Contributors Meetup Async Update - April 13th - April 26th , 2024

Core Contributor Update: April 13th - April 26th , 2024

Use the jump links below to view the section that interests you:

  1. Working Groups Updates
  2. Events
  3. Projects
  4. Next async update and meetup

1. Working Groups Updates

Working Groups Calendar

1.1. BTR Working Group

Chair: @jalondonot

:paperclip: Latest news

  • Régis’ Absence and Newsletter Updates
    Jorge highlighted that Régis would be out of office for three weeks, starting from the next Friday. During Régis’ absence, someone else would be in charge of his duties. Jorge also mentioned that he had added some items to the newsletter section. He addressed the issue of the URL not working for some participants and suggested that it might be due to recent changes. Lastly, he noted that there had been a lack of discussion in the previous meeting.
  • Code Cut-Off Date and Testing Spreadsheet Coordination
    Jorge announced that the team is targeting May 9 for the code cut-off, with a follow-up session planned for April 25 to address identified code blockers. Régis confirmed he would not be present for the April 25 meeting, but would ensure its continuation. The team also discussed the ongoing coordination of a testing spreadsheet, with Peter and Farhaan agreeing to lead its creation. Régis proposed an open discussion about the potential of implementing a Docker Swarm for Tutor.
  • Discussing Kubernetes Complexity and Alternatives
    Régis discussed his concerns about the complexity and bloated nature of Kubernetes, and his preference for Docker Compose as a scalable and more accessible platform. Farhaan agreed, noting his experiences showed that most clients found Kubernetes to be the easier route, despite its complexity. Both agreed that the lack of expertise in Kubernetes could be a significant barrier for some companies, and that investing in open edX using Docker Compose could be a more practical solution.
  • Discussing Helm Charts, Redwood, and Nomad
    Jorge shared that some customers had faced a certain blocker in the past, prompting a discussion on validating product needs. Max mentioned a typical situation with inexperienced customer teams and a demand to use helm charts instead of simple yaml manifests. Max also expressed interest in developing skills in Nomad, a topic that Régis was excited about but had concerns due to feedback received. Farhaan suggested Max to look into the Harmony project, which is under development and could be of interest. They agreed to discuss the use of helm charts further and wait for a decision on Redwood to move forward. Max also provided an update on the schedule for Redwood and mentioned that the Studio MFE could be finished in two weeks.
  • Credly Integration and Mobile Enhancement
    Max discussed ongoing projects related to Credly integration and mobile enhancement, with a focus on testing in a tutorial environment. He also explained the integration of a third-party service called Credly, which is managed by Pearson, into their system. Régis and Peter clarified that Badger, the previous open-source solution, was now managed by Pearson and that Credly is a commercial service that validates digital credentials. Max also inquired about test cases for these features, with Peter confirming their existence in the product spreadsheet. Lastly, Max mentioned the need to obtain information for potential Tutor plugins.
  • Xframe Embedding and Micro-Service Solutions
    Max discussed a technical issue related to the embedding of Xframe in other domains, which required a change in the default setting of the Xframe option. He was awaiting a final decision on this matter, and anticipated that this might be documented in future development. Régis suggested that the service could be run separately as a micro-service to prevent the entire CMS from being embedded in an iframe. The team agreed to discuss further in the next planning session, with the next checkpoint scheduled for the following week’s Thursday.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.2. Contributor Coordination Working Group

Chair: Jorge Londoño

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-04-16 CC Working Group Meeting Notes

