These are times of unprecedented crisis. Although there is plenty of blame to go around,few can disagree that the markets have been broken. If information is the life blood of markets then transparency is the heart that keeps the system vital and alive. It is from these ashes of destruction and despair that we defiantly rise to meet the challenges ahead. The old guard has failed us. It is our turn to rebuild.
Most social interactions can be understood in terms of markets. Open development is no exception. There are already many descriptions of the bazaar, too well articulated to need to go into detail here. However, as robust as the system is today, I strongly believe that the bazaar is currently suffering from its own transparency crisis. Mind you, this is not the result of irresponsible manipulation like the financial crisis, but a result of the lacking of a standard for capturing bazaar activity.
The endeavor of this project is to strive for the day where every contribution of any type and associated review an individual has ever made and received from any project can effortlessly be measured in its entirety. In such a world, any measurement or calculation based on such data should itself be fully transparent to scrutiny. With this additional level of contribution transparency a new era of open development would be possible, complete with monetary compensation, capital funding, and, perhaps, more significant surprises that we cannot even hope to discover until after we have completed our endeavor. In the end, if all our contributions are recorded in the same standard, the diverse spectrum of different projects we have today would start to look like one giant project.
In addressing the technical approach of this project, I write this fully expecting, indeed, hoping that new approaches will be presented with the rigor and passion only possible in an open development environment. My sole motivation for this project is to attain the vision laid out above. The means of doing this is of little concern, as long as the vision, itself, is never compromised. However, as we will have to start somewhere, I will present the initial strategy. In the interest of transparency, the standard should manifest itself in a form accessible to the most individuals possible. I believe XML, supported by all major browsers, is the foundation to build our standard on. I envision each project having a single OTMS XML file that is appended in real time as new activities are captured (in the spirit of RSS). This XML file will need to reference the online OTMS XML Schema file (perhaps initially hosted on Sourceforge?) that will ensure compliance to the standard. Additionally, sample reports to calculate relevant contribution or reputation will be provided in XSLT files. Projects will be able to modify these report files to reflect their goals and priorities, but it will be strongly recommended that they keep the calculations in XSLT to maintain transparency. Finally, it may be in the project's interest to proactively develop code in related open development platforms (i.e. Wiki, Subversion) in order to add support for the standard.
I believe that in the scheme of things, vision is a very small component of success. Real success comes from those who toil in the trenches, every measured step of the way. This is a journey I will not be able to complete by myself, and I have little more to offer other than my passion for this project. However, if this project has sparked your interest,I will be more than happy to fan the flame. All contributions, in any form, are welcome and will be greatly appreciated. Come be part of the change.