Loomio
Mon 14 Aug 2017

Open App Ecosystem and Collaborative Technology Alliance

D
Draft Public Seen by 570

If I understood well :

The objective of the OAE is to create a suite of connected apps.

The objective of the CTA is to gather people that creates this kind of apps ?

OS

Oli SB Mon 14 Aug 2017

Exactly. :)

I was just about to email you and explain my thinking.
We seem to be coming from the same place and wanting the same thing but had made slightly different assumptions...
That's also why I questioned your objectives for an OAE website.
I don't think we need an OAE website, yet...
But we DO need a CTA website to act as a focal point for OAE work and to bring together the people who are building / will build the OAE.

Phew, so happy you started this thread!

OS

Oli SB Mon 14 Aug 2017

One of the reasons I think we need the CTA is that lots of effort has been put into discussing how we might build an OAE, by various different groups, in different places, at different times, but clearly the OAE is such a big project it would benefit enormously from (possibly, requires) a more coordinated approach to its design and project management...

BH

Bob Haugen Mon 14 Aug 2017

See https://www.hylo.com/p/23634

As I said in that other current thread, I am opposed to the CTA managing OAE. If we had a consensus vote on that, I would block it.

BH

Bob Haugen Mon 14 Aug 2017

The objective of the CTA is to gather people that creates this kind of apps ?

The emphasis of the CTA was always more about platforms than ecosystems of small apps.

GC

Greg Cassel Tue 15 Aug 2017

The emphasis of the CTA was always more about platforms than ecosystems of small apps.

That's very much what I experienced, yes.

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 15 Aug 2017

To maybe be a little less negative on @olisb 's thoughts here:

clearly the OAE is such a big project it would benefit enormously from (possibly, requires) a more coordinated approach to its design and project management

I agree with that sentiment. The question is how? I am denying that the CTA can do it, or that management from above is the correct approach.

I don't think the CTA has proven that they can manage anything. And their focus has never been on anything like the OAE.

And I think we are trying to work out coordination by the people who are doing the work, which I think is the only method that will work, according to Conway's Law.

The basic idea of OAE in the first place was as an ecosystem of apps that could be developed independently by many people, but that would still fit and work together by means of standards and conventions. That was also the basic idea behind the Internet. As well as Unix.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 15 Aug 2017

To me, it's a question of what management, what coordination, is appropriate and effective. Not "effective" just by itself — in some contexts, dictatorship is effective. Effectiveness is essential, but the processes, procedures, conventions, norms (etc. etc.) of coordination and management need to be in line with our shared values — embodied in a shared culture.

I see Bob's "how?" as a good question. Greg usually has a good line on governance. Can we collectively get our acts together and start to answer the "how?" question?

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 15 Aug 2017

Concretely, what needs to be managed? What actual open app ecosystem work is going on?

  • @funkycram is working on a SSO app, and also set up http://cloud.openappecosystem.cc/ , and is also working on a website.
  • @ivan116 and @lynnfoster and another person who is not participating in these discussions are working on the Kamasi app in the Fair Coop context, which wants to become part of an open app ecosystem, but is not quite ready for it yet.
  • @tiborkatelbach , Lynn, and me, and maybe @robertbest are working on vocabulary translations, maybe with some people from the virtual assembly, maybe eventually with some people from the Data Food Consortium.
  • @ahdinosaur I think continues to work on stuff that could fit into an OAE, but in the Root Systems context, not here. He and @simontegg who might not be around here anymore once created Holodex, which was probably the first OAE app.
  • @jonrichter continues to do a lot of work in Transformap and other contexts that I think are tuned into OAE in one way or another, but don't surface in these Loomio discussions much.
  • I think the Virtual Assembly people are creating work that could fit into an OAE, but are also not discussing it here.
  • Loomio could have been an OAE app but has never wanted to support embedded discussions inside other apps, so they don't qualify.

Probably some other work that I am missing...what did I miss?

What management do people think is needed there, other than the mutual coordination among the people who are doing the work?

I don't think trying to get all of the people who are doing relevant work to congregate here in an OAE context is needed, by the way. Most of the people I know are aware that this revival of OAE is happening, and they'll congregate here when it suits their purposes.

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 15 Aug 2017

I should probably add, that the Value Flows vocabulary is not yet finished. It's slow, patient work. If you want to help, this is a good place to get started:
https://gitter.im/valueflows/welcome

SG

Simon Grant Tue 15 Aug 2017

"What management do people think is needed there, other than the mutual coordination among the people who are doing the work?"

Fair question, Bob @bobhaugen. To me, management is just all about mutual coordination. I would turn it round, asking, what mutual coordination would be helpful? It may not be as easy to answer that question as it first seems. Two sides of any potential coordination may have different views about what would be helpful. Some people (as we know well) see coordination as "you fitting in to my plans" :smiley: Maybe other selfless folk see coordination as "tell me how I can fit into your plans". That's very kind of them.

And, no, I don't see the answer in some kind of central coordinating authority, telling people whose plans are to be prioritised. On the other hand, if no one talks about the relative merits of different incompatible plans, someone is going to end up wasting time, maybe a lot of time and energy, not to mention the frustration and sometimes discord involved (which I see as the main danger of "do-ocracy"). Here it is that I see the real challenge of working outside of hierarchical power structures.

I'm hoping for the wisdom of the collective to put in an appearance somewhere here. So, in turn, we need to nurture collectivity. That implies, to me, all sorts of very interesting things, to do with human relationships. Which, as I have suggested elsewhere, are an integral part of the "ecosystem".

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 15 Aug 2017

That (beyond mutual coordination among the people doing the work) is where we think standards and conventions fit in, for example, shared vocabularies and protocols.

D

Draft Tue 15 Aug 2017

@bobhaugen

I see a way to be more precise about the objectives about each action (OAE and CTA).

Everything related to the ecosystem of apps is OAE
Everything related to the people is CTA.

But maybe it's not a good idea, I can't tell.

BH

Bob Haugen Tue 15 Aug 2017

Everything related to the ecosystem of apps is OAE Everything related to the people is CTA.

Problem is lots of people stuff will be about the apps work: planning, design issues, mutual coordination, wanting to get involved in actions, etc. Now happening in wekan, chat, and here. CTA would just add another channel and get in the way. I'd probably like to reduce the number of channels. I've seen a few complaints about being confused by all the channels.

I don't know yet what the CTA wants to do, or even if it wants to be revived, although I am seeing a lot of interest in a revival. But if it comes back to life, I have no idea what it will become. I don't think anybody really knew the first time, either. It was a happening, it just evolved. Lots of people met each other and discussed their projects, which was useful. I think more about outreach than actual collaboration.

Anyway, I don't think that formula is accurate, or will work. Need a more clear separation. I might misunderstand what you meant, of course, but if so, it still needs a more clear separation.

MB

Michel Bauwens Wed 16 Aug 2017

the way I see it,

OAP is a practical project,

CTA is a meta-project, trying to make sense of the eco-system of which OAP is an essential part, and promoting cooperation and interoperability of commons technology. It could organize conferences bringing various people together to foster cooperation, looking for funds that could be invested in the more important projects, etc..

