MINUTES OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING of 29 April 2020
The meeting took place the 29th of April 2020 via zoom video meeting system
Presence: All members of the collaboration where represented via remote connection
The 2019 budget report was presented by Jean-Michel Chaize . Each point was discussed and accepted.
Decision: The 2019 budget report was unanimously accepted
The budget for 2020 (previously distributed to all the delegates by email) was presented by Andy Götz.
The discussion concerned the following resolutions of the budget proposal document. All other resolution had been previously unanimously accepted via email.
Resolution 1.6: Tango Web client interface development and support
There was no dissent to the proposal that we endorse WebJive from ESS and SKA as the supported platform for Tango web client.
- SKAO is planning to add additional developer resources to WebJive development so that it is a user friendly, well documented, mature tool by the time SKA construction starts in mid 2020.
- SKAO was asked to write a proposal on how to best spend Steering Committee resources in this area.
- After the meeting SKAO sent the proposal to set up a new development team with 5-6 developers. A significant part of the team's mission will be to develop the WebJive tool to become a mature product. The team is largely based in Italy, but with additional resources in Portugal and India, The main goals of the above proposal will be met by the SKA “in-house” developers and so will not be required. The team needs more product management expertise for distilling and translating user requirements into well understood team features and stories, taking into account the capabilities of modern web technologies, and the software quality required.
- SKAO asks Tango Steering committee to approve the signature of a contract with a consultant they recommend, for guiding the development with an eye to the entire Tango community, but driven largely by MAX-IV and SKA requirements. They propose to increase the budget dedicated to this item
Decision: The committee approved uninimously the increase of budget and a contract with an external consultant.
Resolution 1.8: Support and maintenance of Pogo
- ESRF reminded the Steering Committee that the main developer of this complex product, will retire in the year to come. During the discussion it turned out that the majority of sites use Pogo to generate the device classes even if only the first time. Some limitations with the generated code (in Python) means that sites then continue developing the generated device classes outside pogo. Nonetheless the usefulness of Pogo was widely acknowledged for all 3 languages supported. Consequently, the code should be taken in hand by another programmer. ESRF proposed to entrust the code to an external partner who will be supervised by one of the partners in the collaboration.
- SKAO said that they might have a volunteer to take over this role. Nick Rees will contact them and let us know.
Decision: The committee agreed unanimously that Pogo should be maintained and that an external supplier should be found. SKAO will propose someone.
Resolution 2.2: Debian packaging
- ESRF remind everyone that, until now, debian packaging is done by Frederic Picca (SOLEIL) on a voluntary basis i.e. in his spare time. This is a typical activity which could profit from being outsourced to commercial partner
- SOLEIL informed that, the situation of this activity has changed, this is now clearly in the objective of this person. Howerver, it would be more efficient to get help from a commercial partner. It would help in planning of releases. The partner will be supervised by SOLEIL.
Decision: The Steering Committee agreed unanimously to help finance the debian packaging by SOLEIL
Resolution 2.6: move device servers from svn to github
- Several members warned that some device servers in svn have already moved to other repositories and that svn is now obsolete. Therefore it may be not relevant to do a massive transfer. However due to the need to know the code before moving it is was considered better to ask every author to reference his/her code from their usual repository in the device server catalogue of the tango-controls web site.
Decision: The Steering Committee unanimously agreed to drop this resolution from the budget and to invest the money on other things.
Overall budget 2020
Decision: All other resolutions and the overall 2020 budget has been unanimously voted and agreed after a further vote by email of the SKAO proposal
Long term management of the community
We discussed the opportunity to increase the subscription fees to allow ESRF to hire an engineer to work 100% on Tango core development in addition to the present resources.
Some partners are ready to increase by 50%, some 100% and others cannot go further than 10K€ but can engage themselves to dedicate more human resources to common development. It was decided to open up the collaboration contirbutions to different amounts according to what sites can afford.
Decision: Each collaboration member to decide by how much they can increase their contribution in 2021 i.e. to 15k€ or 20k€ or if the remain at 10k€
Next Tango meeting
The next meeting has been organized with the help of IK company in june in St Petersburg jointly with Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (PNPI). The pandemic situation prevents us from maintaining such a meeting because the borders will stay closed at least until July 2020.
We noted that, IK company invested money in the organisation and already booked the venue and the hotels. IK negociated with the hosts and obtain that we can postpone the meeting to a further date keeping at maximum the same price. The proposal is to postpone the meeting to November 17th to 19th. Since this period is in low season, the hotels may accept to lower their prices.
Some members asked to maintain at least a remote workshop in June to provide to the community the last update on development.
Decision: It was unanimously agreed to postpone the next Tango meeting to 17 to 19th of November in St Petersbourg and to organise a remote meeting the 10th of June with status updates. The Steering committee will help with the agenda. ESRF will host the meeting on zoom.
MAXIV confirmed their offer to host the Tango meeting in 2021.
Decision: It was unanimously agreed to hold the 2021 Tango meeting at MAXIV in Lund (Sweden).