[Freedombox-discuss] Software as Data, Transformation as a Service

Nick M. Daly nick.m.daly at gmail.com
Tue Aug 14 15:35:29 UTC 2012

In short: we have several groups of folks working on problems of
standardized, distributed, and data-centric applications.  Why aren't we
cooperating, or at least communicating, about our problems and


Lionel Dricot [0], Dr. Daniel Smith [1, 2], Michiel de Jong [3], Mike
Macgirvin [4], and Markus Sabadello [5] seem to have come to similar
conclusions: having a bunch of semi-interoperable applications that do
the same thing but don't share their data is wasted effort and added
complexity (it's "silly").  When applications can share their data store
and give the privilege, responsibility, and complexity of storing their
data to a separate data layer, writing applications becomes a lot easier
and the applications themselves become more reliable, flexible, and
under the user's control.

Here, we have several communities with at least a few dozen people
working in this problem space, so we should try to communicate and
cooperate on our shared goals.  In this world of limited resources and
volunteered time, there's no greater sin than duplicated effort.

I believe that the Unhosted, WebBox, and Friendica projects are furthest
along in their work, and it'd be interesting to hear which pieces
they've completed.  We could then start getting ideas of how everything
can interact, cross project.  Some FreedomBox tools, like Exmachnia [6]
(and, to a lesser extent, FreedomBuddy [7]), might also be useful here.

I'd love to hear any thoughts you folks have on this subject.

Thanks for your time,

0: http://ploum.net/post/freasy-future-for-gnome
1: https://github.com/danielsmith-eu/webbox
2: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~mvk/webbox-pim.pdf
3: http://unhosted.org/manifesto.html
4: http://friendica.com/node/24
5: http://projectdanube.org/
6: Exmachnia is a tool to allow maintainable, system-wide automated
   configuration from any front-end.
7: FreedomBuddy is location-ignorant location tool: it lets friends keep
   communicating despite constant motion through both IP- and
   meat-space, without relying on third parties.
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