[tor-project] Notes from March 11, 17, 24, and 31 2016 Vegas team meetings

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Fri Apr 1 18:51:15 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA1

Hi everyone,

you have probably heard about the Vegas Plan, the team-based structure
that we're trying to establish in Tor.  If you're unsure what that is,
take another look at Roger's recent posting to this list to help
Alison get up to speed as new community team lead:


What you may not have heard yet is that Vegas team leads started
holding weekly IRC meetings to discuss any team-related issues with
the other teams.  The idea is that team leads bring problems and
questions to this meeting and report back answers and relevant
discussion results to their respective teams.

Today we're also starting to publish notes that we're collaboratively
taking at these meetings on this list as a step towards more
transparency.  These notes are edited lightly in order not to
embarrass organizations or people who were not present at the meeting.
 Bear with us if these notes contain something that might have been
said differently in public.  We want to avoid censoring these notes
too heavily or misguide Vegas team leads towards self-censoring their
words at future Vegas team meetings.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.

All the best,

Notes from March 11 2016 meeting:

Shari #1: Job descriptions for office admin and hr person
Shari #2: grant proposal for general funding
Shari #3: hiring framework

Nick #1: i think i need a new time for team meetings
Nick #2: work on q1 and 028 stuff, not just on the fun stuff

Isabela #1: support situation - Isabela would like to review what
happened and see how we can avoid confusions in the future. Also,
would like to propose a summary of support work last year so people
can understand what has been done in the support/translation front.
Also, what is the orientation I should have in relationship to support
work right now.
Isabela #2: design guidelines -

Roger #1a: need a consensus for how to do user support best. is it
writing documentation? better website? relaunching the helpdesk?
Roger #1b: In Valencia, we identified that we should have a full-time
user support person, to triage our support channels and do support in
as scalable a way as possible. We still need that person I think.
Roger #2: press team? Should it be moved to Shari's Vegas module? --
make plan for publicizing change in community team lead; Plan: Kate
will move into Shari's "org" team.
Roger #3: ooni team: what Vegas module should it be in? Metrics?
Applications? Its own? Plan: Karsten is going to check in with Arturo
periodically, to see if he needs anything, and so there's a person in
the Vegas world who is paying attention to it.
Roger #4: NSF proposal due EOM, Yawning helps, who else?
Roger #5: little-t-tor code/design/etc. audits

Karsten: contract for iwakeh working on collector dev

Mike: blog $5k, hosting option for $100/mo. Answer is yes, let's do
it. Mike will put together a deliverable description, Shari will put
together a contract. We should be sure that they understand our
privacy hopes for hosting. Roger will plan to be in the loop as we
implement the actual plan.

- ----------

Notes from March 17 2016 meeting:

Shari: no new topics from me

Nick #1: it would be good for us to make sure to succeed at paying
Yawning for his work. [Isabela is following up with accounting and
shari on this / said would do so to Yawning and will keep people
updated] (And good to make sure we succeed in commiting to pay yawning
for a certain amount of work, even though he hasn't got his company
set up yet)
Nick #2: wants to talk to Isa, Shari about personnel thing.
Nick #3: I still need to bug Mike to get his healthcare info to Sue.

Roger #1: execdir@ and press@ and others got busy since we removed the
help link from the website contact page. Unclear quite how to address.
Roger #2: we need a calendar. (See
Roger #3: arma is still wearing too many hats. what should he actually do?
first step, finish the list with all the things arma is doing;
otherwise it is hard for others to come up with particular things they
can help with
Roger #4: on my very long plane flight last night i sat next to the US
ambassador to the UN for human rights. and taught him a lot about
privacy tech. if anybody wants to make use of that somehow.

Isabela #0: We have a written plan for the helpdesk, it will be ready
Isabela #1: We need to keep at the Internews contract. If Nima can't
start now, maybe we need to put out a job description and find another
person. Or maybe we can get away with not needing a new person at all.
Isabela #2: the bugs on tor labs: kevin fixed them.
Isabela #3: I sent the design guidelines to folks (ux meeting is next)

Karsten #1: can we pay iwakeh? Answer from Shari, yes, send her the
contract details. Plan is 8 to 12 hours/wk, for Q2.
Karsten #2: OONI and the metrics team are interacting a little bit.
They will remain separate dev teams though.
Karsten #3: I look forward to announcing the community team change.

Georg: we are heading slowly to the esr45 transition. We dealt with an
emergency this week due to yet another Firefox update. No help needed
from other teams at the moment.

Alison #1: Somebody needs to tell me what this vegas team thing is.
Roger will send her the original vegas team emails, then
Alison #2: Announcing me as new team person? Shari will draft a mail
to tor-internal about it today.
Alison #3: What's the scope for the community team? Roger mentions
outreach, advocacy, trainings. Mike wonders about relay operators.
Roger says that we, the vegas team, need to put energy into helping
Alison get the right scope.

Mike #1: Greatly distracted by latest Firefox update.
Mike #2: Still working with Collin et al to make a Cloudflare meeting
happen at RightsCon. It looks like it might be falling apart.
Mike #3: I will mail Kevin a candidate list of blog deliverables
today. (Also, the logging question looks resolvable, since they host
things for ACLU, etc.)