  1. Process Changes, Open edX Conference Talk Proposals, and Survey ResultsThe team discussed potential changes to their meeting and reporting processes, including an increase in the use of robots and a shift towards asynchronous interactions. They also reviewed the number of talk proposals received, which was lower than the previous year. Lastly, they discussed the upcoming survey results and the possibility of cutting from the master earlier than planned, with a decision to be made at the next meeting on the 25th.
  2. New Metric, Measurement Improvements, and ProcessesJorge proposed a new metric to measure community success and align team efforts, which was agreed to be further discussed in the next meeting. Adolfo suggested improving the current measurement mechanisms, while Xavier emphasized the importance of setting specific release dates to avoid past mistakes. The team also deliberated on the time-consuming processes of upgrading Tutor plugins and the creation of a sandbox, agreeing to allocate more time for these tasks. Lastly, it was noted that the product now owns the testing process and the development pipeline, facilitating testing in Tutor before finalization.
  3. Project Progress, Issues, and ContributionsThe team discussed the progress and issues of their project. Adolfo announced a post-release review to fix issues. Xavier noted changes in the project’s focus and the contributions of Edx and Axim. Jorge confirmed the current status of the ‘elephant factor’ issue and highlighted the addition of new maintainers and core contributors. Adolfo proposed automating the Github milestone assignments and urged feedback on check-ins and retros. The team acknowledged the need for more responses to these feedback-gathering initiatives.
  4. Survey Response, Asynchronous Participation, and CommunicationCassie reported a survey response rate of 29 out of 66. Jorge committed to ensuring his team responded, and Adolfo raised the topic of improving asynchronous participation. Adolfo and Xavier discussed the need for better communication, particularly regarding major decisions, and agreed on the use of their platform to share updates. Andrés was invited to share his perspective, which was found surprising by some of the decisions.
  5. Improving Plugin Communication StrategiesAndrés and Adolfo discussed the challenges of communicating plugin developments to different stakeholders, emphasizing the need for a more targeted approach. Adolfo proposed a monthly newsletter or digest to share updates across various user groups, which Andrés agreed could be beneficial. Xavier confirmed that such a feature is under discussion with Cassie and Ali. Andrés also suggested creating a section in the forum to keep users updated on upcoming releases. They all recognized the need to find a more effective way to communicate changes and updates to various user groups.
  6. User Issues and ProcessesXavier noted a decrease in user issues, but expressed uncertainty whether this was due to improved implementations or simply a shift in user behavior. Cassie proposed waiting for survey results to refine processes and tasks distribution within the community. Xavier agreed, highlighting the importance of well-documented processes for facilitating change.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.3. Data Working Group

Chair: @e0d & @blarghmatey

:paperclip: Latest news

  • Overview of the Course Dashboard in it’s current state: Interesting discussion about completions/progress % being added to the course dashboard/individual learner dashboard
  • Time on task and other data-related work being done by Raccoon Gang: Status update on change in roles working on this work; but will continue to update us on plugins being developed for Aspects
  • Aspects pipeline performance: A benchmark of tests have been run on the various ways to get xAPI to ClickHouse (Celery, Vector, Redis bus, Kafka bus). I’ll take a quick spin through the results and discuss the findings so far.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.4. DEPR Working Group

Chair: @feanil

:paperclip: Latest news

:memo: Meeting notes

1.6. Tutor Users’ Group

Chair: Kyle McCormick

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes Tutor Users GW 2024-04-08

  • Integrate Tutor with IntelliJ IDEA/Pycharm (by Qasim Gulzaredly)
    • The tutorial instructions will be published soon-ish in a dedicated space.
    • In the meantime, we can reproduce the instructions with the video recording.
    • Instructions are still hackish and a little brittle, we can definitely work to improve them.
  • MongoDb 7 upgrade: scheduled for Redwood
  • utf8mb3 upgrade. We reached the following decisions for Redwood:
    • upgrade the connection string and the database default charset to utf8mb4 for all platforms
    • For existing platforms, upgrade the default database charset (with ALTER DATABASE databasename CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;).
    • For existing platforms, convert tables in a conservative manner, using instructions similar to:ALTER TABLE tablename CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_ci;. The list of candidate tables is available here.
    • Implementation of these decisions can be followed in this GitHub issue: We must migrate the mysql databases from utf8mb3 to utf8mb4 · Issue #938 · overhangio/tutor
  • MySQL high memory issue on Arch Linux: Really high memory usage · Issue #579 · docker-library/mysql
    • It was suggested that Arch users manually create a docker-compose.override.yml file.
    • We should update the troubleshooting instructions for Arch Linux users. Deimer Morales can you please open a pull request to update the Tutor docs?

:memo: Meeting notes

1.7. Educators Working Group

Chair: @john_curricume

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-02-12 Educator WG

:memo: Meeting notes

Blockers or Calls/offers for help

  • Looking for any and all documentors!