Michel

OS

Oli SB Wed 16 Aug 2017

@bobhaugen

"CTA would just add another channel and get in the way."

I seriously hope not - in fact I hope it could do the opposite and unite a larger group in order that we can focus in on more productive, effective, collaboration than we are achieving through all our disparate channels...

Personally, I REALLY struggle to keep up with all these various groups Loomio, the mailing lists, the newsletters, the emails, my work which pays the mortgage, and having enough time for my loved ones...

I imagine others feel the same?

When i do have a few hours to put into working on the OAE, I'd like it be be on focused, productive work which I know is contributing to a much larger, well planned goal... As opposed to trying to catch up on all the various threads - like this one ;)

So one idea, which I'm not sure came across in my Proposal about launching the CTA, is that the CTA helps manage the various 'streams' and 'conversations' of subgroups which occasionally 'report back' to the wider community with their progress and findings, and call on the wider group for input into larger, more 'organisation-wide' decisions.

That way, we could all knuckle down and really get into the bits of work we are especially passionate about, whilst working with real autonomy, without having to worry that we are missing something important elsewhere, since the channels we need to monitor would have been reduced by the structure, decision making protocols and reporting practices of the CTA.

Make sense?

SG

Simon Grant Wed 16 Aug 2017

Another thing brought up by Bob @bobhaugen that I would like to see kept in view is Conway's Law. The broader, perhaps simpler thought is that is matters how we do these things, as it actually affects what we are trying to do.

Maybe there is some agreement — I'm sticking my neck out here so I'm ready to be contradicted — that in order to allow better coordination, we need to find agreement not just on what channels to use, but what "business" to transact in those various channels, and how they interact.

To me, this is a mirror (thinking of Conway's Law again) of the OAE/CTA/DLC target space. On the technical level, we will eventually agree on a set of apps that interact in understood ways through commonly accepted interfaces. This will need to be mirrored on the human level, right here and now, where we need to agree on what work needs to be done, how it is to be divided up into coherent chunks, and how those chunks can be coordinated.

There's some systems thinking that might perhaps be useful here. Can we find a way of dividing up the tasks and responsibilities such that the coordination between those chunks is the least demanding? That is, where there is as much independence as we can get — always recognising that there is inherent interdependency, and it's just a question of minimising it, never removing it.

I'm also wondering whether anyone else would like to try out drafting a conceptual model of all this: what the parts could be, what the relationships between the parts would need to be. And, quick, I want lots of distance from the idea that this could ever be completed by one person alone. Rather, it would be the nub of a test case of whether we can do this in a consensus-oriented way, for the common good. How we do it is important. Every person, given a complex enough challenge, will try to solve it in their own personal way. But here, above all, it is not one person's personal way that we need, it is to find the common ground that makes sense to all. I haven't looked carefully, but I can well imagine that @gregorycassel's MOT might be a great starting point.

If we can manage this top-layer coordination well, serving as a way of bringing everyone into a workable consensus, then I would be very optimistic about future progress after that. The challenge I see right now is for (e.g.) @bobhaugen and @olisb to hear each other with care and consideration, and to come to agreement, initially just on how to discuss these matters.

So yes, much of what has been written in this thread is very pertinent. If the CTA (I'd personally tweak the title for this) or even the DLC could deal with the human organisational side of these matters, great; but we can't just say that without fleshing out rough, initial guidelines for what gets done where (to avoid duplication) and some clear enough idea of how the CTA or DLC coordinates with the technical builders (who may or may not be using the OAE label).

BH

Bob Haugen Wed 16 Aug 2017

I got no problem with information from OAE work being reported in CTA. The idea of the CTA "managing" OAE work, or even making decision for the OAE, fills me with dread. I remember the endless discussions about whether the CTA should be open source or not, leading to something so wishy-washy as to be meaningless.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the CTA, but it was not an effective organization, nor did it even try to be. I'm not claiming tha OAE has been an effective organization, either, but a lot of work that spins in and out of the OAE has been done.

BH

Bob Haugen Wed 16 Aug 2017

@asimong - I started to quote sections of your comment, but I like too much of it to do that.

I totally agree with discussions now about technical and organizational architecture and how they go together. I sorta think those could be discussed separately as well as together. By separately, I mean we've had a lot of discussions about technical architecture among OAE participants before, and some of that could be brought together as a starter, but not much about organizational architecture.

Does that make sense to everybody?

BH

Bob Haugen Wed 16 Aug 2017

Lynn reminds me that there is already a thread aboout technical architecture.
https://www.loomio.org/d/C0V8UDqg/ecosystem-technical-architecture

D

Draft Fri 18 Aug 2017

I clearly don't know what is the best (CTA or not). What I know : if CTA is recreated, it needs a concrete objective and connections with OAE. According to me, if @olisb wants to recreate it, he may do it, and see what happens.

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 18 Aug 2017

I'd like to have the OAE continue to manage itself, as best it can, among the people who are doing the work. We some work scheduled for this coming week on the vocab translations, let's see if we can coordinate.

I would also like to see something like the CTUG proposed recently, but I agree with several comments in that thread that we should wait until we got something to show.

DS

Danyl Strype Wed 11 Apr 2018

Hey @olisb and others, great work on the collaborative.tech site. I'm just trying to sign up but I prefer to sign up or login to sites using HTTPS (to prevent MitM attacks on my passphrase or data), and I notice that you don't seem to have HTTPS working. This can be set up using gratis HTTPS certificates from Let's Encrypt, and there are bots you can use to automatically update your certs just before they expire (see our experience with this at CoActivate).

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Apr 2018

I note that RiseUp recently joined the Association for Progressive Communications. Is the CTA reinventing this wheel? If not, what makes CTA different from APC?

To be clear, although there are sometimes benefits to pooling resources, and avoiding fragmentation of effort, I don't think it always helps to throw all cats in one sack ;) Groups or networks can sometimes work in a similar space, while having very different goals, priorities, rules-of-engagement etc. But if that's the case, it's good to be clear on both the difference and areas of overlaps, both so people can choose the appropriate venue for their participation, and so different organizations can work together as appropriate.

BH

Bob Haugen Thu 12 Apr 2018

I'll give you my opinion (based on my opinion of the original CTA).

APC says,

The APC mission
APC's mission is to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability.

The original CTA seemed to be more about software; in particular, software platforms and software development groups. And often about people seeking help or money for their software platform projects.

Some people and organizations in CTA were interested in social justice and the other goals of APC, but it was not an explicit CTA goal.

SG

Simon Grant Thu 12 Apr 2018

Very useful revisiting of these issues, thanks @strypey and @bobhaugen
One thing that I can imagine helping greatly is for people who really understand the different organisations / group / alliances / movements / whatever actually talk with each other in depth. The kind of reflective listening that has the very best chance of each party being and feeling heard by the other, and hopefully, understood. That's the kind of basis, as I see it, for each group to move to more clearly articulated collaboration, with the distinct roles clarified, and the methods of collaboration explained and perhaps even planned out a bit.

