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April 2021 meeting notes


Welcome Pavish!

  • Welcome!

Last week retrospective

  • Ghislaine: wireframes & roadmap update
    • Went well
    • Discovered a lot of things while making wireframes
    • Need to agree on what we’ll cover in wireframes, and what we’ll do in later steps
      • See questions in notes
  • Brent:
    • Library splitting done
    • Code moving over from prototype - in progress
      • Crucial method in SQLAlchemy deprecated (meant to be internal method)
    • Doing a better job of testing the Mathesar db library (someday could be pip installable on its own)
    • Setup Mathesar to work with existing Postgres DB.
  • Kriti:
    • Everything is now moved to the wiki
    • Collections -> tables, Applications -> schemas
    • Read-only APIs (APIs ongoing, CRUD and records API pending)
  • Pavish:
    • Set up his CCI account
    • Started discussion re: front-end framework and repo structure
    • Finalized Svelte/Django templates + monorepo

This week’s plan

  • Ghislaine:
    • Wireframes for data explorer
    • Move current work to wiki
  • Brent:
    • Finish moving code over from the prototype
    • Types:
      • String
      • Email
      • Number types
      • Datetime types
  • Kriti:
    • Update roadmap based on current work
    • Finish API work
    • Sync database tables and webapp tables
    • Import TSVs as well as CSVs
  • Pavish:
    • Set up frontend repo
    • Set up workflows required for client
    • Set up Docker

Community readiness check-in

  • License
    • Hopefully finalized next week
  • Ticket creation
    • Depends on wireframes/roadmap finalization, at least a couple of weeks away
  • Other community building ideas?
    • Too early

Internship update

  • FYI, we have an intern from May 17 to Aug 20 (@eito-fis)

Team event

  • Galaxy Quest


  • How to install Mathesar?
    • Use docker for now
    • Installation instructions for deployment, we’ll figure this out as its own task:
      • see wiki.js as an example
  • How to handle large amounts of data?
    • Two approaches: canvas vs. replace data in elements


Frontend hiring update

  • Pavish is onboard, pending logistics
  • 2 month notice, starts June 21st
  • Will join meetings and do some part-time work starting April 26th


  • GitHub repo:
  • Move mathesar-notes to it?
    • Affirmed by all
  • Set up private area for our competitor notes, strategy, meeting notes, etc.
  • Define rules for what is sensitive information in the wiki

This week’s plan

  • Ghislaine
    • Initial wireframes and roadmap update
  • Brent
    • Split up SQLAlchemy/psycopg2 into a library that the webservice imports
      • take engine as input
      • Django would store engines
    • Move code over from prototype and get rid of prototype repo
    • “Installation and configuration” from roadmap:
      • Access existing PostgreSQL databases via Mathesar using existing PostgreSQL user credentials.
        • Existing databases should reflect all columns and types correctly in the user interface.
      • Set up a PostgreSQL server automatically if none exists.
        • Create a new database from scratch.
        • Create an initial user if needed.
  • Kriti
    • Move stuff to the wiki and retire mathesar-notes repo
    • Rename collections and applications in codebase
    • Start work on API
      • CRUD for tables, schemas
      • CRUD for records

Ticket creation

  • Everyone to create tickets for their work
  • Deferred to later discussion
    • Should we create an issue template for internal feature tickets? (existing templates only cover external feature requests)
    • When should we start creating tickets in advance for the next sprint or for contributors?


Team collaboration process

  • Standups
  • Weekly meeting
    • Agenda: planning for the next week (sprint)
  • Sprint cadence
    • Weekly
    • Tool: GitHub Project with Backlog column
  • Informal collaboration
    • Impromptu chat, video call encouraged
    • Chats are async, don’t feel pressure to reply
  • Notes location
    • Public docs
    • Private notes (strategy, competitors, funding) etc. will live in mathesar-notes repo
    • Semi-public notes (e.g. user interview notes) - we’ll figure out later
    • Technical discussions/decisions that we might want to go back to should go in GitHub Discussions
  • Todos
    • Kriti will invite Ghislaine and Brent to Miro
    • Kriti will set up a GitHub Project
    • Kriti to figure out first issue templates
    • In a couple of weeks, we’ll talk about the process with collaborating with the community
      • Brent: think about “create a type” issue template

Frontend hiring update

  • Two candidates in the pipeline
  • Perhaps Ghislaine would like to talk to the Frontend Engineer
    • TODO: Share interview notes with Ghislaine
    • TODO: Prepare Interview Questions

Roadmap discussion

  • Goals
  • Timeline
    • Will be decided after we agree on MVP goals
  • Ghislaine’s research/questions:
    • How people use Airtable
      • Sharing forms is a big use case, unlike SurveyMonkey etc., you don’t need to connect to a Google sheet
        • from a table
        • This is opposed to bulk importing data
      • Automation
        • Zapier is a bit disconnected, Airtable pulls it all together
        • Improve the quality of data collection
    • Some industries need to automate processes for cost savings
      • for example, see librarians transitioning in the 70s
      • we could get some user journeys here
  • Process for further iteration
    • Ghislaine will do some research and write up user journey
    • Then we’ll measure roadmap against it and refine roadmap

Kriti’s use cases for Mathesar

  • Book collection inventory
    • would be great to support barcode scanning that looks up books
  • DVD/Bluray collection inventory
  • Food inventory + grocery list creation
  • Health data tracking
    • would be great to be able to upload Apple Health exports, Migraine Buddy exports, MyFitnessPal exports etc. and find patterns in data, correlate different types of data
  • Track lectures/courses that I want to watch, have already watched, etc.

Plan for this week

  • User journey and roadmap refinement
  • Continue code on essential things
  • Flag things that are potentially technically difficult
  • Set up for official sprints next week