Contributors Meetup Async Update - May 11th - May 24th , 2024

Core Contributor Update: May 11th - May 24th , 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

  • Redwood Release Process and Testing Adjustments: The team, led by Adolfo, discussed the progress of the redwood release process, focusing on the testing phase. Maria presented the testing process, and Peter identified a missing element, the leaderboard. Jenna suggested removing the dropdown for the ‘assigned to’ column to allow for more flexibility in adding testers. However, Peter was determined to restore the leaderboard. The team agreed to figure out a solution, with Peter taking the lead on this issue. Maria also suggested updating column H in the test sheet.
  • Addressing Comment Posting and Bug Reporting: Maria raised a concern about users posting comments in the wrong column (Column O), leading to a suggestion from Peter to move comments into Column O and tag the commenter in the hope this would influence their behavior. Jenna proposed splitting Column O into two columns, one for Github issues and one for comments, to simplify the process. After some discussion, Peter agreed to try this approach. Additionally, Adolfo and Peter discussed the definition of a bug and the process for reporting them, with Peter agreeing to review comments and direct users to open a bug if they believe something is amiss.
  • Sandbox Reset Frequency and Visibility: Maria, Adolfo, Peter, Max, Régis, and Syed discussed the issues related to the sandbox resetting every Monday and the impact on testing. They decided to make this information more visible, possibly on the ‘Getting Started’ tab or the Confluence page, to inform new testers and team members about the regular reset. The team also agreed to update the sandbox update frequency to every Monday at 7 AM UTC in the relevant documentation. The need for these changes was identified as a way to prevent confusion and delays in testing due to the sandbox reset.
  • Reducing Downtime in NPM-Driven Builds: The team discussed ways to decrease downtime caused by long npm install steps and build failures. Ideas included increasing parallelism, building images asynchronously, and implementing a custom NPM registry. However, concerns were raised about potential system crashes and degraded performance. The team agreed to continue exploring potential solutions and to prioritize this issue for future development.
  • Experimentation, Release Management, and Documentation: Maria, Régis, and Max emphasized the importance of experimentation in finding solutions. Max provided updates on release management and mentioned ongoing work for Quince. There was discussion on the status of released documentation, with Matt’s absence noted. The team also discussed new flags from Quince to Redwood and the manual process of preview release processes. Jenna shared plans to populate product release notes on the wiki over the coming week, with Peter clarifying that there will be two sets of release notes. Sarina revealed plans to move release notes from the wiki to the docs. Lastly, Maria reported on testing progress and requested assistance with an email configuration issue.
  • Managing and Prioritizing Work-Related Issues: Maria and Adolfo led a discussion on managing and prioritizing issues related to their work. Maria explained her current strategy for identifying and testing issues before involving the team. The team agreed to use the existing test report template for now and consider adding a ‘core product’ column to help guide their work. Jenna proposed pulling core product capabilities into a separate column to help identify high priority issues, while Adolfo questioned the origin and criteria of the ‘priority’ column. The team decided to retain the ‘priority’ column for now and explore the new approach suggested by Jenna. Sarina emphasized the nuanced decision-making around release blockers, and Adolfo proposed using release blocker labels to indicate priority. Chelsea suggested a two-level prioritization system, and Maria agreed to add a new column aligning with the product core to the test sheet. The team also recommended getting the spreadsheet status into Github.
  • Edx Platform Security Fix Release Options: Max proposed two options for releasing a security fix to the Edx Platform: a full cycle with a subsequent tutorial downstream release or a simple patch with an additional tutorial. Max and Régis agreed to patch the build, with the action item assigned to Régis. Maria asked for documentation of the process, which Max said was already documented but might need to be reemphasized. Adolfo planned to start a thread about Btr or Redwood release planning, and Peter expressed his willingness to discuss the matter further.
  • Footer Component Customization and Backporting: Peter and Adolfo discussed changes to the footer component in their project. Adolfo explained that instead of forking the footer to customize it, they could use a new repository called ‘front end slot’ and a footer slot. This method would continue to work, but without the need for forking. They also discussed the possibility of creating a plugin to further customize the footer. Moreover, Peter expressed his intention to comment on an ongoing discussion about customization. Towards the end, Maria was asked to open an issue regarding backporting changes, and Adolfo indicated his plan to start a thread on Slack about this.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.2. Contributor Coordination Working Group

