Plasma Mobile virtual sprint feedback
Open, Needs TriagePublic

Description

We would like to gather feedback about Virtual sprint from attendees, (original task T12906)

Some questions are:

  • Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?
  • Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)
  • What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)
  • Internet connection speed
  • What can be improved in software?
  • Anything that was confusing in software?
  • Anything else?

[To: Akademy team, feel free to add more questions if you have any that I missed]

This feedback will be important for Akademy team to improve upon setup and provide better experience for upcoming Virtual Akademy.

bshah created this task.Apr 11 2020, 5:31 PM
jbbgameich added a subscriber: jbbgameich.EditedApr 11 2020, 5:44 PM

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

I liked the online sprint format. The planning on the day before helped to get everything done in the limited time we had due to timezones.
This time we did not make use of the breakout sessions, but they might be interesting to consider for a sprint that takes more days than this one, so people can work on code together.

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Except for the group photo, which simply took to much bandwith, everything worked mostly fine. The problems I experienced were related to browser support for different WebRTC features and limited internet bandwidth rather than to BBB.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Firefox Nightly 77.0a1 (from the flatpak repository). The official Firefox beta from flathub had trouble connecting to the echo test.

The camera was not used most of the time, but it was simply the integrated 720p webcam of my laptop. The microphone was some cheap headset, other people can probably comment on my audio quality better than myself :)

What can be improved in software?
Anything that was confusing in software?

The final "upload" button for uploading the presentation sides is in an unexpected area for me, I didn't expect it at the top of the page.

z3ntu added a subscriber: z3ntu.EditedApr 11 2020, 7:10 PM

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

Was quite good. There were too many periods of silence in my opinion - for more new-ish contributors it might be confusing as sometimes then communication about the situation happened out-of-band in Matrix and not in the BBB chat. For this sprint it wasn't as important but it should be handled better for Akademy imo.

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

BBB worked fine. The presentation feature is quite cool although it seems to be a bit annoying to switch between presentation and demo. There have been instances where someone else has taken over the "Presenter" feature which caused the actual presenter to not be able to control the slides anymore. At Akademy there should be some kind of permission system so only actual presenters can become presenter and not random participants. During the final phase with around 8 webcams on everything seemed to stop working for the most part - not even the chat was really working on my side.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Chromium latest (81.0.4044.92), no webcam although I briefly joined via my phone where the phone camera worked fine.

Internet connection speed

20 Mbit/s down, 5 Mbit/s up

What can be improved in software?

Permission management as mentioned above. There were a couple of problems probably related to upload bandwidth where audio wasn't prioritized which caused stuttery audio from the speaker.

Anything that was confusing in software?

Not sure but switching from "listening only mode" to "also want to speak mode" probably would have required a leave and a rejoin. Didn't try that though.

Anything else?

Thanks for organizing the sprint!

cblack added a subscriber: cblack.Apr 11 2020, 9:34 PM

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

It was decent enough.

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

It runs with the efficiency of a drunken golfer, meaning that I had many issues using lower-end devices in order to participate.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Primary: Google Chrome, limited to 200% CPU time for a Xeon clocked at 3GHz.
Secondary: Google Chrome, Pixel 3.

What can be improved in software?

Preferably it would run more efficiently or be offered as a compiled application instead of a website.

Anything that was confusing in software?

Not really.

Anything else?

Poor audio quality from a lot of presenters + my hearing impairment left me unable to comprehend almost anything on Friday.
Thankfully, someone offered human transcription of important points.

jucato added a subscriber: jucato.Apr 12 2020, 2:28 AM

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

It's an awesome way for people unable to attend sprints in-person to participate. Planning around times and topics could be improved for subsequent sprints but not entirely bad for a first attempt. Shouldn't be a problem for Akademy, I think.

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Parts to the interface and workflow were a bit confusing or unexpected, especially switching between Listen Only and Mic modes requiring the user to leave and re-join. There should also be some finer control on user privileges since some users can accidentally do an action that would affect the entire room. Other than that, BBB was OK.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Browser: Version 81.0.4044.92 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Camera: Built-in webcam on Lenovo Yoga X1 Tablet 3rd Gen
Microphone: Generic earphones

What can be improved in software?

  • User permissions as mentioned above and by others.
  • Shared notes should probably be saved to some file that's accessible even after the session ends (just like recordings)
  • General performance improvements especially when multiple people are displaying their webcams

Anything that was confusing in software?

Other than what's already mentioned, nothing immediately comes to mind.

