The INCF/OCNS Software Working Group

WG meeting 11 April 2022

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 11th April, 2022. The next progress meeting will be held in May. For any clarifications and suggestions, please open a new ticket.


  • Ankur Sinha
  • Shailesh Appukuttan
  • Felix Kern
  • Malin Sandstrom

Preset Agenda


CNS 2022 tutorials

  • Go over survey results.
  • Decide on satellite tutorial sessions (we are confirming them with the OCNS organising committee now, and should have confirmation soon).
    • WG members are invited to hold tutorial sessions for their respective tools.
    • We will reach out to non WG members to invite them to organise sessions for their tools.

Diversity & inclusion session at INCF assembly

  • Birds of a feather “bof” session has been accepted.
  • We need input on what sessions to organise and who to invite.
  • We need input on what the goals (deliverables) of this session should be.

Software arena session at INCF assembly

  • Has also been accepted.
  • Input on the best way of doing this, and what our expected goals are.

WG business

  • We don’t currently have a way of actively communicating with the WG membership because we don’t have a mailing list sort of thing where any announcements go straight to the members’ inboxes (we don’t even have all your e-mails because we decided not to use mailing lists when we started).
  • The worry, however, is that using GitHub tickets/discussions is passive—-i.e., folks do get notifications, but they still need to come up to the repository to engage.
  • The lack of something like a mailing list also means that we don’t have a way of actively informing the community (outside our membership) of our activities.


  • Do we need a better way of keeping the wg membership in the loop? Are you satisfied with our current way of doing things?
  • Are fixed meeting slots working? (we’ve had a lower than usual turnout recently—-what can we do to help more of our members attend meetings?)

For communicating with the research community:

  • Should we send more updates to the already existing mailing lists (for example, should a note of our meeting be sent there?)
  • Or do we need a new mailing list/newsletter setup that folks can subscribe to? (in case our frequent posts to already existing mailing lists are thought to be an abuse of their policies?)

Increasing our membership

  • What steps can we take to encourage more folks to join the WG?
  • Are their incentives we can think of to encourage students to join us for example? Simpler tasks for them to do, for example? (see for example).

Standardisation of simulator generated data

  • Possibility of standardising simulation generated output data (or facilitating conversion to NWB type formats to take advantage of the software/analysis ecosystem).


CNS 2022 satellite tutorials

  • Most people (WG and OCNS) that we’ve contacted are in favour of free online software satellite tutorials.
  • So, we will assume they’re going to happen and plan accordingly.
    • ACTION: WG to finalise schedule, sessions by end of April and submit to Tutorials chair.
  • CNS 2022: 16th-20th July.
  • Satellite tutorials (tentative): 27th June-1st July.
    • This ensures that they are early enough to not conflict with attendees’ travel arrangements.
    • Open ticket and let folks comment if it does not work for them.
  • Software WG will host tutorials on whatever tools/technologies the members are able to take up.
  • For stuff that’s not manageable by WG, we will invite developers and other research community members to deliver tutorials about their tools of choice.
  • We will probably need to set up a single registration form to collect e-mail addresses to send out links/information about the tutorials.
    • The form can include check boxes for each session so we have idea of per session interest/attendance.
  • Issue filed:

D&I session at INCF Assembly

  • September 13th, 2022.
  • Start reaching out to prospective speakers ASAP to have confirmation for sessions (people are already planning the Autumn, so do this ASAP).
  • Ideas for invitation draft: Malin.

Software arena session at INCF assembly

  • September 14th, 2022.
  • Session on making it easier to cite software (Marcel, Brian?).
  • Target audience: software developers.
  • Invite developers from outside the WG.
    • Malin has list of GSoC mentors: can invite them.

WG business

Mailing list

  • We will set up a new mailing list for announcements only.
  • Discussions etc. will continue on GitHub.
  • People attending WG sessions etc. are added to the ML so they can be kept in the loop.
  • ACTION: new mailing list softwarewg AT (Malin)
    • Ankur, Shailesh, Felix, Malin: initial admins/moderators.
  • Continue sending usual updates to other public mailing lists.
  • Issue filed:
  • Also filed for discussion around WG meeting time:

User targeted sessions: “Software highlights”

  • Idea: dissemination of tools in neuroscience.
  • Try to get in touch with training focussed communities such as NeuroMatch to recommend that they direct their “students” to these sessions as follow-up.
    • INCF work with Neuromatch, so should be able to get us in touch.
  • ACTION: need more volunteers to help us keep these going regularly.
  • Start new after summer vacations, near September.
  • Send announcements to lists.
  • Ask developers of new tools to get in touch.
  • Software WG members keep eye on publications on new software (JOSS etc.).

Encouraging folks to join the WG:

  • Remember to show the slide Malin had made for the WG showing participants etc.


Software wg survey

  • Include link in next OCNS announcement.
  • ACTION: Ankur request OCNS Vice president (Thomas Nowotny) to include link to survey in next correspondence. (Done)


  • Out of time, so relegated to next meeting.