Informal roadmap & retrospective workshops for Django

Follow-up to my reply in Updating our DEP process / DEP 1 – I wanted to start a new thread for people interested in taking part in two informal exercises for contributors.

If you’re interested in participating to either of those exercises, please comment or “like”: below.

““Roadmap”” workshop

This would involve brainstorming and voting on ideas for things to happen in the Django universe (core, community, packages). Similar in some ways to Django feature vote spreadsheets of the past, but more community-driven / non-binding, in the spirit of Jeff Triplett’s DjangoCon US Talks I’d Like to See.

If all goes well, the items would arrive on a lovely impact-effort matrix / quadrant chart. If there is time, we’ll also be able to discuss timeframes and ways to take things forward (“is this a good GSoC project”, “does this need a DEP”, “should we look for another MOSS-style grant”, etc). Perhaps even discuss risks / gaps (shifting expectations on static typing, deployment, bus factor on a specific module, etc).

Who knows, we might even identify some quick wins for new contributors like Djangonaut Space to take through!

““Sprint”” retrospective

This will be an occasion to air out any pain points in a safe space. Agile-style, we’d record our different pain points on working together as contributors, and also note things that work well. It’ll be a very straightforward start/stop/continue, mad/sad/glad type of thing (see the Metroretro templates). We’ll collate all participants’ entries. We’ll vote to identify common themes or how much people “relate”. We’ll draft actions. If all goes well, the actions will arrive on a lovely impact-effort matrix / quadrant chart.

Preparing for those sessions

I’ll send specific instructions once I know how many people are interested – in the meantime, please share this thread with your contributor friends. Particularly the ones who might be grumpy about open source but can express that constructively.

Personally I’d like to do a few specific things as prep:

  • Trial all of this with people interested in helping organize or mentor for Google Summer of Code first. I’ll reach out to past participants separately to this thread. Not sure how many people here know but Django participates every year, with the Fellows leading the charge. This is a very demanding program for organizers and mentors due to how popular Django is and the limited time available from volunteers, so I think the “Retrospective” exercise in particular would help a lot.
  • As a board member, I believe I have access to preliminary results of the 2023 Django Developers survey. I’ll make sure to review what I can from there, see if there are any particular nuggets of wisdom.
  • There was a membership survey done in September - Octoboer 2022, for DSF individual members. I don’t recall seeing this as a member back then or whether/how the results were used, but as a board member I now have access to this, so will make sure to review ahead of time and follow up on how to get the results shared if possible and not already done. Here’s a copy of the form if you were interested in seeing the fields on there.

There’s also quite a bit of “overview” documentation I’d like to draft ahead of time to bring others up to speed, time-permitting:

  • An overview / list of all Django’s GSoC projects over the last 20 years
  • Annual report-style material for all years of the DSF’s history
  • Perhaps reach out to Jeff and others who publish things like DjangoCon US Talks I’d Like to See to get their takes on “2024” hot topics.

Practical examples

As part of my onboarding as a new board member, I’ve been meeting with contributors (8 so far, thank you for your time!) and noting some of their ideas. Here are the kinds of things I’d hope those exercises would help us discuss:

  • Templates
    • Either make it as fast as Jinja or switch to Jinja
    • Multiline template tags
  • Forms
    • Accessible by default
  • Admin
    • New admin
    • Keyboard shortcuts
    • Global search
    • HTMX
  • Front-end
    • Docs for popular front-end tech
  • ORM
    • Composite fields
    • Common table expressions
  • Developer experience
    • startapp / startproject improvements
    • Better deployment docs
  • Security
    • 2FA / passwordless built-in
    • Auth rate limiting built-in
    • Better CSP support
  • Other
    • Better async support
    • Static types (see Pydantic/FastAPI/Starlette)
  • Contributors experience
    • Better docs
    • Official demo / test project
    • Directory of contributors / Django people
  • Governance
    • Jazzband governance
    • Bus factor in specific areas of Django
    • Rails-style keynote content
    • Consensus process
13 Likes

For the roadmap workshop, if you’re interested in taking part in this either online/async only or as a meeting, please “like” this message or comment below.

