Oversight Board/2010/Meeting Log-2010-03-12

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<walterbender> #startmeeting
<meeting> Meeting started at 11:03 UTC. The chair is walterbender.
Commands Available: #TOPIC, #IDEA, #ACTION, #AGREED, #LINK
<walterbender> could everyone present please wave?
  • walterbender:waves
  • tomeu:waves as well
  • SeanDaly:wavy
  • mchua:waves
<satellit__> *
<walterbender> Welcome everyone.
<mchua> walterbender: next time you should ask us to do something more entertaining, like the electric slide. ;)
<walterbender> mchua: :)
Here is today's agenda: (1) TM; (2) Goals; (3) GSoC
We will try to keep a strict time limit to ensure a discussion of each topic.
#topic TM
I had made some edits last week to Section 2 of the guidelines, but I was unable to discuss them with Sean in the interim.
Sean and I have been discussing the possibility of a roundtable meeting in which we sort this out.
It seems to be difficult to do in IRC/email.
<SeanDaly> Yes I am willing to travel to Boston in April if we can wait that long
<walterbender> One idea that just surfaced would be using the Gnome summit meeting as a venue
<mchua> Is it just the latency issue of communications between the people who need to talk?
Would a conference call be a decent substitute?
<walterbender> mchua: I think it is more than latency...
  • mchua:realizes she excludes herself from that conversation by doing so, but is okay with that if it gets the job done.
<mchua> s/doing so/suggesting a phone call
<cjb> walterbender: huh, there's a Gnome summit?
I thought that was in October
<walterbender> I think we could make some progress clearing the air on a number of points with a face-to-face meeting and then we can bring the discussion back on line with more clarity and focus.
<tomeu> is it the hackfest?
<mchua> What are the key issues that need to be resolved re: trademark, and why do they need to happen in person?
  • mchua:not saying meeting in person is a bad idea, just wondering if it's necessary.
<walterbender> mchua: well, we seem stuck with the usual channels.
<cjb> have we considered just voting or something?
<mchua> It feels like we're expending a lot of time and effort on this conversation already, and have been struggling to keep those conversations public... I guess I'm just not convinced that a face-to-face meeting will magically solve the issue.
<SeanDaly> mchua: in person always better, and I'm willing to spring my ticket
<cjb> it's not the end of the world for two people to disagree on how important something is; it's usually just a sign that you should involve more people and listen to their consensus
<SeanDaly> I don't have anything "private" to say about it mchua, if you wish I could record it and we could post the ogg file :-)
<walterbender> cjb: yes, but it is clear that there are some deeper issues that are not being adequately voiced in irc and email
<mchua> SeanDaly: I would be there streaming and livetranscribing if at all possible. :)
<SeanDaly> my issue is, without the tools I cannot do the job
<mchua> Can we try a phone call first, independent of Sean coming out to Boston, just to see if it will help move things forward faster?
(Either way, Sean, I would *love* to finally meet you in person, so I'm a fan of this trip-to-Boston idea.)
<SeanDaly> it's also possible I am too ambitious about raising Sugar awareness
<mchua> SeanDaly: What tools are needed that aren't there?
<walterbender> cjb: can we use the OLPC conf. line?
<SeanDaly> mchua: I've wanted to come for several months, but planning has been iffy
mchua: an effective trademark licensing program
<cjb> walterbender: sure, I think we can
<tomeu> have been considered the possibility of promoting sugar through another brand? as in, we promote and defend strictly the Muffin brand, which is a product including the lesser known Sugar
<walterbender> We should plan a call ASAP and then meet in Boston as well... we should be able to get everyone on the board in the room at the same time :)
<SeanDaly> tomeu: we could try cobranding, but what whom? Only worth it if other brand well-known
<walterbender> something unprecidented
<tomeu> maybe we get into a conflict because we want to do two conflicting things, which we don't actually need to do at the same time
<SeanDaly> walterbender: agree
<mchua> Simultaneous SLOBs. Schweet.
<tomeu> SeanDaly: not quite, it's more about inventing a new brand
SeanDaly: that new brand is oriented to the general public, and sugar remains a obscure FOSS project
<SeanDaly> tomeu: my reading is that cjb and perhaps others feel such a tm program would be counter principles of openness & freedom
<cjb> one of the current conflicts is between SeanDaly's desire to have strong tools, and the software freedom desire of allowing people to distribute copies of sugar
yeah, exactly
<mchua> Okay. Does everyone want to make the call? Who needs to be there? Sean, of course... and maybe we should try to get Karen on the line, because Lawyers are Helpful.