Anything else?

Just want to say thank you to the developers of the software that is making this possible without having to compromise on our privacy and open source ideals

duffus moved this task from Backlog to In Progress on the Akademy Tools board.Apr 12 2020, 5:57 AM

What internet connection speeds do you each have?

duffus updated the task description. (Show Details)Apr 12 2020, 6:11 AM
ndavis added a subscriber: ndavis.EditedApr 13 2020, 12:28 AM
  • Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

I thought it worked pretty well.

  • Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Typing latency was quite bad and it used a lot of CPU. I couldn't use my webcam when we were all trying to do a group picture, but that's a pretty extreme case.

  • What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)
  • Firefox 74 and 75 from the openSUSE mozilla repo
  • laptop webcam
  • laptop microphone
  • Internet connection speed

Usually 12MB/s downloads in good conditions. Not sure about upload speeds, but probably not higher than my download speed.

  • What can be improved in software?

Chat needs a way to refer to specific people (@somebody) or IRC/Matrix style mentions and :emoji: completions or an emoji picker.

  • Anything that was confusing in software?

The fact that we have to leave the audio and re-join the audio in order to use the mic after choosing listen only.

  • Anything else?

BBB worked fine and was easy to use overall. Maybe it would be a good idea for presenters to fully test their setups before doing their presentation and anyone who isn't presenting, but wants to talk should be encouraged to do the same.

bshah added a comment.EditedApr 13 2020, 8:13 AM

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

I quite liked the format, something which for sprint can be improved is,

  • More use of breakout rooms
  • Shared calendar which keeps track of the free people and breakouts
  • Properly defined schedule rather than something which we came up in a single day

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Not really, although I must say the BBB was quite CPU intensive for browser. At a times, it managed to use one full core of my CPU, which can be bit too much for lower end systems.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

  • Firefox 74 on Arch Linux (and also on Ubuntu neon system)
  • cheap microphone/webcam, which did not have better audio quality
  • Later switched to using sony earpiece which had somewhat better audio quality but still some noise managed to sleep-in

Internet connection speed

12 MB/s down, ~7 MB/s up, one thing to note that I had two instances of BBB running on same network.

What can be improved in software?

  • Ability to white/black the screen-sharing would be nice for the "tutorial like" meetings when you want to check e.g. private messages or something
  • Echo test could be much useful as a record and-then play, rather then direct echo, rational being when I tested my microphone I did not notice the background noise which other people were able to clearly identify.

Anything that was confusing in software?

  • Switching between audio-only to microphone mode and vice-versa requires the leaving meeting and joining it again. That's not umm, useful/discoverable

Anything else?

  • For Akademy, I would encourage speaker to also do some kind of local recording, as depending on the internet quality, video recording on server end may not be reliable at all.
  • Akademy team should probably do some test-calls with speakers to ensure that the setup is fine on end of speaker

For Plasma Mobile team, it would be nice if we can organize more of this sprints (probably with better planning than this one though 🙂)

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

The format was good, but I would like to be more "strict", so that the participants to easily pick what they are most interested in and join in when they really want to. The trainings were professional, I wonder why in Plasma Mobile we did not offer them in the past - ok, better late than never :)

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Not sth importantly annoying, but it heavily depends on the hardware and network of the other members.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

KDE Neon user edition, Firefox 75, a cheap Logitech camera for audio and video.

Internet connection speed

~10 Mb/s down, ~1 Mb/s up

What can be improved in software?

I would like a "Raise Hand" (or bbb does have it???). In case of a large audience, this way we can easily coordinate questions/interruptions. I also missed a "Low bandwidth mode" to overcome network issues. Both features are present in Jitsi.

Anything that was confusing in software ?

The "Take Presenter" mutes the other members' audio.

Anything else?

Having used Jitsi for the same purpose, I think it is easier to manage and more intuitive in general. It also offers riot integration, that will help the discussion in the chat not to be lost. E.g. we could run the sprint in the plasma mobile riot room using the Jitsi integration widget.

In general, I would dare to say that sprints could move to virtual, regardless of the restrictions we face now. Nevertheless, it was helpful that I had met many of the participants in person in the past; it reminded me that they are good folks with good intentions that really care for the project. But this could be "solved" with a non-virtual Akademy more focused on the social aspects, and let the sprints roll virtually.

