Should we stop holding weekly developer forums?

Continuing the discussion from Topics for OpenMRS Developers Forum - 2017 Q2:

We’ve had weekly calls amongst OpenMRS developers since the beginning of OpenMRS in 2004. They started as weekly scrums/updates and have evolved to include work in progress updates. While I still find this forum extremely helpful and I regularly learn new things from the discussions, attendance is low and there doesn’t seem to be much hunger for it. Perhaps now that we have Discourse (OpenMRS Talk), it’s sufficient for most developer discussions and the need for real-time conversations has passed.



I agree, having the discussions over Discourse makes more sense now. It would be more beneficial for someone to request for a developers meeting either for input or showcase, that we can schedule on current Developers Forum time. We can announce the topic and date allowing interested people to join the call.

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I do agree that OpenMRS talk is sufficient for most discussions but some discussions do need quick approval and also yield better outputs when discussed via the dev forum as a developer is able to express his views more clearly and we are able to come to a conclusion within that hour itself. Moreover, it might get tough to keep a track of all the threads on talk and hence some important ones could be missed by some devs. One option would be to only hold a weekly developer forum only when there is a demand for it or if an important decision needs to be discussed.

Yes, phone calls should be a rare thing. Most things can be done asynchronously unless it’s demoing a product…otherwise I see very little benefit – and you’ll actually be more accessible this way!

@burke I would recommend doing them every 2 weeks, instead of removing them entirely. There is always alot to be gained from a 1 hour call than over email/talk etc.


I agree with @ssmusoke

The timing of the calls is a little difficult for me and so I don’t show up very often but I do think that there value in having them periodically. Actually, I think that there is value in having easy real-time communication for the community and a weekly call is just one way to do that. @ssmusoke’s suggestion seems like a good one but I also wish that the omrs community utilized one of the better online chat services available. I know that some people are using Telegram but I continue to have lots of trouble getting it to work consistently (though IRC works fine) and find that it lacks many of the features of something like Slack/Rocket.Chat/HipChat provides.

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I learn much from the calls – when I have a chance to join. Agree that we should have them less frequently. Every week is too often.

I think there is great value in having these calls. I personally join these calls to keep in touch with whatever is going in the developer community as I sometimes may be involved in projects that do not directly relate to editing code on OpenMRS core, modules or even JS client applications.

The reason for low attendance I think is the timing of the call. I am not sure how many developers are expected to join from South & North America where the time difference is not that much but I believe there are a lot of people involved in OpenMRS development from Europe, Africa & Asia. For most of them from the later regions the time difference is too big that the call is usually late in the evening, it gets worse for people in Asia. As a result most of people from this region end up choosing to join the calls when it is absolutely necessary, such as when a topic that directly affects what they are doing is being discussed (Myself being an example when I was working from Kenya).

One solution is to change the timing to accommodate most people, something like 0800 EST. The other is to have the call less frequently as suggested by @ssmusoke although I would suggest once every month instead of every two weeks because I feel like a month is an ideal period for the community to build the energy and enthusiasm required to be ready for the next call. :slight_smile:

Am one of those people who have never attended any discusion/forum not because am not intrested but because of some other factors and am fighting my battle to get on board,it will be unfair to me who is working to join fratanity members and besides that, there some regular members who have been there always.Therefore as one I disagree with stopping, Just spice what we have and continue inviting others to join.