IT Development/Technology committee meetings/Minutes 15 July 2014

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These minutes were approved at the Tech Com meeting on 11 September 2014.


  • Harry Burt
  • Carol Campbell (CC)
  • Charles Matthew (CM)
  • Richard Nevell (RN) Minutes and Chair
  • Doug Taylor (DT) - apologies for lateness


Michael Maggs and Emmanuel Engelhart sent their apologies but could not make the meeting.

Meeting began at 18:15

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the of the last meeting were considered by the committee and there were no objections. It was suggested to turn the scoping exercise into a standing topic until its conclusion.

Matters arising from the previous minutes

CC updated the committee on the issue of accessibility. She is currently awaiting input from Tom Morton (TM) as it has previously been decided to include accessibility within the scoping exercise which he is currently carrying out. CC is building contacts and starting to put a committee together. The intention is to be ready in September'/October, waiting until after Wikimanis in order to avoid clashing with the charity's other commitments.

ACTION: CC will email TM to arrange a meeting on the subject of accessibility.

Online voice recording

Deferred until Andy Mabbett is available to join the discussion.


CM reported on preparations for Wikimania. Effort is being concentrated on the reuse of VLE material and will be showcased at the education pre-conference. It will be an interactive guide and will help promote the WikiSoba tool. CM will also be involved in the drop-in how-to-edit session run by DT, and will use the opportunity to introduce the VLE.

There have been delays in the technical developments needed in order to showcase the VLE. The two extensions needed - single sign on and transclusion - have not yet been installed. There is an open bug about the transclusion plugin, opened in May 2013.

DT joined at 18:20

It has been requested that the Moodle software be upgraded to version 2.7, with a subsequent upgrade of MySQL needed. There is an outstanding action for Bugzilla to be documented on the UK wiki. CM has found that asking for actions through Bugzilla has been ineffective, and sometimes has to be chased up with other means. To be discussed under AOB. DT pointed out that upgrading software to its latest release version will not always be an improvement, for example it may end up being more resource intensive as more features are added - however in this case the upgrade would mist likely be necessary.

The safe school sandbox was discussed briefly, and was returned to under AOB once HB had arrived.

Date and chair of next meeting

It was decided to hold the next meeting in September, after people have been on holiday and Wikimania. CC noted that the intention of having meetings in the evening instead of during working hours is that they would be better attended by volunteers, however attendance has not appreciably changed.

ACTION: RN to circulate a poll for dates in w/c 7th September

HB offered to chair the next meeting. DT suggested that moving the meeting to start at 18:30 instead of 18:00 would make it easier for people who finish work at 17:00 to join the call, especially if unforeseen delays arise.


Scoping exercise

CC suggested asking TM what he wants from the Tech Committee and whether he wants to talk to the committee.

HB joined at 18:43

ACTION: CC to email TM about his expectations of the committee in regards to the scoping exercise

CM highlighted the initial questionnaire which was circulated to the committee, but is unclear whether further input is needed. CM voiced his concern that the scoping exercise may be diverting developer time away from preparations for Wikimania.


With HB in the meeting, the topic returned to Wikimania. CM suggested that the safe school sandbox would be a better fit in the hackathon rather than the education pre-conference. HB felt that given the format of hackathons in which it is very much driven by individual interests it was a question of finding a volunteer to take the lead.

ACTION: HB to email looking for volunteers to raise the sandbox at the hackathon

Documentation and bugzilla

CM felt that there needs to be a page documenting how to use Bugzilla and how bugs are handled. At the moment there is sometimes limited feedback on bugs and it is unclear what the expectations are of how it should be used as a project management tool, especially with regard to prioritising tasks.

ACTION: RN to draft a page explaining how bugs are handled by developers, and the function and expectation of the using Bugzilla

ACTION: HB will look into online voice recording and will contact Andy Mabbett.

Meeting closed at 19:07