<tomeu> SeanDaly, cjb: hmm, thought the concerns were more of a practical nature?
  • mchua:offers to figure out the scheduling on-list.
<SeanDaly> tomeu: building a brand takes millions of $$$, we have been doing it on the cheap with a shortcut: press coverage
<cjb> tomeu: no, the current blockage is pretty much simply as I described. I think it's important to allow people to distribute modified copies of Sugar.
(without asking for our permission)
  • mchua:can't make the actual call due to this inability-to-hear thing, and thus wants to be as useful as possible towards it.
<tomeu> cjb: ok, I was seeing that as a practical issue
<cjb> ah, ok :)
<tomeu> otherwise, the Sugar brand becomes the protected one and we invent something else for the FOSS project
<mchua> Ok, so we need to set up three things here: (1) a call time that all the necessary people can make, (2) an agenda for the call, and (3) a means of publicrecording/notetaking for the call. Separately, we should set up (4) a SLOBs gathering in Boston.
  • mchua:looking at clock.
<SeanDaly> I, too, think it's important to allow people to distribute modified copies of Sugar, not sure how we can succeed otherwise
<walterbender> mchua: yes. Let's try to schedule the call
  • tomeu:is going to be in boston around 14-18th april
<cjb> SeanDaly: but not the without asking for our permission part?
<mchua> Okay. walterbender, I volunteer to set up (1-3), but should probably not do logistics for (4) - someone else should take that who isn't on the road between now and April 10th. ;)
(the "agenda" part will involve a lot of question-asking of the other people who need to be on the call, I have nothing to add to it myself.)
<SeanDaly> cjb: in my view we need to make the distinction between the code and the code's name, logo, and symbols
<walterbender> I am already helping with logistics for Gnome, so I can add Sugar to the list...
<mchua> SeanDaly, cjb: is this the sort of thing we should be discussing on the call next week or the week after? ;)
walterbender: wanna #action? I think only the meeting owner can do that.
<walterbender> mchua: next week, I hope...
<tomeu> walterbender: guess I need to buy the tickets in the next week or so, so would be good to know the dates by then
<walterbender> #action: mchua will organize a call to discuss TM
#action: walter will organize a slob meeting during the Gnome Hackfest in Boston
<cjb> URL for the gnome hackfest?
<SeanDaly> yes as soon as dates I can get tickets
<tomeu> cjb: http://live.gnome.org/Hackfests/Python2010
<SeanDaly> I may also visit NYC and/or Miami
  • tomeu:adds cjb to the list of people not reading his blog
<cjb> hee hee
<mchua> Okay. Anything else between now and then we need to do for TM?
Moving forward slowly, but moving forward.
<walterbender> I think we can move to the next topic then...
tomeu: I will work with the hackfest schedule, so it shouldn't impact your flights.
#topic Goals
<tomeu> walterbender: but I guess I should leave some days for sugar before and/or after, right?
<mchua> Yay goals!
<walterbender> tomeu: the more time in Boston, the better... but maybe coord. with Sean???
<tomeu> yup, so I still have some time before buying the tickets, but not too much
<walterbender> tomeu: my wife is on vacation beginning the 16th, so I may be spirited away... before is better for me.
back to goals...
<SeanDaly> yes I will be using work vacation days so I won't want to spend a lot of time I'm afraid
<tomeu> good
<walterbender> I did my homework and added a section about 5-year goals...
<mchua> #link http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/2010/Meeting_Minutes-2010-01-22#Goals
<walterbender> It is living off of my User page:
#link http://wki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Walter/Goals
<mchua> walterbender: what do we want to do today? articulate everyone's goals, agree on a few overarching ones for SL (with a specific date we're aiming to hit them, and a mechanism to check whether we got there), and figure out the biggest blockers towards reaching them?
<walterbender> and embedded in the page Mel pointed to...
  • mchua:gets ambitious in our remaining 30m on this topic ;)
  • tomeu:is unsure about overarching goals, but has his own
<walterbender> I was hoping everyone would have at least read them by now (not the 5-year goals, as I only just posted them) and either commented or added their own personal goals.
tomeu: could you link to you own as per Mel's lead?