Chair: Jorge Londoño


:paperclip: Latest news

  • MFE Footer Links and Customizations: Xavier highlighted the need for help regarding MFE footer links and customizations. Ed suggested reaching out to Adolfo who is actively working with others on plugin slots and updating components. However, it was noted that Braden might have already answered a related question. It was agreed that the information would be included in the notes, with a mention for Ali to provide further insight.
  • Increasing Partner Contributions for Maintenance: Xavier and Ed discussed the need to increase contributions from partners to meet the maintenance demands. Xavier mentioned the significant gap from the target of 1020 full-time hours per month. Ed suggested a scheme to classify repositories into three levels of complexity to better estimate the workload. He planned to discuss this with Feanil and assess the uptake from people offering support for main maintenance. There was a mention of some pushback regarding a particular ticket, but the specifics were not clear.
  • Community Involvement and Transition of Roles: Ed agreed to take on additional responsibility and report back on it. There was a discussion about the need for more involvement from the community, with Xavier encouraging members to contribute more. The pair also talked about the transition of roles and responsibilities, and the need to provide more clarity on what is expected from contributors. Xavier mentioned that there had been some progress in getting core contributors to take on more review tasks, and that the maintenance project had seen an uptick in contributions. However, there were still some challenges to be addressed, such as the size of the poll request queue and the need for more visibility on the progress of tasks.
  • Project Release and Survey Discussion: Xavier, Ed, and Cassie discussed the community’s recent project release, highlighting the group effort and organization involved. They also discussed the ongoing survey about the call sprint check-in, with Xavier expressing concern about the low response rate and the need to analyze the data. The team decided to give more urgency to the survey by setting a specific deadline. They also discussed the use of Otter as a communication tool, acknowledging its complexity and potential privacy issues, and agreed to postpone its resolution for later. No other significant topics were raised.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.3. Data Working Group

Chair: @e0d & @blarghmatey


:paperclip: Latest news

:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-05-01 Meeting notes

  • Overview of Individual Learner Reports in their current state: Current dashboard walkthrough. Summary of the usability feedback we’ve collected.
  • Course dashboard updates: Quick walkthrough of the updates to the Course Dashboard based on usability testing
  • Walk through of dashboards embedded into the LMS: Walk through Instructor Dashboard Reports tab in the LMS. Quick look at the existing Operator Dashboard.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.4. DEPR Working Group

Chair: @feanil


:arrow_down: Past meeting notes DEPR Meeting Notes (2024)


:memo: Meeting notes

1.6. Tutor Users’ Group

Chair: Kyle McCormick


:paperclip: Latest news


:memo: Meeting notes


1.7. Educators Working Group

Chair: @john_curricume


:paperclip: Latest news

  • DJohn Swope, Education Technology Specialist, Chair at St. George’s University AI in Higher Education committee, Author of Micro AI Apps in Online Education: Impacts on Efficiency, Quality and Future Directions to discuss 5 Lessons Learned Building AI Assessments.
  • Assets:
    1. 5 Lessons Learned Building AI Assessments (Presentation)
    2. Open Source Templates
      a. Assistant Template - For phased interactions with an AI that involve user input, AI feedback, and optional AI scoring. Can build things like case study reviews, writing feedback, AI debates, etc.
      b. Completion Template - For one-off interactions with an AI, like generating MCQs
    3. Demo Apps
      a. Guided Case Study : A case study review where students review a case study, critically reflect on it, and receive AI-generated feedback that is guided by what the faculty thinks is important about the case study.
      b. Writing Feedback : A writing exercise where a student drafts an introduction paragraph for a grant application. Again, they receive AI-generated feedback that is guided by what the faculty thinks is important to include in their writing. They then have a chance to revise their original draft.
      c. AI Debate : A student has a chance to engage in a debate with AI (in this case, about Digital Health in Medicine as the topic). The AI is guided to debate the student for two rounds and then summarize lessons learned and good points made by the student.
      d. MCQ Wizard : Generate MCQ questions with optional feedback and hinting based on faculty requirements.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.8. Frontend Working Group

