Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

October 2016 Maintainers' Meeting

This week’s meeting of our lesson maintainers made some great progress in streamlining our decision-making process, and we hope to begin implementing some of the changes discussed in the next few weeks. The major highlights are:

  1. Creation of a developers’ subcommittee: We’re creating a new subcommittee that will be in charge of decision-making for template and style changes common to all lessons. Each maintainer will still be responsible for PRs/issues specific to their lesson. I will contact folks who indicated interest in participating, and am pleased we have folks from both SWC and DC; if anyone not currently acting as a maintainer would like to take part, please contact Kate Hertweck.

  2. Instructor notes: Quite a few of us are supportive of the proposed template for standardizing instructor notes; these headings will be added to the example lesson this week, and we’ll begin implementing across our core lessons over the next few weeks. I’ll engage the mentoring subcommittee to see if there are folks interested in these conversions, since they’ve spent a lot of time talking to new instructors and can offer some great insight.

  3. Minor changes to styles/lessons/workshop-template: There were no objections to a few outstanding changes, so these will be merged. Greg and François will wrap up the unresolved issue of inconsistency in paths to data files.

  4. Support for additional human languages: We still don’t have a workable solution for supporting lessons in languages other than English. At the very least, it would be nice to have a statement somewhere indicating our feelings on the matter, as we receive queries about this every few months. This will be one of the first items tackled by the new developers subcommittee.

  5. Defining core lessons: Quite a few folks were enthusiastic about moving from the inflammation R and Python lessons to lessons based on the gapminder data. The consensus was that quite a bit more work would be required before this could be an “official” decision. This is another issue that will be discussed by the developers, but will obviously require more communication with the lesson maintainers.

As always, we’re grateful to the lesson maintainers for everything they do, and we hope these changes result in less email and more productivity. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

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