This kind of depth knowledge and understanding should go way beyond a superficial approach with speculative ideas on any division of responsibility. It's too easy for any of us to imagine what someone else's responsibilities "should" be, and then to feel critical that they don't take on what they have never even agreed to.

So is there anyone central enough in APC who might be willing to engage at that level? I'd really enjoy getting beyond our "readings" of mission etc. towards genuine current appreciation.

OS

Oli SB Thu 12 Apr 2018

Hi @strypey - thanks for your encouragement - and yes https would be a good addition... I will fix that when i can find time... or any other collaborator would be welcome to too!?

But you're right - whilst i don't always condone putting all cats in one sack ;) i do hate re-invented wheels... and since CTA progress has stalled so much I wonder if it does make sense to try and roll it up with https://www.progcode.org/ and http://opensupporter.org/ and other similar ventures like http://www.civicstack.org/ and https://diglife.com/

- although obviously that's easier said than done and encouraging true collaboration between groups is often, imho, as hard as trying to herd cats into a sack.

SG

Simon Grant Thu 12 Apr 2018

Hi Oli @olisb -- yes, that's what I'm trying to get at: it can be like herding cats, but when people actually talk deeply to each other suddenly and magically the cats transform... I've seen it happen in our cohousing community, so why not out there in the wider world?

OS

Oli SB Thu 12 Apr 2018

Hi @asimong - I totally agree, and really appreciate your efforts to make us all realise that a bit more. The hard part is getting those talks set up - I'm struggling to even get email replies from progcode and opensupporter - I'd love to have them at https://2018.open.coop to try to help initiate the kind of discussions you describe in person - which might make further online collaboration a bit easier... @all feel free to help encourage that to happen too - if you think it's a good idea!? :)

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Apr 2018

It just hit me, like a bolt of lightening from the blue, that this might be one major reason why the CTA keeps petering out. If we focus on building collaboration apps targeted at people building collaboration apps, the whole thing is at risk of becoming an inward-looking circlejerk. I totally support free code app devs eating our own and each other's dogfood, for software freedom reasons amongst others, but maybe what we really need to inspire effective collaboration is some use cases from outside the app dev world to get our teeth into.

For contrast, look at what Drutopia are doing. Their tech (a Drupal 8 distro aimed at not-for-profits) is still in alpha, but already they have active partnerships with organizations who are eating their dogfood for real world purposes, like running an election campaign, or websites for worker-owned coops (on main street, not online one). Maybe the CTA needs two types of membership; developer organizations and user organizations?

MB

Michel Bauwens Thu 12 Apr 2018

spot on remark I think!!

DS

Danyl Strype Thu 12 Apr 2018

@olisb I think the order of operations you laid out is pretty sensible. The "holy trinity" concept is bang on IMHO, and I agree it's good to have a critical mass of collaborators before making formal choices about collaboration tools.

But, having been involved in global networks since the late 90s, I'm pretty sure that if all groups have to do is pledge to do some collaboration at some undefined future time, you'll never get that critical mass. I suggest that the pledge needs to include a clause along the lines of:
"we pledge to provide at least one person from our group to actively liase with the CTA mothership, at any given time."

I suggest the forum for ongoing, informal chat among the liasons be an email list, hosted by a suitably neutral party (RiseUp? Disroot? CoActivate?). Reasons for that:
* it's a fairly neutral tool, everyone already has an email address, and knows how to use it
* it's asynchronous, so it's not too demanding or distracting from everyone's main projects, especially if everyone knows how to use folders and filters (or set up a separate email account for the CTA work)
* an email list serves as a point of focus that scales up or down easily with the group energy, unlike a web tool it doesn't get as overloaded and overwhelming if discussion heats up, or look sad and abandoned when there's a thoughtful pause in activity
* because we all know how bad email is for decision-making (hopefully), we will focus on what it's good for; relationship building and divergent discussions on possible strategy and tactics, recruitment, partnerships and alliances etc

The other thing we could try, as a CTA flagship project, is to set up an instance of Mastodon or Hubzilla, with an account for the reps from each member group (ideally with SSO so folks can use their existing collaborative.tech credentials to sign in). This would allow us to have informal, asynchronous discussions, but in a public square, where people from other orgs and projects can watch and chime in, from their own fediverse homebase. I'd be happy to help set this up.

EDIT: divergent, not convergent, crucial difference!

LF

Lynn Foster Fri 13 Apr 2018

In case it helps frame any future discussions you all can get going, I can share what I distilled out of extensive discussion in the original CTA around values and the purpose of the CTA. It took awhile for this to emerge clearly at the time, as we talked past each other. Had to dig deep for understanding to emerge over disbelief or indignation.

There were two basic goals people had for the CTA.
1. People who wanted to create software for groups working towards change on the ground. This was the social justice / next economy crowd. Software was a means towards these ends and people thought we should figure out the best way to create software that could be easily combined and easily implemented and used by these groups. And in fact was wanted by these groups and would be created in collaboration with these groups. More of an external focus, providing software as infrastructure and tools/.
2. People who wanted to create software for whomever, but create it self-organized in collaborative relationships with each other, with attention to fair internal governance and mutual support among the creators. I believe this was based more or less on inspiration from Enspiral, and was more of an internal focus.

For example, one of the longest discussions was around should the CTA seal include a statement that all software would be open source. People in 1. above thought obviously it had to all be open source out of principles of creation for the commons and because otherwise groups on the ground would be taking risks of losing their tools. People in 2. above saw others not understanding what they needed in terms of flexibility to make their internally collaborative associations work as businesses in the real world.

The impression that CTA wanted to create software for themselves might come from the tendency expressed in 2. Enspiral does a lot of that, creating software for themselves which embodies their attention to non-capitalist internal governance, and which they then take out to other organizations who take in that experience embodied in the software.

Full disclosure: I was part of 1. I hope I have represented both viewpoints fairly, and that anyone part of 2. will correct me if not.

OS

Oli SB Fri 13 Apr 2018

I love this reply @strypey - thank you so much for taking the time to actually read the proposal :) and for thinking about it - and replying - that's awesome :)
I'm ok with a mailing list for a while - and whatever tools - but I'm not sure we need to set more stuff up - we're all already talking here (albeit intermittently and without much progress!) - really I think your comment about "an inward-looking circlejerk" is bang on and unless we can do more of what Simon is proposing - actually meeting and really talking with each other and working out how we can genuinely collaborate so that "magically the cats transform" - it's never going to work. Hence my immediate focus being on the conference. In less than a day I have now made connections with people in 4 different countries that are all trying to build "shared cloud infrastructure" - I wrote this https://open.coop/2018/04/03/making-of-the-coop-cloud/ and am now trying to link all of them up and get them to London in July to meet in person - it's the only way I see anything real happening... unless somehow we can magically get better at online collaboration... which doesn't seem especially easy :(
Thanks again for taking the time to read and feedback - it's really encouraging.
And the valuable history update from @lynnfoster is useful too - it would be great if we could learn from what has happened before!

