Contributors Meetup Async Update - June 24th, 2023 - July 7th, 2023

Contributors meetup Async Update

June 24th, 2023 - July 7th, 2023

Welcome to our Core Contributors async update!

1. Working Groups Updates

Working Groups Calendar :calendar:

BTR Working Group

Data Working Group

  • Chair: @e0d & @blarghmatey
  • Headlines:
    • ARS is now Aspects! Most things are renamed, except the ADRs
    • Beta is coming within weeks, testers wante
    • dbt is integrated and configurable
    • Vector based tracking log pipeline from Cairn is in
    • Vector based xAPI pipeline is in
    • Ralph upgraded to 3.8.0 with performance improvements
    • Talking to people from and about their data use cases.
    • Cristhian is going to update us on various extension points!
      • Two dashboards in Aspects now: Open edX Admin Dashboard and the Instructor Dashboard (Rory the DBA has been focusing on this one).
      • #69 added ability to maintain custom dashboards/charts etc assets for Superset, which can also be shared with the community.
        People can create them using the Superset UI, export them to a zip file, and then use the script tool created by this PR to generate a tutor patch for their custom assets.
      • #70 added dbt to Aspects, so people write their own performant, complex queries.
      • #99 adds ability to run database migrations on clickhouse, so we can maintain changes between versions, and users can add their own tables, fields, etc.
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:

DEPR Working Group

DevEx Working Group

DevOps Working Group

Educators Working Group

  • Chair: John Swope
  • Headlines:
    • Educators Working Group
    • They are continuing to host monthly educator-centered knowledge-sharing sessions. On Monday, ASU will be presenting on “Non-Linear Learning using Open EdX: Resource Hubs”. Next month will be a panel discussion on the implications of AI and LLMs on MOOCs.We are also gearing up a team to work on documentation on Working on the best system to have non-technical folks contribute to documentation using Google Sheets that can then be migrated to RST and Github.
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:
    • Looking for any and all documentors!

Frontend Working Group

Large Instances Working Group

Marketing Working Group

  • Chair: Eden Huthmacher
  • Headlines:
    • eMOOCs conference summary: Overall it was a successful event - Stefania Trabucchi will create a blog post summary
    • Next quarterly conference: Choosing between LWMOOCs and EDUCAUSE Homepage
    • DemoX Course V.2: collected feedback regarding value proposition, content & segmentation from a marketing & provider perspective, including details such as replacing mentions of edX with Open edX, updating the introductory video to include Axim staff (currently features Anant), including V2 of the DemoX course by default in the software installations, updating the course on, etc.
    • OKR Strategy Review: Douglas (OC) is looking into a strategy for surveying Open edX customers with the help of other providers, regarding their experience with the Open edX platform and will link updated strategy document in GH.
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:
    • GH Marketing Board: All members, who have items listed on the OKR sheet, should ensure that they exist as tickets on the GH board and update tickets accordingly
    • GH board: Marketing Working Group • openedx
    • OKR doc: OKR´S MWG


  • Headlines:
    • Adolfo Brandes
      • FE Template app has had a few PRs, but is mostly on rails, not much going on.
      • Open edX Tutor plugins
        • This is a new repo for Palm that Axim will be maintaining.
        • Currently has 4 experimental Tutor plugins for Blockstore, Library Authoring, and Learner Dashboard.
        • Have been working on getting it up to standard
        • FE App communicator
          • Axim are backstopping until eduNEXT can take it over
          • They are blocked by not having a CC lined up to take over maintenance today.
          • Work to get it up to standard has been ticketed.
        • Quince MFE conversation has already begun, time to start thinking about what we’ll add to the list of maintained repositories.
    • Sarina Canelake
      • Maintaining the Open edX proposals repo. On track, no blockers.
    • Maria Grimaldi
      • Have some PRs to review for filiters.
      • Need reviewers for the filters docs, has requested a review from Feanil on this.
    • Ned Batchelder
      • Has been focused on corralling projects that 2U are maintaining
      • Wants to know what needs to happen to close out phase 2
      • We agreed to:
        • Each project having documentation of how on-going work – PRs, security updates, etc. – will get done.
        • Requirements bot should be yes everywhere.
    • Feanil Patel
      • Routine maintenance for all Axim repos listed in Backstage is on track.
      • We need to draft on-going work plan. Feanil will create a draft and request a review from Ed.
    • Edward Zarecor
      • Have been focused on keeping contributed PRs flowing by assisting Tim Krones and Michelle Philbrick
      • I have not had sufficient time to drive the program as directly as I would like, search for ways to move things forward more consistently. Ideas welcome.
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:

