The INCF/OCNS Software Working Group

WG meeting 26 January 2021

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash.

These are the meeting logs from the Software WG meeting that was held on 26th January 2021 at 1000 UTC using INCF’s BlueJeans account. The next progress meeting will be held in ~4 weeks time. For any clarifications and suggestions, please feel free to contact the current WG chairs at webmaster AT cnsorg DOT org.

Preset agenda

This was the loose agenda that was set up before the meeting.

  • Quick introductions (name, background, current position, tools used/developed/supported).
  • Progress check on guidelines.
  • WG meeting at CNS*2021 (hackathons/dev focussed workshops/tutorials too?).
  • WG presence at INCF virtual Assembly 2021 in April - community poll.
  • Choosing slots for user/dev sessions.
  • Group photo for INCF WG page.
  • Open floor.


  • Malin Sandström, INCF: BIDS-Matlab.
  • Ankur Sinha, Silver Lab at University College London: Open Source Brain/NeuroML/NeuroFedora.
  • Marcel Stimberg, Institut de la Vision/Sorbonne Université (Paris France), Brian simulator.
  • Shailesh Appukuttan, Neuro-PSI, CNRS: HBP related tools/PyNN.
  • Thomas Nowotny, University of Sussex: GeNN/PyGeNN/Brian2GeNN.
  • Felix B. Kern, University of Tokyo: StdpC.
  • Jamie Knight, Sussex U: GeNN/PyGeNN.

Meetings going forward

  • Bluejeans, do we want to record? For SIG meetings, we agreed to use BlueJeans with recordings enabled on for members to refer to later.
  • Do we need breakout rooms? We agreed that breakout rooms may be needed during tutorials/developer sessions and so can be decided on a per-session basis. These are not expected to be needed at regular WG progress meetings.

Guidelines progress

  • The source repository is here on GitHub:
  • In general, we agreed that the style of the guidelines should be to advise readers, not to force them to follow listed suggestions. Readers will choose the right practices that suit their project.
  • The first version will contain high level suggestions and will be targeted at beginners. More technical, detailed guidelines will be added later for advanced users.
    • For example, we will mention the presence of PEPs for Python and suggest ones that projects should follow. However, we will stress that not all PEPs are to be followed as rules. Rather, it is more important to adopt a set of relevant PEPs and apply them consistently in the project.
  • The guidelines will aid readers in choosing the right license for their project.
  • The guidelines will also help readers document their projects, for their users and potential contributors.

The WG discussed the possibility of taking on more teaching focussed tasks, for example, in collaboration with the Software Carpentry and/or Code Coderefinery projects. The INCF training space’s study tracks can also be used for such activities.

RSE societies & resources for development of research software

These are other resources/societies that the WG’s tasks may overlap with:

Miscellaneous External Resources:

Potential deliverables

These are our currently planned deliverables:

  • Software development guidelines
  • Presentations of software projects
  • Community Poll at INCF Assembly on research software stumbling stones
  • Idea: study track(s) on RSE for students (first target, link with Carpentries), for established coders, ask Brainhack to adopt/include in TrainTrack.

WG meeting at CNS*2021

  • Hackathon(s)? Local hackathons in collaboration with the Brainhack project?
  • Dev focussed workshops?
  • Tutorials? Neuroscience focussed Software Carpentry sessions?
  • Beginner level tutorials: Git, Containers, IDEs?
  • Community poll to gather information on software development issues?

WG presence at INCF Assembly 2021 in April (roll call, enter your details)

We will at at minimum hold a WG progress meeting at the INCF assembly. The current plan is to host more sessions/tutorials, depending on the members’ workloads/availability.

Schedule and slots for user/dev sessions

This is being done using the Housekeeping repository on GitHub.

Group photo (screenshot)

This was postponed to a later meeting.