2023-01-12 Tri-Council Meeting

January 12, 2023

Attendance: Aaron Trehub, Alexis Manheim, Carol Sterenberg , Charlotte Whitt, Craig McNally, dracine, Gang Zhou, Hkaplanian,Ian Walls, Ingolf Kuss, Jag Goraya, Jana Freytag, Jenn Colt,  Jeremy Huff, Jesse Koennecke, Karen Newbery, Kathleen Berry, Kirstin Kemner-Heek, Kristin Martin, Lara.Herbrich, Lara Moch (Unlicensed), Maccabee Levine, Maike Osters, Marc Johnson, Mark Veksler, Martina Schildt, Martina Tumulla, Mike Gorrell, Nina Stellmann, Owen Stephens, Paul Kloppenborg, Paula Sullenger, Peter Murray, Sharon Wiles-Young, Simeon Warner, Stewart Engart, SusanneSchuster, twliu, Tod Olson, Tom Cramer, VBar 

Meeting recording:  https://recordings.openlibraryfoundation.org/folio/tri-council/2023-01-12T09:25/


Quick update from Councils

1) Community Council

  • Dracine replaced Boaz as FOLIO Manager - a role required as part of FOLIO SMLLC

  • FY22 ended (June 2022) with a $90k surplus which we agreed to use to start a reserve fund (this is about 3 month, extend to 6 when funds allow). Posted FY22 financial statement https://folio-org.atlassian.net/wiki/display/CC/Finances

  • FY23 finances good: $425k in membership pledges, $345k collected so far

  • FOLIO resourcing group came up with several scenarios that we are now discussing

  • Survey “Things that Could be Better About FOLIO” with feedback from 50-60 people. Terminology is something that came up at WOLFcon and here. Want to discuss other possible actions from the list of suggestions

  • Discussed benefits of an ongoing documentation lead and fundraised to support Marcia Borensztajn centrally (currently at $15,800 or about 4 months)

  • Celebrated Library of Congress decision to go with FOLIO, had a welcome meeting with them

  • Discussion of Functional Criteria for Evaluation of FOLIO Modules https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VtQXj5EgWGFUusKDbaLQTX5dSBZgwv_XlffBXJTrBAI/edit — feedback from CC went back to PC

  • Discussion of communications - created FOLIO-members and FOLIO-announce lists, agreed to shut down Trello, looking at Discuss platform

  • Set up quarterly cross-council or tri-council meetings like this as a post WOLFCon action

2) Product Council

3) Tech Council

Conducted module reviews: mod-oa, mod-calendar, mod-gobi-settings. Controlling AWS hosting cost effort has been made with Kubecost; will continue to check in as this installation matures. The tech module review process is undergoing review after a few modules have gone through it. A subgroup on keeping 3rd party tools updated is wrapping up. Revising the TC charter: there are a few things that the TC would like to update. TC goals and objectives working group is wrapping up soon; it is another review of the technical blueprint and list of technical debt. A subgroup is looking at a process for what happens when a breaking change is needed; the RFC for this is about ready for review. The improvement and consolidation of decision logs in TC and TC subgroups is almost done. Several subgroups will be formed soon as other subgroups wrap up: distributed versus centralized configuration, architecture review (including identifying gaps and how to fix them), reviewing the first RFC. TC is also reviewing its communication channels, including removal of Discuss.

"What is FOLIO"

Mike Gorrell facilitates

Background: There has been a lot of discussion over the past several months regarding the boundaries and definitions of "FOLIO". The term FOLIO is not precise, and many feel like the ambiguity negatively impacts efforts. What is the FOLIO Product? We have the flower releases, the somewhat separate efforts in China, talk of a "Core" FOLIO, debate on what can and can't be included in FOLIO distributions as examples that could benefit from clarity. There is a Community around FOLIO and a large mature open source software project. What exactly do we mean when we refer to "FOLIO"? This topic was discussed in Hamburg, without drawing any conclusions or concrete actions. This is problematic, if for no other reason than the Product Council needs clarity on what product it is responsible for.

Goal for today:

  1. Gain some sense of shared understanding
  2. Identify concrete actions going forward

Review this definitions document to facilitate the discussion.