Chair: @arbrandes


:arrow_down: Past meeting notes 2024-04-25 Frontend Working Group Meeting Notes


:memo: Meeting notes

1.9. Large Instances Working Group

Chair: @braden & @Felipe


:paperclip: Latest news

  • Updates from each org on the call - 2U, Edunext, OpenCraft, Raccoon Gang
  • OpenCraft:
    • working on issues and final adjusments before the redwood cut. Operations wise Gabor has been working on getting harmony to work closer to the internals of open craft.
  • Edunext:
    • eduNEXT is working on the release of Aspects, for the Spanish Consortium. For the Redwood cut, eduNEXT is changing how they’re involved with the release process - instead of doing community testing first then customer-focused testing second, to combine them into one period of testing that involves the BTR process and customers. One concern is that a lot of the eduNEXT team is not experienced in working with the community, so there may be some mis-steps, but it’s a good learning opportunity.
    • Moisés González - we are refactoring some of our k6 scripts for load testing so we can open source them; hopefully we can release them soon. Goal is to have more standardized testing among the providers.
      → Felipe Montoya pointed him to GitHub - openedx/openedx-k8s-harmony: A Prototype Helm Chart for deploying multiple Open edX instances (via Tutor) onto a cluster. and GitHub - eduNEXT/eox-tenant: Multitenancy for OpenedX
      → Moisés González recommends posting on the forum about the issue with multi-tenancy of MFEs.
  • Raccoon Gang:
    • mostly been busy with the Redwood release. Has a similar issue where people from Racoon Gang may not be familiar with how to work with the community during release testing etc. Also working on their first Tutor-based kubernetes deployment; having a lot of issues that gives the impression that Tutor is not production-ready. Tried using OpenCraft’s Grove tutor plugin, though it didn’t do what they needed on the first try. Hopeful we can collaborate more in the future.

:memo: Meeting notes

1.10. Marketing Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher


:paperclip: Latest news


:memo: Meeting notes

1.11. Maintainers

Chair: Feanil


  • Updates:
    • Switching edx-platform unit tests to standard ubuntu runners
    • CI will fail if a Python package is added that lives in the edx org
      • Encourage EXTRA_REQUIREMENTS instead of direct deps
      • Not just edx. It’ll be a denylist
        • edx
        • mit-odl
        • open-craft
        • et al
    • Third-parties (Django) are fine
    • Temp allowlist for current ones
  • High-level arch brainstorming/tracking - what’s a good space?:
  • edx-platform app-level docs:
    • docs — edx-platform documentation - RST docs from within edx-platform repos.
    • Ideas:
      • Add app-level READMEs
      • Add top-level index page to make discovery easier.
      • Eventually update OEP-19 with best practices for exposing these for a repo.
  • Redwood bug triage for edx-platform:
    • We expect that:
      • bugs will be found in release testing
      • BTR will triage them
        • if they belong to an active dev team (eg tagging), they work on the fix
        • but if they are unexpected regressions, then BTR will triage the severity…
          • if it’s a release blocker, then BTR will find the maintiner
          • if it’s edx-platform, then we are the maintainer, so we’ll need to figure out how to find the right person/team to do the fix
          • Let’s cross that bridge when it happens. No action needed now.
  • Un maintained repos:

