled amount of noise, yet open to public eyes. Once
design tasks evolve and the core team is happy with their shape, them
even the discussion could be made public.

This requires patching Phabricator - there is no way to prevent edit
from Public without also making it invisible for them. So there is no
need to move on with this discussion now. But still, this is something
to keep in mind as an experiment in the future.

Mentorship proposal
Right now every new hire comes with a high cost in patch review. That
strangles even further our "bottleneckers" - developers sole
responsible for overseeing many areas in Blender. If we can find a way
to reduce our overhead while building up seniority across the team it
is a win-win in the long term.

Campbell Barton proposed we formalize what we are calling a mentorship
program. This would steer new developers into helping the senior
developers for everyday TODO’s such as:
* Example of tool system using gizmo
* Update documentation on running tests
* Medium priority TODO’s in transform system

The papercut tasks are too much design related, while the mentorship
tasks are interesting development project, learning opportunities and
a nice tradeoff.

It is mainly for hired developers (at first ?), and we will start with
handpicked areas and developers. But any developer is welcome to
already come up with a list of tasks that could be delegated to
someone new to an area, proven that it would end up freeing the time
of the area maintainer.

Bug reports
Dalai was supposed to oversee the bug tracker, making sure the
discussions are healthy, and to set the priorities for the new bugs.
However he brought up that he is neglecting his work there. An idea is
to give Phillip more responsibilities on that, helping spotting
important bugs that need to be prioritized, and the overall subject.

* Let's not wait for phabricator patches to create new tags for each
module toplevel
* By the end of this week the new tags will be ready, as well as the
new workboard
* We can then start the new bug report workflow (assign to module not devs)
* Next week devs will be invited to remove themselves from bugs, and
assign them to the modules instead (leaving assigned to them only the
bugs that they are actively working on)

Follow ups
* Update the module wiki page with coordination tasks/responsible [Dalai].
* New tags for top-level modules, and new workboard columns [Dalai]
* Move tasks around the new workboard columns [Dalai + Dan or Sergey
to silence phabricator]
* BCon page updated or posted in bf-committers for feedback [Nathan]
* Find a good area/developers to testdrive the Mentorship program
[Dalai + Campbell]
* New server in the institute for continuous integration [Nathan +
Brecht / Sergey]

Thank you all,

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