HEP Software Foundation startup team meeting notes, Oct 23 2014


Present: Torre, Pere, Dario, Daniel, Frank, Craig Apologies: Graeme, Andrea, Michel


Any issues with meeting notes of last week

Nothing to be added.

News on contacts made, discussions had, …

Daniel reported on his conversations with Stephen Mrenna (Pythia group member) exposing the idea of the Foundation. The reaction was a priori not very positive. Some fears that the foundation may slow them down. Their community have HepForge, which is a good communication channel. Daniel also contacted people from GENIE (neutrino MC generator). They were expressing also some worries about being member of the Foundation.

We agreed that we need to have the conversation mentioned at last meeting with MC generator community well before the Workshop. We need get prepared and think very carefully what we tell them in order to make the Foundation atractive. Dario mentioned that one possible argument could be on help the Foundation could provide to the sustainability for the long-term. This could be very relevant for small groups and individuals. Craig added that sustainability is going to be needed from many other areas. We need to figure out what is the added value the Foundation can offer to them. Offering a coherent and well-integrated software stack is more interesting for end-users than for developers. Torre reminded us that in the current phase we have to be active listening to the problems they have.

Dario is regularly reporting to the INFN about the startup of the Foundation. Pere has been invited to report to the LHCb collaboration meeting on the first week of November. It is important to be very open and be collecting all the ideas from the projects and users.

Finalise on the meeting time slot

Finally it was agreed to hold the regular weekly meetings on Monday 6pm CET. The first meeting will on October 27th with some exceptional absences already foreseen.

Discussion/approval of new contents of web site (hepsoftwarefoundation.org)

Everybody was very impressed by the quality and amount of content Torre has been added to the Foundation web site.

Torre guided us through the different sections of the web site such as events, documents, plans, organization, etc. The site has been developed using Drupal. He is now convinced that Drupal is good enough and have all the necessary high-quality plugins to implement what we need. Each member of the startup team should have a login and it will be added to a group that will authorize access to some internal pages and documents under construction. We will encourage other people to get access and be active contributors of content.

The style, color schema, icons, etc. are perhaps not optimal but this can be changed in the future if we get the offering of an artist. The existing software list (imported from http://hepsoftware.org) is very extensive already. Each software package is categorized and described with some essential information. We will encourage people to add information. Projects members of the Foundation will be somehow flagged accordingly. Craig mentioned that in addition to software packages, the site should also provide information on other aspects of HEP computing such as data management policies, intellectual property, licensing, etc.

We agreed that we can start publicizing the web site in our conversations to the community. A visible disclaimer that the site is in startup phase is being added to the front page.

Mailing lists. All done?

Everything was agreed at last meeting concerning the mailing lists. An announcement will be send to the IFB after the meeting.

Status of white paper review/summation, plan for synthesized document

The new spreadsheet initiated by Andrea is great. It can be the basis and also the later reference for the narrative synthesis document that we should start producing. We had a discussion about the interpretation of empty cells (dash). It is simply that the corresponding white paper didn’t mention the point but not necessarily is against it. Daniel found that controversial issues are not properly represented, in particular issues like the governing structure. For this particular point we have delayed the discussion (and the controversy) by the way we are starting up the Foundation with a bottom-up approach. Since we need to progress quickly on the narrative, Torre, Andrea and Pere may work doing the weekend on this.

Plans, objectives for SLAC workshop including ancillary meetings

Pere thinks that the workshop dates need to be announced very quickly for people to start organizing the trip to SLAC. We agreed to produce an announcement sufficiently open to accommodate the ancillary meetings. A draft will be produced by Torre, Pere and Richard and circulated. There was a general opinion that the startup team will benefit from a SLAC representative.

Next steps


Next meeting on Monday at 6pm CET