21 Likes

For the retrospective, if you’re interested in taking part in this either online/async only or as a meeting, please “like” this message or comment below.

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This is exciting! I’m in!

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Sure!

Oh.

But yes, I notice some of my suggestions in your list, so count me in.

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I am interested in this :fire::fire:

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:wave: I’ll be sending emails / DMs with instructions at the end of the day, if you know someone who might be up for this but hasn’t expressed their interest yet, now’s the time.

I want to keep this informal but I’d be very interested in particular to see some representation from Django project teams and DSF committees, as I presume they’ll have a good sense of what’s feasible or not within their groups.


Also thought I’d share a few words about the format in case anyone has concerns or any feedback:

  • It’ll all be in Google Docs. I wanted something more open source if possible but it’s hard to find something that meets requirements.
  • I’ll share a file with you ahead of time where you can submit your roadmap ideas / thoughts for the retrospective.
  • Then collate into shared files (one roadmap, one retrospective) with everyone’s contributions.
  • Then we’ll organise voting (not sure how just yet)

Once that’s all together, the idea is to see what emerges and:

  1. Put things on an impact/effort matrix to get a shared understanding of the nature of the work
  2. Identify volunteers who are interested in helping with specific items
  3. For the items with the most traction, further refine what are the likely next steps (“open a ticket”, “forum post”, “draft a DEP”, “submit to the DSF board”, “reach out to CoC team”, etc)

I hope this all makes sense – if anyone has feedback or wants to help with the organisation, please let me know.

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Please add me to the list Thibaud. I may be swapped out with another Djangonaut Space organizer later.

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If there’s something happening here that happens to fit in with my unpredictable days, I’ll join in.

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Just a thought, it would be good to involve the @steering_council here too. There’s a part in DEP 10 about setting a roadmap, which hasn’t really happened, so what comes out of this process could be part of that, which might be cool/useful.

@carltongibson I’d love that (or any established team really), but decided not to reach out because I don’t want people to think this is a formal exercise. And I’m also interested to see people coordinate on things in packages / the community just as much if not more as Django features.

Is this the bit of DEP 10 you’re referring to by the way?

In order to provide focus for development efforts, the Technical Board SHALL periodically issue a public call, on the django-developers mailing list and the Django Forum, for proposals of features to be implemented in the future Feature Releases. The Technical Board SHALL ensure that such proposals are archived in a venue generally open to interested members of the public.
DEP 10 – How Django’s technical direction is determined

@thibaudcolas do you have a rough date in mind for this?

Edit: There’s a doodle on the form :melting_face:

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I’m interested in both proposal :raising_hand_man:

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Please send me an invite as well. Can’t guarantee anything but if work and child permit I’ll be there…

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Alright, that makes 20 of us so I think we’ll leave it there :slight_smile: I’d like to facilitate this with more people in the future if there is interest, but for this time around I’d really like to start as a meeting – so we need to make sure there’ll be time for everyone to speak.

I believe I have contacted everyone who said they were interested, either in Discord DMs, or forum DMs, or Slack, or email. If you haven’t heard from me that’s my bad, please let me know.

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I am up for attending as well if you want me in a Steering Council capacity, but you also have a pretty good set of people already so I’m more than happy to sit this one out and see what comes out of it!

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Writing ideas in preparation for the workshop I realized I have more than one and I decided to share them in an article. I’m receiving interesting feedback from Django users.
https://www.paulox.net/2024/01/19/my-django-roadmap-ideas/

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I’ve added four new ideas to my list of possible improvements for Django and its community.

Hello, this is interesting. Count me in!

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Front-end - Docs for popular front-end tech

Docs for using IntertiaJS - something very relevant in the Laravel ecosystem and would be nice to have docs for this using it with Django.