[@OKau] opensourced tech specs

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Wed May 20 05:42:58 UTC 2015

Hi Paul,By general public, I mean the people who may have very limited technical skills. Many people can learn. Not everyone wants to or in my mind should necessarily have to. Many people interested in political/financial transparency are either too time poor to want to sign up to yet another platform or they are not tech savvy enough to get through the process. 
Odd- I like the command line. I just get myself into situations I don't know how to reverse without help & if I'm about to launch something it rubs me the wrong way. 
For budget night last year, I took questions via the git issue tracker and it was useful for a small, tech savvy group but my typical followers on Twitter are a much broader church. 
I understand your argument about accepting changes, but this is only relevant when other people are working on the code with me. No one has ever worked on my code (other than my son for a few weeks and he took his changes with him when he went) so as I said, my most pressing priority is to communicate with the wider general public. I'm not saying they can't sign up to git and contribute, I'm just saying that I'm happy to act on behalf of the people who don't want to do this. If I'm sourcing ideas from dozens of people online eg during/after a twitter chat, all of whom have more than one feature to request, this is going to generate a lot of communication from people who are not all going to be happy to sign up to git. I'm fine with that. 
I don't think .md files would work with the general public unless I'm misunderstanding their content but they may be preferred by developers. I understand you may disagree with my observations of the people I communicate with.
ps the current code base is waay out of date so don't even look at it - its woeful.
Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter | InfoAus.net - Founder and Developer 

From: stevage at gmail.com
Date: Wed, 20 May 2015 15:13:12 +1000
To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [@OKau] opensourced tech specs

On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 3:02 PM, Rosie Williams <budgetaus at hotmail.com> wrote:

I will probably end up using git so don't take me the wrong way but while it is very developer friendly it is not general public friendly. My site users would like it a whole lot more if they could sign in using their social media accounts.  
Yes and no...depending on what you mean by "general public". Will McIntosh from Geelong Council has been contributing, and he's not a developer at all. Similar experience with a couple of other public servants - GitHub might be outside the range of normal experience but it's not hard to pick up. (For issues at least). BTW, your post about what you hate about github comes up in the first page of google results on github ;-) I agree heartily with that post!
:) To be clear, while I think GitHub is a great collaborative platform, I still think Git (on the command line, particularly) is pretty painful for version control. I guess I can put the spec on the wiki. Unless devs come along it will just be me coding it so only me writing & updating the spec. That might have advantages to in making it readable for the general public. I think the spec might be an important public document for what I'm doing. Thanks everyone for helping me think through the various issues around how to approach the task. 
I'd consider maintaining the spec as a MarkDown file in the repo itself. Then you have much clearer history and a tighter process for accepting changes. It's more trustworthy because people know that you (or another admin) approved the change, it wasn't just added by someone with no discussion.

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