2022-06-23 Product Council Meeting notes



Aaron Trehub, Alexis Manheim, Anya, Brooks Travis, Charlotte Whitt, Gang Zhou, Hkaplanian, Heather McMillan, Ian Walls, Jana Freytag, Karen Newbery, Kirstin Kemner-Heek, Marc Johnson, Martina Schildt, Martina Tumulla, Mike Gorrell, Owen Stephens, Paul Moeller, Peter Murray, Sharon Wiles-Young, Stephanie Buck, twliu, Zak Burke

Discussion items

  • WOLFcon Asia-Pacific Conference is scheduled for July 15. Registration.
  • New FOLIO implementations: College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts), St Mary's of the Woods (Indiana), University of Missouri library system (5 libraries in a single tenant)

Council Updates:

Community Council

Technical Council

Product Owners

Capacity Planning updates

Community Council

Membership drive

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sent - status next Monday on return/renewal rate
  • 3 new Members from Germany last month:
    • University Library Kassel - Supporting Partner
    • Darmstadt University and State Library Supporting Partner
    • University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg (Frankfurt am Main) Supporting Partner

FOLIO Resources

  • Resourcing Model group convened with the goal of having something to present at WOLFcon for recommendations
  • Loss of key DevOps Resource, Community Developer from Prokopovych team 

Scope Criteria feedback

  • Need definition around MoU — what is the commitment and how is it documented; this needs more structure.
  • Unrealistic to expect approval prior to work being done; people are going to build something, and then bring it to Product Council.


  • New seat members announced:
  • The Community Council seats were uncontested and results were announced earlier. The following were elected to the Product Council:

    • Gang Zhou (Shanghai Library)
    • Sharon Wiles-Young (Lehigh University)
    • Karen Newbery (Duke University Libraries)
    • Alexis Manheim (Stanford Libraries)
    • Martina Tumulla (hbz, Cologne)

    The following were elected to the Technical Council:
    • Jeremy Huff (Texas A&M)
    • Jenn Colt (Cornell University Library)
    • Florian Gleixner (BVB - Bibliotheksverbund Bayern (Bavarian Library Network))
    • Maccabee Levine (Lehigh University)
    • Ankita Sen (Mainz University Library)
    • Dr. Ingolf Kuss (hbz, Cologne)

    Congratulations and thank you 

Website (www.folio.org)

  • Redesign being coded with expertise on loan from EBSCO. Launch date July 11, 2022

WOLFcon '22

Technical Council

Technical Reviews: no changes, translation app still waiting on Translations subgroup


  • Technical Evaluation Process: have solicited feedback on process and incorporated; will conduct retrospective on the group work.
  • TC Goals & Objectives: still collecting pain points, SysOps decided would be best to construct their own pain points document but there have been obstacles to finishing. Still intend to drive architectural topics at WOLFcon. Some pain points have clear costs in terms of time and money, which might help with directing effort to solutions.
  • Translation subgroup: Still having trouble allocating time for this subgroup, will try to recruit more broadly.
  • Controlling AWS costs: no further movement
  • Developer onboarding: intend to contact Marcia B., but no further developments at this time.

FOLIO Scope Criteria presented their work to TC, engaged conversation, broad agreement that the issues raised are important issues for FOLIO to address, with several practical and conceptual particulars.

The Technical Council's RFC process is nearly finalized.  There is a backlog of important technical decisions under consideration now that will use this process. This includes the discussion/notification of important changes to dependencies (for instance, the version of Postgres the project is using).

Tools/Dependency decisions: How do we make decisions about updating required versions of tools/packaged used by the project, e.g. how do we decide to upgrade the version of Java that we use? Considerations are somewhat different between front end and back end. Starting point is to document current versions of software needed by each release and collecting comments on a draft process. (See Officially Supported Technologies and Managing Tools/Frameworks/Dependencies Version - v0.1 DRAFT.)

Accepted proposal to formalize conventions for tenant and module names (DR-000002 - Tenant Id and Module Name Restrictions).

Localization RFC for back end is nearly complete.

The Security Team has asked about the support period for Morning Glory and Kiwi. There are older versions running in production that are not ready to upgrade, but the cost to back-port security fixes is high. TC is not the decision maker here. Most recent statement seems to be in the Long-term Support (LTS) Recommendation document, but it is unclear where this was presented and whether it was accepted by the project. Team will reach out to the authors of the document. As a project, we have not yet declared the first long-term release, which would then start the burden of back-porting security fixes. As FOLIO is made up of many modules, does it make sense to declare an LTS on a module basis rather than a flower release basis? Much of the burden of support is on the hosting providers, and they are contributing developers and other resources back to the project as well. Most of the conversation about FOLIO is around flower releases with the aspiration that it be based more on apps and modules. The PC, while not being responsible for development resources, would need to see if the LTS concept can be supported.  The practical issue is that if/when an issue is found, what is the expectation for how far back the fix will go? How long is it "safe" to be on a release? The request from the Security Team is an urgent one for knowing how to handle this. The practice in effect now is the current flower release and previous flower release by product owners, support SIG, and the development teams. As modules stabilize, we can expect to see the same module be included in successive flower releases; how does this impact the support and technical aspects of the project?