- ----------

Notes from March 24 2016 meeting:

Shari: How should we communicate personnel changes? People who became
employees recently, people who were let go recently.
Conclusion is Shari should mention it in a mail to tor-internal,
either for this specific purpose or in one of her periodic emails.

Karsten #1: we need to redo the contract with iwakeh, since it
confuses USD and EUR.
Karsten #2: which sponsor letter should iwakeh use? Answer: Roger
suggests M, but Karsten should check with Sue to be sure she thinks
that's ok.

Isabela #1: Internews contract (shari to sign and wondering if nima
got back about it)
Isabela #2: OTF contract for OONI. We should sign it too.
Isabela #3: Here's the report on user support from last year:
Isabela #4:
is scout's draft for a creative brief for design guidelines
Isabela #5: It would be great to get Tor stickers to Rightscon.

Roger #1: we should juggle people-to-sponsor-letters to start spending
down the grants we should spend down. How to proceed?
Roger #2: I'm going to be less consistently online from tomorrow
through Apr 7.

Nick #1: I am deep in Tor 028 and 029 work.
Nick #2: The Network Team has a new meeting time. I encourage
everybody to drop by.
Nick #3: My Nick #2 from last week (personnel thing) remains.

Georg: We are making progress on our esr45 transition. Still on schedule.

Alison #1: I am now up to speed on the Vegas structure. I'll ask
questions as needed.
Alison #2: Behold:
Alison #3: We had a community team meeting yesterday. Now we have an
initial todo list.
Alison #4: Once the wiki page is up, and the initial todo list is
done, I'll start work on a Roadmap for the team, perhaps starting from

Roger #3: Progress on picking dates for Seattle2016 meeting?

- ----

Notes from March 31 2016 meeting:

Alison #1: I wrote to the community team mailing list about further
developing the wiki, making the list public/deleting the archives, and
our agenda for meeting next week which includes talking about the
purpose and scope of the team. I haven't heard anything back yet.
Alison #2: This week I will start reaching out to folks individually
and perhaps en masse on tor-project at tpo to develop team membership.

Shari #1: Three job descriptions are done. Two are posted, the third
will be posted today.
Shari #2: Need Nick and Isa's help on a performance plan
Shari #3: Let's get Roger or Nick or Mike to attend the Monday board
meeting and summarize the Cloudflare situation. First plan is to get
Mike, since he is most involved.

Roger #1: Working on NSF proposal, due todayish.
Roger #2: Nima and others speak of a "UX team", which is a vibrant
group of Tor people who are doing neat things. Yet they have no Vegas
interaction. We should think about when to turn them into a
first-class Vegas team. In the mean time Isabela is their de facto
Roger #3: The EU Parliament wants a briefing on Wednesday. Unclear if
I can make it. Or if Jake can.
Roger #4: We should take these vegas notes we have and get them to
tor-project. Karsten agrees to take next steps: clean them up, write
an intro that explains what's going on.

Nick #1: isabela is doing great work at making sure 0.2.9 triage
happens, and finding people to help finish SponsorS Q1 stuff.
Nick #2: We put out an 028 alpha. Next step there is in mid April,
when the next Tor Browser alpha comes out with it.
Nick #3: I have some tentative plans with Isa and Shari for getting
funded network team people to have more flexibility in what they're
supposed to work on (right now too many people are funded to work on
too narrow a scope).
Nick #4: I recycled the hardware from the cambridge office and am
working on getting the hard drives shredded.

Isabela #1: Rightscon is this week!
Isabela #2: I had a meeting with nima and micah lee on fundraising
infra. I'll get notes to Shari soon.
Isabela #3: Trying to get sponsorT work organized since we signed the
contract with them and they want a retro report in mid april :(
Isabela #4: April will be exciting, since it's Q1 reporting month, and
also we need to start on the proposals for the next OTR and DRL work.
Isabela #5: I'm also presenting in April at DRL. Review on slides
would be welcome.

Mike #1: I met with the head of trust and security cloudflare
yesterday at Access.
Mike #2: I'll be meeting with funders-in-this-space on Friday.
Mike #3: brave.com wants to know if we want to write an extension for
Mike #4: Mozilla assigned 2 more engineers to help Dave Huseby merge
our patches. We should help them succeed.
Mike #5: Tor blog hosting concerns. Matt is checking to see what they
can do about the logging situation. Roger asks to make it clear that
we want a "pretty good" comment spam handler that is very privacy
Mike #6: I'm still worried that FPF is going to charge forward on the
website fingerprinting topic without proper thought to hiring or
development process.

Georg #1: We will shortly move to ESR45 in our Tor Browser nightlies,
and after that in an alpha. (ESR45 will land in a stable in June.)
Georg #2: The OS X signing thing exists in the latest nightlies. We
should try using it.
Georg #3: We took over maintenance of archive.tp.o, but we don't want
to do it long term.

Karsten: Everything going smoothly. Iwakeh's contract is moving forward.

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