Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata




Discussion items

5 minAnnouncementsAll

WOLFCon Debrief: action item - revitalize SIG relationships and understanding


Revitalizing the SIGs has been on a wish-list for an agenda item for a while, and it came up as a topic of discussion at WOLFcon. Is there a way we could be sharing information better about what the SIGs are doing?  Which ones are active? Which ones need a product owner? (Do we have Product Council liaisons for each of them?) Some SIGs are more active at a sub-group level.

Noting the wiki is not up-to-date everywhere...noting especially about sub-group levels.

Lots of changes and additions to the "Spreadsheet of SIGs" (see link to the left)

Privacy SIG might be a good group to include in a discussion about scope criteria for development.

Public Library SIG: might it be time to try reviving this group and see if it can gather funding for specific development needs that they have?

SysOps SIG is getting a little more traction with issues that were identified years ago (e.g., minimal platform installation) but are now more urgent with more FOLIO installations. Can these needs get addressed before they cause problems for a bigger community? These tend to be cross-cutting and architectural questions.

WOLFCon Debrief: coordination with other councils

  • Council roles and understanding
  • Shared understanding of definitions for what we are working on
  • PC authority and influence working through our charter

The chairs of the councils are going to try to set up quarterly cross-council meetings for information sharing and raise issues that straddle councils.

It is probably impossible to manage at a level of functional detail and at the overview/coordination level. So it is important for the PC to decide and what level it wants to operate. This is a good topic for the cross-council discussion. PC should also be more up-front with CC when we have resource struggles. The TC is also thinking about reviewing its charter (not a radical change but examining its responsibilities).

WOLFCon Debrief: criteria creation to evaluate modules - review Scope/Criteria work to address action itemsKristin Martin 

Proposal in 2 parts: 1) practical steps to return to what this group does (to be reviewed in the group tomorrow and eventually brought to PC); 2) looking at the FOLIO architecture and longer-term plans.

For a future meeting: a process for how we keep the roadmap up-to-date. There was a lot of work to tie the roadmap into current development; how do we best leverage this work?

Discovery/Integration API

  • potential need for SIG
Postponed to next week.

Kristin will work on a template of questions to ask SIGs (in the same spreadsheet).

We can return to the debrief in the next meeting as well.

