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2023-02-08 launch planning meeting

General update and Q&A

Kriti gave an update on

  • Launch goals
  • Funding plan
  • Usability testing strategy

Launch goals

  • Get early adopters that are really excited about Mathesar and can help us alpha-test it
  • Post Mathesar on HN, Reddit
  • Get people to install and use it
  • Website ready
  • Documentation for at least one way to install
  • Only have stuff in Launch blockers that block user from deciding whether to install Mathesar
    • Small usability issues and bugs don’t block users from deciding to install Mathesar
  • Initial target users: Software engineers
    • Reducing target audience size
    • Only aiming now for HN-user types, engineers (since they are the ones deciding whether to install Mathesar)


  • For Non-profit projects, the important thing is impact
    • Theory of change
  • Can’t do anything until we launch
  • Need to show that we’ve shipped something
  • Need to show people are interested in it.
  • Kriti wants to do pitches in March/April

Usability testing

  • Using tool: Playbook UX
  • We provide tasks. People record themselves doing it.
  • We also ask questions via the tool.
  • Goal is to find people similar to initial target audience (HN denizens)
  • Main focus is on high-impact changes which might affect adoption
  • Also provides insights which we can do post-launch
  • Current testing strategy is unmoderated. We might want to do some moderated tests later.
  • We’ve been refining tests. First test didn’t go great.
  • We’re also focusing on the right segment of users for the tests.
  • Sean thinks usability tests on installation would be quite useful.
    • Kriti plans to find people on Upwork for that.
    • It’s on the plan for launch.
  • For more open-ended instructions, we’d need a bigger sample size to get good info.
  • The test is designed as a narrative
    • Exploring existing Mathesar Con data set
    • Adding a table called ‘Sponsors’
    • Assigning Sponsors to talks
    • Creating an exploration at prompt
  • Each test is giving us a 20-minute video of someone using Mathesar

Launch plan

We’re going to launch on Feb 27.

Blockers NEED to get done before launch.


  • Users & Permissions (Pavish, Rajat, Sean)
    • Pavish & Kriti met Tue to cut scope a bit
  • Deployment (Brent, Dom, Mukesh)
    • Brent & Kriti met Tue to cut scope
    • Only “Deployment Type 1”
  • Usability testing issues (Ghislaine)
    • More incoming – no major changes planned
  • Deployment usability testing (Kriti)
  • Demo video (Kriti)
  • Update README (Kriti)
  • Complete website (Kriti & Ghislaine)
    • Link to docs
    • Integrate demo video
  • Reset migrations (???)
  • Create and publish release (Kriti)
    • Think about versioning (semantic versioning may not be appopriate for applications)
  • Document upgrade process (Brent)

Nice to have

  • Upgrades in UI (Sean)
  • Additional deployment types (Brent, Dom, Mukesh)
  • “High” items in Backlog milestone (Pavish, Rajat, Sean, Ghislaine)
  • Pre-launch publicity (Kriti)
  • Process for publishing releases on DockerHub


  • Currently ad-hoc process for launch
  • We’ll discuss improving velocity in a more permanent way after launch
  • Considering meetings 2-3 times a week to stay focused.
    • Everyone agrees, we’ll set these up.

GSoC / community work

  • We’ll stop reviewing community work until launch.
  • Anish will handle community communication until launch.
    • Kriti will support as needed.
    • Everyone else should ignore community work until we launch.
  • If we get into GSoC, we’ll review and update project ideas after launch.

Next steps

  • Update launch milestone in GitHub to be accurate.
  • Kriti will set up meetings

Current status

  • Users and permissions
    • Try to get this done before any other frontend work, it’s in blockers
    • Rajat’s PR is open for styling
  • Deployment
    • There’s a preliminary writeup in #2034
    • New Docker setup for prod is finally merged
      • Brent will send email to mailing list with dev changes
    • install script is looking good, almost done (Mukesh)
    • Documentation is pending
      • Port needs to be documented so that people can run things on different ports if needed
      • Make sure we’re clear about using WSL in Windows
      • Make prerequisites of bash and Docker clear
    • Install script will be friendlier for Windows too
    • Documentation for happy path - ETA Friday or early next week
    • Next steps:
      • Get done and merged
      • Get Watchtower (upgrade library) done and working with the current setup
      • Documentation
    • Upgrade UI is blocked on discussion
      • Mukesh, Brent, Dom, Sean, Kriti should meet
    • Docker won’t pull the new image unless you give it a “build” argument
    • Installation flow
    • Write up for user flow is in #2034
    • We need to make sure we’re not building frontend files in the npm container
      • Use pre-built files
      • Double check - it might be cruft
      • We need to revert package lock changes
    • Make sure to involve frontend engineers in installation review (probably Pavish)
  • Usability testing
    • Next steps
      • Finish writing notes for completed tests
      • Write up tasks for what we need to fix before launch
        • Critical
        • Easy to implement
      • Write up other, non-blocking tasks
  • Deployment usability testing
    • Wait until we have docs
  • Demo video
    • Going back and forth on feedback
    • Doing a new voiceover
    • We seem to have a voiceover sample that works
    • Should have v2 soon (hopefully final)
  • Need to update - not started
  • Website
    • Changes implemented
    • Updating illustrations - in review
    • Once we have docs and demo video, need to integrate
  • Not started:
    • Reset migrations
    • Create and publish release (Kriti)
    • Document upgrade process (Brent)