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

I liked it. The audio quality was very different for the speakers, some were perfectly understandable, some barely. I think the planning/announcement was a bit rushed. Scheduled breaks would be a good thing

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

Sometimes I got muted because someone else stole presenter I think

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Firefox, internal Laptop webcam, standard in-ear headphones/microphone

Internet connection speed

25M nominal

Anything that was confusing in software?

Took me a while to figure out how to upload slides

Anything else?

Doing a presentation into a laptop is super weird at first. Especially if you're focusing on something else on the screen you have no feedback whether people are actually listening/can understand you. It gets better over time

What can be improved in software?

I would like a "Raise Hand" (or bbb does have it???). In case of a large audience, this way we can easily coordinate questions/interruptions. I also missed a "Low bandwidth mode" to overcome network issues. Both features are present in Jitsi.

There actually is a raise hand feature. You have to right click on your user icon, I think.

Did you like the format? Anything we can improve upon?

This format was a great chance to meet and discuss the current state and future development of Plasma Mobile with much less efforts than a classical sprint would have needed.

The format of the sprint was very inclusive and more open than a physical sprint, as the barrier to participate was much lower. The numbers prove this: 18 people put their names to the table in the Phabricator task (https://phabricator.kde.org/T12906), 32 people showed interest in the training session by filling out the poll (https://nuudel.digitalcourage.de/MFelhdQMabWylGiP). I can not remember the exact number of people being in the room during the discussion sessions, but in any case there were more people than at the physical sprint in February in Berlin. At some point there were 27 people (maybe at some other point of the training session even more, I do not know) in the conference room during the training session.

An online sprint can not fully replace a physical sprint in my opinion. There's a huge difference between having an online video conference or physically sitting in the same room. All the off-topic things were missing at the online sprint, for example the lunchs together. Generally speaking, the socializing part was missing.

The time for the discussion sessions was tight, especially on Friday the time was not enough to cover all topics on the schedule.

The introduction round on Thursday was a bit rugged, also because of the breaks between the people introducing themselves.

Did you have any problems with software used? (BigBlueButton and Greenroom)

I had no problems with the software, it was good to use. The echo test was very helpful for testing the audio setup.

What software and hardware you used to join meeting? (Browser, Camera, and Microphone)

Additionally to my laptop I tried joining with my smartphone, but did not get the audio working.

What can be improved in software?

It would be good if the chat and the public notes could be displaid next to each other, or still better if the notes (and maybe also the chat) could be opened in separate tabs.

The chat could be more advanced, e.g. it does not support emojis or sending files.

Setting a room topic and also a public overview of the available rooms could be helpful for Akademy, as I assume there will be multiple rooms with topics changing every hour or so.

The button within BigBlueButton to download the current presentation could be placed more prominent.

Anything that was confusing in software?

At the personal main page for logged in users, a room overview is shown. The single rooms can not be directly joined by clicking them. Clicking them shows some additional information about the room and then I have to click one more button to finally join the room.

Anything else?

It should be announnced beforehand either recordings will be made and for which purposes they will be used and with which people and on which platforms they will be shared.

For talks, it is quite common that they will be recorded and the recordings will be shared. Using a video conferencing software for the virtual Akademy and maybe also for other virtual sprints, there is the possibility to easily record much more than only the talks at a single click.

For BoFs and other formats, it should be made sure that all active participants agree on the recording if one is made. If some people feel uncomfortable with their contributions being recorded, it should be evaluated either it is more important to be able to share the recording or to ensure that all participants can speak freely without the worry that their opinions in the discussions will be publicly shared on YouTube and other platforms. There's also the question either a recording of a discussion session is really needed, as I think the results are often also preserved in other forms, e.g as notes or in Phabricator tasks. In this topic it could be a good guidance how much was recorded at the last Akademys.

As the sprint was held online, it's environmental impact was much smaller compared to a physical sprint. I'm pretty sure that the environmental impact of this sprint was not zero, but I assume it was almost nothing compared to a physical sprint, where people travel from other European countries and also the rest of the world to the sprint destination.

Maybe we could do regular (e.g. monthly) video calls to talk about the development of Plasma Mobile and to strengthen the community.

cahfofpai added a comment.EditedApr 23 2020, 11:51 PM

What can be improved in software?

It could also be useful to be able to see which of the room members have written which parts of the shared notes, e.g. by using colors like it is done in Etherpad.

@cahfofpai Not recording BoFs seems reasonable and what to record or not was being thought about for Akademy. Thanks for raising this

nicolasfella moved this task from Todo to Done on the Plasma: Mobile board.Wed, Jul 22, 6:29 PM