Governance Office Hours Meeting Minutes

Today’s governance meeting (November 5th, 2019) has been cancelled. We’ll resume again next week!

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Hey all - as discussed in the latest meeting minutes, I’ve refactored the questions from the last two weeks so that the first post simply has a bulleted list of questions for people to answer, and one of the replies to the thread are the comments and extra info that the governance team came up with. I’ve also created a new community forum user for these “meta/admin” posts: @jovyan :slight_smile:

I think it would be good to add a comment to the posts by @jovyan (at least at the beginning of using the account) to clarify who/what this account is as well as explain it in the account’s profile.

I was surprised to see an account with that name and the Jupyter logo posting things. My impression (until I found this post) was that it reflects the official opinion of the current steering council after first thinking someone made the account to remain anonymous or it was one of the people on the steering council who didn’t want to reveal their identity. Basically

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Good point - I mostly wanted an account that wasn’t attached to any one specific person. What is information that you think would clarify this? I can update the Bio, I could add the name “bot” or “admin” or something like that?

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Just to clarify Chris, the latest meeting minutes are from 10.29.19? Or have minutes from this week been posted?

Exactly. I’d add a sentence to the bio explaining what the purpose of the account is, what it does and who controls it.

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I don’t believe that the minutes from this week have been posted - now that you mention it, I’m not sure that I have access to the minutes doc? In the meeting we had discussed that some of the question prompts were a bit “wall-of-text-y” and it might be more helpful to split off all the extra information into a separate reply so it was easier to follow.

I just realized I don’t think users have bios on here…however I added “bot” to the “title” of the user, as well as to the name of the user. Does that work?

Somewhere in the profile you can put a sentence like the one that says that you work at UC Berkeley. That is what I was thinking of with “bio”.

Hmmm now I just have to remember how to configure this haha

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Hey all - I’m strapped for time so won’t be able to make the governance meeting today - I spent some time yesterday giving my own thoughts to Governance Questions 3: Office Holders and, and I’ll loop in asynchronously this week as well

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Meeting Minutes – November 19, 2019

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

  • Attendees

    • Fernando
    • Tim G.
    • Darian
  • Most of the meeting was continuing on debrief from expert interview led by Tim George.

    • Musing on leadership: Leadership is a commodity that’s rarer than we want it to be.

      • Does it make sense for each steering council member to have a ‘deputy’ who’s being trained by the steering council member to be groomed as a future member?

        • Or have some ‘voting members’ and ‘non-voting members’ of the SC and require a certain amount of time as a non-voting member on the council.
  • What is the time commitment for a member of Jupyter leadership?

    • Regular (weekly?) meetings

    • Speaking/travel obligations

  • Discussion on volunteer-selection working to only allow people who have financial stability in leadership.

    • How can we develop leadership within individuals throughout many levels of the project?

    • We have an existing notion of “sub-projects” and “Committees”, we can encode these values so that people in positions can show their employers what impact they are having within the Jupyter Ecosystem, giving some value to individuals that work on Jupyter.

  • One potential way of populating the leadership and mentorship pipeline is to hire people from the open-source adjacent consulting firms in our community for x number of hours in y months to mentor new folks who are coming up in the community. So the Outreachy model plus a way to fund the mentors who would shepherd the new entrants to our community.

For mentorship, sure.

For leadership, I think this is unnecessary. Farming out leadership is unwise. Hiring an Executive Director would be better and having an unpaid board of approx 9 to 11 would be more likely to reflect the interests of the many different stakeholders.


I agree - I’d be a much bigger fan of finding paid positions (maybe part-time?) for leadership-style roles within the Jupyter community, rather than hiring consultant-style people outside the community. One of the challenges of doing “leadership things” is that they are often more invisible than doing technical work, and might be harder for individuals in companies, universities, etc to demonstrate their value. Perhaps compensating folks with money or a title can help offset this.

I wrote that note, but I think I wrote it distractedly. The idea was to populate the mentorship pipeline, because we currently occasionally find funds to pay for incoming interns but have a hard time filling mentorship roles to guide them and rely on volunteer mentorship. The word “leadership” in that point is a little misleading; it was not meant to indicate our project leadership roles ought to be filled in this way.


Meeting Minutes – November 26, 2019

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

  • Attendees
    • Tim G.
    • Fernando,
    • Darian
    • Sylvain
    • Chris H.
  • Continued with expert interview summarization and discussion from Tim G.
    • PR (public relations) as an accountability mechanism when faced with organizations that have disproportionate resources.
    • Explicit mechanisms for engagement of entities with large resources are important, to avoid the (even well-intentioned) “overrun by resource overload” problem.
    • Node: “small core, vibrant ecosystem”. Keep the core, non-negotiable ideas as small as possible and then let a more diverse ecosystem evolve around that.
    • In the Rust community, decisions aren’t necessarily made by consensus, but by a process that seeks consensus. This acknowledges that consensus isn’t always possible, but the process helps maintain a sense of community ownership even absent full consensus.
    • How do other organizations handle the problem of folks in the governance bodies being too busy/swamped/disengaged and having discussions and votes “fizzle out” due to lack of engagement.
    • The main job of a top-level steering body in large projects is to ensure the whole project (whatever its hierarchical management structure is) remains a coherent whole, and that all semi-independent sub-entities are working towards a common good/vision.
  • Discussed JupyterLab’s use of the debug adapter protocol as an example of our challenging boundaries of software engineering and the definition of our scope (

Thanks Darian. Would you be able to expand on why the last bullet point is challenging?

Hi Carol!

The challenges in working on debugging that were relevant to last week’s conversation had to do with the differences between example implementation and how many things become de facto stakes in the ground. Here are the aspects of the conversation that I recall:

  • The group of stakeholders who are interested in this problem is very broad but diffuse. The issue is not a purely software engineering one because it’s not simply implementing some functionality, it is also a reference implementation and reaches across multiple sub-projects.

  • The solutions we settled on came from independent implementations that relied on prior art / defined protocols, (i.e. the debug adapter protocol defined by Microsoft and used in VS Code, the use of the control channel in the Jupyter messaging spec, provisional API updates in JupyterLab core as proof-of-concept before migrating down to lower levels of the Jupyter stack).

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Meeting Minutes – December 4, 2019

There will not be any governance meetings for the rest of 2019.

  • Attendees

    • Fernando
    • Tim G.
    • Darian
    • Luciano
    • Zach
  • Next steps?

    • Fernando: AGU next week, then planning to sync with Brian to create first draft of proposal based on all currently accrued materials and ideas. To put out to the public for discussion and iteration after the holiday break.

    • Does it make sense for each steering council member to have a ‘deputy’ who’s being trained by the steering council member to be groomed as a future member?

    • Darian: let’s slightly formalize the next steps. Identify these to the SC and verbatim to Discourse, to clarify the following part of the process.

    • Darian and others willing to help out even with specific writing prompts, sections, etc.

  • Dangling bits?

    • Critical for the community and the SC to feel that the time spent in 2019 resulted in an outcome in 2019.
  • Describe to the community a summary of the activity so far and provide evidence of the work done so far.

  • Idea: timeline for releasing draft (~ mid-Jan 2020) plus vote; A proposal, with a period to discuss, that, if a very active discussion is going on, we can extend once before the final vote.

  • Emphasize the importance of open governance moving forward for industry stakeholders.

I am very excited to read and think about the draft!