Meeting chat log

00:02:15	Owen Stephens:	And whatever you do “don't blink”
00:02:25	Julie Bickle:	😂
00:09:10	Harry:	Looks pretty to me!
00:12:30	Harry:	Be back in 2 mis
00:18:09	Harry:	Once this exercise is complete.  It would be interesting to compare to the roadmap.  What SIGs need to start to get some progress made on Roadmap items definition?
00:18:35	Harry:	Rather, What SIGs need to be creat5ed to support the roadmap?
00:22:03	Brooks Travis:	which one is which ;)
00:23:03	Brooks Travis:	It's a user group, really…
00:23:52	Julie Bickle:	Yes: their interest is not to provide dev requirements.
00:23:54	Karen Newbery:	+1 Tod
00:29:22	Owen Stephens:	Just don't want anyone to get the idea that a PO has been found for an area where there isn't one
00:31:09	Owen Stephens:	Reporting is a complex area as it has quite a few working groups
00:33:07	Marc Johnson:	To add to Harry’s comment, one of the areas we haven’t really addressed in FOLIO is the in-app reports (that live inside the system)
00:33:38	Charlotte Whitt:	The Reporting SIG did a huge work on defining In-app reports in FOLIO - that work happened a couple of years ago
00:33:54	Brooks Travis:	Yeah, we’ve left those to a really ad-hoc, SIG-by-SIG approach that I don't think is serving the needs of the product anymore
00:34:18	Marc Johnson:	I’m glad there is a list of potential in-app reports.
00:34:43	Marc Johnson:	What I don’t think we’ve addressed is more general questions about the expectations of how those reports are intended to work
00:35:09	Brooks Travis:	that's where I was trying to get to. Thanks, Mark.
00:35:15	Marc Johnson:	We’ve had plenty of challenges with some of the reports in circulation with a mismatch in understanding of how the reports should work
00:36:26	Brooks Travis:	“Marc” 🤦🏻‍♂️
00:37:03	Maura Byrne:	+1 Harry
00:38:15	Marc Johnson:	Maybe the dashboard could be part of app interaction (given it is cross app)?
00:38:39	Maura Byrne:	+1 Marc
00:40:16	Charlotte Whitt:	Or per app; e.g. the MM-SIG can define dash board widgets for daily use (task) within Inventory, Data Import, Data Export, Bulk edit etc.
00:41:48	Marc Johnson:	Didn’t the privacy SIG recently take ownership of the personal data disclosure form?
00:42:16	Charlotte Whitt:	Does Lucy Liu know, maybe?
00:45:28	Peter Murray:	Marc: yes--the Privacy SIG took on the Personal Data Disclosure form from Technical Council.
00:45:51	Harry:	My apologies everyone, I need to jump off for another call.  Great meeting.  Thank you!
00:46:36	Marc Johnson:	I think the points Owen raises about public libraries is an example of a broader challenge with FOLIO needing to decide who it’s audience is and how it handles divergent needs
00:50:51	Owen Stephens:	And “accessibility"
00:51:05	Brooks Travis:	Discovery integration 🙂
00:52:23	Brooks Travis:	PC would be a good place to do that advocacy 🙂
00:53:30	Owen Stephens:	I think (fairly) the sys ops sig would say they have done a lot of advocacy in PC (and elsewhere) but I think we've got to decide how we take that forward from the PC (advocate with the SIGs?!)
00:54:18	Brooks Travis:	I think that's what we're trying to sort out in these post-WOFLcon conversations, because that's a definite process deficiency we identified in our conversations there
00:54:55	Owen Stephens:	Agreed Brooks
00:55:29	Charlotte Whitt:	TC working groups?
00:55:50	Marc Johnson:	I might dare to suggest that a part of this is how we define product ownership
00:55:52	Brooks Travis:	SIG Tribune 🙂
00:56:15	Julie Bickle:	+❤️ Brooks
00:56:18	Marc Johnson:	Charlotte, are you asking if TC working groups would be the ones who take forward the Sys-Ops needs?
00:57:32	Julie Bickle:	I guess the Question is: How do you get those sys requests into the Backlogs?
00:57:41	Charlotte Whitt:	No, it was to Kristin Martins comment on if there were other cross functional WGs
00:57:57	Charlotte Whitt:	The TC WG I was thinking of are:
00:58:15	Brooks Travis:	I feel like it's just been slow-going on the sysops’ issues because of the strategic focus of the development resources.
00:58:30	Julie Bickle:	100% Brooks
00:58:38	Owen Stephens:	I agree Julie - but not just into the backlogs but prioritised in those backlogs
00:58:48	Julie Bickle:	100% Owen
00:59:16	Owen Stephens:	Anyone with ability to create a jira issue can drop something into my backlog 🙂
00:59:16	Peter Murray:	I've noted this discussion about SysOps SIG issues in the minutes.
00:59:36	Brooks Travis:	Optimization is usually deemphasized in early phases of development, which tend to focus on end-user feature development
00:59:59	Brooks Travis:	This is about the time I would expect such a shift in this project
01:00:02	Julie Bickle:	@Owen: We notice that is Vega too 😬😅
01:00:26	Julie Bickle:	*in Vega
01:00:53	Marc Johnson:	As I understand it, there is a degree of indirection between what the SIGs talk about and what is built that affects all SIGs 

It’s that it’s more pronounced for cross-cutting concerns
01:01:22	Tod Olson:	++Marc
01:03:11	Marc Johnson:	Brooks, the CC is conducting brief interviews with a few folks about challenges and opportunities.

One of the respondents raised concerns about scale e.g. data import limits, that I think relate to optimisation 

The topics of bulk edit and batch APIs (which are strangely disconnected) are other examples, that also overlap with Sys-Ops
01:04:13	Marc Johnson:	Owen, just because they can doesn’t mean they should 😃

