22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion
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Author:  toad [ Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

The 22nd VISTA Community Meeting will be held January 14th to 16th, 2011, hosted by the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, Washington. As always, these meetings are organized and held under the authority and oversight of WorldVistA. For this meeting the VISTA Expertise Network is assisting with meeting planning and logistics, since WorldVistA is rightly focused on their crucial work expanding VISTA's support for meaningful use.

As usual, WorldVistA president Nancy Anthracite is overseeing our work to make sure we're on track, and Peter Bodtke is coordinating the web updates on the WorldVistA website. At the UW, Arden Forrey and Gretchen Murphy are coordinating things through the Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIHIM) program office.

On the Network side we've put together a team to help plan the conference. Chris Richardson and I are contacting VISTA hardhats to put together sessions. Susan Mohn is helping organize the rooms, meals, and schedule. Owen Hermsen, Duglas Kilbride, and Linda Yaw are helping think through the planning. Kathy Ice is helping us produce signage and other written support for the conference. And all of us together are helping organize the two-day Paideia hardhats show-and-tell and peer-review event that will precede the VISTA Community Meeting.

We've decided to do most of our planning for this event out in the open, warts and all, so the community can contribute to the discussion, and because after all this is an open community. As we settle on sessions, schedules, and other conference details, we'll post the more coherent explanations on the WorldVistA site. We've sorted out a lot of the basics already, and over the next few days we'll post the details here so we can shift the discussion out into the open.

Author:  toad [ Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Hardhats Track - The Future of VISTA

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, all the VISTA hardhats used to come together at least once a year to exchange software and plan the future of VISTA, then known as the Decentralized Hospital Computer Program (DHCP). Putting the future of the software in the hands of the software experts was part of what led to the great golden age of VISTA, when users at every VA hospital could get rapid response to their requests for help, and the software improved daily.

We need to return to that level of responsiveness by putting the package experts back in charge of their packages. As a first step, and in honor of our tradition of hardhats conferences, we're running a hardhats track at the 22nd VISTA community meeting.

It will run all day Friday, January 14th through Sunday, January 16th. We'll use this time to plan out the future of the VISTA Laboratory, File Manager, and Kernel packages, and VISTA's user interface. Each day will consist of moderated brainstorming sessions, with discussions guided by a panel of top VISTA experts in each area, and including participation from a mixed audience of package experts and other interested attendees.

For example, so far we have focused on Friday, January 14th, which will focus on Laboratory. John McCormack and Frank Stalling, probably the VISTA community's two greatest experts on today's VISTA Laboratory packages, have agreed to attend, as has Cameron Schlehuber, one of VISTA Lab's two original authors. (The other, Wally Fort, will be heading off into the Pacific to sail the world for two years to kick off a well-earned retirement from VA, but would otherwise have attended.) Other participants will include Dan Gray of Portland VA and Larry Carlson of Puget Sound VA, both of whom have been using, configuring, and programming with VISTA Lab for decades. All other VISTA Lab experts who can attend are also encouraged to do so.

We are now beginning planning for the other three sessions, and will reply to this thread as they come together. Part of the logic of this schedule is that (1) the next version of Lab requires improvements in File Manager to support its unusual database structures, (2) Lab like all VISTA packages needs better software-lifecycle support in the form of improvements to Kernel's KIDS module and the Patch Module, and (3) a new generation of user-interface tools is being developed for VISTA that Lab may benefit from. That is, these topics have been chosen to support the Lab discussion, in addition to their importance in their own right.

Together, we hope to brainstorm the definitive top priorities for each area. The sessions will be recorded and documented, and - most importantly - each session will result in the creation of a coherent project plan mapping out as well as we can what the community needs to do with these packages. These plans will then be made publicly available, so VA and IHS among others can benefit from them, and used to secure whatever funding and collaboration is available so we can then begin work on all four areas

For this and other reasons, I believe this will be a watershed meeting for the VISTA community.

Author:  icekat [ Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

I'm looking forward to this! What kinds of documentation should I be working on?

Also, when you say the planning sessions will be recorded, do you mean somebody taking notes, or actual audio recordings?

Author:  whitten [ Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

I expect that Chris Richardson is planning to make video and audio recordings.
If we are planning to have VistA experts available to talk about advancing
VistA Packages such as Lab, etc. It would be very nice to be able to use a computer
screen saving software like web-huddle or Camtasia.

David Whitten

Author:  toad [ Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

The three Future of VISTA sessions need to be documented as well as recorded.

They are working meetings aimed at developing the raw materials for a sound project plan for Lab version 6, Fileman version 23, and Kernel version 9, as well as a project-plan module that can be added to the timeline for any other VISTA package to overhaul their user interface. Our goal during the sessions is to do a complete overview of the main opportunities and challenges so we can set the priorities and break them down into top-level tasks.

After the meeting, Owen Hermsen and I will develop each session's notes into a project plan.

Author:  toad [ Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

I just received confirmation that Rob Tweed will be flying in from England to attend all five days. We'll do a code walk-through of part of EWD on Wednesday, 12 January, and all day Sunday the 16th Rob will be contributing to the Future of the VISTA UI discussion. At some point he will be demonstrating his Node/JS module, which integrates the roll-and-scroll interfaces with the web - a crucial step toward a new unified UI for VISTA.

Author:  toad [ Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

I also received confirmation from Dan and Janet Gray that they will attend. They will be on the panel on Friday the 14th about the Future of Lab. They're considering attending on the 12th and 13th as well so they can do a code walk-through of some of Dan's Lab work.

Author:  toad [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

George Timson will be remotely attending the Future of Fileman discussion Saturday morning.

Author:  toad [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

David LaLiberte will be remotely attending the Future of Kernel session Saturday afternoon. He may also be attending the Future of Fileman session Saturday morning and expressed interest in the Future of VISTA UI session on Sunday.

Author:  icekat [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 22nd VISTA Community Meeting - Planning Discussion

Parking at the Paideia event (Wednesday and Thursday) will be somewhat limited, so people might want to think about car pooling. Just a heads-up.

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