  • tomeu:writes down
<walterbender> I agree that we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, setting unobtainable goals...
<mchua> #link http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/User:Mchua/Goals_2010 are mine.
<walterbender> but we also need to set a clear indicator as to where we are heading...
<SeanDaly> Not sure if this is a goal or a means to a goal, but I think it behooves us to set a target for major financing
<walterbender> SeanDaly: if we don't set it as a goal, it prob. won't happen...
<SeanDaly> fundraising is a project requiring hands & a coordinator, but in my view is a crucial step towards solving our resources issues
<walterbender> re ambition, I really appreciate the restraint shown by the Release Team in regard to new features in 0.88...
They are taking a long view and have been working on a predictable mechanism for execution
They have taken some flack for being too conservative, but I think they are striking the correct balance...
As it is, we are way ahead of the ability of deployments to follow us.
<SeanDaly> At the risk of opening a Pandora's box, does our current schedule of two releases per year serve us? Or should we consider fewer but more stable releases?
<walterbender> So we should be ambitious about our goals, but disciplined about building a strong base for achieving them...
<mchua> Hm. One thing I'm noticing, looking at the 5 goals for 2010 that walterbender wrote, is that some of them are ambiguous as to how we'd know, at the end of the year, that we have reached them.
<walterbender> SeanDaly: Good question.
<SeanDaly> I'm concerned we that at this rate we will usually be out of phase with deployments
<walterbender> mchua: Good point
<mchua> For instance, "explored mobile" could mean "someone posted a meego link to iaep" or... well, what is sufficient?
<cjb> SeanDaly: I think large deployments would certainly be happier with one release per year, but it's not clear how much they should dictate our plans
I think the large deployment that is closest to us is running 0.82
<SeanDaly> As an idea, we could have a release per "school" year (although that doesn't mean the same thing north/south)
<tomeu> SeanDaly: we won't have more stable releases by just changing the frequence if nobody tests and fix bugs
<cjb> (I mean, closest in terms of running the newest Sugar release.)
<walterbender> SeanDaly, cjb: it is not clear that there is/has to be a coupling between our release cycle and deployments
<satellit__> SoaS Creation Kit (John Tierney) Marketing Digest, Vol 17, Issue 2-Seems like a great idea...(Easy to Download DVD.iso with tools for Making stable Soas Sticks + Documentation)
<cjb> walterbender: right, that's what I meant
<walterbender> SeanDaly: releases are helpful for focus...
<SeanDaly> I don't have a strong view, I'm just wondering
<walterbender> SeanDaly: but I imagine most Sugar deployments are more on a 2-3 year cycle...
<cjb> SeanDaly: it's certainly the case that every large deployment upgrade I know about so far has happened to coincidence with the start of a new school year
<mchua> There's also some really basic, foundational stuff we're missing, like "core activities do not have maintainers."
<cjb> as in, they definitely don't upgrade more often than that
<mchua> (for instance, who's been keeping up with Browse?)
...or Write, or Record?
<walterbender> but this is why I set a goal of getting positioned to move to a more stable base distro, e.g., RHEL...
<cjb> but even just upgrading once every year would be a significant improvement over what we have now
<walterbender> mchua: yeah... I cannot keep with just the handful I have...
<SeanDaly> mchua: Activity ecosystem is a related, but distinct problem in my view
<cjb> walterbender: that might not help those deployments, since they're not running RHEL
<sdziallas> SeanDaly: the thing is that these are not just the activity ecosystem, but a core part of Sugar.
<SeanDaly> What large deployers need is predictability
<walterbender> but SeanDaly, there is a marketing issue here... for example, 0.88 has many stability improvements, but few new user-facing features...
<SeanDaly> sdziallas: is this the fructose-glucose stuff you mean?
<walterbender> cjb: agreed. that is why it is a goal :) (and it may not be RHEL that is the stable platform we settle on...)
<sdziallas> SeanDaly: basically. ;) well, one could phrase it differently, but yes.
<SeanDaly> walterbender: hee hee we can't market stability, it's supposed to be in there already ;-)
<cjb> "sugar: now with less asbestos"
<mchua> SeanDaly: "if we ship Sugar with a broken Write Activity, that is Not a Good Thing."
<walterbender> tastes great and is less filling
<mchua> There are some Activities that you need to function with Sugar on a basic level, like Browse.
And not having eyes on things like that is... worrisome.