1.8. Frontend Working Group

Chair: @arbrandes

:paperclip: Latest news

  1. Node and Webpack Upgrades: Brian Smith provided an update on the challenges faced with upgrading from Node 16 to 18 and transitioning from Webpack 4 to Webpack 5. The complexity of the upgrade largely stems from the changes necessary in Webpack configurations, which are not straightforward due to various dependency issues and configuration nuances.
  2. Test Suite Issues: A significant portion of the discussion focused on problems with the test suite where certain tests were not running due to incomplete or failed Webpack builds. Brian noted that while some tests pass, others fail without clear reasons, suggesting discrepancies in the build and test environments. The group discussed the need to ensure that production configurations are tested thoroughly to prevent such issues.
  3. Forking and Dependency Management: Brian mentioned the necessity to fork certain dependencies that are no longer maintained and to manage versions more effectively to accommodate new upgrades. There was also a mention of problems with using older tools like Tutor and Devstack for development due to dependency issues.
  4. Configuration and Build Issues: The discussion included technical details on how Webpack’s configurations are causing build issues, especially around chunking and module naming, which are not aligning with test configurations leading to failures.
  5. Future Directions and Maintenance: Adolfo Brandes highlighted the ongoing efforts to simplify the edx platform by possibly removing outdated frontend code and dependencies, which are hard to maintain. This aligns with broader goals to make the platform more manageable and less dependent on legacy configurations.
  6. Plugins and Extensions: The latter part of the meeting shifted towards discussing the management of plugins and the integration of new functionalities via the frontend platform. The group discussed how to handle plugin slots and ensure that they are documented and managed effectively to support extensibility.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.9. Large Instances Working Group

Chair: @braden & @Felipe

  • Updates from each org on the call - 2U, Edunext, OpenCraft, Raccoon Gang
  • OpenCraft:
    • Farhaan Bukhsh : last time we discussed Quince support for the Tutor Harmony plugin. We tested it and it seems to be working fine, so it’s good to be merged; though maybe we’ll test the commands quickly first as mentioned by Jhony Avella.
  • Edunext:
    • Felipe Montoya investigated an issue with the MFEs and found an issue where a config setting was being set to boolean true rather than string “true” which caused the features not to work in the course authoring MFE.
    • Moisés González was testing Meilisearch in their recent internal hackathon. When he backported the indexing code to nutmeg though, it wasn’t working properly.
      Some people at eduNEXT are working on an issue with celery tasks - when the workers are processing a lot of tasks. In particular, the grade reports. (Maksim Sokolskiy commented that when they had similar issues they used a variety of fixes - for example, some courses didn’t actually need grading so they disabled grades for those courses which saved a lot of resources. Another was using read replicas. Finally, they did some kind of batching of calculations, e.g. of student module updates for each answer. They also have a lot of separate queues and dedicated workers since they’re not currently using Tutor to manage these deployments. )
    • Also eduNEXT had a minor issue with AWS bucket policies, and friendly reminder to back up the bucket policies since they’re not normally backed up.
  • Raccoon Gang:
  • Harmony project updates:

:memo: Meeting notes

1.10. Marketing Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-03-24 MWG Meeting Notes

:memo: Meeting notes

1.11. Maintainers

Chair: Feanil

  • Mongo Upgrade:
    • Planning on not testing Mongo 4.4 with Python 3.11
    • Main 2U SRE Contact - Muhammad Nadeem Shahzad
  • Python Upgrade:
  • Node Upgrade:
    • Still in progress Brian Smith is still working on fixing now that we can re-produce the error locally.
    • We’ve learned a lot about what kind of test coverage we have for JS in edx-platform
  • Removing edx specific packages:
    • Aximprovements is likely to start on this work post redwood cut.
    • specifically, packages packages where the code is in the edx github org
    • axim will open these may-june, but won’t merge without coordinating with 2u
    • 2u is likely swamped may-june with edx-platform observability switchover
  • Spreading out the release risk:
    • We have knowledge of what will be EOL, but we could be planning more with this knowledge
    • eg support windows sheet: Support Windows - Google Sheets
    • Some upgrades end up being dragged out, but then a deadline is what makes them speed up. There are often many upgrades in flight at the same time.
      • JR recommends focusing on one effort at a time
      • Py3.11 has been moving quickly in the past few months, with a lot of focus and intentionality, which is good
    • Feanil is writing down some process docs for upgrades. Would be good to get instructions for upgrades all types of repos. Just a lot of little steps to remember – udpdate the version, tag a release, update the constraint, yada yada
    • What’s one we could start early?
      • Py3.12!

