One of the projects I’ve been interested in working on for quite a while now has been gathering and sisplaying information from all the committers involved with the ASF. The number is over 1200 now and keeps growing, so it’s a large group. While the ASF advertises who it’s members are it doesn’t really do the same for the committers – yet these are the people that are the lifeblood of the organisation!
When I last tried to create the mechanisms for doing this there was no consensus reached and petty bickering about details undermined my faith in people I thought would be able to look at the “big picture”. As with many ideas though, it’s time has come again.
This time I’m using foaf as the data storage, which presents it’s own problems but does at least move us to a defined standard. I have real privacy concerns with foaf, so the solution I’ve arrived at is to have foaf files stored either in an svn repository that only committers have access to or, for people who already have them, on any external site. It’s a voluntary scheme and by clearly defining what information form the files will be made public and what will only be available internally I’m hopeful we can address the privacy concerns. For any ASF committer wanting to add their details they can look at the committers repository for details on how to add their details.
To date I’ve created a small test site that demonstrates some of what I’d like to have available on a public site. The private site will take a little longer 🙂
What’s needed is a discussion around whether the approach being taken is the right one or not and ideas for how we can improve it. I really think that a site like this is a long time overdue and I’m hopeful we can gain enough momentum with this little project to migrate it into a full blown ASF site 🙂 I can dream!