Everything that Xdev work on can be categorized with the broad term “project.” So, Xdev Projects really just describes all of our efforts, in one form or another. That said, Xdev engages in long-term and short-term projects. The long-term projects are different in nature than the short-term projects, and therefore each of these kinds of projects need a little clarification.
Long-term projects include our Tutorial Seminar Series, our collaboration on the NCAR JupyterHub with the High-Performance Computing Division (HPCD) in CISL, and our collaboration on Project Pythia. These are long-term commitments that the Xdev Team has made to the community, to existing services, and to external funding agencies.
However, these are not the only long-term commitments that the Xdev Team must make. For each package that we develop (for example, resulting from our short-term projects), we also have a commitment to maintaining the package at some nominal level, which includes responding to Issues on the package repository. When enough high-priority Issues appear on an Xdev-maintained repository, it is the responsibility of an Xdev Teammate to alert the rest of the Team that something needs to be done. When that happens, the Xdev Team can shift their attention to addressing these Issues quickly.
Short-term projects are a new concept for the Xdev Team. These are collaborative efforts that are meant to develop a small solution over a relatively short period of time, such as three months. Project Funnel and Project xWRF are our most recent examples of short-term projects.
Short-term projects are called “short-term” because they have relatively short “periods of heightened activity.” It is not our intention to abandon a project after this period of activity ends. Rather, the level of activity on the project will naturally ramp down as the project deliverables are completed. To guarantee that the objectives are met in the defined window of activity, though, we use a combination of scope hammering and this concept of “loose project completion dates.” Even after a “period of heightened activity” ends, work can continue on the project, just at a lower level. These short-term “periods of heightened activity” are just our way of saying that we are prioritizing this work for now.
Short-term projects can be pitched to the Xdev Team by submitting a New Project Proposal via GitHub Issues on the Xdev main website repository. The Project Proposals can be viewed on the Xdev main website repository Issues tracker. Proposals Issues (i.e., Issues labeled with the
project label) can be upvoted or downvoted on the Issue itself by adding a :thumbsup: or :thumbsdown: reaction to the Issue conversation. (Note that the Xdev Team can also vote!) The most popular proposals will be selected for the next project cycle.