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 13 Apr 2018

I appreciate the renewed vigor here regarding inclusive dialogue and design with users as well as devs. That reflects my priorities in many social contexts including The Library of the Commons, which is developing a particular focus on community-supported agriculture (i.e. producer/consumer coops). It was also a subject in my Dec 2015 essay The dialogue of social and information technologies.

I caution however that such inspiring talk won't get us much closer to practical progress and a functioning OAE or CTA. I think that making stuff happen, inclusively, will require (1) lightweight goals and (2) direct confrontation with basic issues of group governance.

Regarding lightweight goals: When CTA discussion was quite active around the start of 2016, I advocated the creation of a lightweight, low-cost standard and certification for software apps which meet all technical and ethical requirements, and (hopefully) some recommendations . @ishanshapiro particularly suggested a list (perhaps table or spreadsheet form) of desired traits which the governing agents (often devs) of each app could publicly confirm or deny.

I still think that's the best approach to actually making CTA and/or OAE happen: an openly licensed standard which can be self-assigned by the governing agents (sometimes devs) of specific apps, with some very lightweight, clear and practical conflict resolution guidelines for handling any apparent misrepresentation or misuse of the standard.

On governance: However, even that lightweight approach would require one or more agents to govern the development of the standard itself! Ideally, I think that the governing agent should be a diverse group of people who practice inclusive decision-making whenever they make official decisions. IMO, such decisions should happen quite rarely, and should require the consent of all (active) members of the governing agent.

I prefer the OAE name to CTA, but regardless of names, I'd love to make such an open ecosystem of organizing apps my main focus sometime soon. I often promote the OAE concept in many contexts including the Holochain community. Holochain certainly will have an ecosystem of apps-- directly accessible through an "app store" (distributed directory)-- and I'd prefer for most of them to eventually display an OAE or CTA label. I could work hard to make that a reality, if the OAE/CTA vision becomes practically fruitful.

Frankly I'm in a hurry & I'm throwing this in here without a clear call to action, but I'd be happy to discuss any specifics on how to move forward.

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 13 Apr 2018

OAE work continues, but following what @strypey said in this comment upthread.

Some of us (@ivan116 , @tiborkatelbach , @lynnfoster , @mayel , and me) are working on some current apps and a proposed future project in FairCoop.

And as explained recently, @luandrovieira is doing an amazing community network project in Moinho, Brazil.

None of this is explicitly connected with reviving the CTA, but that revival might be able to fit in somewhere and even help.

I'm not sure exactly what a revived CTA would add to the working projects and these conversations in Loomio, though. Or maybe it would be something different. What it could add might be a reasonable discussion topic.

DS

Danyl Strype Fri 13 Apr 2018

I agree that informal chat here is valuable - we have to start somewhere. However, a) Loomio is hardly a neutral platform (if you like I can write more about why I think this is important), b) the PAE group is not a focused CTA space, and c) in my experience formal delegates/ spokes communicating consistently and feeding back to their collectives really can accomplish more organization-building than self-selected groups (although these are also essential for looser network-building).

That 'Making of the Cooperative Cloud' article is fantastic! This, more than anything else is what we need more of; structured playbooks that allow us to learn from other teams' experiments, and vice-versa. Open source applied at the platform level, not just the app level, or maybe just the collaborative aspects of scientific method applied to community software deployment.

Absolutely agree that F2F can accomplish in hours what text-based, online comms can take weeks or months to achieve. I'm in the process of talking my wife into making London one of our holiday destinations in July ;)

DS

Danyl Strype Fri 13 Apr 2018

@bobhaugen

I'm not sure exactly what a revived CTA would add to the working projects

This work sounds fantastic @bobhaugen . My suggestion is that instead of simply being test subjects for well-intentioned developers, these user organizations could be invited to be formal members of the CTA. This could give them both recognition as co-creators of the software, and a more direct mechanism for feeding back into the development and governance process of OAEs (it doesn't seem to me it will ever be "The OAE"). If the CTA as originally envisioned is like a worker-owned coop, with each of the apps teams as aworker-owner, then my proposal would be like a hybrid coop in which ownership and governance is shared by both workers and customers (in this case user organizations).

I propose having user organizations as conscious co-creators of OAEs for two reasons; morale and motivation, and user-centred agile methods. Let me expand on these points a bit.

Firstly, having people use and value the tools I'm building make it much easier to feel like it's worth the time, and the feedback I get allows me to feel confident I know what's finished, and what needs more work. If I try to finish the tool before I let anyone use it, there's a good chance that either I'll give up before I get there, or when people finally use it, only then will I realise I was barking up the wrong tree on a whole bunch of design decisions.

Secondly, if the only people who test the tools I'm building are my team, and other teams of geeks, I'll end up with tools that are really good for geeks. This has been one of the most intractable problems for open source software. It's great to see design-first practices start to replace the habit of engineering an awesome back-end, then bolting on a poorly designed GUI as an afterthought. The only way to bake in design decisions that make a tool work for Jane Average, or for the specific user communities I want to serve outside the geek ghetto, is to get those people using working prototypes as soon as humanly possible. This user-centred approach is expressed in at least half of the agile manifesto principles, particularly:

"[end users] and developers must work together daily throughout the project."

OS

Oli SB Fri 13 Apr 2018

if you can convince her, you can have a free ticket :) - In fact, if anyone here in the OAE / CTA group/s has something to contribute to the debate and can definitely be in London (i.e. wont waste the place) on 26th + 27th July this year - please email info@open.coop explaining who you are what you do and we will give you all free tickets - on a first come first served basis, whilst stocks last - :)

DS

Danyl Strype Fri 13 Apr 2018

Wow! Sounds great! My wife has been involved in setting up community currency projects, and wrote a Phd on alternative economics. I think she would be able to make some great contributions from a non-geek user-organizer perspective.

OS

Oli SB Fri 13 Apr 2018

that sounds great! email me some blurb / a link or two pls - we have a specific session on that subject which would benefit massively from some female input!

DS

Danyl Strype started a proposal Fri 13 Apr 2018

Add an 's' to the name of this Loomio group Closed Tue 1 May 2018

Outcome
by Danyl Strype Mon 30 Apr 2018

Despite a few strong arguments in favour of the change, it doesn't appear there's a consensus to go ahead with it, but the clarifying discussion that emerged from the proposal was engaging and useful. Lynn provided a neat summary of some of the consensus that did seem to emerge.

It seems unlikely that a single cluster of apps and deployment tools could ever serve all users in all collaborative use cases. Rather than developing a single, monolithic "Open App Ecosystem", I think what we're doing here is gathering knowldge about how dev teams and user groups can create Open App Ecosystem*s*, and documenting pre-assembled toolsets that worked well for each distinct use case we can identify (eg FreedomBone and YUNOHost for self-hosting by individuals for their own needs, or for small, informal groups).

