IT Development/Progress meetings/Minutes 7 January 2014

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These minutes were approved at the Tech Com meeting on 4 February 2014.

Apologies and introductions[edit | edit source]

Attendees[edit | edit source]

In office

  • Katherine Bavage (KB)
  • Harry Burt (HB)
  • Carol Campbell (CB)
  • Katie Chan (KC)
  • Michael Maggs (MM)
  • Charles Matthews (CM) (chairing)
  • Richard Nevell (RN ) (minutes)

Participating remotely

  • Jonathan Cardy (JC)
  • Emmanuel Englehart (EE)
  • Tom Morton (TM)

Apologies[edit | edit source]

CM chairing meeting. Joseph Seddon and Padimini Ray Murray sent their apologies.

Meeting began at 14:12

Policy and impact[edit | edit source]

MM gave the committee feedback from the last board meeting. Board is considering structure and impact of the charity's various committees and how to support them. The board wants committees to be active, to meet regularly, and take on projects which have the potential for an international or widespread impact.

Opinions on the purpose of the committee were invited. HB asked whether project manager role was discussed at board meeting in December. MM reported that the Board felt the proposal needed to be developed – with a firm job description and gave the go ahead for discussion about the post to proceed. KB highlighted that the model of WMDE involves assessing grant applications for time and resources; projects could be put to Tech Com for consideration. HB noted that success of something like WikiData was intensive of staff time, but that if a member of staff could take care of administrative tasks it would free up the committee to consider higher level aspects.

JC suggested that Tech Com could support initiatives which the community feels are important but which may get overlooked by the Wikimedia Foundation. CM pointed out that there would be considerations regarding different priorities within the context of the movement when it comes to assessing which projects Tech Com takes on. Wikimedia Switzerland have an ambition tech section in their FDC proposal, with some details here.

KB suggested structure of Tech Com may need to change to ensure it is effective. The contractors (EE and TM) do not necessarily need to attend full meetings of Tech Com. Staff and contractors could instead produce reports for the committee, so the committee could be left to discuss strategy. MM felt that the project manager role would help with this, ensuring that work is done between meetings. TM echoed this, saying that someone with time to keep an eye on the big picture would be helpful.

Technical and detail[edit | edit source]

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Bugzilla[edit | edit source]

How-to guide for Bugzilla is drafted on the office wiki. Include a brief summary of how bugs are prioritised.

ACTION: KB to finish drafting and circulate to tech@ by Friday 10th January.

Redirecting[edit | edit source]

Bug to redirect is open, however there is currently no one working on it. EE has been chasing it. HB asked whether it was a workload issue or if the Foundation might be opposed to setting up a redirect. KB opined that it was most likely a workload issue.

FTP service[edit | edit source]

Though it was decided at the November meeting to purchase Rackspace, this had not yet been carried out. It was decided that RN would contact Fae to discuss the purchase.

ACTION: RN to contact Fae to discuss buying Rackspace

Voice project[edit | edit source]

Voice project is a request for time so will be discussed on wiki rather than put on the shoulders of the contractors.

ACTION: KB to move Andy Mabbett's bug on Bugzilla to the UK wiki and email tech@ with link

Virtual Learning Environment[edit | edit source]

CM summarised status on the VLE. Aim is to have content finished by end of March – in addition get quiz module stable – and then roll it out. MM asked whether CM feels there is capacity to do this. CM explained that quizzes can be done in the three month time scale and that we will be getting consultancy from a specialist to move things along and shape long-term development of Moodle. Consultancy expected to cost about £350. TM supported getting consultant's advice.

There is an open bug about updating Moodle.

ACTION: CM to email Doug to arrange consultancy

QRpedia[edit | edit source]

It was decided that while Tech Com had previously been concerned with technical aspects of QRpedia, the future use of QRpedia is a matter under the remit of the GLAM committee.

DECISION: QRpedia discussions deferred to GLAM Com

CiviCRM[edit | edit source]

No new actions

Usage of non-EU systems[edit | edit source]

ACTION: RN to start discussion on wiki about the proposed policy and alert tech@ about the discussion

Mediwiki[edit | edit source]

HB updated the committee, saying that OpenID has been de-prioritised by the Foundation for 2014

ACTION: HB to ask WMF ops about how the work is progressing

Europeana[edit | edit source]

Europeana looking at new funding source. They will go to Grants Advisory Committee to ask for money. No action needed from Tech Com.

Toolserver[edit | edit source]

DECISION: Toolserver can be omitted from future agendas

Email use policy[edit | edit source]

After a short discussion is was decided that creation of this policy is perhaps not a matter for this committee. Instead it will be referred to Jon Davies.

ACTION: KB to refer policy to Jon Davies

Blog planet[edit | edit source]

At the last Tech Com meeting it was decided to set up a 'blog planet' to aggregate blog posts relating to Wikimedia UK and those which might interest the community. Since then it has successfully been set up. The committee thanked HB and EE for their roles in getting the planet working. There are 11 blogs on the aggregator, and more are being sought.

Project manager role[edit | edit source]

ACTION: KB to meet with James Knight for advice. Will then go to tech@ with draft job description for more input.

AOB[edit | edit source]

KC raised the issue of user rights. A decision from c.2009 states that adminship requires a full board decision to be granted. It was decided that it is not a Tech Com issue and can be put to Jon Davies to decide whether to put to the board.

ACTION: RN to email Jon Davies

HB raised the issue of how to attract attention to bugs. Should a message be sent to tech@ when new bugs are filed? That would allow people to keep track of what is going on. Public bugs would be included in the summary, while those marked as not public would be omitted. HB suggested one email per week including subject line of new bugs on a trial basis.

ACTION: TM to look at bug 35

Future meetings need to be better planned. Jon Davies will be asked to decide on a member of staff to ensure administrative tasks are taken care of, at least until the project manager is in post.

EE explained that a second CPU is needed for community server. It will effectively double cost of the server. Relates to bug 154. Discussion deferred to tech@

ACTION: EE to raise on tech mailing list

Date of next meeting was discussed. CM proposed four weeks from now with the same arrangement and the date was agreed. 2pm on Tuesday 4th February. Agenda to close on 31st Jan.

ACTION: RN to let tech@ know about the date of the next meeting

ACTION: RN to circulate reminder to look at agenda on 31st Jan

Meeting ended at 15.50