:memo: Meeting notes

1.12. Product Working Group

Chair: Jenna Makowski


:paperclip: Latest news

  • UX/UI Working Group
    • Sam Daitzman presented the latest UI designs for the Open edX mobile project, including both the dark and light mode versions :heart_eyes:
    • We briefly discussed whether the mobile and desktop UX/UI decisions should be consolidated, agreeing that at some stage they probably should
    • We chatted about the option of enhancing / extending / improving the Open edX version of Paragon separately to the edX version. We would need to determine whether the design system should remain general, or if it could become more learning focussed
    • Jenna Makowski ran through the most recent frames for the Libraries Relaunch project. She took us through the flows for creating library content, as well as using it within a course.
  • LTI/Learning Tool WG Meeting
    • Presentation by Santiago on eduNEXT UI work, for those who couldn’t attend before.
    • Presentation/update by Scott of recent Pearson work

: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


  • Potential grant project for the Open edX project:
    • A proposal was submitted for a sub-award on an NSF grant supporting educational research This continued a discussion from the last meeting. The scope of work was discussed, the grant would be to improve research analytics, and could benefit Open edX in improving both research and API coverage. The proposal aimed to present content to learners in a way that would allow researchers to influence how it was presented
    • There were concerns about ensuring these changes do not interfere with other ongoing efforts and Axim’s workload. The importance of building generic platform capabilities that can be used with other experimental programs beyond the grant project itself was stressed, to make the grant worthwhile even if the project itself doesn’t gain traction to mitigate potential issues, some members suggested setting up institutional “forcing functions” to ensure that any specific integrations did not leak into the core platform, for example by ensuring the providers selected to work on the core and on the non-core features are different teams.
    • The project with Spanish universities was discussed, focusing on integrating new functionalities in the platform and aligning with the community. It was concluded that ways of working could be adapted and a campus working group coordinated.
    • For the next meeting, the goal is to present more detailed documents for this project
  • Converting the discussion service from Ruby to Python:
    • The group discussed the proposal to rewrite a portion of Open edX’s forum codebase. Currently, the service is implemented in Ruby and utilizes MongoDB for data storage – both technologies that are not widely used or familiar within the broader open edX community. The proposed change involves translating the current code from Ruby into Python and migrating data models from MongoDB to MySQL. This would simplify the stack, potentially making it more accessible for developers to contribute improvements.
    • The forum proposal was discussed in detail. The group discussed whether a discussion forum should be built and maintained by the Open edX project or whether integration with third-party solutions should be preferred. Having a robust, open source solution remains a priority in either event. A recommendation was not made at this meeting.
    • The proposal for migrating the forums includes a progressive rollout plan to support large installations, especially organizations like 2U. The question was raised whether the complexity introduced by this approach created enough value to justify that complexity. Conversations with stakeholders will happen between now and the next meeting.
    • While most agreed on its technical benefits, questions arose around prioritization among various projects as well as funding sources for such an undertaking.
    • A document was suggested to recap all the projects and changes currently being discussed in the different working groups and the vision behind it. This was seen as beneficial not just for the TOC, but also for the broader community.
  • Proposal to make course content easily installable on any Open edX instance:
    • The idea was discussed: the content should be easily shared, allowing people to easily contribute to it.
    • It was suggested to add syndication features to existing courses already licensed under creative commons, to allow sharing between instances. A “cartridge” feature was also mentioned, for turning Xcode courses into importable content on other Open edX instances.
    • The importance of designing content for reusability and modularity, rather than creating a single, long course, was emphasized. It is unlikely that individual institutions or companies will invest in such a library due to its public good nature, making it an ideal funding opportunity for organizations like Axim.
    • The conversation concluded with the idea that all content should be decomposable into constituent pieces, allowing people to choose how they want to export it. Due to time, further discussion of this topic was postponed.

:pushpin: Relevant links


:memo: Meeting notes

1.15. Translation Working Group

Chair: Eden Huthmacher


:paperclip: Latest news


: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 June 07th - Async update
  • Tuesday June 11th - 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.