Results
Agree - 8
Abstain - 6
Disagree - 6
Block - 0
20 people have voted (12%)
MDB

Mayel de Borniol
Agree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

GC

Greg Cassel
Block
Fri 13 Apr 2018

There's certainly a valuable role for a discussion group which fosters the potential development of multiple open app ecosystems, governed by different agents. However I don't perceive that to be the role of this group.

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 13 Apr 2018

I'm in a meeting so I can't fully explain my rare use of "Block" yet. I'll follow up later.

BH

Bob Haugen
Agree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

SP

Sigmund Petersen
Abstain
Fri 13 Apr 2018

VG

Vincenzo Giorgino
Agree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 13 Apr 2018

Ah, I'll delete that other thread I just started.. We can discuss Greg's block here. The email notification I got from Loomio just took me to a bare poll divorced from this discussion thread with no chance to discuss.

(Deleted the extra thread. The link from the proposal notification email was the Loomio design flaw.)

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 13 Apr 2018

My suggestion is that instead of simply being test subjects for well-intentioned developers, these user organizations could be invited to be formal members of the CTA.

I don't think that is an accurate description of these projects. They are either collaborative efforts or we don't do them. The original desires must come from the people on the ground trying to do something that they think would be helped by some appropriate software.

Whether the organization on the ground wants to join something like the CTA remains to be discovered.

The only way to bake in design decisions that make a tool work for Jane Average, or for the specific user communities I want to serve outside the geek ghetto, is to get those people using working prototypes as soon as humanly possible.

Dear @strypey , you seem to be making a lot of stereotypical assumptions.

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 13 Apr 2018

I have some time between meetings so let me explain (a bit) more.

Regarding decision process: My Block is a starting position, not a fixed position or "vote". Also, I don't expect anyone to automatically respect Blocks! However, when someone creates a formal proposal using the Agree/Disagree/Abstain/Block model, I try to give my feedback literally.

"Block" is my default starting position for a spontaneous proposal to IMO change the nature (as well as the name) of this group, when (1) I perceive no sufficient cause and (2) I have no idea whether others will or won't have strong objections.

I hope we will inclusively address concerns about changing the name or not changing the name. If other people really want to alter this group and no one has unyielding objections, then I expect to remove my Block.

Personal preference: Admittedly, I dislike the idea of turning this into a discussion group for the general concept of "open app ecosystems". That's an important goal, but I think that Loomio is a poor tool for it. I'd prefer to pursue broad creative dialogue in a team chat program like Mattermost or Riot.

I think Loomio's a great tool for specific projects with specific goals, to be used along with team chat and task/goal management systems. I've been hoping that "Open App Ecosystem" will eventually become such a project. However, I can pursue my ecosystem-nurturing goals regardless of what happens here.

I look forward to other feedback on the proposal!

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 13 Apr 2018

"Block" is my default starting position for a spontaneous proposal to IMO change the nature (as well as the name) of this group,

I don't think the nature of the group has been that well defined.

The facts on the ground say that more than one open app ecosystem already exists among members of the group:
* DIgLife has their own app ecosystem with a bunch of apps with connecting tissues including single signon, a dashboard, a bot, and a lovely overview diagram.
* @luandrovieira is creating an app ecosystem based on SSB, as mentioned above in this and other threads.
* An open app ecosystem is trying to get going in FairCoop. That one and Luandro's might be able to interoperate, or at least share components, but we don't know yet.
* Lynn and I are also talking to the Mutual Aid Networks and might get something going with them, which might be able to use some of the components from the FairCoop ecosystem. Or not.
* Communecter also has their own app ecosystem, and the FairCoop is talking about using some of their components.
* I just started an experimental app in Holochain that @mayel may continue in a tag-team handoff.
* Could be more, for all I know...

I don''t know what that says about the nature of the group, or whether Loomio is a good environment for whatever it wants to be. So far, Loomio seems to be a good place to share ideas and info and get acquainted and occasionally make some decisions.

@gregorycassel - did that all make sense? What do you think?

LF

Lynn Foster Fri 13 Apr 2018

I also disagree, here are my initial thoughs. I think of an "ecosystem" not as a monolith pretty much by definition. A couple things here:

There is the economic and social ecosystem piece of the concept, an ecosystem of the people and organizations who are networked. Eventually this will be everyone with some degrees of separation, an overlapping ecosystem of networks kind of thing. Some things will be more local, some things will be more global. But the whole thing should have the ability to be networked. And climate change makes for one ecosystem in any case.

Then there is the ecosystem of apps. I have the same mental image of that in some ways, people and organizations should be able to create an app ecosystem from small pluggable apps that can message each other, act as client/server with each other, etc., however all these architectural considerations work out. There should be all different combinations of apps available to be plugged in. I suppose you could consider each of these an ecosystem, like the one Mutual Aid Network has, and the one FairCoop has, etc., but that doesn't seem that useful. Even those ecosystems will need to message each other.

So, in both cases, my mental image is better served without ecosystems that are closed off from other ecosystems. I want all ecosystems to be able to internetwork on some level.

On the other hand, it is not a big enough deal to me to actually block if most people want it, we probably don't know, and I think we all will go on experimenting and time will tell. Unless I am missing something that we need to understand better about each other and our visions? Something about either technical limitations or decentralization or... ?

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 13 Apr 2018

It makes sense yes-- and while I don't think Loomio is a good place for such general discussion, it could be a sufficient place if that's what people want.

Here's another big concern of mine. If this Loomio group is renamed as "Open App Ecosystems", I'd feel personally compelled to let go of using the name of "Open App Ecosystem" for any specific project. I think the names would be too similar & confusing.

I don't mean to imply that'd necessarily be a permanent loss. However, I wouldn't personally consent to naming any specific project as "Open App Ecosystem" if an active discussion group (with related participants) were called "Open App Ecosystems".

I think the OAE name has significant historic value and promotional potential, and my work has consistently supported the OAE concept for years. Thus, if* this group gets directly defined as a multi-project discussion place, I'd much prefer for the inclusive name to be something other than "Open App Ecosystems"-- and to preserve the OAE name for a (potential, TBD) project and (very general, flexible) open standard.

BTW I applaud you @strypey for creating a spontaneous proposal and trying to get stuff done. However I frankly never expect proposals to pass unless they've been prototyped and discussed. I hope you will consider my specific concern above about the OAE name(s).

SG

Simon Grant
Disagree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

see my comments separately

SG

Simon Grant Fri 13 Apr 2018

Perhaps detailed wording shouldn't matter -- it tends not to matter too much with people who have spent that required time getting to know what each other really means with the words they use -- but there remains in me the uncomfortable feeling that the exact words do matter, at least in the sense of poetry: the associations people have with the words.

To me, "ecosystem" is at best a simile -- maybe even just a metaphor? I'm happy using it as a word that generally points in the direction of what we mean, and as such it does a reasonable job. (I admit to using the word in this loose way sometimes.) But as soon as people start wanting to debate whether it should be "ecosystem" or "ecosystems" I feel we have gone too far, and it's time we changed to a wording that more effectively conveys more of what we want it to convey, to our intended audience (and who are they, by the way?)

