iNaturalist Retrospective Recap

Time: Wednesday, September 28th at 20:00 UTC
Attendees: @beccawidom, @krysal, @sarayourfriend, @aetherunbound

We held a retrospective for discussing & processing the recent iNaturalist provider ingestion script contribution from @beccawidom. We spent several minutes writing sticky notes of our thoughts, then spent a few more minutes grouping them and voting on them. We then had a discussion on the various groups and the points/action items which arose from each group.

We did not get to all groups and also wanted to allow for asynchronous discussion. Below are the notes from that meeting, but I will also create discussion comments for each major group so we can aggregate responses in that manner.


Screenshot of the stickies which were generated


Big Picture Questions

  • What are the big questions?
    • Are we going to stay in Postgres?
      • If we’re switching the infrastructure to be flat-files, should we spend time optimizing it? -> Yes
      • Though we want to remove Postgres, we should plan for it to stick around for a few years
    • Is non-APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. consumption/bulk-import a priority going forward? -> Yes

Communication transparency

  • Moving a lot of our internal communication to the Make WP blog would be nice, but we need better tools for facilitating that.
  • DMs vs public is a hard distinction for new contributors
    • It can be difficult to determine what is a Python question vs an OpenverseOpenverse Openverse is a search engine for openly-licensed media, including images and audio. Find Openverse on GitHub and at question
    • Public discussions could generally be better since more people could contribute
    • Rebecca feels confident now to be able to throw some code into GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. with potential questions and using that as a vector for communication & discussion
    • What would help improve this process or make it easier for people to get more comfortable with the various communication channels?
  • Public “project thread” seemed desirable for Rebecca, maybe project threads in general could maybe go in the Make blog so the public could see what were working on
    • GitHub issues precludes nested comments because everything is flat, discussions could be used but we only have 1 level of nesting
    • What tool could we use to do project threads publicly?
      • Could we use P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at Could Make become P2? Could we have a public P2?
    • We do have GitHub issues or milestones that reflect the project thread, but still don’t have the content/conversationality of the project thread


  • Lots of different things were new for Rebecca at the same time, not just Openverse-specific
    • Perhaps we could have a “contributor onboarding process”?
#community-contributors, #inaturalist, #retrospective