There is confusion between those that use FOLIO for their library thinking that "FOLIO" means their library's automation system; for those actively in the project "FOLIO" means the project. "FOLIO" as a term is used in whatever context it is used in a particular moment...sometimes as a stand-in for the Project, sometimes for the Platform, and sometimes for a library's particular instance.  "FOLIO" is an adjective, not a noun. Our product is bigger than the code; the product also includes the community, and the councils each have a responsibility to support the community.

"FOLIO" is going to mean many things, so we should use it as an adjective, not a now. Defining "product" is difficult—there are multiple "products"—and means many different things to different people; should we try to eliminate the use of this word? "Product" is in the name of one of the councils; what should the focus of that council be in the absence of a common definition for "product"? There are some libraries that think of FOLIO as a tool they are using, not a "lifestyle" effort. The thing that does the work needs a name and the thing that supports the work being done needs a name.  The "flower releases" are a thing and that is what the Product Council is in charge of?

We need to understand what these words mean in order to have a shared understanding, and we are starting to wander into what each council does. To some extent, the words are artificial and we may find some words are too loaded. With an open source project, a council doesn't "own" something, but it guides and influences decisions as a group. "Flower release" doesn't feel like a good long-term name.

Simeon, Kristen, and Jen volunteered to consolidate this discussion and try to move it forward.

What could be better about FOLIO

Review final three slides of this summary of the feedback to date - any consensus on areas to invest in?

Time ran out on the meeting before this agenda item was reached.

Chat log

00:04:43	Kristin Martin (UChicago she/her):	https://wiki.folio.org/display/CC/Tri-Council+Meetings
00:05:52	Index Data:	Nice interior decoration, Brooks :-)
00:11:10	Kat Berry | UMA/5C:	Thank you Simeon
00:14:38	Brooks Travis:	Interiors by Microsoft
00:18:15	Paula Sullenger - Texas A&M:	The Treasurer is grateful for the AWS cost containment efforts :)
00:18:26	Sharon Wiles-Young:	Thank you Kristin great overview
00:25:03	Simeon Warner (he/him):	Flame suit on!
00:26:46	Peter Murray:	Is "FOLIO LSP" inclusive of a specified list of apps?
00:27:08	Peter Murray:	"FOLIO LSP" is "FOLIO Platform" plus...?
00:27:28	Owen Stephens:	We’ve not even got to the definition of platform yet 🙂
00:27:55	Ian Walls:	FOLIO LSP = Platform + apps that the PC says should be included in their Flower Releases
00:28:21	Karen Newbery:	yes
00:28:30	Martina Schildt:	yes
00:28:33	Peter Murray:	Yes.  "FOLIO Project" is a recognized thing with that definition.
00:28:35	vbar:	Circular definition!
00:28:38	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	Yes, if we refer to the FOLIO Project under the OLF
00:28:39	Simeon Warner (he/him):	I think the P in LSP adds confusion to the notion of Platform. I agree with Ian Walls that LSP = platform + apps
00:29:07	Owen Stephens:	I think that is the crux of the issue Ian - is the Folio LSP the flower releases, or some more vague notion that includes any set of modules that deliver library services
00:29:27	Ian Walls:	My understanding is that "LSP" is mostly marketing speak so the Product can be sold as opposed to Alma, etc
00:30:06	Charlotte Whitt:	FOLIO LSP is the open source platform + apps with Open APIs which make it easy to integrate with third party tools, and to develop the new additions to the software
00:30:41	Ian Walls:	I think we need to differentiate between 'the' Product and 'a' Product
00:31:16	Charlotte Whitt:	+ 1 Kristin Martin.
00:31:25	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	Yes, Kristin
00:31:30	Paul Kloppenborg | BSZ:	+ 1 Kristin Martin
00:31:34	Maccabee Levine:	+1 Kristin
00:32:32	Jenn Colt:	A community isn’t a product. I don’t think I become a product by being involved in the project.
00:32:43	Ian Walls:	Jenn++
00:32:50	Jag Goraya:	+1 Jenn
00:32:52	Jag Goraya:	Conventionally a project is finite, and has termination or completion criteria. What's described here as FOLIO Project seems to be an ongoing concern.
00:33:31	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	Yes Tod
00:34:08	Ian Walls:	"FOLIO" as a adjective, not a noun
00:34:29	Owen Stephens:	Agree with Tod
00:36:21	Tod Olson:	Harry makes an interesting suggestion if I understand correctly: FOLIO Community ≠ FOLIO Project, the community broader
00:36:56	Ian Walls:	^ yes, that.
00:37:27	vbar:	Is Folio Project a family? In the same way as the Apache Project?
00:38:14	Jenn Colt:	The TC is an important part of the culture and has a major impact on community members
00:44:16	Tod Olson:	Maybe the code is FOLIO Library Management System?
00:44:36	Ian Walls:	FOLIO LMS v FOLIO LSP
00:45:11	Marc Johnson:	If we don’t call the software we are building as the product, and instead the whole thing is the product, what does that mean for the PC?
00:46:17	Simeon Warner (he/him):	Per governance model: CC is explicitly focused on community: To foster a healthy and productive community ecosystem of sustainable collaboration for the FOLIO project.
00:46:23	Marc Johnson:	In effect, have we agreed that we aren’t going to define the word FOLIO?