I take well the point of @strypey that we are unlikely to get, and probably don't even want, a single monolithic set of apps. Also I appreciate @gregorycassel Greg's point, which I guess has something in common with the point I'm making here. We can posit an ecosystem with niches, and suggest apps to fill those niches, but are we really trying to define a set of apps in the first place, or rather scope out the nature and geography of the potential ecosystem?

Perhaps we ought to engage a poet, or next best thing, an advertising copywriter? ;)

CB

Christina Bowen
Agree
Fri 13 Apr 2018

I've rarely been so pleased about a single letter.

CB

Christina Bowen Fri 13 Apr 2018

From an ecological point of view, an ecosystem is NOT a metaphor, but the reality of living as a human (unless the name literally only is including the software, in which case I'd say change the whole name.) I was pleased to see the "s" as it's a way of including all the cats without tossing them all in the same bag, to steal a metaphor from the conversation I saw in my notifications that brought me here. (Great to see you @asimong !)

CB

Christina Bowen Fri 13 Apr 2018

@gregorycassel we can put any of these in the DigLife ecosystem map, and add a governance view of the map. Ping me in holochain or diglife mattermost to set a time to talk about that. If you want to try adding a software project, go ahead, though we're updating the data structure right now.

https://diglife.com/our-ecosystem/

CB

Christina Bowen Fri 13 Apr 2018

Funny that I saw this today, as the DigLife call was about the ubiquity of the challenge of collaboration at scale ...

We can invite several people from the above-mentioned groups, and others, and host a virtual open space (@asimong would love to talk with you soon if you're interested... :) ) like the one we did in Feb, still listed here:
https://diglife.com/open-space/

MT

Miles Thompson
Agree
Sat 14 Apr 2018

GC

Greg Cassel Sat 14 Apr 2018

In addition to my previously stated concerns, I want to note the existence of Neutral Discussion Space which was created a couple of years ago (by Lynn, I think-- or maybe Bob?) for what I perceive to be practically the same reason that some people now desire to rename this group by adding an "s".

The description for Neutral Discussion Space starts with:

An intentionally neutral place, probably temporary, for people interested in working on increasing collaboration on software infrastructure for the collaborative economy, next economy, solidarity economy, alternative governance, open communication, etc. etc. etc. etc., anything in this realm.

To me that seems at least a bit closer to the goal of @strypey's proposal than this OAE group is. I think the NDS description suggests collaboration between autonomous projects. By contrast, our group description here starts with:

This is a neutral group to talk about how we can build a suite of interoperable, open source tools which support transparent, democratic, and decentralized organizing.

Admittedly there's lots of overlap in the full group descriptions; however, the key concept to me is this group's (frequent) focus on a suite.

Of course NDS has been practically inert, but I believe that's because its use has been practically merged into this group. And that's okay except that this group and the OAE name have held other specific purposes and potentials. Also, I reiterate my view that Loomio groups are much better for decision-oriented discussion (such as "a suite") than for general discussion.

I don't exactly want to work on "a suite". However, I strongly believe that many of us will eventually need to align on something with a scale of non-coercive, ungoverned adoption which is comparable to the use of http, html etc. I believe the best way to achieve that is by inclusive p2p development of an open technical standard, possibly with the IMO excellent name "Open App Ecosystem". About half of my work is focused on the development of such open standards; however, I do not care ultimately where each design element comes from! The world won't care about the creative provenance of open standards. The world won't care whether any persons (including me) tried to be part of any specific discussion groups or design teams.

I can't follow up on these complex thoughts properly now, but I want to acknowledge that my attitude toward blocking-- and its conspicuous effect on the Loomio "pie chart"-- is probably dissonant with some other attitudes. Likewise, my attitude towards people launching formal consensus-decision proposals where they aren't necessarily appropriate may be dissonant! There is no governed project here (including the discussion group itself) with any explicit decision-making process. Anyone with admin rights is actually free to change the group name anytime they want, although not without the potential for social effects. To me there's a deep difference between taking action with or without a formal decision process. If people want written consent for spontaneous proposals, I think they should be prepared for diverse feedback. (And perhaps they are.)

Anyway, I hope no one thinks that anything in my current position (or my consideration of its possible effects) is trivial, even if they don't understand what I'm doing. I've spent over an hour thinking & writing about this on a rare day "off" while preparing (insufficiently, hurriedly) for a special event. I'll get back to this later!

BH

Bob Haugen Sat 14 Apr 2018

This is from Soumaya Ben Letaifa, a friend of Sensorica, It's about business ecosystems, but I think also might be instructive for our use of the term and our thinking about what it means, and whether we want more than one of them or already have more than one of them whether we want them or not.
https://www.academia.edu/10252910/The_uneasy_transition_from_supply_chains_to_ecosystems_The_value-creation_value-capture_dilemma

This is not meant as an argument for or against an "s". I voted to agree, but I really don't care very much.

JD

Josef Davies-Coates
Agree
Sat 14 Apr 2018

makes sense to me :) (and hadn't heard of YUNOHost nor FreedomBone before - so, thanks!) :)

DS

Danyl Strype Sun 15 Apr 2018

Please accept my apologies @bobhaugen . I was trying to do two things in that comment; a) respond to your quoted question, and b) use that as a diving board for jumping into some general comments expanding on my proposal to give user orgs a formal role in the CTA.

Rereading my comment after some sleep, I can see how you could interpret my general comments as implied criticisms of your projects, about which I know diddly-squat. Would you be willing to revisit my comment with all this in mind, and perhaps speak to how the user groups you're working with might feel about being invited to have formal reps as part of CTA governance? This seems important to me, because I'm not aware of any other tech association or standards body that explicitly includes users as first-class citizens along with devs; it's a point of different that could end up being the lynch-pin of the CTA's existence.

DS

Danyl Strype
Disagree
Sun 15 Apr 2018

The name as it stands applies just as well to a 'suite of open apps' as it does to a suite of such suites, where distros like FreedomBone / YUNOHost and hosted suites like Disroot / DigiLife are all elements of a unified Open App Ecosystem.

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 15 Apr 2018

Would you be willing to revisit my comment with all this in mind, and perhaps speak to how the user groups you're working with might feel about being invited to have formal reps as part of CTA governance?

I think all such user groups I know are focused on their own organizational problems. A revived CTA would need to be pretty compelling and do them some actual good for them to get interested.

That being said, we would like them to internetwork more than they do. We want a whole new economic system, not just a bunch of isolated projects. I'm not sure yet what form of organization would help them collaborate more. The previous CTA was not it.

I

ivan
Disagree
Sun 15 Apr 2018

DS

Danyl Strype Sun 15 Apr 2018

My reason for putting up this proposal was to dig into people's understandings of the goals of the OAE group, and goals for revitalizing the CTA, and see how much they differ and overlap. I'd particularly like to hear from the lurkers who are following the discussions here, but don't say much.