Kafka issues: There was a presentation this week pointing out specific scalability (and security) issues with the way FOLIO is using Kafka, particularly in the way we organize topics. The outcome is that there will be an RFC process to address the scalability issues.

Product Owners

  • Wrapping up Morning Glory. About ~90 features to be released. ~48 of those features are new features. 
  • Last two POs meetings have focused on mark instance records for deletion requirements. 

Capacity Planning updates

Capacity Planning has not met since the last report due to holidays and vacations. The group will try to schedule a time next week to meet.

Browser Support for FOLIO

Owen Stephens

  • What browsers should be supported?
  • How do we determine when a browser is supported?
  • Probably TC Topic as well

Continue discussion from last week.  Note from 6/16: Knowing what we mean by "support" is important for this discussion, as the community itself is not charged with supporting end-users. Product Owners would treat a rendering bug that only happens in Firefox or Safari as at most a priority-2 bug because there is a valid work-around ("Use Chrome").

There is an overlap with the previous discussion about what it means to "support" a version. (An issue that wasn't a Chrome browser problem wouldn't be treated as a P1 priority and eligible for a hotfix.)  What is the definition of supporting a browser? Desktop Chrome is overwhelmingly most used browser in the project. Is there something supported for mobile users? This has an impact on testers and developers as they need to test with other than desktop Chrome (and develop any test variations needed for browsers other than desktop Chrome).

Is a small group needed to study this question, including what the expectations are in the community? There are also complexities of different mobile browsers outside of North America and Europe. Are organizations making decisions about enterprise software based on the supported browser? It has come up in organizations in the past, and it was a highly political decision. It is also a local tech support issue when there is various browser-dependent software to be supported; flexibility is important and valued.

With Stripes built on React and Reduct, it has support already for different browsers. There isn't anything preventing testing from happening on other browsers; the question is do we want to raise the priority beyond P2 for browser support issues?

Does support mean we've tested FOLIO across all browsers? that we'll fix a bug if we find one? that our expectations/experience are that any browser can be used?

Does the product council want to see this browser support group set up? If so, do we need to write a clear charter for that group? Who would want to be in that group? Product Council decided a group should be created for this. Owen to work on getting a group started.

Future agenda topics

Review the status of the long-term support policy (recommended this would be reviewed at end of 2022), when it goes into effect, and what the implications are for the project–Start discussing with the Security SIG and their concerns about the LTS

Owen Stephens agreed to provide a small group scope/charge to review FOLIO browser support issue. The scope/charge will be reviewed by PC & if approved then proceed with a call for volunteers & convene a small group. The PC discussion today asked for a small group to define support for browsers in the FOLIO project, state the need for supporting browsers in the FOLIO project and what are the support parameters; does this support include mobile devices as well? And other questions to be answered

Chat log

00:05:36	Anya:	Woot!
00:06:08	Tiewei Liu:	We will have the WOLFcon Asia Pacific conference on July 14/15, 2022 . Please see the updated info on the conference website (http://conference.library.sh.cn/conf30/en) and register if you haven’t done it yet. Here is the registration form WOLFcon Asia Pacific Conference 2022 Online Registration.
00:06:19	Owen Stephens:	Sorry I missed which library that was?
00:06:23	Sharon Wiles-Young Lehigh (she/her):	https://wiki.folio.org/display/PC/2022-06-23+Product+Council+Meeting+notes
00:06:41	Anya:	U of Missouri Libraries system
00:10:12	Gang Zhou:	Anya, are they in one tenant?
00:10:35	Anya:	Yes one tenant
00:11:36	Anya:	5 libraries and one historical society
00:15:30	Gang Zhou:	Great
00:18:45	Charlotte Whitt:	Do we have a central list where all libraries which are live on FOLIO is listed.
00:20:14	Charlotte Whitt:	The list will most likely be very interesting for all libraries considering implementing FOLIO - and the longer the list gets the more convincing it is
00:20:22	Gang Zhou:	https://wiki.folio.org/display/COHORT2019/Implementation+Details
00:25:11	Tiewei Liu:	Just learned on Slack that Wellesley went live on full FOLIO earlier this month.
00:26:33	Mike Gorrell:	https://wiki.folio.org/display/TC/FOLIO+Release+Numbering+Policy
00:26:50	Mike Gorrell:	note the open items at the bottom of that page
00:35:47	Owen Stephens:	I think there's an overlap here with the other agenda item today about ‘browser support' - which is what does it mean to support something in our environment
00:37:08	Anya:	the SUPPORT Sig says the current release and one previous
00:38:25	Owen Stephens:	That's the current state that I'd also understand Anya
00:39:16	Owen Stephens:	But in practical terms this means that we don't consider hotfixes for older flower releases
00:40:20	Anya:	that has been the policy since Wolfcon 2020
00:40:55	Harry:	I don’t see this changing until all major gaps in FOLIO functionality are filled.
00:41:00	Jana Freytag | VZG:	btw the P Release is Poppy: https://wiki.folio.org/display/REL/Flower+Release+Names
00:44:32	Marc Johnson:	We recently encountered a situation where we were sharing module versions between flower releases 