And we might not be able to define the word product either?
00:47:27	Jag Goraya:	So _this_ thing we're all involved in is the FOLIO Initiative? Which convenes and facilitates a community of participants to precipitate a common tool for libraries to fulfil their [..] service delivery goals.
00:47:32	Brooks Travis:	For me, that’s deciding what should be included in “Platform Complete”, i.e. the flower releases
00:47:58	Marc Johnson:	What is the flower release a release of?
00:49:51	Marc Johnson:	Or to put it another way, what is the PC deciding the scope of?
00:51:14	Jenn Colt:	The community is a selling point of the product but is not the product
00:51:41	Marc Johnson:	+1
00:51:42	Martina Schildt:	+1
00:52:03	Charlotte Whitt:	+ 1 Kristin. Sales people do also need to have a product, to sell
00:52:06	Dracine Hodges:	+1 Kristin
00:52:09	Simeon Warner (he/him):	I agree with Kristin that we should not shy away from the idea of creating a product. In my mind that does not in any way undermine the value of an OSS community
00:53:20	Harry:	The FOLIO community is a functional thing
00:53:49	Harry:	We have at a minimum, multiple products based on that definition.
00:54:41	Marc Johnson:	What do folks call the thing that we release with flower names?
00:55:08	Ian Walls:	yes, there are many Products.  A set of them are 'owned' by PC, and right now are released as the Flowers.
00:55:45	Harry:	We should not use the word “product”.
00:55:46	Marc Johnson:	How would you refer to that set without creating further ambiguity with the name product?