What @lynnfoster said about the "ecosystem" being the big picture of relationships between people/ orgs/ software resonates with me, which is why I decided to disagree with the proposal I put up (for now). But I note that Lynn's concept is quite different from that of @gregorycassel , in which the OAE is understood as a project to create a specific suite of apps, perhaps a whole software stack (apps + hosting infrastructure, Single Sign-on system etc), perhaps even a GNU-Linux distro that hosts the whole stack out-of-the-box (can you clarify the precise goal in your mind Greg?). I think creating an integrated suite of open apps is a great project, let a thousand flower bloom. But this wasn't a unique project when it started (RiseUp has been assembling and hosting an open app ecosystem since 1999), and calling it "The Open App Ecosystem (TM)" seems a bit like a calling a GNU-Linux distribution "The Linux Distribution (TM)" (although one distro almost did that ;) )

While I agree with Greg that Loomio works better for project-based teams than for general chatter, I disagree that a Slack-a-like would work for the types of discussions we've been having here. Chat apps are good for open-ended live chat ('divergent' discussion) but not so much for circling towards useful conclusions ('convergent' discussion), in a way people can follow over time. If the OAE Loomio group is earmarked for use by a team developing a specific set of software, then perhaps discussions not focused on that project (eg CTA discussion) would be best held on the Neutral Discussion Space group? Interested in people's thoughts on this.

DS

Danyl Strype Sun 15 Apr 2018

The previous CTA was not it

Clearly, which is precisely why I say that a) something needs to be fundamentally different if CTA 2.0 is to improve on CTA 1.0 and b) I believe that something, is including users as first-class citizens of the org stucture.

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 15 Apr 2018

I should clarify one of my attitudes here. I think the original CTA accomplished quite a lot. Several people and projects got acquainted that did not know each other before. Some actual work started there and continued elsewhere. That it fizzled out does not erase what it accomplished, and that may also be why some people here want to revive or renew it.

I personally think it was bound to fizzle out - be a temporary org form - because it did not seem to be able to transition from people meeting to people doing something in the same CTA context. The work went elsewhere. That's not necessarily bad.

I also think that the stage of each project wanting to be the center of the universe, which characterized the previous CTA, might be - if not over - at least waning. People might be ready to actually collaborate without being the center.

DS

Danyl Strype Sun 15 Apr 2018

People might be ready to actually collaborate without being the center.

That's very exciting. I just wanted to add that this is one of the main reasons I think the bootstrapping space for the larval CTA 2.0 needs to be on a platform that is not run by one of the CTA members. If not, then the org quickly come to be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a pet project of whichever group hosts the bootstrapping space.

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 15 Apr 2018

If you look at the original OAE proposal, a suite of apps:

The Open App Ecosystem is a suite of integrated and open sourced apps which support transparent, democratic and decentralised organising.

And then it morphed, when lots of other people loved the idea and pushed and pulled in lots of different directions, as you can see starting to happen here:
https://www.loomio.org/d/zjURElS0/what-kind-of-culture-and-systems-do-we-want-in-this-loomio-group-

GC

Greg Cassel Tue 17 Apr 2018

Thanks @strypey for your deeply reasoned feedback! I appreciate your push/prod to creative dialogue.

I note that Lynn's concept is quite different from that of @gregorycassel , in which the OAE is understood as a project to create a specific suite of apps, perhaps a whole software stack (apps + hosting infrastructure, Single Sign-on system etc), perhaps even a GNU-Linux distro that hosts the whole stack out-of-the-box (can you clarify the precise goal in your mind Greg?).

I reiterate that I don't want to create a specific 'suite' of apps with the name of Open App Ecosystem. I think OAE could be a good (untrademarked) name for an open source labeling standard which (1) is used without permission and (2) supports a simple, noncoercive and compassionate conflict resolution system for any apparently inappropriate uses of the label.

I note BTW that many tech standards such as http etc don't require any conflict resolution: by definition, you either observe their rules or they don't work! That's great, but I've always seen OAE and CTA goals as combining technical and ethical considerations. Ethical considerations, of course, can't be entirely coded into interoperability rules. Thus our longstanding challenges with OAE and CTA goals, although I'm confident this will eventually seem to be a brief hiccup of history.

As mentioned in my first recent comment here, even the lightweight development of an open (tech and ethical) standard "would require one or more agents to govern the development of the standard itself! " What I meant there was one or more designers or teams, which IMO always govern their own work either informally or via explicit structures. I do wish that this Loomio group would focus on developing one or more such teams. Of course I can't create that focus through personal desire-- nor can I spend much time cultivating it, because I have even more urgent goals.

BTW I am working to develop open source distributed application software stacks, and I'd eventually like for most stacks to consist entirely of apps which meet an OAE-type standard. However that work is autonomous from my interests here in developing one or more widely shared standards.

I'll add a comment in the main thread regarding the active proposal.

GC

Greg Cassel Tue 17 Apr 2018

Having finally found some time to reflect, I think my initial attachment to the OAE name (for an open interoperability & ethical standard) was reflexive and at least a little excessive. Certainly I'd agree that this group discusses a potentially unlimited number of systems, regardless of whether we use the term ecosystem for any of them. I'm currently leaning toward Open App System or Open App Standard as an alternative to OAE.

I still think that Open App Ecosystem is a better name for this group than Open App Ecosystems. For whatever it's worth however, I'm "unblocking" due to reduced personal concerns over future use of the OAE label, as well as recognition of the inclusive and respectful discussion here.

GC

Greg Cassel
Disagree
Tue 17 Apr 2018

Per my comments in the thread, I'm "unblocking" due to reduced personal concerns over future use of the OAE label-- as well as recognition of the inclusive and respectful discussion here.

CB

Christina Bowen
Abstain
Tue 17 Apr 2018

I've rarely been so pleased about a single letter. But - changing my vote to abstain based on the thoughts from those who disagree.

SG

Simon Grant Tue 17 Apr 2018

How about "open digital ecosystems"?

DS

Danyl Strype Fri 20 Apr 2018

I reiterate that I don't want to create a specific 'suite' of apps with the name of Open App Ecosystem. I think OAE could be a good (untrademarked) name for an open source labeling standard

Thanks for these clarifications @gregorycassel . I think where I got confused was when you said:

the key concept to me is this group's (frequent) focus on a suite.

Rereading that comment in full, I can see now that you were talking about a suite of standards, but your use of the word "suite" threw me. In the context of software, "suite" has often been used to talk about swiss-army-knife apps like Open/ LibreOffice, or the original Mozilla (before Firefox and Thunderbird were spun off into separate apps Mozilla was a huge beast with a browser, email client, HTML composer, calendar etc).

If I understand correctly now, you're saying we need a set of standards for inter-operation between open apps (and suites of apps), one that can be documented and refined from practical experimentation between existing apps, and implemented by future apps that want to inter-operate. I agree! This is roughly what I mean by:

gathering knowldege about how dev teams and user groups can create Open App Ecosystems, and documenting pre-assembled toolsets that worked well for each distinct use case

Further, you see Open App Ecosystem as the name for this set of standards. This seems as good a name as any other.