Product Working Group

  • Headlines:
    • Feedback on proposal to reorganize the Working Group.
    • Writing community guidelines for building features:
      • Some guidelines are now proposed for how to handle pull requests and how to propose making a feature (making a roadmap ticket, etc). This needs to be documented somewhere. Who can take this task?
        1. Wiki documentation of PR review process [Ryan/Jenna/Shelly]
        2. Documentation of doing product discovery/feature definition in the open and how to submit [Santiago]
        3. Once it’s in wiki, translate to docs.openedx.oeg [Sarina]
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:

Security Working Group


Translation Working Group

  • Chair: Eden Huthmacher
  • Headlines:
    • They are adding 2 new languages, Danish and Indonesian
  • Meeting notes:
  • Blockers or Calls/offers for help:

2. Events

3. Projects

Would anyone like to highlight any new or ongoing projects?

4. Next async update and meetup

  • Tuesday July 11 - Join the meetup here!
  • Friday July 21 - Update async!
  • Details and draft agenda on the GitHub board

Please reply to this post with any questions or comments you may have!

1 Like

Core Contributor Sprint Retro - 24 June 2023 to 7 July 2023

You can find the full report in Listaflow:

A total of 238.75 hours were reported this sprint:

Name Hours
Kyle McCormick 50
Feanil Patel 40
Fayyaz Ahmed 20
Andrés González 20
Maria Grimaldi 15
Xavier Antoviaque 9.5
Jill 9
Peter Pinch 8
Santiago Suarez 8
Gabriel 7.25
Zia Fazal 7
Ali Hugo 7
Farhaan 6
Pierre Mailhot 6
Felipe Montoya 6
Matjaz Gregoric 5
Braden 5
Cassie 4.5
Piotr 3
Ignacio (Nacho) Despujol Zabala 1.5
Dean Jay Mathew 1

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

We need more comments and ideas about PR review delays & how to improve them: Pull Requests Review Delays (Xavier Antoviaque)

For a feature that’s used so frequently, waffle flags are not well-documented – Neither the library nor the implementations. (Peter Pinch)

2. What went well this sprint?

The people are participating constantly in the UI UX WG (Santiago Suarez)

I have completed my onboarding course for CC and successfully onboarded as CC. I also completed all of my assigned tests and am still in 2nd position with 72 tests. (Fayyaz Ahmed)

Constructive discussions around how to improve the review delays on contributed PRs - Pull Requests Review Delays. (Xavier Antoviaque)

I got useful feedback quickly on (Peter Pinch)

Getting the conversation going so quickly for the LTI Marketplace - kudos Anna! (Cassie)

3. What did you accomplish this sprint?

(Felipe Montoya)

(Xavier Antoviaque)

(Santiago Suarez)
I participated in the discussion about changes to Studio File Management system
And I begin to create a protocol to test and approve UI UX of new proposals

(Peter Pinch)
This sprint was mostly spent debugging issues in our deployments using palm, and master. One of the challenges with palm is described in Does the new problem editor work with waffle flag overrides? - #2 by chaugh

(Fayyaz Ahmed)
I mostly execute or rerun tests for Palm and coordinate with Devs on different reported issues and attend BTR and CC meetings.

(Jill Vogel)

  • approved a bunch of Aspects (formerly OARS) OSPRs
  • discussed next steps for the project with Brian
  • reviewed data-wg meeting video and added to the minutes

(Pierre Mailhot)
Reviewed some strings for fr_CA in Transifex.
Attended Developer Experience Working Group meetup.
Caught up on the Open edX meetup that took place while I was on vacation.
Browsed through Discourse and Slack.
Investigating a potential issue with Order History in frontend-app-ecommerce since Olive/Palm on my test server (not clear yet, problem could be on my side).

(Ali Hugo)

  • Product review for #268
  • Giving feedback on the UX of the Listaflow checkin


  • I joined two 2U sessions to discuss the UX and UI direction of LTI Marketplace.
  • Closed the poll “Confirming Core Contributor Sprints”

(Zia Fazal)
Reviewed a ERB PR
Started work on ERB issue 306

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

(Santiago Suarez)
I am going to present improvement to the UI UX of Studio File Management system and discuss it

(Ali Hugo)

  • Attending 2U’s UX workshop on the Studio homepage
  • Attending the UX/UI Working Group, and Core Product Working Group meetings
  • I am hoping to start work on a script for interviews with some CC’s about our processes

(Xavier Antoviaque)

- PR Review delays - Continue discussion & identify action items
  • TOC Meeting - Attend
  • Core sprints - Recap & answers


  • Core sprints improvements
  • OEP for escalation process to TOC

(Fayyaz Ahmed)
Will go through the remaining testing activities and attend meetings. Also, coordinate with the community on how I can be more productive for the community.

