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November 2021 meeting notes


Topic: “State of Mathesar”: Mathesar progress and workflow check in. Attendees: Brent, Dominykas, Ghislaine, Kriti, Mukesh, Pavish, Sean

Meeting notes follow.

Alpha release goals & timeline


The goal for the alpha release is to demonstrate the value proposition of Mathesar:

  • Works with existing databases
  • Provides great UX for the features implemented
  • Explains concepts to non-technical users without hiding or oversimplifying
  • Data modeling flexibility
  • Collaboration with other users
  • User documentation about installing and using Mathesar
    • explain new schema installation

We want to implement enough features for users to be able to handle a simple inventory case.

Roadmap & Timeline

Here’s the timeline as I see it (reflected on our Roadmap):

Milestone Timeframe Dates Notes
Tables & Data Types 4 weeks Nov 29 - Jan 14 Timing includes CCI winter break
Views & Data Modeling 8 weeks Jan 17 - Mar 11
Multiple Databases & User Management 4 weeks Mar 14 - Apr 8
Collaboration (Sharing) & Improved Editing 4 weeks Apr 11 - May 6
UX Improvements & Deployment (Pre-Launch) 3 weeks May 9 - 27

These are estimates.


  • I’ve moved “Bulk Operations on Records” to beta from alpha.
  • I created a new milestone for UI styling.
  • Consider aiming at a specific Normal Form for data modeling milestone.
  • Pavish has some ideas for data modeling UX, will share closer.


  • We should be aiming to release an alpha as soon as possible. Can we shorten the above timeline?
    • Data Modeling could be moved to later, doesn’t seem essential
      • Useful for CSV import flow
      • Demonstrates value proposition for Mathesar, not present in similar tools
    • Multiple databases and user management can be post-alpha.
      • Allow user to configure database from frontend in alpha.
    • Collaboration can be moved out too.
  • When should we do UI styling - sooner or later?
    • After views
  • Kriti will update the roadmap after the call to move a bunch of stuff to post-alpha
  • After tables, data types, views are done:
    • Go through entire user and installer end to end flow and implement what we need to
    • Write documentation
  • Separate launch milestone
  • We won’t have a formal timeline, but we should be able to ship sooner if we only focus on tables, data types, and views before moving on to alpha release prep.

Alpha Launch Plan

  • Write documentation
  • Show HN
  • ProductHunt
  • Find people active on Twitter / Reddit
  • Find users through CCI network and set up Mathesar servers for them
  • Mukesh can find users
  • Online conferences
  • Google Summer of Code etc.
  • Keep track of stories of people using Mathesar to help with funding

Long term vision for Mathesar

The alpha release is probably going to look like a database GUI but that is not our eventual goal. Mathesar is an ambitious product and we should all be on the same page about what we’re aiming to do.

  • Help users “make sense” of data without knowing much.
  • e.g. import data from other services and get insights from it immediately
  • e.g. suggest improvements based on analyzing patterns automatically
  • Allow users to learn and explore, learning more about databases and data analysis.
  • Extendable by users through plugins and automation.


  • GitHub Project workflow
    • sync between labels and status is one-way:
      • update the label, not the status (this should update the status)
    • Make sure to update “active” when appropriate to avoid over running others’ work.
  • Comms Assignee
  • Weekly Discussion
    • moved to Monday
    • It’s totally okay if there’s nothing notable to report on each week
    • It’s nice to see what other people are doing that week
  • Standup
    • Dependencies is helpful
    • Helpful to see what people are working on to see if input is needed
    • Completed section is not always informative for long running tasks
      • Focus on the part of the task that is completed or new requirements uncovered
    • Useful to coordinate frontend


  • Product and design review process
  • Code architecture and spec process
  • Issues
  • Matrix vs. GitHub discussions
    • GitHub discussions notifications are lackluster
    • Tag people in discussions more
    • Notify others in Matrix that you’ve started a discussion

We’re out of time, please provide feedback on communication async.

We should have a State of Mathesar meeting every month, it’s useful. - Consider inviting community eventually (–Brent)


Please see 2021-11-23 weekly planning on GitHub Discussions.


Please see 2021-11-17 weekly planning on GitHub Discussions.


Please see 2021-11-11 weekly planning on GitHub Discussions.


Please see 2021-11-02 weekly planning on GitHub Discussions.