A set of products isn’t a product.
00:56:02	Alexis Manheim:	^In the terminology document, I think this is called the "FOLIO releases."
00:56:13	Ian Walls:	PC owns Product/functional thing that libraries use
TC owns the underlying Platform/shared architecture
CC owns the operations of the FOLIO Project
00:56:28	Brooks Travis:	+1 Ian
00:56:49	Tom Cramer:	@Mike: we could defer the “Things that Could be Better” topic if you want more time to sew this up
00:56:52	Kristin Martin (UChicago she/her):	The meeting time runs until 11:00 AM ET
00:56:54	Marc Johnson:	Ian, that definition only works if we agree on a singular use of product
00:57:31	Brooks Travis:	I think we should
00:58:06	Marc Johnson:	How are we referring to FOLIO as a non-ambiguous thing?
00:58:32	Harry:	The flower releases are builds
00:59:22	Marc Johnson:	Builds of what?
01:01:58	Marc Johnson:	What are the flower releases a build of?
01:02:05	Harry:	A build/release of the code that is FOLIO LSP and the FOLIO platform.
01:02:19	Brooks Travis:	They’re a scope, more than a build
01:02:55	Marc Johnson:	Ok, so the we build and release is the FOLIO LSP?
01:03:08	Harry:	The PC is responsible for the features that make up the FOLIO LSP
01:03:19	Harry:	And the community that supports it.
01:04:19	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	And to keep the overview, that all features together make some kind of sense to a library that wants to replace an "old LMS"? It is a challenge.
01:05:01	Brooks Travis:	I guess we could say it’s the feature scope of the product…
01:05:17	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	+1 Brooks
01:05:35	Marc Johnson:	How can we say it’s the scope of the product when we are saying there are multiple products?
01:05:36	Tom Cramer:	PC manages a bundle. If you want to stick with flowers, call it a bouquet
01:05:37	Ian Walls:	this thing could be called "Blumenkasten"?
01:05:51	Ian Walls:	or Bouquet
01:05:54	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	:-)
01:05:56	Brooks Travis:	Which is why I argue that we should be considering features, not modules, when evaluating a module for inclusion, and deferring the module, itself, to the TC to determine whether it “fits” with FOLIO at a technical level
01:06:37	Marc Johnson:	Brooks, I think that could work, if featured mapped to a single module, which they don’t
01:07:01	Marc Johnson:	Unless we completely separate the evaluations that the councils do.
01:07:17	Brooks Travis:	*taps nose*
01:07:25	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	You nailed a lot Kristin
01:07:46	Sharon Wiles-Young:	+1 Kristin
01:08:02	Harry:	The thing is the FOLIO LSP
01:08:21	Tom Cramer:	We have a horizontal layer of shared code that is a product at a deeper layer—“platform minimal”. We also have a more vertical distributions of bundled components and functionality—the “flower releases”
01:08:54	Brooks Travis:	I view “platform minimal” as more of a “developer tool”
01:09:17	Marc Johnson:	So it should be the FOLIO LSP Council?
01:10:32	Tom Cramer:	What would colleagues from FOLIO China or the MidEast development agency view as the FOLIO product?
01:10:44	Marc Johnson:	I think we need to be careful when we name that horizontal layer because I doubt we have consensus on that either
01:12:03	Alexis Manheim:	Guardians of the Bouquet!
01:12:07	Harry:	We should be explicit.  The FOLIO LSP
01:12:23	Marc Johnson:	Is there only one LSP?
01:12:27	Ian Walls:	PC defines the vision for what their thing should look like... the SIGs refine that vision into something actionable.  Then hopefully someone acts and implements that vision, which the SIGs review and endorse to the PC
01:15:35	Tod Olson:	Does FOLIO Library Management System (LMS) fit as name for the horizontal thing? (I usually think of FOLIO LSP as being a bit lower-level, which the services are built upon, like the Okapi & Stripes level.) (He says at the risk of dragging this out...)
01:18:21	Tom Cramer:	@Brooks, @Tod: who defines and drives what happens at the “platform minimal” or lower, technical, shared code, crunchy-bits?
01:18:47	Owen Stephens:	Tod - “LSP” I’d always assumed that it was being used in the sense of this definition https://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/library-service-platform/76208
01:19:04	Owen Stephens:	“The concept library services platform relates a kind of library resource management system with a set of properties that contrast substantially from the long-standing genre of the integrated or combined library system”
01:19:09	Jenn Colt:	I’ve trained myself mostly out of LMS and into LSP because I thought that was how folio was branding it
01:19:34	Paula Sullenger - Texas A&M:	Me too, Jenn.
01:19:35	Owen Stephens:	Not just Folio - it was a term being used in the sector before Folio came along I believe
01:19:36	Tod Olson:	I withdraw the suggestion.
01:19:36	Brooks Travis:	And LMS has another prominent meaning in the education space
01:19:44	Huff, Jeremy T:	I have to run, but I just want to say that we should be proud of what we have made together, even though we don’t exactly know what it is ;)
01:19:53	Marc Johnson:	Tom, the TC might guide that, but it doesn’t decide, that’s up to whoever does the work
01:20:32	Marc Johnson:	I wasn’t trying to suggest the progress in a negative way
01:21:05	Marc Johnson:	I thought I’d already acknowledged that we’d decided we weren’t going to define the term FOLIO
01:21:52	Owen Stephens:	Carl Grant wrote about the “library services platform” in 2012 - don’t know if that’s the earliest use (probably not)
01:21:57	Tod Olson:	@Tom, additionally, those crunchy bits are to some extent driven by needs of what sits on top.
01:22:00	Brooks Travis:	What is wrong with “own”?
01:22:06	Marc Johnson:	I think it’s important for folks to recognise that what we are saying about the PC is true of the TC too
01:22:46	Marc Johnson:	Brooks, folks dislike own because it is associated with control, and folks don’t agree that the councils control what the community does
01:22:58	Owen Stephens:	https://www.niso.org/niso-io/2012/09/future-library-systems
01:23:23	Owen Stephens:	Carl Grant attributes the term LSP to Marshall Breeding
01:23:36	Marc Johnson:	I know what the flower release is as an output. I don’t know what they are an output of
01:23:51	Jenn Colt:	A set of tags in GitHub?
01:24:33	Tom Cramer:	If we can characterize those lower, common, shared, technical crunchy bits better, I think it would help unpack whatever product(s) sit on top
01:24:39	Brooks Travis:	I don’t think “owning” the “product” is controlling what the community does. It’s controlling what gets included in the formal definition of the product, and taking responsibility for that. Folks can build whatever they want.
01:24:42	Ingolf Kuss:	I think "official" is a good term in there.
01:24:59	Marc Johnson:	And here is the Marshall Breeding paper where he documents the definition of LSP - https://journals.ala.org/ltr/issue/download/509/259
01:25:12	Jenn Colt:	Sounds like it needs a TC rep too?
01:25:56	Marc Johnson:	Brooks, practically, that’s difficult because folks feel there isn’t a reasonable way to distribute the things we build outside of the official releases
01:26:44	Jag Goraya:	I think there's value in owning the term own … it's a clear marker of what the FOLIO initiative is responsible for when unleashing a <thing> into the open source community.
01:26:59	Marc Johnson:	Tom, characterising the lower bits gets us into the singular platform vs platforms, which is similar controversial to the product term
01:27:04	Tom Cramer:	I like Marshall’s comment on the LSP term:  “But the introduction of the term has also introduced some confusion, especially since many
products fit some of its characteristics and not others. “
01:27:08	Jenn Colt:	TC has this problem too with its charter even if it does not generate as much of a ruckus
01:27:09	vbar:	To rephrase one point about the Folio definition…  We would “ban” the use of an *unadorned* use of the word “Folio”.  Just like it makes no sense to refer to pieces of the Apache Project as “Apache”.
01:27:40	Charlotte Whitt:	+ 1 Kristin
01:27:53	Jenn Colt:	A group that has no visibility
01:28:16	Ian Walls:	so PC more as air traffic control?
01:29:20	Marc Johnson:	Air traffic control decides which planes flight right?

