2nd MacPorts Meeting & Online Meeting

David Evans devans at macports.org
Sun Oct 16 13:36:34 PDT 2016

On 10/9/16 10:53 PM, Mojca Miklavec wrote:
> Hi,
> Me and Aljaž would be willing to host the MacPorts meeting in 2017 again.
> If you have any particular requests about the desired time / place /
> or anything else, we can discuss it before we fix the dates, but we
> should probably fix it some time soon.
> In addition to the face-to-face meeting, I would like to propose
> trying out some online meeting some time in mid-November (or any other
> time, according to your wishes). I would propose to discuss:
> - creating timeline(s) with most important features that we might want
> to implement & get into next releases
> - how to improve the ticket system
> - and/or any other pressing topic (just not too much all at once)
> I'm not sure about the best format of the online meeting though
> (IRC?). Any suggestions welcome. It would be nice to prepare proposals
> / agenda for discussion in advance though. I would limit the meeting
> to 2 hours max and repeat it if necessary.

Mojca --

In addition to the 2nd annual conference, I like the idea of periodic online
meetings by whatever medium gets the most participation.  To do this effectively I
would suggest the following:

* restrict the topics to be covered in such a meeting to a relatively narrow range. More meetings with
  narrower range of topic will probably be more effective to control and minimize the length of the meeting.
  If the meeting is too long, people won't participate.
* appoint a moderator to manage the progress of the meeting, perhaps a different one each time.
* moderator should solicit questions for discussion within the particular topic area, in advance of the meeting,
  from potential participants and use it to construct an agenda to be published in advance of the meeting. If the
  moderator has some special expertise or interest in the topic to be discussed, so much the better.
* moderator can then use the agenda as a tool to provide structure to the meeting and be responsible to
  make sure that participants remain focused on the agenda item at hand and not go off-topic.
* meetings should be scheduled periodically at a predictable time so that potential participants get used
  to having the meetings and make it a regular part of their personal schedule.  Maybe start with
  quarterly meetings and up the frequency to monthly if there is good participation.
* might be good to have a member of the PortManager group, "attend" each meeting to be able to address
  questions of standard practice and policy and in general represent that group
* now that I think about it, using irc might be the best way to go since a transcript of the meeting
  can be obtained from the irc logs.  After the meeting this can be processed into a "minutes" document and
  published to document the meeting proceedings. That way, people who don't participate can benefit from
  the meeting's discussion.

Establishment of a meeting time that is convenient to participants in a wide range of
geographical locations is probably the most difficult task and is key to good turnout.  Maybe say 9 to 10 am on the
US west coast which would translate to 6 to 7 pm in various parts of Europe.  Weekends might be better than
weekdays to avoid conflicts with daily work schedules.

Just some thoughts.


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