What I meant there was one or more designers or teams, which IMO always govern their own work either informally or via explicit structures.

Again, if I understand you correctly, you are proposing that this Loomio group function as an informal standards incubator, with different teams using subgroups to work on different areas of inter-operation. For example, one team might work on realtime chat between apps, while another team might work on exchanging calendar data between apps. I'm guessing that most of this work would involve testing the use of existing protocols, and agreeing on standard ways of combining them for a given purpose, in order to avoid protocol proliferation.

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 20 Apr 2018

Yep that's about where I am, although I might define a dual purpose for standards: technical and ethical interoperability. (Given that I define "interoperability" simply as mutual compatibility, and that certainly can apply to ethics as well as tech requirements.)

I'll need to come back to the rest of your comment (especially regarding the potentials of this Loomio group) later, because it deserves deeper consideration.

GC

Greg Cassel Fri 20 Apr 2018

open digital ecosystems is more expansive than open app ecosystem(s). However if we're going to be expansive I'd probably prefer to go all the way and say "open tech".

Anyway, I'd prefer to define the precise goal of any project or team before getting picky about names/titles! I've been attached to the "open app" concept for years and I still am; however, that's a specific level of design/ organization which certainly doesn't cover everything in open technology. :)

OS

Oli SB
Abstain
Fri 20 Apr 2018

Honestly, an S is the last thing I think we should be deciding on. I like the name as it is... but am appreciating the discussion that has evolved about open standards... can we forget this decision and chat about how to actually collaborate instead?

OS

Oli SB Fri 20 Apr 2018

I just nudged everyone who has not responded yet (but is part of this group) to vote. To me, since OAE actually has no governance doc or decision making process or constitution.... I’m not sure how valid any decision would be anyway? I think the first step towards collaboration would be to (try to?) define some of the above in order to galvanise a viable working group... ?But perhaps that’s a job for the CTA rather than OAE... because I like the way this group has existed for ages as a place to simply discuss ideas and ideals... but, that said, I do think it’s high time we sorted our s*** out and work out how to genuinely collaborate... 🤔

BH

Bob Haugen Fri 20 Apr 2018

Hi @olisb what do you think should be sorted out and what do you want to collaborate on? (And do you think the "s" is really critical to any of that?)

CS

Caroline Smalley
Agree
Fri 20 Apr 2018

Apps interact with each other to form any number of ecosystems. Not making ecosystem plural seems contradictory to me. Just a terminology issue?

LF

Lynn Foster
Disagree
Fri 20 Apr 2018

LF

Lynn Foster
Disagree
Fri 20 Apr 2018

See my comments in the thread

LF

Lynn Foster Fri 20 Apr 2018

As the discussion continues, I start to see a few attitudes that I think are important for an Open App Ecosystem, no matter what we call it. :)

  1. An app ecosystem that is created in the context of a specific group needs to be completely open source, including documentation helpful for other groups to install it and adopt or adapt it. People should not assume that everyone should join their group or their installation, but rather see the value of freeing the software so other groups with different needs and cultures (organizational and other) can adopt it. It all should be part of the global commons because nobody can ever be completely right about what is needed for everyone. (I sense there is some disagreement on this, so I hope we can talk about it openly and figure out if we can collaborate, or if to agree to disagree for now, and see how things work out later.)

  2. I think we need to make sure that we aren't thinking "monolith" in terms of an ecosystem, especially if that means more top-down. I think especially during this period of lots of experimentation and lots of unknowns, things will be very messy. And I don't know when they might start settling down. But if we all are striving to make the technology as flexible as possible in how it can connect to other apps, that can only help. An example: We have been developing ValueFlows to be a standard economic vocabulary, and most would agree that it is useful to have a standard vocabulary if you are trying to stitch together some quantity of current and future apps. But.... some apps have existing api's, some people feel they need more domain specific vocabulary (such as the food consortium people).... to the rescue, Communecter has been working on a vocabulary translator. Cool! For me, one ecosystem can be crazily networked, with many diverse centers. So it is more a question of developing bottom-up, but also looking for the connections; respecting group membranes, but not assuming any limits on where connections and interoperability might end up being useful.

CP

Christophe Parot
Abstain
Fri 20 Apr 2018

NF

Nicolas Fonty
Abstain
Sat 21 Apr 2018

DS

Danyl Strype Sun 22 Apr 2018

Names are important to the degree that they sum up the goals and scope of a project. I agree with @gregorycassel that OAE works because an open ecosystem of open apps is the goal, and inter-operation between apps is the scope.

Replacing "app" with "digital" implies a much broader scope, with a corresponding need to involve a much wider cross-section of people than open app devs and users. We have a better chance of achieving practical results, as a new(ish) forum for informal standards work, if we focus on a much narrower scope than existing standards bodies like IETF or W3C.

BH

Bob Haugen Sun 22 Apr 2018

I agree with @strypey on "digital". I came here to create open apps that could interoperate as ecosystems. I assumed they would be used, and often created, in human communities as well, and that is what seems to be happening with Communecter, DigLife, Fair Coop, and Moinho. And it looks like some of those community efforts could interconnect and share apps, as may happen soon with Communecter and Fair Coop.

DS

Danyl Strype Mon 23 Apr 2018

The only caveat I would add is that open standards, by definition, can be implemented by proprietary apps too. Successful ones usually are, as both a result and a cause of their growing network effect.

NS

Nick S
Abstain
Tue 24 Apr 2018

JW

Jim Whitescarver
Agree
Tue 24 Apr 2018

ST

Stacco Troncoso
Agree
Thu 26 Apr 2018

JT

Judy Tuan
Agree
Sun 29 Apr 2018

JT

Judy Tuan
Disagree
Sun 29 Apr 2018

An ecosystem made of up ecosystems is also an ecosystem. I like the idea of not having the "s" because it feels more general. We are all part of the same giant ecosystem, not sharded across different servers, hosting styles, and ideologies.

C

Christopher Wed 1 Aug 2018

So we had some discussion about the issue of fragmented groups of people. I pointed out that using streams of comments and replies, I believe is a primary component in creating a very expensive set of boundaries between similar organisations. Too expensive, imo, to fix without actually building an argument mapping tool that just grows out of a tool like loomio

There are some other ideas that are seminal. But the core one that was shared was to change the data architecture for everything one person in the open room at the end of the day on Friday said "thats what we are doing", I think they are part of this core group. Does anyone know who that is?

GC

Greg Cassel Thu 9 Aug 2018

FYI @christopher7 I'd guess that your goals here are related to my "metadata-mapping" goals with some open prototypes such as Inclusive Design System and (more of a long term goal) Community Resource Description Framework.

I strongly agree that people get fragmented by, shall we say, excessive reliance on streams of comments and replies. Written discussions can be very helpful IMO, as long as they serve a limited developmental/ design role.