I know people hate process, but the thing blocking you right now is a lack of process.
How to move this forward: Get people to sign off on an Evaluation Checklist
The people with misgivings about proceeding to phase 2 have called out a number of concrete things that need to happen first in order for them to be comfortable with proceeding.
It's a shame that some of the people with misgivings are only describing their requirements during meetings, which means they don't appear here or on the corresponding github issue, but they have declared them. The next step is to gather all of those requirements in one place and show them to the group.
Here's an example of the full process you could use to facilitate the this group decision:
- Put all of the requirements that people have expressed (aka "Things that need to be done first in order for us to make an informed decision" or "Things that haven't happened yet, whose absence makes me skeptical") in a checklist. - This might require you to follow up individually with @jbenet since he has strong opinions and no free time.
- Post the checklist on the github issue for everyone to review
- Discuss the checklist on the next all-hands call
- Add or amend items on the checklist according to people's comments
- Confirm with everyone that the checklist is a satisfactory representation of what needs to be done
- Ensure that the somebody (or everybody, depending on the item) does the things on the checklist
- When all the things on the checklist have been done, make the final decision, which will now be an informed decision, about whether to proceed to phase 2.
If the checklist gets large and unwieldy you can track each item as a github issue and use regular agile techniques to move the process along.
A few requirements to get you started
Some of the requirements that I remember people expressing on calls:
- Get a meaningful number of community members to create accounts and post content. -- They didn't say numbers, but they said the current numbers are not enough to qualify as a real test.
- Conduct a serious technical discussion on discourse, one that exemplifies the kind of discussion we want to have here
There is also @dignifiedquire's point that we need to establish a migration plan first. You're already working on that. It should be included in the checklist.