2023-04-11 TOC Meeting Summary

Date: 2023-04-11


  • Name (Org)
  • Edward Zarecor (Axim)
  • Ashley Bradford (2U)
  • George Babey (2U)
  • Ferdi Alimadhi (MIT)
  • Samuel Paccoud (FUN)
  • Anant Agarwal (2U)


  • Marco Morales


  • Stefania Trabucchi (AbstractTechnology)
  • Dustin Tingley (Harvard)

Governance Norms

The TOC held an open conversation about formalizing the governance and participation norms for the body. The purpose of the conversation was to align on our operation model and determine what next steps were required to implement that model.

Themes from the conversation

  1. The TOC should not operate “in the weeds.”

  2. We don’t have the time to be involved day-to-day technical decisions

  3. Those closest to the work will make the best decisions

  4. The TOC should not act as a “stage gate.” We should not create friction for contributors unnecessarily, but should

  5. Guide the project toward shared goals

  6. Help refine and improve plans and designs

  7. Prevent the project from making bad decisions that are hard to reverse.

  8. The TOC should weigh in on “one-way-doors,” decisions that are hard to reverse, where choices are mutually exclusive.

  9. The TOC should weigh in when the community is having difficulty reaching consensus.

  10. The TOC should weigh in when an important decision is being deferred and not making a call is causing friction

  11. The TOC should weigh in to focus the community to collaborate on key, shared value, say, investment in maturing LTI

Next Steps

  • Define the mechanism for community members to escalate items to the TOC and communicate it out.
  • Review the working groups and determine which ones we would like to see and in what order. We have a list of all of the currently active working groups. For the next meeting, I was planning to have
    • The Product Working Group present their newly developed process for conducting product reviews of incoming contributions.
    • The Security Working Group present their charter and plans.
  • Review OEPs asynchronously. Perhaps we should update OEP-1 to include TOC member sponsors?
  • Communicate the pathway for getting TOC input and guidance to all the working groups.

Mobile Strategy Review

RaccoonGang have officially released alternate Open edX mobile applications under the AGPL license. We have known this was coming for some time and was one incentive to review the project’s mobile strategy.

Marco Morales joined to present his current work on developing a recommendation for the Open edX project’s mobile strategy. The summary is here.

At the TOC, our role is to decide whether we should recommend:

  1. Continuing to invest in and support the existing Open edX mobile applications.
  2. Migrating to the new applications that were contributed by a community member, RaccoonGang.

Marco identified a number of benefits in favor of adopting the contributed applications.

  1. We thinks wins will be:

  2. They use the preferred languages, swift and kotlin, for mobile applications today. Industry has largely converged around these choices.

  3. Clean code standards and adoption of the MVVC patterns has resulted in

1. higher development velocity
2. Better maintainability
3. Improved modularity, which makes it easier to use and contribute
4. Improved theming

We can choose option 1, option 2, or that more work is required to gather the information we need to make the choice.

There was general consensus that we need more information. The areas where we lack consensus or need additional information are:

Firstly, we lack consensus on the path forward.

  1. Some members see parity as a prerequisite for adoption.
  2. Some members see plugability is as a requirement, but not parity. The rationale is that each business should have the ability to implement their idiosyncratic features, the core should not know about them.

I believe that we agree that the best outcome is that the whole community goes in the same direction. This would allow us to create the greatest shared value.

In order to converge, we first need to reach consensus on 1 versus 2.

Whichever direction we choose we will need to know:

  1. How the mobile applications, new or legacy, will be maintained going forward
  2. Who in the community is using the current mobile applications and what their use cases are
  3. What feedback the community has regarding either direction
  4. What work would be required to make the legacy mobile applications more general purpose and useful to the community
  5. How the roadmap for mobile work – whether that’s parity or plugability – is going to get done

@e0d thanks for posting these notes! One question:

Who is gathering the information, and when will it be available for general consumption?