Contributors Meetup Async Update - December 23rd, 2023 - January 5th, 2024

Core Contributor Update: Dec 23rd - Jan 5th, 2024

Happy New Year! :tada::clinking_glasses:

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

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-11 BTR Meeting Minutes

:arrow_right: Next meeting: January 8th 2024

:memo: Meeting notes

1.2. Contributor Coordination Working Group

Chair: Jorge Londoño

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-11-28 CC Working Group Meeting Notes

  • Debugging persistent grade issues: Last meeting, Dave Ormsbee (Axim) offered to connect with Peter Pinch later to check on the issue
  • Follow-up - How do we make sure strings in frontend-app-communications are sent to Transifex?
  • MFEs documentation & reviews
    • Action items from the last meeting:
    • Product working group should be involved, so that it’s not just a technical decision to include a MFE
    • BTR should be involved to validate that the MFE should be accepted or not
    • To help increasing the cross-over between working groups (such as BTR and product), it would help to do more async communication, which would help to include members of other groups in discussions, without having to attend many meetings or monitoring many Slack channels.
  • Product & UX meeting
    • Last core contributors update: “The Paragon Working Group would like to get members of the Product Working Group (and others in the community) more involved in UX discussions. This will allow individuals outside of 2U, not only to keep tabs on design updates, but also to help guide the design of Open edX. The idea is to start a cross-functional meeting for context/knowledge sharing around design. Anyone interested in getting involved?”
    • Previous core contributors update: Discussions about setting up a betatester program

:arrow_right: Next meeting: January 9th 2024

:memo: Meeting notes

1.3. Data Working Group

Chair: @e0d & @blarghmatey

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-13 Meeting notes

  • Aspects tech updates:
    • Load test updates
    • Schema management updates
    • PII retirement
    • Upcoming work: data lifecycles
  • Insights deprecation:
    • Brian Mesick: It seems like there’s renewed desire to move Insights our to pasture. I’d like to get a temperature check among the group, depending on who shows up, and start putting the word out.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.4. DEPR Working Group

Chair: @feanil

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes DEPR Meeting Notes (2023)

  • Deprecation of insights:
  • Jeremy: MySQL 8! Is there anything 5.7-specific we can ditch?
    • We can drop the migration tests in GitHub because we don’t need them yet
    • No new LTS for MySQL yet
    • Hooray! We are just happy that we are now current and up to date!
    • Jeremy will ask Arbi-BOM to update the Support Windows doc
  • Jeremy: APM integration deprecation/generalization
    • We should create a DEPR ticket for New Relic
    • be clear that we aren’t going to be adding a direct replacement
    • Trying to target OpenTelemetry as a starting point for this refactoring work
    • A chance to try to ensure that there are the proper integration points for orgs/operators to build out their own observability stacks

:arrow_right: Next meeting: January 11th 2024

:memo: Meeting notes

1.5. DevEx Working Group

Chair: @Rebecca_S_Graber & @kmccormick

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-04 DevEx Meetup Notes

:arrow_right: Next meeting: January 15th 2024

:memo: Meeting notes

1.6. DevOps Working Group

Chair: RĂ©gis Behmo

:paperclip: Latest news

  • Johan Castiblanco: Hi everyone. Can anyone help me with some info related to or experience working with MYSQL8 for openedx? I am using MYSQL aurora with AWS RDS. I have my db instances in mysql 5.7 but we wanted to migrate to mysql8. I migrated to mysql8 in my stage environment and seems there are no problems. Has anyone migrated and have some info that I should know before migrating my prod environment? Thanks for your attention.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.7. Educators Working Group

Chair: @john_curricume

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-18 Educator WG

  • Goals:
  1. Capture snapshot of current community use of generative AI
  2. Capture concerns and interests of the community with respect to AI
  3. Understand what the community would like to learn about AI this year.
  • Here you can find the Poll Results

:memo: Meeting notes

Blockers or Calls/offers for help

  • Looking for any and all documentors!