So that wouldn’t fit with Brooks idea that anyone can build something, i.e. fly
01:29:26	Harry:	That data is posted in multiple places by the Product owners.
01:30:07	Marc Johnson:	Unless we are talking about controlling the official airspace
01:30:44	Charlotte Whitt:	Thanks Jenn
01:31:14	Harry:	Thank you Kristin and Simeon!
01:32:39	Tom Cramer:	I think “product” is in the 20% :)
01:33:13	Jenn Colt:	I have to give up the room I’m in at 11. Thank you for this! I really appreciate direct multi council interaction.
01:33:24	Tiewei Liu:	@Tom Cramer. Members from FOLIO China view FOLIO product as platform+apps, like Android. Platform can be open-source suites and an open infrastructure. Everyone can develop products or services based on the platform.
01:33:31	Carol Sterenberg:	Thank y'all! I have to go. Nice meeting! Enjoyed it.
01:34:14	Tom Cramer:	@Tiewei Liu: thank you. I think the FOLIO China view is *really* important in informing these definitions.
01:34:20	Simeon Warner (he/him):	Might be worth having each council look at the next iteration?
01:34:37	Tod Olson:	Need to drop for my next, thank you everyone for the discussion!
01:34:49	Tiewei Liu:	@Tom Cramer👍
01:34:53	Tom Cramer:	It is the best current demonstration and proof of what is shared and what is local
01:35:30	Paula Sullenger - Texas A&M:	Ihave to go