Choosing a note-taking and agenda platform for Fedora Badges?

Continuing the discussion from Fedora Badges community social on Thu, 15 Dec @ 16:00 UTC:

The topic came up about what platform we should use to make meeting agendas and take notes during meetings. So, let’s figure out a tool that we can all be comfortable to use.

Our two choices seem to be either Etherpad or HackMD.

In last week’s social, I used Google Docs out of habit, but it was pointed out that some folks didn’t have Google accounts and didn’t want one either. Additionally, I couldn’t figure out how to make my document fully public. Finally, given that Fedora takes its commitment to Software Freedom seriously, it would be worth trying out a FOSS tool for this purpose as well.

Before, I suggested we could use Etherpad as an option for our notes. It is fully FOSS and there is a hosted instance maintained by the friendly neighborhood Software Freedom Conservancy. Etherpad is not the most advanced tool, but it does work with real-time editing and basic WYSIWYG editor support.

Later, @t0xic0der pointed out the Fedora Websites & Apps Team has an established workflow with HackMD. The added benefit of using the W&A space on HackMD is that it keeps information about Fedora Badges together with other Fedora apps. There is some convenience there. However, HackMD does not appear to be FOSS, and in this case may not be any more privacy-centric than Google (I haven’t read privacy policy legaltext yet).

So, it seems like we need to decide between two options. I made a poll below to get a feel of opinions on this question. If you feel a choice is missing, drop a reply and share your thoughts! :pray:

  • Etherpad
  • HackMD
  • It is not so simple (reply & explain)

0 voters

Hi @jflory7 thanks for organizing the Badges meeting and writing up this summary! I prefer Hackmd, as I really like the team spaces capabilities. I have set up/participated in hackmd team spaces for:

  • Creative Freedom Summit
  • Fedora DEI Team
  • Fedora Community Outreach Revamp
  • Fedora Marketing
  • Mindshare Committee
  • Fedora Annual Contributor Survey
  • & of course, Websites & Apps Team

So at least in my Fedora sphere, it is widely used :slight_smile: that being said, I would be open to something else if it aligns more closely with our goals. Something that I remember discussing (that didn’t go too far) in the past was HedgeDoc. Aiui, this is the upstream of Hackmd, but would require us to do some hosting. Not voting for this option, per se, as we aren’t trying to add more work on simply for meeting notes/documents :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: but if hackmd is being widely used across Fedora, it could be something to rally support/efforts around in the community as a whole.

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Just out of curiosity, I checked Comparison of note-taking software - Wikipedia.

I haven’t used it, but TagSpaces (AGPL-3.0-only) looks promising. There is a limited demo of the web interface you can experiment with here:

Currently, the above poll leans toward HackMD. To avoid too much yak-shaving, our priority should be using a hosted platform that is ready to use off-the-shelf. Since we are working in Markdown, it would be simple enough to move important data from HackMD to somewhere else like GitLab.

I still strongly prefer Etherpad because it is a great FOSS project with several decentralized instances available, but it might be making too much work for us if we change the Websites & Apps team workflow just for Badges.

We’ll keep this discussion ongoing but unless there are strong objections, we can keep using the W&A space on HackMD for Fedora Badges. We will aim to get a next meeting on the books in the coming weeks!

Well, yak-shaving gets a place right next to bikeshedding and rubber ducking for having enriched my vocabulary.

Regarding note taking software, I used HackMD before once. What I remember is the general limitations on the free tier with respect to team sizes and some other things I forgot. As long as that is not barrier, I’m fine with using it.

Unfortunately, that comparison is missing HackMD, HedgeDoc and Etherpad. So, it’s quite difficult to compare the candidates mentioned. I believe HedgeDoc and Etherpad would also be suitable, but with HackMD we can draw on the knowledge already present.

I just became aware that Infrastructure is using Etherpad hosted on for their weekly meetings. So, I have been exposed to it without knowing.

Check this out!

HedgeDoc is the current fork of the HackMD/CodiMD mess that remains fully FOSS:

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To conclude, based on the poll results and discussions here and in Matrix, we will stick to using HackMD so we are aligned with the Websites & Apps Team workflow.

I also like the idea of switching to a fully FOSS solution, but we should do this in careful coordination with the wider Websites & Apps Team if they are open to trying something else. For now, using HackMD is easier because we can avoid provisioning our own tooling infrastructure and focus on the work at hand. :slightly_smiling_face:

This might be a good opportunity to close this thread.