<SeanDaly> In any case I am more interested in marketing the key differentiators - collaboration, Journal - and "content" - the Activities
<walterbender> maybe we can take a step back for a minute... could people give a quick gut reaction to the 5-year goals?
<SeanDaly> mchua: you don't say ;-)
<mchua> walterbender: "ambitious but vague - I'd rather that we got our house in order first"
<walterbender> mchua: well, it is hard to be too specific re 5-year plans, unless you are the CCCP.
<cjb> walterbender: I don't like even trying to set five year goals, given how notoriously improbable it is that they'll coincide with reality, but if I had to set some, those look good :)
<mchua> I'd love to be able to have those goals as 2011 goals, perhaps. But I worry that we may build our castles on the sand unless we address basic issues first.
<walterbender> mchua: but I tried to lay out a message about direction
<mchua> cjb: +1
<walterbender> (1) a strong statement re a distributed model of development and support
<mchua> walterbender: (sorry, I missed the "5-year" part on first read, was commenting on the 2010 goals. Whoops.)
  • mchua:wakes up
<SeanDaly> walterbender: this may sound crazy but, in 2015 Sugar's first Learners from 2007 will be in high school... a potentially large group of contributors?
<walterbender> (2) a strong message that learning through doing will be our focus...
(3) and to Mel's point, contributing to Sugar itself is part of the learning.
<mchua> SeanDaly: YES
<SeanDaly> Yes 1) sounds great
<walterbender> ^mel^sean
<cjb> (oh, hm -- my wife's thesis defense is in the middle of the GNOME hackfest. so I won't be totally available, but we can still work something out.)
<mchua> walterbender: ...actually, I like those three points better than the longer goal statement.
I think that pretty much nails it, for me.
<walterbender> but I am not advocating that Sugar will replace school. teachers, instructionism, etc.
<SeanDaly> Yes, agree that 2) learning through doing a key idea
<walterbender> mchua: I'll try a more simple rewrite after the meeting.
<mchua> 2010 goals - what are the problems that we're trying to tackle *right now*?
<walterbender> Thanks for the feedback... back to the more tangible: 2010???
<SeanDaly> I think teachers will need to champion Sugar for it to arrive in classrooms
<mchua> walterbender: jinx :)
<SeanDaly> My best teachers got me to think independently
but my participation in Westinghouse PLAN made me quite skeptical of teachers ever after :D
<walterbender> SeanDaly: prob. a lot of that thinking happened outside of the classroom...
<SeanDaly> One day I will write up how PLAN at age 10 brought me to Sugar at age 47
<walterbender> SeanDaly: from the marketing perspective, we have some hard evidence now that 1-to-1 is more impactful in the informal than formal settings...
<SeanDaly> walterbender: Yes, and good timing, EU contacts want those docs and so did several visitors to BNP Paribas OLPC seminar in Paris
"under a tree" a key image
<CanoeBerry> Off topic perhaps: is the rumored Miami Sugar Camp still slated for 1st half of 2010, in addition toh Apr "14-18" (?) in Boston?
<mchua> walterbender: so, 2010 goals commenting, once again - "ambitious but vague - I'd rather that we got our house in order first"
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: we haven't scheduled it yet...
<mchua> CanoeBerry: "April 14-18" != Sugar Camp, if anything it's an in-person SLOBs pow-wow.
<CanoeBerry> Is the desire for a Miami Sugar Camp "1st half of 2010" or do I have this wrong?
<walterbender> mchua: maybe a goal is "get our house in order", but can you be more concrete?
<mchua> I don't think we have the time nor the resources to make April in Boston an actual Sugar Camp - trying to get more people from the community over, etc.
<tomeu> btw, I don't know how much time I will have during 14-18
I'm supposed to be hacking on python+gnome
<cjb> tomeu: perhaps you/we should pick whether to put sugar stuff after it or before it?
that way people can start to plan tickets etc
<walterbender> tomeu: even the harshest task master will gve you a couple of hours...
<tomeu> cjb: for walterbender, I understood that it works better before
CanoeBerry: if it's first half, we should get it going
  • SeanDaly:imagining Gnomish taskmasters
<cjb> tomeu: walterbender: okay, so the 13th?
<mchua> walterbender: Sure - I would like to see 2010 goals be things like "all core Activities have maintainers responding for each of the two releases this year," and "weekly deployment feedback meetings," and "test cases written and executed for core functionality of both of our releases this year" - really basic "make a good FOSS software product" stuff.
