European Gathering 2021 - Summary of Delivery Circle and Data Food Consortium

On Saturday morning we heard a presentation of the OFN Delivery Circle and the Data Food Consortium so we could all understand what’s going on behind the software. Here’s a summary of what was covered - please add or edit as needed!

OFN Delivery circle

  • Responsibility to ensure software is maintained and enhanced
  • 4 full-time equivalent work – more people involved but none full time on this.
    • 5 Developers
    • Testing team (primarily Filipe)
      • manual test of weekly release
      • keeping up with automated test suite – quite particular to OFN
    • Product and Design
      • Experience design – focus on user flow
      • Interface design – focused on style – not the priority right now.
  • Server deployment offered as a service to some instances. High level of automation.
  • Pipeline
    • Wishlist all on github now
    • New features – e.g. invoices and reports at the top of the list now
    • Papercuts are quick wins that can be done while the bigger features are being developed
    • Bugs – prioritization system
      • S1/S2 – important functions, no workarounds – go to the top of the priority list
      • S3 – not an emergency, but would be really good to fix it
    • Quality control - all work gets reviewed by two developers
      • Good way for new devs to learn the platform
    • Production cycles last a few months
      • Distinction between core and basic instances emerging. Core instances contribute more, and maybe gain more control over what papercuts and S3s are prioritized - to be specified
  • Need to talk about system for gathering feedback on papercuts, feature requests, collaborating to fund development of specific features
  • Very integrated system at the moment. One aspiration is to break it down into separate elements, and think about separate elements as separate products.
    • E.g. Could build OFN element for store management
    • API could be a product in itself. API not officially supported yet, but will soon be – first for reports. Will enhance interoperability with logistics platforms, accounting software, etc.

This discussion has been a helpful complement to the Software Improvement Process section of the OFN Handbook. If there are things to be added / clarified perhaps we can compile suggestions here :slight_smile:

Data Food Consortium

  • Originally incubated by OFN, but now independent, trying to be impartial between software platforms
  • Bigger picture on interoperability:
    • Competition between different platforms and food enterprises – inefficient, problematic from a sustainability perspective.
    • We could be supporting more collaboration between different platforms and food enterprises, create an ecosystem rather than a monolith
  • Different data formats are a big block to interoperability
    • Each tool can have its own format, but should provide a translation into the common language
    • Not open data, just common, standard format
  • Municipalities, local governments, etc. are focused on territories, tending to choose to support a particular platform – creating monopolies with associated problematic implications
    • DFC is about creating standardization to allow more freedom in choosing platforms/configurations of different platforms
  • Implications for OFN:
    • Could allow for selling across different instances
    • Could allow for integrating delivery networks to enhance efficiency
  • We have funding, but the problem is finding the people to work on this
    • Food Assembly was involved but had to drop out due to financial difficulties
    • CSA networks involved or interested
    • Accounting platforms interested