Apply for DIAL OSC Catalytic Grant? (May 2018)

DIAL Open Source Center has posted a round of their Catalytic Grant Program. I think we should definitely apply for this, though I am not in a position to lead the effort now.

Who has ideas for what we should submit? Who can volunteer to lead the submission-writing process?

(One obvious idea is to get some dedicated effort assigned to wiki cleanup and reorganization.)

And here are a few key details:

  • 31 May 2018: Deadline for applicants to submit proposals
  • one submission per open source project
  • “These grants are intended to support types of work that have traditionally been neglected or unfinished by these projects for various reasons. … In general, we fund projects, features or efforts that are well-aligned with the Principles for Digital Development and the mission statement of the OSC.”

Current Themes: May 2018

In this round of thematic funding, DIAL is sponsoring up to 6 grants, each up to $25,000 USD, to advance the OSC’s mission of fostering healthy, sustainable open source communities and products. We anticipate accepted proposals to be focused on one of the following high-impact areas:

“Dirty Jobs”, part 2

  • Improvements to the software development process, such as CI infrastructure, increasing test coverage, or technical backlog grooming
  • Improvements to community and contribution, such as improved/consolidated documentation, better packaging, or training materials
  • Improvements to the software code quality, such as refactoring code small or updating dependencies to newer versions

Privacy & responsible data

  • Development of features to support user compliance with regulatory requirements such as GDPR
  • Features to allow/facilitate anonymization and/or deletion of user-owned content/data
  • Improvements to underlying encryption, audit logging, and other security features

Improving the user experience

  • Field-based or laboratory research on user experience challenges faced by product users, admins, etc.
  • Development and user testing of UI prototypes to improve known areas of user confusion/frustration
  • Review of existing workflow(s) by a UX designer to prioritize improvements

Thanks @darius for posting this! Another idea might be to work on making OpenMRS compatible with PostgreSQL since I’ve seen where that’s come up for folks, as well as, several improvements to Postgres that we might want to take advantage of in some implementations. Not sure if that would fit under the $25k budget, or the areas that they want to address.

Idea from @wanyee btw - giving credit where it’s due!

An idea under the theme of:

Volunteer Guides

Collate, update and create documentation to compile into a set of Volunteer Guides to support those taking on volunteer roles in the community, and reduce the overhead and dependency on mentors assisting new volunteers in these roles. This generally applies to those rolling volunteer roles identified through a “We’re looking for a … volunteer” post (release managers, scrum masters, product owners, internship administrators etc.).

A wealth of info already exists in the form of wiki pages, google docs, Talk posts, blogs and people’s minds, but there could be value in consolidating, developing and packaging this together as practical guides to help volunteers better understand the in and outs of these roles (i.e. the what’s, how’s, when’s and why’s).

Side note: for this to be effective/sustainable in the long term these would need to be set up as living documents, with a key expectation for new volunteers in these positions to maintain and update the guide(s) with any new changes/learnings/challenges experienced.

Not sure if this fits in with the thematic areas, but could this be used to support efforts on OCL for OpenMRS, Sync 2.0, or OpenMRS->DHIS2 integration?

The Atlas project ended up not getting a student for GSoC 2018.

Also, the “Dirty Jobs” (CI, cleaning up on-boarding materials, updating libraries, etc.) sound very appealing.

I think that feature development (sync, OCL) are not in line with the themes.

I’m partial to the Dirty Jobs theme, e.g. cleaning up wiki and guides. But I’m curious: how exactly would funding help? We could contact a technical writer, for example, but would still need to invest time in guiding that person.

Hi all.

Given that we’re like two or so weeks away from a deadline on this, and there are a number of good ideas here, we need to hone these ideas (and others not represented here perhaps) into one or two concepts that we’ll actually focus on.

Can I suggest that @terry lead us through a process of building consensus around what we’ll apply to do?

While she gets back online to help facilitate, it might be a good time community members to represent your potential ideas here in the meantime?