1.8. Frontend Working Group

Chair: @arbrandes

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-07 Frontend Working Group Meeting Notes

  • Paragon Upgrade and Other Scope Changes: Need help with the scope updates, how can I engage Fed-BOM and others to help? We need to update package.json @edx/paragon it uses @openedx/paragon and upgrades to the latest version.
  • Shout-out to Piral preso on this week’s FSG: If you’re interested in Piral and how we’re thinking of using it, check out the recording.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.9. Large Instances Working Group

Chair: @braden & @Felipe

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-12 Large Instances Meeting Notes

  • Updates from each org on the call - 2U, eduNEXT, OpenCraft, Raccoon Gang
    • 2U:
      • Some progress on the evalutation of devspace. Not much to report there.
        The codejail in k8s evaluation is looking like it will use a VM to host a django version of edunext’s codejail service.
      • Jeremy will publish findings in the ticket.
    • OpenCraft:
      • reviewed the open PR. Gabor’s PR is waiting for review and Jhony will assign time this sprint.
    • Edunext:
      • current focus on reducing cloud use by switching to spot instances.
        base nodes on demand - rest on spot instances.
    • Emad:
      • Nothing to report. The PR that Gabor reviewed is merged. Some of the multitenant issue for ES remains open as
        multitenancy ES only works when there are no other tutor plugins present that also connect to ES.
  • Open issues:
    • The multitenant ES and the next steps for the harmony project remain open. Gabor will write some of the topics that are of interest to opencraft and Moises will add some from edunext’s side.

:arrow_right: Next meeting: January 9th 2024

:memo: Meeting notes

1.10. Marketing Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher

:paperclip: Latest news

  • Open edX Conference 2024- Help spread the word!
  • Next external conference to attend -who is interested in joining?: Free exhibition
    • Exhibition costs: Conference rates and discounts (Open edX will cover $5K of booth expense)
    • RG confirmed participation as co-sponsor
    • 6x bigger than OEB Global, one of the biggest E-learning events, major LMS providers will participate
  • Next Open edX meetup: Open edX Use Cases & Latest Software Release
  • Open edX conference:
    • Open edX conference use cases and sponsorship opportunities.
    • Conference planning, marketing, and visa support.
    • Sponsorship for tech conference with package options
    • SEO and content optimization for Open edX platform

:memo: Meeting notes

1.11. Maintainers

Chair: Edward Zarecor

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-09-07 Maintainers’ Meeting notes:

:memo: Meeting notes

1.12. Product Working Group

Chair: Jenna Makowski

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-10-03 Product Meeting notes:

  • UX/UI Working Group
    • Tagging feature: The people we wanted to contact to do usability testing did not respond and we were not able to do the testing.
  • Mobile Working Group

: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

:paperclip: Latest news

Executive Summary

  • TOC Membership Changes: Virginia Fletcher replaces Julie Davis (2U), Samuel Paccoud (FUN) leaves
  • Conference Plans: Announcement imminent, the conference will be held later than usual
  • Mobile App Development: After the TOC approved to adopt the Raccoon Gang apps as the official mobile apps, progress has been made. There was a kick-off meetings with 2U and Raccoon Gang, as well as a comprehensive gap analysis.
  • Maintenance Funding: Discussed better spreading maintenance funding burden, as most currently falls on 2U, prompting discussions about the distribution of workload within the community. Opportunities for non-profit organizations to take on certain maintenance tasks were discussed.
  • Elected Representatives’ Term Extension: The TOC proposed and agreed to extend the representative term from one to two years to ensure representatives have sufficient time to be productive. Implementation starts with the current 2024 election.
  • Election Nominations: The TOC reviewed and approved the candidates for the 2024 community elections.
  • Front End Plugability Summit: A Front End Plugability Summit will be organized with the intent to resolve difficulties in adapting the front end to business-specific needs. Recommendations from the summit will be presented to the TOC.
  • Pull Request Review Delays: Significant delays in pull request reviews are hampering certain projects. Proposals were made to improve this situation, including expanding the core contributor program and improving pull request monitoring.
  • Forum Thread Discussions Summary: Various proposals were raised in the community forum, including expanding the maintainer program, involving edX/2U employees, improving pull request monitoring, and creating lighter roles for contributors.
  • Core Issues: Overburdened repository maintainers, misalignment with organizational use cases, and lack of predictability for external contributors were identified as significant problems. Having multiple reviewers and defining core repositories were proposed as solutions.
  • Stats: The core contributors’ capacity was summarized, with about 50 active contributors performing between 200 and 300 hours of work every two weeks.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Ancient project biases, late proposal reviews, the shift from proprietary to open, and the continuous delivery of repositories were identified as root causes of the issues.
  • Encouraging Participation in the Core Contributor Program: Issues were raised about the perceived value and benefits of becoming a core contributor, especially for those who already have merge access. Identifying platform parts that can be kept internally was suggested to accelerate velocity.
  • Open Source Project Deployment and Contribution: Proposals for managing automatic deployments from pull requests were explored. A reference version from the community’s standpoint was suggested.
  • Next Steps: The meeting agreed on creating a catalog of potential changes, pushing for earlier product reviews, improving the extension points and the platform’s plugability, identifying core repositories, encouraging community involvement and contribution, and exploring ways to clarify the open-source project’s social contract. The feasibility of delegated reviews and automatic deployment by 2U was to be discussed internally.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.15. Translation Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2023-12-20 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 Jan 5th - Async update
  • Tuesday Jan 9th - 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: Dec 23, 2023 - Jan 5, 2024

:tada: Happy New Year Core Contributors! Here’s to a year of amazing contributions :slight_smile: I’m stepping in for @Dean for a little while. So, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cassie, I’m a Product Manager and UX/UI Designer at OpenCraft.

