[openspending-dev] Improvement of offenerhaushalt.at

Krabina Bernhard krabina at kdz.or.at
Tue Apr 30 12:24:25 UTC 2013

Dear Friedrich,

thank you very much for your response.

Regarding the architecutre decisions - we are really open to everything. It doesn't have to be running the whole openspending stack. We just need to be in control of the data since opening them will be a long term process. 

Yes, we too believe that everything should be as open as possible, but we know our clients and we believe they need to have the possibility to control their openness settings (and over time open things up more and more).

I am quite surprised nobody reacted to our posting from the openspending core dev team yet. Is really nobody out there interested in the features we are thinking of?

Best regards,

----- Ursprüngliche Mail -----
> Hi Bernhard,
> I really like the tasks you've drawn up for the offenerhaushalt.at ,
> it's a fairly cool list. I'm also happy to hear that you're pushing
> this forward and I'm sure you'll find great ways of collaborating
> with the OpenSpending team to extend the software.
> I don't want to comment on the multiple instance/many instances
> thing. Still, looking at the task list, I would really urge you to
> implement most of the items (i.e. all of (2)) outside of the main
> OpenSpending software. Implementing this into the core will be
> slower, more expensive and architecturally less clean than doing it
> on top of the API, and as far as I can judge from the descriptions
> these are all readily supported by the programming interface as is.
> What I would do is either implement most of these in JavaScript
> directly in the user's browser, or in a secondary app using the OS
> API (which you could render out into static HTML - see
> https://github.com/nprapps/app-template ). This latter option is the
> one I'm planning for the next revision of OffenerHaushalt, should I
> ever find time to work on it :/. You could still run your own
> instance of OpenSpending core, e.g. at data.offenerhaushalt.at --
> thats how Where Does My Money Go worked a few years ago.
> Having a secondary application to do more specific business logic
> would also allow you to think about authorisation more flexibly for
> front-end stuff, although I wonder whether -- if you provide more
> information to the governments than to the citizens - the label
> "offenerhaushalt" is really all that adequate. It seems like a
> fairly conservative approach. I think budget transparency projects
> should really negotiate towards equal access to information,
> especially if the government is the customer - otherwise it's just
> good old eGov.
> Best regards,
> - Friedrich
> p.s. to be clear: I'm not part of the OpenSpending team any more,
> this is just my personal two cents.
> On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM, Krabina Bernhard <
> krabina at kdz.or.at > wrote:
> Dear Openspending Community,
> as you might have read already, on the Open Data Day in February this
> year, some folks from the Austrian Open Knowledge community
> installed the Openspending software at http://www.offenerhaushalt.at
> and we provided first visualzations of budget data from the cities
> of Graz and Salzburg.
> This raised some questions in the community wheter or not we should
> have done it differently: by creating a satellite site, storing the
> data in openspending.org and wrapping all user interface elements on
> the satellite site. Besides us not knowing what the preferred way to
> go is at the time of the Hackathlon, we are now quite certain that
> we still need a separate intallation.
> This is mainly due to the fact that
> 1. We have all the data of the Austrian municipalities available
> already. Due to legal reasons, we can only make them available to
> the public if each municipality individually agrees. Unless we have
> this agreement, we can only store the data in a database we have
> control over and provide the data/visualisation to the
> municipalities they refer to. Of course we believe in public and
> open budget data, but it will take a while until we have all 2.354
> municipalities convinced :-)
> 2. We will provide additional features in the future that go beyond
> open budget data and will be very specific to Austria/relevant only
> to the financial departments of the municipalities. E. g. we
> calculate indicators based on budget data and provide these to the
> municipalities themselves. The question on whether these indicataors
> can be made open is again subject to the decision of the
> municipality.
> As of course we understand that once we use open source software for
> our purposes, we have to give something back, we will be happy to
> talk to you about delivering (or somehow automatically grabbing) all
> data that has been made open to openspending.org , but this should
> be posponed to later this year.
> And - even more important - we have some (limited) budget to fund
> some improvments of the software. Part of these improvements will be
> usable for many other openspending installations, other parts may be
> only interesting for the use cases in Austria.
> I have put up a first draft for the tasks that need to be done (and
> can partly be funded) here: http://kdz.okfnpad.org/1
> Please feel free to make comments/edits. Beware that this is a very
> first draft and we are still in the process of getting a clearer
> picture of what we want wo accomplish ourselves, but at this stage I
> believe it already makes sense to discuss the tasks with you. If you
> are a developer (or plan to become one) for openspending and are
> interested in taking over one of these tasks, please raise your
> hands. We will have to discuss funding options individually (we need
> some kind of contract and a bill in order to be able to pay you for
> work you have delivered). We are also trying to bring new developers
> from Austria to the project to take over tasks.
> We are looking forward to working with you on this and hearing your
> opinions!
> Best regards,
> Bernhard
> --
> Mag. Bernhard Krabina
> KDZ - Zentrum für Verwaltungsforschung
> Centre for Public Administration Research
> Guglgasse 13, 1110 Wien
> Telefon: +43 1 8923492-27, Fax: +43 1 8923492-20
> Mobil: +43 676 849579-27, Twitter: @krabina
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