Developer call June 11, 2020

Notes were taken by various attendees.



  • new website at

    • please provide feedback and feel free to submit PRs to update/edit/add content or styling

    • content in the process of getting created, please help if you’re interested! This includes

      • user guides

      • roadmap, vision/mission, FAQ

      • contributor guide

        • acceptance criteria for contributions

  • Governance

    • copyright updated to “Copyright Microsoft Corporation and contributors”

    • short-term:

      • define how to become core dev

      • define requirements for contributions to be accepted

    • long-term:

      • Would it help for Fairlearn to become a foundation / charity? At which point? This will likely be something to keep revisiting.

        • NumFocus may perhaps be an option?

        • definitely need to transition to a different model if there are outside institutional contributors (but possibly earlier, e.g., if we reach a larger scale).

  • Kevin in Gitter:

    • Who are the current users of Fairlearn, what do they love about it?

      • how do we find out?

    • What’s the roadmap for the project in the next 3-6mos?

      • TODO: start a PR around a short-term roadmap

    • I’d also be excited to discover if there are any co-conspirators interested in working towards addressing practioner needs (e.g., Holstein et al. 2019) or supporting practioners facing the wider scope of sociotechnical fairness work (eg, Madaio et al. 2020; Selbst et al. 2020).

      • TODO: meet and discuss (already planned!)

  • Metrics: Simplicity/usability and more complex metrics group objects with richer functionality don’t need to be mutually exclusive. We will iterate on the current state.

  • Notebooks

    • development process needs to be established

    • porting notebooks from notebooks over to examples as a good first issue

    • To work out proper examples with a focus on sociotechnical framing we’ll set up a weekly hour where everyone who wants to discuss and contribute can do so. It’ll be at the same time as the developer call (Thursday 11am New York time). Reach out to Roman via Gitter to participate. All are welcome!

  • UX

    • There’s already a separate call scheduled (originally meant to be on 6/12, but had to be rescheduled to next week) to discuss various kinds of potential UX research directions.

    • Beyond that there’s an immediate need to remove obstacles to contribute to the UX. Clarifying the roadmap as mentioned above is one step in this journey. Currently the contributor guide is focused entirely on Python code, with basically no explanation on how to work with the typescript based dashboard.