(But then I have a very different understanding of backlog to many folks in FOLIO and believe they should be very limited in size)
01:05:57	Peter Murray:	Thanks, Marc—yes, this came out of the TC working group meeting yesterday.
01:06:03	Owen Stephens:	Agreed Marc
01:11:38	Brooks Travis:	Thanks, Marc. That's good to hear (CC's work on this)
01:12:26	Marc Johnson:	The responses to the CC’s interviews are really interesting. They are like a microcosm of the challenges and concerns that have been floating around for a while
01:14:55	Tod Olson:	The link to the "List of three things that could be better" document is in the #community-council channel for anyone who wants to look.
01:15:11	Charlotte Whitt:	Thanks Tod
01:15:16	Tod Olson:	#folio-community-council, that is
01:15:18	Kristin Martin:	Here is the CC document collecting challenges:
01:15:46	Brooks Travis:	Thanks, Kristin
01:16:07	Marc Johnson:	I think of the PC as advocating for the community about what it needs from the product
01:16:47	Marc Johnson:	It might also establish constraints on aspects of the product
01:17:41	Owen Stephens:	Absolutely agreed Kristin
01:18:25	Marc Johnson:	For awareness, the TC is reviewing its charter (it is 4 years old) and that charter is likely to change
01:18:25	Ian Walls:	I completely disagree. a year is plenty of time to see that the current governance model isn't working, and fundamental changes need to be made
01:19:08	Brooks Travis:	I'd argue that we've not really exercised our current charter…
01:19:16	Brooks Travis:	Not that it needs to change
01:20:19	Marc Johnson:	The TC has a mixture of both of those conundrums, it hasn’t been exercising all of its current charter and the charter doesn’t fit with the current reality
01:20:43	Ian Walls:	but the CC doesn't have any significant resources to apply to needs
01:21:03	Brooks Travis:	But it's the council charged with acquiring them
01:21:20	Marc Johnson:	There is a CC working group for that
01:21:38	Owen Stephens:	I think there is a difference between changing our charter and changing how we pursue the charter. I don't have an objection to revisting the charter, but my view is aligned with what Brooks and others have said.
01:21:55	Marc Johnson:	Practically though, it is unlikely the CC can acquire sufficiently directly run development capacity to satisfy folks
01:22:13	Owen Stephens:	i.e. lets look at whether we can improve the way we pursue our goals before we change the goals on the basis we haven't been effective so far
01:22:34	Ian Walls:	why would folks contribute resources to CC when then could just put them into the project directly?
01:23:20	Marc Johnson:	An excellent question 😃
01:23:32	Brooks Travis:	Yes
01:24:55	Marc Johnson:	To me, the Councils are better suited to guiding contributions (and that might include some hard constraints)
01:25:04	Brooks Travis:	I think there's a very strong case for doing so, especially through providing a mechanism for smaller libraries to pool fiscal resources effectively
01:25:38	Tod Olson:	Or even larger libraries to pool resources effectively.
01:25:42	Marc Johnson:	That’s an interesting topic, how do we facilitate smaller contributing groups working together
01:25:54	Ian Walls:	resource pooling is a great use case
01:27:54	Owen Stephens:	Thanks all

1 Comment

  1. Hi, all! Thanks so much for bringing up issues around the focus of the Reporting SIG. I think there were some really great responses from Reporting SIG members during this session, so I can echo those replies. I'm adding some comments here, but I'm happy to engage in discussion in any other way that is convenient - through a PC liaison, or by scheduling time in a PC meeting to talk as a group. Also, I'll add a blanket caveat that these are my personal reflections, and I haven't had a chance to gather feedback from the SIG or our POs.

    Reporting SIG has spent the last 6+ months engaging a series of conversations about scope and visioning (soon to be finalized). I’m happy to say that engaging FOLIO community members on broad, non-LDP-focused topics regularly came up in those discussions, including an acknowledgement that we have opportunities to grow in this area. I don't think in-app reporting surfaced much in our discussions because we haven't really heard anything about problems with in-app reports since our early work to gather and create JIRA issues for them, but I do see how we could participate in or facilitate larger discussions about in-app reporting functionality and expectations. If that's of interest, it would be helpful for me to hear more about what apps would appreciate this kind of effort and what role Reporting SIG would ideally play.

    I would argue that there are a variety of ways we already benefit non-LDP-users in the FOLIO community, including: gathering widespread reporting needs (both in-app and non-in-app), communicating reporting-system-agnostic concerns about FOLIO data models to SIGs and app developers, encouraging in-SIG demonstrations of non-LDP reporting tools (including the Bywater Solutions reporting tool mentioned in the meeting), and developing and providing training on non-LDP reporting topics, like GitHub, APIs, SQL, and the FOLIO app data models. (I'll admit that much of the training happens in SIG meetings these days, but we're tooling up for wider distribution, and our past WOLFcon training sessions and FOLIO Forum presentations were always well attended by non-SIG members.) 