@darius Don’t you think that increasing test coverage, technical backlog grooming, improved/consolidated documentation, training materials and improvements to the software code quality can be applied to Sync 2.0 project development?

We will be discussing this on the leadership team call tomorrow if people are interested in providing verbal input. If not, i think that we go with ‘dirty jobs’. Re comment from @darius - i think that we can guide more easily than doing the rewrite ourselves… (and this will help us get ready for any potential web site redo). @jslawinski - i agree that anything that we do here can be applied (at least theoretically) to Sync 2.0

let us know if there is another 'high priority ’ option to consider.

@darius suggested that we collect a few things from here

as this is exactly in line with “dirty jobs”.

I could come up with a description on Monday if you’d like.

that would be wonderful

@teleivo, please post a link to a Google Doc here. I’ve created a template you can use.

We need to add a NOTICE file to openmrs-core and any modules that might be involved in the work. I’ll start a separate thread around this.

FYI – deadline has been extended to 15 June.

Following up on this:

  • The deadline has been extended to June 15
  • We have had some interesting suggestions here
  • @teleivo has volunteered to write a longer description of his proposal
  • @burke has shared a template

Next steps:

  • If you feel strongly about an idea, then make a more detailed version of your proposal by filling out the template mentioned in the previous post, by end the end of next week, and share a link to it on this thread
  • On June 4 I will consolidate the links to all the detailed proposals, and assuming we have more than one people can vote here in this Talk thread during the week of June 4-10.
  • On the June 11 Project Management call we will review the state of proposals and votes.
  • If there is no obvious community winner, then participants in the Project Management call will choose. (So, attend this call if you have strong opinions!)

Hello everyone, I’m Maciej Neumann and I work with @jslawinski for SolDevelo. We’ve talked about this grant and we think that maybe it would be better for Sync 2.0 project that we, as SolDevelo, apply for it. It could gave OpenMRS chance to get two grants instead of one and we’ve already have a blueprint for proposal, based on our Digital Square submission:

We don’t want to do anything without your knowledge, so I would be grateful for your opinions about it.


In the instructions they say:

Project leaders should coordinate applications within your open source community, and submit only one single proposal per open source project, representing your community’s best idea

So I don’t think this is a way to get two grants instead of one.

Yes, I think covering those aspects of Sync 2.0 are in-line with the themes.

In their broad guidelines, they include these examples of things they’d want to prioritize, which Sync 2.0 could satisfy:

Proposals to start new multi-stakeholder collaboration for new features or strategies of existing projects.

Proposals to re-invigorating dormant projects of high potential value.

From reading the website, though, I personally think it’s a stronger application if we pitch improvements related to cleaning up the core platform, versus finishing off a promising (but-not-yet-deployed) tool.

But it’s not just up to me; others should share opinions of which proposal OpenMRS should choose to prioritize for this round.

Reminder that if you want to write up a proposal, you should do so by the end of this week. (You can interpret that liberally as “before Darius wakes up on June 4”.)

Here is my proposal (have made it read-only for now, I can/will allow people as editors as needed)

Regarding the requested amount. My wish would be to work on this with at least 2 other developers that work roughly full-time for at least 3 months. I will donate my time. I could give ~1 day/week from September on, less if we start before.

Looking forward to your feedback, thanks a lot! ivo

1 Like

Thanks @teleivo for the awesome work! :slight_smile:

Regarding this comment “we need to add a to repos involved”, do you mean adding to module repositories?

thanks :slight_smile:

I forgot to remove that comment, its still copied over from the original template from burke.

Thanks for doing this @teleivo! Maybe you should make your google doc world-commentable.

My suggestions:

  • give some indication of what modules we would focus on ensuring work with the refactoring. (Or were you thinking it would just be opt-in?)
  • maybe say that if extra time is available we’ll do an analysis of upgrading to Spring 5.x

Since time is tight, I have gone ahead and done a call for interest on the #implementing:job-board here:

Basically, I’d like to hear who would be interested in working on this, and what they cost, so we can figure out the budgeting.