Thu 26 May 2016

Guidance notes

Cam Findlay Public Seen by 417

One of the key things to come out of the public discussion was the need for some form of Guidance notes outside of the main policy (we worked through and agreed on keeping NZGOAL-SE to licensing aspects).

I've made a quick list of a few of the items raised and you might want to contribute some more so a public list of points to look at later exists.

Current list is over on github https://github.com/opendatanz/nzgoal-se/blob/guidance-notes/pages/guidance-notes.md

I figure crowd sourcing the points to cover (and perhaps some of the content in the future might speed up putting this together).

If you have a GitHub account you can contribute directly, otherwise leave me a comment and I can add on your behalf to the list.


Cam Findlay Fri 1 Jul 2016

Hi all, I'm starting to think about what guidance notes might look like for NZGOAL Software Extension as the policy itself is not far away from publication.

From reading over all the discussions here from the original public consultation, there are topics that didn't go into the policy (for good reason) and we collectively agreed it would add value to have this further guidance around NZGOAL-SE.

From my perspective there is generally three broad topics I think should form the basis of these notes.

These are:
- Procurement aspects of open source software (how NZGOAL-SE and the IPR in ICT Contracts policy work together)
- Open source software community and project management (the human aspect of FOSS)
- Open source software technical best practices for government (the tech aspect of FOSS)

I'd like to start a sub-group here for each aspectand look to invite further participation on putting these together.

We may be able to reuse and adapt a lot of existing material, we may run some workshops also. I see guidance notes for FOSS should be put together as a partnership between the Open Data Programme and subject matter experts from the wider FOSS community. We'll get a much better result.

Something I'm conscious of is ensuring there is an assessable space for people to contribute content towards these guidance notes.

The questions on my mind are:
- Should this be done as Markdown text documents on GitHub?
- Should we use an openly editable Google Doc?
- Are there any other tools we could use to capture the content and ensure as many people that want to, can collaborate on putting these guidance notes together.

Thanks again all for input thus far. :smiley:


Cam Findlay started a proposal Fri 1 Jul 2016

We should start 3 sub-groups to discuss the three key aspects of the further guidance notes for NZGOAL Software Extension. Closed Thu 7 Jul 2016

by Cam Findlay Wed 26 Apr 2017

Thanks for the input all. We'll go for 1 guidance notes subgroup. This should also be a living group as I suspect guidance material should be set up for updatability given changes in industry are speedy :)

Agreement here means that:
- We would open three new sub-discussion groups based on the three core aspects of guidance notes to be created.
- We would invite existing participants and further new participants into these groups to get good input.
- Can participate in 1 or many of these groups (you don't have to be involved in all of them).

Agree - 0
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
5 people have voted (12%)

Cam Findlay
Mon 4 Jul 2016

As has been pointed out perhaps 1 new subgroup with multiple threads may be a better option.


T. Charles Yun
Mon 4 Jul 2016

i give a +1 to @strypey's comment for multiple, (mostly) distinct threads in a single sub-group


Rob Elshire
Wed 6 Jul 2016

I agree with @strypey's comments as well.


Danyl Strype
Wed 6 Jul 2016

I think one subgroup with a thread for each 'Guidance Notes' topic would create less administrivia and confusion


Wed 6 Jul 2016

simpler to have one with tagged sub-threads or similar


Cam Findlay Fri 1 Jul 2016

@strypey - I know you were interested in having input in some of these guidance notes :)


Danyl Strype Mon 4 Jul 2016

I presume you are proposing a set of subgroups because addressing each topic will require considering multiple sub-topics that can't be handled in one thread? Or there are a number of people who will want input on the sub-topics of one topic but not want to be flooded with notifications about the others? In my experience with Loomio its all too easy to end up with a plethora of subgroups, and a lot of confusion about which discussions belong where, as well as extra administrivia for both coordinators and participations generated by having to make and approve requests to join subgroups. If it's just a matter of separating the guidance note discussions from the main licensing discussions, can I recommend just setting up one Guidance Notes subgroup, with a thread on each subtopic, eg 'Project management - choice of repository host' or 'Best practice - evaluating existing packages before commissioning new ones'?

BTW I note your proposal is closing tomorrow. It might be worth giving it a couple more days. I'm curious to know what other participants think about this before I take a position.


Cam Findlay Mon 4 Jul 2016

Cheers @strypey that seems reasonable. I'll extend the proposal for a couple more days though I think what you propose sounds like a good idea. :thumbsup:


Kay Wed 6 Jul 2016

I don't comment much (time + overly dense or jargon laden discussion leaving me going What? ). I would be even less likely to engage if I had to add related posts into three subgroups, e.g. overlaps in
* Procurement aspects of open source software (how NZGOAL-SE and the IPR in ICT Contracts policy work together)
* Open source software community and project management (the human aspect of FOSS)
* Open source software technical best practices for government (the tech aspect of FOSS) ... and "Something I'm conscious of is ensuring there is an assessable space for people to contribute content towards these guidance notes. "

Do you mean accessible? I'm a big fan of accessibility, and increasing opportunities for open engagement. Both require space for simpler versions, discussion of why as well as how, and may not fit tidily into three separate boxes.


