Nathan Letwory's weekly coordination meetings, notes

With Nathan back on board, he has started coordination meetings to help with everything from release planning to patch review.

This is the third one, and the one to start off what will be a weekly thing.
https://lists.blender.org/pipermail/bf-committers/2019-July/050053.html

Hi all,

Today was the third meeting for the coordination work. Today we agreed on
how we split the responsibilities and tasks between us. We further agreed to
have weekly meetings, generally on Monday at 12:00 CET.

Participants: Brecht van Lommel, Dalai Felinto, Nathan Letwory

Before I give the more complete list here is who primarily to contact about
what matters:

  • feature/code/design review: Brecht
  • release, bug tracker, communication: Dalai
  • documentation, forum, new contributors/onboarding, infrastructure: Nathan

The list below is how we have agreed to split the workload for now. In the
period running
up to 2.81 we’ll see if we need to fine-tune.

The main categories will have the name of the person responsible for each.
They are
further refined by the tasks, together with name of responsible person.
Where there is no
name one can assume the same as the main category.

There is definitely some overlap between the different parts, which means
we need to
keep communicating well.

Development Management Tasks

Release Management [Dalai]

  • Define and communicate roadmaps
  • Keep track of all tasks that need to be done for release
  • Reorganize and close tasks on developer.blender.org to reflect current
    status
  • Assign release tasks to developers
  • Talk to developers to ensure they are working on the release targets
  • Make decisions on what is safe to add in the current release

Development Planning [Dalai]

  • Help decide which major features to focus on (All)
  • Find developers to work on important features that are not assigned to
    anyone
  • Help define vision for how to do these new features, work through design
    with developers (Brecht)
  • Ensure module owners are organizing and communicating development of
    their module well and help as needed

Follow Development [Dalai]

  • Keep eye on commits for any problematic code changes (Brecht)
  • Keep eye on usability or design issues introduced by commits (Brecht)
  • Follow up with developers and designers to ensure issues get fixed
    (Dalai, Nathan)
  • Ensure daily builds stay stable, and that major breakage is fixed
    immediately (Dalai)
  • Ensure tests keep passing, poke developers when they break (Dalai)
  • Understand what developers are spending time on (Dalai)

Review [Brecht]

  • Assign appropriate reviewers to patches (Brecht)
  • Make sure patches are not ignored too long (Brecht)
  • Review contributions on a high level (Brecht)
  • Help code reviews stuck on design or decisions get unstuck (Brecht)
  • Read and review design docs (Brecht)
  • Come up with alternative designs when needed (Brecht)

Bug Tracker [Dalai]

  • Follow bug tracker reports on a high level (Dalai, Nathan)
  • Set priorities to low / medium / high so developers focus on important
    things
  • Help bug triagers to resolve tricky reports and define policy for how to
    handle reports
  • Ensure bug tracker remains friendly on-topic place, deal with rude users
    or developers
  • Help bug fixes get unstuck when needed (Brecht)

Communication [Dalai]

  • Write meeting notes, ensure all developers have weekly reports (Nathan &
    Dalai alternating)
  • Write weekly overview of new features and changes (Brecht)
  • Write blog posts on code.blender.org
  • Coordinate with web team
  • Organize Blender conference and other presentations (case by case basis)

Docs [Nathan]

  • Ensure release notes are complete, poke devs who don’t update (Brecht)
  • Define overall structure of release notes, ensure consistency and fill in
    blanks (Brecht)
  • Keep eye on Blender manual changes to ensure correctness and completion
    (Nathan)
  • Help manual writers understand Blender features and release process
    (Nathan)
  • Keep developer wiki documentation up to date (Nathan)

Development Infrastructure [Nathan]

  • When any developer website or infrastructure goes down, organize it to
    get fixed
  • Keep track which infrastructure is working well, and where problems are
  • Lead any development infrastructure changes
  • Make decision with sysadmin on infrastructure setup and policies
  • Create wiki, blog and other accounts for developers
  • Organize better continuous integration and testing infrastructure
  • Organize improvements to developer.blender.org

Team [Dalai]

  • Organize and lead weekly meeting on blender.chat (Dalai, Nathan
    alternating)
  • Set up meetings between developers if issues need to be worked out
  • Talk to developers to see if things are going ok, what to improve
  • Detect when developers are stuck too long on things, and find solutions
  • Onboarding of new developers and other employees [Nathan]
  • Make sure developers have software and hardware they need
  • Keep Ton in the loop on important decisions and things happening in
    development

Contributors [Nathan]

  • Answer new developer questions on devtalk, bf-committers and chat
  • Set up commit rights for developers and explain rules
  • Keep close eye on new committers to ensure they are following guidelines
  • Guide and encourage contributors to work on topics that fit Blender’s
    goals

Forums [Nathan]

  • Answer users questions or get the right person to answer them
  • Moderate forums to stay on topic, handle flags
  • Pass on information to relevant developers when needed

Of particular interest is making sure patches get reviewed and making sure they don’t get stuck on design topics, keeping daily builds usable, and ensuring that new developers aren’t in the dark. The Epic grant money can also be of help to make sure all of these things are realized (for a higher quality Blender that truly feels like a community project). :slight_smile: