Re: Hackathon communication programs


Dear all-

I would like to clarify the reason and anticipated use of the different communication channels that we have for the hackathon and in the future.

BONSAI is not just open data, but open development, and multiple people have already commented that the development of the existing BONSAI content is not open. For example, the wiki provides a list of selected ontologies, but no record of the debate that led to this selection. We need to do better, and that means true transparency in decision making on a small- and large-scale.

Mailing list:

Main place of discussion for BONSAI topics, especially for those which require a bit of thinking and broader community engagement. Indexed and archived, easily discoverable via web searches.


Used by management to disseminate BONSAI announcements to a wider professional network. Not for discussion, can be ignored by most BONSAI participants.


Used for quick messages or coordination, primarily during the hackathon itself. Especially useful for coordinating smaller teams. Technical debates should primarily occur via Github issues for the repository in question.

Used for videoconferencing. ASAP we will start routinely recording and posting these conferences (opportunity for one of you to volunteer and write a guide).

Read-only introductory content

Should only be used for the wiki - other content types should each be in its own repository.

Other Github repositories

Technical discussion of bugs, feature suggestions, and design decisions (via the projects board and issues)

Tom Millross will be doing an audit of our current communication channels, and making suggestions to be gentle with people new to BONSAI, before the hackathon.

As always, your suggestions and comments are welcome!

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