And as how Own put it, we stepped on our own toes
00:45:00	Owen Stephens:	Yeah - I only came to the realisation recently that this could be an issue
00:48:40	Marc Johnson:	It’s great in that a single fix can be shared
00:49:34	Harry:	Based on the 1st search result in Google:
00:49:36	Harry:	Browser	Percentage of Global Desktop Browser Market Share
Google Chrome	77.03%
Safari	8.87%
Mozilla Firefox	7.69%
Microsoft Edge	5.83%
Internet Explorer	2.15%
Opera	2.43%
QQ	1.98%
Sogou Explorer	1.76%
Yandex	0.91%
Brave	0.05%
00:49:44	Marc Johnson:	However it can mean changes not intended for earlier releases can accidentally end up them
00:51:04	Harry:	This has a very big impact on FOLIO testing
00:51:40	Brooks Travis:	Edge uses the same engines as Chrome
00:51:55	Brooks Travis:	And there are others that aren’t Chrome that use it as wel
00:52:00	Brooks Travis:	Well
00:52:05	Marc Johnson:	And last time I checked safari uses the WebKit rendering tools that chrome does (at least to a point)
00:56:19	Ian Walls:	if there is an institution who cannot adopt FOLIO because of browser support, then I think that would be a good time to start official support of their required browser.
00:56:44	Ian Walls:	and I'd start that process with figuring out what's NOT working on Browser X that does work on Chrome, and work on fixing that
00:56:50	Marc Johnson:	When we say browser independent do folks mean “this system works on so many browsers it practically works on all we care about”?
00:57:34	Jana Freytag | VZG:	@Marc yes, I'd say so
00:58:40	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	The Question is another one: it needs to be "browser Independent". Ian's proposal is one way forward. But its a different Question if a software is browser Independent or is supporting browser A,B, and C. It's a question from tenders, etc.
01:00:23	Marc Johnson:	I think we need to be very careful with the term “browser independence”.

The technical practicality is that this state does not exist, all browsers vary in some way.
01:00:50	Owen Stephens:	It was at the PC in Spain
01:01:01	Owen Stephens:	Although that decision is not well documented
01:01:59	Owen Stephens:	These are the notes
01:02:00	Owen Stephens:	UX/UI browser (Tania)
Developers have concerns are the long list of browsers to support
Would prefer a shorter list to focus on the for beta
We have 5 browsers currently listed; Harry: Can we focus on Chrome and then prioritize from there?  PC: We should focus on more than 1.
Accessibility tools are supported largely in IE; JAWS specifically might be viable in other browser.
Concern is developers bogging down by testing functionality in too many browsers.
Day to day development work will be focused on Chrome and browser support will be prioritized later (but emphasize that we intend to support all/major)
Devs want a version to shoot for; will document the current version and update accordingly.  This is challenging to track/maintain
01:02:24	Owen Stephens:	From https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QobT6-7l42By5SnHExCXZz9bQxjmODqq_1U_pATUsDg/edit
01:02:37	Martina Schildt | VZG:	I need to run to another meeting. Thanks all!
01:03:09	Owen Stephens:	Completely agree with Ian's points here
01:03:16	Owen Stephens:	I think we're underselling at the moment
01:03:20	Mike Gorrell:	FWIW there are currently 16 issue with the text “Firefox" that are not closed and 14 with "Safari" that are not closed.
01:04:16	Mike Gorrell:	(over 100 each that are closed)
01:04:26	Brooks Travis:	It’s a problem of acceptability of the platform for some institutions if we don’t officially “support” other browsers
01:04:53	Jana Freytag | VZG:	+1 Brooks
01:05:25	Ian Walls:	and there is the question of "who" is doing this support... hosting providers might say that their FOLIO instance works on all browsers, and would then be on the hook to fix an issue
01:09:01	Marc Johnson:	There have been conversation where folks are concerned about official support, especially for mobile devices
01:09:11	Kirstin Kemner-Heek:	I need to go to another meeting.
01:09:35	Marc Johnson:	Completely agree with the question about who is responsible for support.

That’s a really complicated question to answer.
01:10:41	Marc Johnson:	Agreed, the FOLIO user experience has challenges with adapting to small displays and touch
01:10:59	Mike Gorrell:	I need to drop... thanks all. FWIW I support the subgroup to investigate the browser support question
01:11:59	Ian Walls:	I must also away.  cheers
01:12:26	Marc Johnson:	Testing mobile browser support on a variety of phones is both challenging and expensive