1 Like

Core Contributor Check-in: May 11th - 24th, 2024


Help

34 days and counting until the Open edX 2024 Conference :tada:

:stopwatch: Core Contributor Hours

There was a total of 229 hours of contributions reported this past sprint. This is 26 hours more than the previous sprint of 203 hours.

The overall checklist response rate was 38 for this sprint, which is an 4% decrease from last sprint.

response

:notebook_with_decorative_cover: Summary of Responses

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

@mgmdi

  • Yes! Join the Redwood Testing Team if you haven’t already. If you are more interested in solving bugs, you can help us by reviewing the test failures reported in the BTR board. Click on the issue you’re interested in, and help us solve it! If you have further questions, you can contact us on Slack. Thank you!

@sarina

  • I’ve marked some open-edx-proposals issues as “help wanted”, meaning they’re ready to be picked up by anyone who wants to help move the issue forward. Some, like #531, include a checklist of many tasks to add ADRs explaining some technology choices. Please ping @sarina for help/questions/review.
  • Let’s remove all Devstack related documentation, it’s causing confusion for newcomers.
  • Maintainers: please make sure your READMEs and other docs don’t mention Devstack
  • Everyone: If you encounter docs pages with Devstack mentioned (or want to fix places others have flagged), please join this issue.
  • If you have cute pets please join #pets and share them with us! :cat2:

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

@mgmdi

  • I’m gathering data using a form to improve developers’ experience with the Hooks extension framework, but I’m having trouble getting people to fill it out. If you, or any of your team members used the framework, please share it, or fill out the form and help us improve!

@pdpinch

  • After the Redwood Release, we need to review and reorganize the testing plan before the next release.

3. What did you accomplish this sprint?

@mafermazu

  • Openedd and merged a PR in tutor-contrib-codejail with a fix.
  • Helped with the Open edX Conference Webinar.

@braden

  • Added more types to Paragon.

@Felipe

  • Got up to date with the release testing process and reported one issue.
  • Participated in the large instances meeting.
  • Reviewed two light PRs in OEP and edx-platform.

@xitij2000

  • Reviewed frontend-app-course-authoring PRs and a got up to date with new OEPs related to frontend-shell and OEP-65.

@john_curricume

  • Trained two team members on Sphinx documentation Edit Educator docs to a) remove edx.org-specific references b) validate/fix links c) add taxonomy terms Deliver “5 Lessons Learned building AI Assessment”

@jill

@pdpinch

  • Redwood testing.

@sarina

  • Cleaned out open issues & pull requests from OEP repo Documentation changes/fixes/additions & reviews/testing for Redwood.

@antoviaque

  • Core sprints - Followed up & answered retro threads, groom board/backlog WG (and meeting)
  • Announced OEP for escalation process to TOC

@chintan

  • Started working on new items and made a list of un-maintained repos.

@Fayyaz_Ahmed

  • Redwood testing

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

@pdpinch

  • More testing. We plan to upgrade the MIT residential Open edX instance to Redwood in June.

@chintan

  • Documentation - when to merge a PR raised by bots.
  • Some maintenance in fairly unmaintained repos.

@mgmdi

  • The Redwood release!

@Fayyaz_Ahmed

  • Testing…

@jill

  • Conference talk.
  • Aspects bugs and documentation.

5. What went well this sprint?

@pdpinch

  • Lots of eager testers. Good coordination with Product Working Group.

@Fayyaz_Ahmed

  • Testing started

@jill

@chintan

  • Community support

: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

@mgmdi There have also been difficulties collecting answers to the survey about improving the core contributor experience - so maybe we need to figure out a better way to collect that feedback? I have opened an item for the next agenda of the contributors meetup about this: Need better ways to get feedback? · Issue #124 · openedx/wg-coordination · GitHub

@pdpinch A good chunk of changes happened to organize better the release this time - so a review/retro seems useful yes (@jmakowski might already have something in mind for this?). @pdpinch Do you have a list of items to address? I have also added it as a topic for the upcoming contributors meetup: Release management retrospective - Redwood · Issue #125 · openedx/wg-coordination · GitHub