<cjb> mchua: ooh, I like those
<walterbender> mchua: +1
cjb: 13th works for me... (Mel and I are busy 12-2 at MIT that day)
<SeanDaly> mchua: these good, but effective in context of resource allocation - we need to increase resources before/during
April 13th good for me too I think
<cjb> should we move on to GSOC?
<walterbender> cjb: yeah. I guess we are about out of time...
<mchua> walterbender: what do we want to do with these goals - how do we figure out what the final ones are, set a deadline for them, figure out how we'll tell whether we have reached them?
iow, next-steps for goals?
<walterbender> Mel, OK if I action you to edit the goals?
  • dogi:waves
<cjb> (well, maybe we don't have too much to say about GSOC)
(since it looks like timClicks is doing a great job preparing the application)
<walterbender> cjb: yes... I mostly want to make sure everyone knows what Tim has been up to...
  • SeanDaly:greets dogi
<walterbender> wrapping up the goals discussion...
<mchua> walterbender: Action away.
<walterbender> I think we need to sep. the goals themselves from the "have we reached them" issue...
<mchua> walterbender: +1
<walterbender> both are important, and perhaps we don't want to set too many unreachable, unmeasurable goals...
but clarity of purpose is paramount
<SeanDaly> I'd like to introduce goals which address our main barriers to adoption (besides obscurity): the installation barrier and the unfamiliarity barrier
<walterbender> SeanDaly: yes... installation, despite all the fine efforts of the SoaS team, remains a barrier for many.
a goal should be a lowcost access to prebuilt Sugar sticks.
(I am working on that one with a USB device manufacturer)
<SeanDaly> SoaS is the best we can do to lower installation barrier; every additional step towards reliability important
<satellit__> SoaS Creation Kit DVD?
<walterbender> satellit_: a DVD would be great.
<SeanDaly> Yes for prebuilt sticks: lowers load barrier which is a blocker for many
satellit__: yes a great idea
<mchua> walterbender: (were we done with gsoc?)
<walterbender> SeanDaly: I can never remember the site where they are being sold, but it is very expensive, something like $40
mchua: we never really started...
<satellit__> not my idea :SoaS Creation Kit (John Tierney) Marketing Digest, Vol 17, Issue 2-
Seems like a great idea...(Easy to Download DVD.iso with tools for Making stable Soas Sticks + Documentation)
<SeanDaly> where what is sold?
<mchua> walterbender: we've got 4 minutes left, we should talk gsoc if we're going to talk gsoc at all ;)
<SeanDaly> satellit__: yes responded on marketing list to JT
<walterbender> SeanDaly: someone is selling prebuild Strawberry (maybe Blueberry).
mchua: you are right...
<mchua> We can keep talking about goals after meeting end, and I'll take responsibility for moving that convo to list when it winds down.
<SeanDaly> ondisk was selling betas on SD Card for awhile
<walterbender> #action mel to update goals and update list
#action walter to reword 2015 goals as meeting notes.
#topic GSoC
Again, mostly just want people to be aware of the work being done by Tim...
He is very well organized and doing a great job of inviting community participation in the process.
<mchua> +1 hurrah for Tim!
He is doing an amazing job.
<walterbender> #link http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Summer_of_Code/2010/Organization_Application
<CanoeBerry> Aside: I hesitate to mention this, as folks will ask me for details I cannot give, but expect increased and changing marketing from OLPC in 2010. Something to watch for!
  • mchua:looks at time
<SeanDaly> CanoeBerry: Yes, I want all the details :D
<CanoeBerry> Hah
<walterbender> CanoeBerry: from OLPC Foundation or Association?
<cjb> me too!
<mchua> walterbender: got anything else, or should we wrap the meeting and then go for goals discussion for whoever wants to stick around?
<walterbender> I think that it is a wrap...
Thanks everyone. You'll be hearing from Mel and me re our phone/face-to-face meeting schedules
<CanoeBerry> Hopefully Fdtn & Assn's marketing will be cleanly aligned as the public doesn't want to know the difference :)
<walterbender> Maybe we can augment next Friday's meeting with a phone call...
<meeting> Meeting finished at 12:05.
Logs available at http://me.etin.gs/sugar-meeting/sugar-meeting.log.20100312_1103.html