last week we discussed my proposal for some restructuring of the meeting (as outlined at Stan General Meeting, Mar, 25, 2021, 11 am EST - #2 by martinmodrak). I did learn that people value many things about the meeting that I didn’t realize, and that there are other considerations, including:
- Generally, this meeting should be very unofficial and laid back (as suggested by the name change)
- The meeting is currently not supposed to make any decisions for Stan, rather to get in touch/solve problems/… everything that smells of decision is (and should be) brought up again on Discourse.
- It’s good to be able to speak openly about ongoing projects and other stuff without there being a public record.
- If somebody is taking notes, it puts pressure on the attendees to then check the notes for correctness or risk being misrepresented.
- I also agree completely that it is impossible for the person leading the meeting to take notes. That would have to be someone else.
- However, there could still be some benefit for having at least some vague record, because:
- People who don’t attend the meetings will be better able to judge whether there is value in them attending by reading notes from past meetings
- Sometimes there are good ideas/references floating around in the chat that then get lost once the meeting ends
Just to be open about where my worries about the meeting were coming from: When it was announced that stanc2 will be deprecated for rstan ( https://discourse.mc-stan.org/t/questions-regarding-rstan-stanc3-release-plans/19798) I felt that no discussion of the step was taken before the announcement. It turned out that there was an extensive discussion of the topic at those Stan meetings (great) but without much public output (IMHO bad).
So, I’ve been thinking on how to best meet all of the requirements and if people are OK with it, I could try to moderate today’s meeting in a sort of an experiment on how I currently think it could look like?
Also, we should probably create some boileplate message that would go into all meeting announcements, explaining what the meeting is about and who is it for.
Looking forward to seeing you today.