    While the full LDP (eventually Metadb) software may not be a desired platform for all institutions, some institutions have started using the (also open source) LDLite software as an approachable, Python-based system for pulling FOLIO data from the APIs. The work the SIG is doing to build SQL queries that work for Metadb will also potentially help LDLite users, as the transformations LDLite uses are similar to those in Metadb. This extends the reach of the query work being done by the Reporting SIG, since any individual at any institution can install and use LDLite to query FOLIO APIs, regardless of whether they have a hosted LDP or Metadb instance. Just this week I wrote up a simple Jupyter Notebook that installs LDLite, queries FOLIO, and shows several methods for either working with the data in the notebook or simply extracting it for use in other software. I think this tool might well make API queries more approachable than direct API access through something like Postman. We are also developing a plan to write cookbook-style documents on different kinds of reporting queries, and while these will likely include code snippets for querying via Metadb/LDP/LDLite, they could just as easily include snippets for querying FOLIO directly via API (where appropriate because of query size and complexity). If LDLite users decide to host the data extracts in a shared database, that also opens up the possibility of connecting the LDP query build app to this non-LDP database, which is easy to do and allows a large group of users to access FOLIO data without writing any code.

    So, even if on the face of it the Reporting SIG spends a lot of time supporting the Library Data Platform projects, those are OLF-sponsored projects being developed by a very invested FOLIO hosting provider, they are being developed with openness and active solicitation of FOLIO community feedback, and they actually offer a lot of direct or ancillary benefits to institutions not installing LDP or Metadb. We do have non-LDP institutions who actively engage with SIG efforts because they see the benefit of the tools for the full community and/or find it helpful to learn more about FOLIO data and reporting in general.

    As for other open source tools being considered/discussed in SIG, that has already happened, at least on a small scale. We are absolutely open to those tools receiving SIG time and attention, and I have proactively reached out to people who make reporting tools to come present their work to us. Since I have been convener (just over a year), I don't believe any reporting system developer has proactively reached out to the Reporting SIG to make a connection, request input, offer a tutorial, etc. Likewise, I don't believe any users of alternative reporting tools have reached out and asked for meeting time or SIG member attention toward that tool. We do have ideas for how to more actively encourage non-LDP-users to engage in the Reporting SIG meetings and community discussion areas, but those are still in early phases. We probably have a bit of a squeaky wheel problem - there is a development group actively working on a set of tools that genuinely desires our time and assistance and feedback, and other tools have not made any overtures to us or welcomed our input. It's almost certainly true that we give off an air of being only about the LDP, but if there are other reporting tools we haven't welcomed into the discussion when we heard about them, I'll be happy to address that quickly. 

    Likewise, I'm very happy to hear some ideas about how Reporting SIG could reconnect with work going on elsewhere in the FOLIO community, like in-app reports and the ERM dashboard. The Reporting SIG would almost certainly be a great group to think about additional widgets that could be added to the dashboard. We wouldn't necessarily be the only group that could think of interesting use cases, but we could certainly gather possible reporting use cases across our various subgroups. We don't have a development team we can ask to work on things like that, but maybe we can marshal resources some other way.

    My gut reaction (just individually, not speaking for the full SIG or our POs) is that we would/will need to actively build a non-LDP reporting community in FOLIO before the Reporting SIG would be able to expand scope. Organizing around a tool or project makes community building easier, in my experience, so figuring out how to bring people out for Reporting without a specific tool in mind will I think be difficult work. We could try to pull in more API users, which I think would be very interesting. As mentioned, we could try to spin up special projects like in-app reporting recommendations, though I think that would only be a temporary solution. But I'd be curious to hear more about other SIGs that are really just interest groups and how they stay active when not directly working on project (or what kinds of projects they do engage in). And if there are aspects of the roadmap that relate to reporting, of course that might also offer opportunities for expansion. But I consider our LDP work both to be an active benefit to the FOLIO community and also a set of activities that can be reprioritized if other needs come forward.