:memo: Meeting notes

1.12. Product Working Group

Chair: Jenna Makowski

:pushpin: Relevant links

:memo: Meeting notes

1.13. Security Working Group

Chair: Feanil Patel

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-07-26 Security WG Meeting

:memo: Meeting notes

1.14. TOC

Chair: Ed Zarecor

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes Open edX Meetup - 2024-02-29 - Panel Discussion

  • The TOC members discussed the development of privacy-preserving educational research platforms, with a potential project partnership and funding for Open edX. They also shared updates on Open edX adoption and community involvement, and strategies to improve the long-term sustainability and extensibility of the platform. The board members discussed challenges and strategies for maintaining open-source repositories, including identifying which repositories to maintain and which to deprecate, the need for maintainers, and the impact of breaking changes in non-maintained repositories. They emphasized the importance of transparency and fairness for maintainers in open-source projects.
  • Action Items:
    • Xavier to check if Otter has a setting to warn participants about recording/transcription prior to the meeting
    • Axim to send a proposal for transitioning 2U developers to core contributors rather than direct commit access, as well as reviewing 2U roles, access and permissions.
    • Régis to open a discussion on the forum about open course material, and share the link with the TOC mailing list.
    • Régis to investigate the state of Open edX extensibility and propose improvements to existing mechanisms, leveraging the work of other contributors
    • George to share the list of repositories 2U will maintain with Feanil and the maintenance working group once it is approved internally

:pushpin: Relevant links

:memo: Meeting notes

1.15. Translation Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-03-20 Translation WG Meeting notes

:memo: Meeting notes

2. Events

  • We are excited to announce the 2024 Open edX conference! The conference will be held at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa and will take place between July 2nd and July 5th, 2024. Register here to secure your seat!
  • Would anyone like to highlight any past or upcoming events? Let us know in the comments!

3. Projects

Are there any new or ongoing projects you’d like to discuss? Get the conversation started in the comments below.

4. Next async update and meetup

  • Friday April 26th - Async update
  • Tuesday May 14th - Join the meetup here!
  • Details and draft agenda on Confluence

:speech_balloon: Anything to add?

If there’s anything else you’d like to mention, please let us know in the comments below.


Core Contributor Check-in: Apr 13th - 26th, 2024

:stopwatch: Core Contributor Hours

There was a total of 177 hours of contributions reported this past sprint. This is 104 hours less than the previous sprint of 281 hours.

The overall checklist response rate was 36% for this sprint, which is an 2% decrease from last sprint.

:notebook_with_decorative_cover: Summary of Responses

1. Do you need any help? Or is there anything you’d like to collaborate on?



2. What should we improve? Are there any blockers?


3. What did you accomplish this sprint?


  • Made updates to the Conference website design
  • Worked on the conference social media adverts
  • Started the illustration for the conference program
  • Joined the Contributor Coordination WG
  • Reviewed and gave a thumbs up to the changes made on “Resetting ORA Permissions”
  • Created the Core Contributor Check-in Report
  • Added all CC Slack handles to Listaflow so I can easily remind everyone when their check ins are due


  • Reviewed OEP-65
  • Attended the Release Planning, Maintenance and Large Instances WG meetings
  • Finished the work on the course-authoring PR that fixed the release blocker bug
  • Assumed maintenance of edx-organizations



  • Met with potential new language reviewer and showcased transfix working process
  • Conducted translation review in mandarin



4. What do you plan to work on in the upcoming sprint?


  • Collaborate with Dean on making a post to kick-off Redwood community testing
  • Coordinate with the Product Working Group on a Redwood testing plan / spreadsheet


  • Next working group meeting will be around AI Assessment


  • Planning to open a bunch of small PRs to Paragon and frontend-platform to add more TypeScript types and fix some bugs that I’ve seen - would appreciate having someone to review those

5. What went well this sprint?


  • Coordination on the Redwood release is still good, but as the deadline comes closer it’s getting more stressful


  • Product roadmap is awesome

:speech_balloon: Questions or comments?

Please add any questions or comments you might have below. We’d love to hear from you!

And if you’d like to take a peek at the full report, see it on Listaflow

1 Like


@braden have you posted in Slack #wg-paragon ?


@jill have you reached out to the maintainers, or possibly #cc-xblocks ?

It’d be great to know in these blockers what avenues you’ve already tried, so we can assist with more creative avenues if needed.

@jill please see Codecov Upload Breakages

1 Like

@jalondonot - I’m curious where this information came from. I don’t think many have admin access to Sessionize, myself being one of them, and I see nearly 15% more submissions this year over last.

Ah, I didn’t think of #cc-xblocks, but I reached out to the Aurora team for help.

In the meantime, they’d already bumped the version on a separate PR, so we no longer need help here. All good :+1:

1 Like

No; I actually didn’t know that channel existed; I only knew about wg-frontend. I’ve posted there now.