(Jill Vogel)

(Peter Pinch)

  • Bug fixes.
  • hoping to identify new MFEs to be included in the next release, quince

(Pierre Mailhot)
Attend Build Test Release Working Group meetup.
Attend Contributors meetup.
Attend DevX meetup.
Attend Translations meetup.
Preparing our internal migration to Olive and Palm. Pointing out potential issues for future migrations.

1 Like

FYI this has been discussed during the last contributors meetup - here is the summary of the discussions:

Identified Concerns and Suggestions

@pdpinch raised concerns about the lack of documentation for waffle flags, specifically in the context of the edX implementation. He explained that there was variability in how waffle flags were implemented and a lack of clarity about the decision-making process behind these implementations. @Felipe suggested that contributors could help by reporting and addressing issues with the implementation of features.

Emphasis on Clear Documentation

@Felipe emphasized the importance of clear documentation for waffle flags and the need for a well-defined process for contributors to follow. He mentioned that if a decision was made for a specific reason, it should be documented to avoid confusion.

@jalondonot asked for suggestions on how to further discuss and improve the documentation. Jeff suggested that documentation for both waffle flags and course level settings should be connected to provide a better user experience.

Evaluation of Existing Documentation and Issues

@pdpinch provided some context on the existing documentation for waffle flags. He mentioned an OEP (Open edX Proposal) that describes the use of feature flags and waffle flags, but noted that it might not be well known or up to date. Peter agreed with @jwitt 's suggestion of having a document that explains both waffle flags and course level settings together with their justifications. He also mentioned a technical documentation document that lists all available waffle flags, but acknowledged that there were issues with its generation and discoverability.

Addressing Flags Lifecycle Management and Naming Issues

@pdpinch acknowledged the issue of flags not being removed when they were projected to be removed. He mentioned the efforts of the deprecation working group to address this and establish a process for code maintainers to be responsible for cleaning up flags. He suggested that formalizing this process would be beneficial.

@pdpinch also raised a concern about the naming of waffle flags, noting that some flags did not correspond to the name of the feature they represented. He suggested that contributors could help by ensuring that the names of flags aligned with the features they represented.

Proposal for a New Course Level Setting

@jwitt discussed the need for a course level setting to address a PR related to the mathjax rendering package. He explained that there were different versions of the package with varying levels of interactivity and bugs. He proposed a course level setting that allowed instructors to choose the version of the package they wanted to use. This would provide flexibility for instructors and allow for smooth transitions without disrupting existing documentation or user experiences.

Plans to Improve Waffle Flags Documentation

@Felipe suggested enhancing the API that provides information about waffle flags by including annotations in the JSON response. This would make it easier to understand the purpose and context of each flag. He also mentioned the possibility of creating a micro front-end (MFE) that builds on this API to allow for easier modification of the flags. @djoy suggested creating an issue in the repository to consolidate the existing documentation on waffle flags and improve its organization and clarity.

CC @feanil

@Felipe We now publish documentation that is collected from the annotations of waffle flags, here: Feature Toggles — edx-platform documentation

As long as people are using the code annotations to annotate their flags in edx-platform they should show up in the above list. We can add more info there and I think some supplementary docs about how to actually go about using the waffle flags wolud be useful to add. Happy to chat more about this and help improve this or related docs.


@Felipe @pdpinch Did your concerns about waffle flags ended up being resolved, following the discussion above, or are there still action items that need doing? And does the way to document waffle flags described above by Feanil help?

I think the published documentation help substantially. I merely suggested we could put that in the json results of the API, but having it updated in read the docs is already good stuff.

@Felipe Thanks!

Note that the issue of waffle flags came up again during yesterday’s contributors meetup. See " Blocked bug - completion.enable_completion_tracking waffle flag" in 2023-09-05 CC Working Group Meeting Notes - Open edX Community - Open edX Community Wiki . Currently @jalondonot has a follow-up task from that meeting to reach out to @feanil about it.