Danyl Strype Thu 7 Jul 2016

"overly dense or jargon laden discussion leaving me going What?"

Thanks for saying this @kayscarlet . A fish doesn't know it lives in water, and for many of us, this jargon is just everyday language. Feel free to ask probing questions that remind us that for most people it isn't, and encourage us to find more commons words and phrases to communicate these concepts more clearly to the lay public. That would be a real service to this process, especially when it comes to the guidance notes.


Kay Fri 15 Jul 2016



Danyl Strype Wed 20 Jul 2016

@camfindlay1 please let us know when you have set up the new subgroup, as we will all need to join it, and be approved as members (I think), before we can be part of the discussion threads in it.


Cam Findlay Wed 20 Jul 2016

@strypey watch this space next week, I'll be setting up the new group etc :thumbsup:


Cam Findlay Mon 1 Aug 2016

New guidance note sub-group and threads underway... spread the word

We'll first want to look at working out the where we'll collate guidance note wording. See
https://www.loomio.org/d/HU67zQYO/how-would-you-like-to-contribute-the-guidance-notes-wording- we'll discuss and make a decision on this by the end of the week. :smiley:


Cam Findlay Mon 1 Aug 2016

@strypey you might want to jump in the new sub-group and share some of your OSS content we might reuse for these notes :smiley:


Danyl Strype Wed 10 Aug 2016

Thanks for the invite @camfindlay1 , but I'm struggling with severe depression at the moment (more about that on my blog), and I'm having to pull back from voluntary advocacy work for now. Please feel free to pull in ideas from the comments I made during the initial consultation phase. Thanks for your work, and the same to everyone who is contributing to the quiet revolution (to quote the title of the CC ANZ book).


Cam Findlay Wed 10 Aug 2016

@strypey thanks for the candid response mate - appreciate all the insightful input from the initial consultation - it continues to resonate into these guidance notes. Look after yourself, if I find myself in Dunedin we are well overdue a cup of tea. :smiley:


Cam Findlay Mon 1 Aug 2016

@kayscarlet please keep us in check with regards to accessibility and wording, appreciate your input.


Danyl Strype Mon 26 Sep 2016

I'm a little unsure now where to share this, but I think it could definitely go on a list of short videos to supplement the guidance notes; Mishi Choudhary, Legal Director, Software Freedom Law Center, talking about 'Myth and Reality: Open Source Software & Licensing' (6:20)


Cam Findlay Mon 26 Sep 2016

Thanks @strypey good to hear from you :smiley: - I have a couple of open google docs open over in the guidance notes subgroup you would be welcome to start a section there to collate a good selection of useful videos. I've drafted a section on copyright and licence basics already perhaps that video can augment it?

Interestingly, the US are in the process of working through putting together their guidance for open source in government too. See https://github.com/presidential-innovation-fellows/code-gov-web/issues

Already seems to be cross over with the guidance note work we're doing - while it might take a bit longer to get our guidance out, I think it would be good to touch base with the US team doing this to share notes and do the open source thing in wrangling good guidance for developers and IT managers around OSS.

Meanwhile - I should be getting a draft out of the guidance note around the interplay of NZGOAL-SE and the Guidelines for the Treatment of IPR in ICT Contracts for people to pick over later this week.

As for the other two notes (good practice for govt open source - social and technical), things have been slower than I'd like. However, I should have time to get back on to those over the coming month. I've made a start listing out topics to flesh out and where I can have started drafting chunks of content. I imagine we may eventually convert all this to markdown in due course and store on a public repository, for now let's just collect good content and give it a once over.

It's my intention to have the guidance notes in an open format and process so updating them in the future is trivial (and this was once of the reasons we opted for guidance notes over including this stuff in policy). We have however started with a document approach to ensure people can easily contribute (without having to have a GitHub account or understand version control etc).


Cam Findlay Thu 13 Oct 2016

Howdy @strypey just checking in with you... if interested, there is a proposed section on alternative FOSS licences to the NZGOAL SE default set in forth coming guidance notes. If you'd be interested in contributing something there (you had some good text that could be rehashed in your blog posts :smiley: )

Place to contribute is at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xRwGcxplQW5vtC6eM3Zdu3fRUBbfqeSsBP3836Xicmw/edit#heading=h.tuk4jtjppgpk

Rad! :thumbsup:


Cam Findlay Wed 2 Nov 2016

Ok a first draft of the tech guidance note is complete, now working through to revise and tighten it up a bit. Looking for any developers within government that would like to try putting some of this into practice to stress test it a bit and provide feedback.