Let me get right to it. Here’s a snapshot of our last CC sprint…

:stopwatch: Core Contributor Hours

It wasn’t the most productive sprint, but given the sprint was over the holiday season, that could be the reason :slight_smile:

There was a total of 60 hours of contributions reported, which is 180 hours less than the previous sprint of 240 hours.

The overall checklist response rate was 24% for this sprint, which is a 4% increase from last sprint. The last 4 sprints have seen an average of about 24% in response rate.


:notebook_with_decorative_cover: Summary of Responses

I’ve included a few points from the previous 3 sprints (dating back to 11 November 2023) in the summaries below. The last few CC Check-in reports weren’t generated, but some points are still relevant.

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



  • Has asked for input from the community, especially the BTR and Architecture Working Groups. The Aspects project has received a community contribution that will allow events to be sent from the “completion aggregator” to Aspects. This is good stuff! But, since the completion aggregator isn’t a standard Open edX project, and not part of the regular requirements, there’s debate as to where the code should live. It’s also raising issues around dependencies and release version compatibility. For more information visit Add Aggregator Events and Add Tracking Logs.


  • Would like more maintainers, and organizations to pick up maintainerships. Any takers?

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


  • Has asked if it’s possible for all working group meetings to either be recorded, or generate automatic meeting notes, so that CC’s who aren’t able to attend the meetings can still see what’s been discussed.
  • It would also be great if there was a way to improve liaison and visibility between Working Groups; preferably something async that is not too admin-heavy.


  • Has found that there have been delays on upstream PR reviews.
  • Mentioned that many workflows are still very synchronous within the community, which makes it hard to keep in touch if you don’t have a lot of synchronous time - ie. using Zoom and Slack. Making better use of async places like Github tickets, Discourse, or the Wiki will help mitigate this.

3. What did you accomplish this sprint?


  • Is awaiting the official announcement from management about the closing of their Open edX instance later this spring, or early this summer. The related working groups are aware of this.


  • Investigated the ORA steps for extensibility.


  • Moved the meeting topics for Contributors WG to Github.
  • Follow-up and answers on Core Sprints (async).


  • Reviewed the frontend-app-course-authoring PRs.


  • Spent time planning OpenCraft’s attendance of the 2024 Open edX Conference.
  • Caught up on CC conversations that took place while on leave.



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



  • Following up on PR delays.
  • Reviewing Conference talks proposals.
  • Looking at Hackathons for Core sprints.


  • Plans to start putting together a survey to send out to all CC’s for feedback on our processes.


  • Fixing the persistent grades issue.
  • Backporting recently-merged PRs to Quince, if necessary.
  • Redwood release planning.
  • A pair of PRs that will restore xBlock Aside functionality. This was lost in the move to the course authoring MFE.

5. What went well this sprint?


  • It was a calm sprint - could do outstanding work


  • Deploying Quince went well - can’t say that it’s bug-free, but there were no major snags.

: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.


@Cassie @Natalia_Choconta Thank you for the reports! :+1:

@pdpinch This has been addressed during the meeting: Debugging persistent grade issues · Issue #106 · openedx/wg-coordination · GitHub

@jill Did you get the feedback you needed?

@ali_hugo Yes, I have started getting Otter to join more of the meetings on the working group calendar, and I’m adding the links to the automated transcript in the notes pages. If it’s missing somewhere you would like to have it, ping me there, and I’ll coordinate getting the Otter bot to join it.

Yes, it would be good to produce something to read or watch that would allow to get up to date on what the contributors have done (working groups, contributors, maintainers, new contributions/contributors). Something that would replace or evolve the current reports in this thread.

@sambapete This is so sad to hear :frowning:


No… and unfortunately the contributor closed the Add Aggregator Events PR because the discussion wasn’t going in a useful direction for them.

So the urgency is off, but it’s still something data-wg will need to decide and document.

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Otter seems to have worked well in the Core Product meeting yesterday. :+1:

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