[openspending-dev] Contributing to OpenSpending

Vitor Baptista vitor at vitorbaptista.com
Wed Jan 9 21:36:42 UTC 2013

This is really important (and cool).

I agree with you, Rufus. Maybe focusing on the satellite sites as an entry
into OpenSpending is a good idea, but I see a problem.

Improving these sites is hard. They tend to be "close-ended". For example,
what's missing in wheredoesmymoneygo.org? This might be a communication
problem, but I don't see much more to add to it.

One solution might be building a generalized template app. It could have a
bunch of jekyll templates for each of the widgets, configurable. This is
easier to contribute for. It might help solving another problem: most of
the satellite sites came from the same codebase, but it's hard to share
improvements between them.

I started thinking about how to do it with Friedrich a few monhs ago, but
there's still much to do.


2013/1/9 Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>

> This is great Friedrich. Some thoughts / comments.
> On 3 January 2013 15:30, Friedrich Lindenberg <friedrich at pudo.org> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I've started writing up some documentation for getting started as a
> > contributor to the OpenSpending code base:
> >
> > https://github.com/openspending/openspending/wiki/Contributing
> First off this is great to have - and is very nicely written. Small tweaks:
> * Break stuff out more (have some headings)
> * Get in touch (+ friendly welcome) right at the top with highlighted
> stuff re main contact routes (ML + IRC)
> * Quickstart at the top - if I see this much text I'm put off, I'd
> like to look at a few real issues as fast as possible and only check
> back if i need to know more (note issues could always have a link to a
> general "here's what you need to know to contribute section)
> ## General thoughts
> However, my general thoughts / concerns are that it is generally quite
> tough to get core contributions and these are listed at the top of the
> list. To get contributions to an open source project I think you have
> these aspects:
> * How easy to get started (a small javascript library is way easier
> than a full webapp with multiple components that you need to get
> working just to get started)
> * How badly do I need this - CKAN is in fact a more complex codebase
> than OS, but it's getting more and more questions and contributions
> because people are heavily committed to using it
> * How cool / famous is this
> Now I think OS *core* atm scores fairly low on all of these. It's
> quite a big codebase, because it runs as a reasonably central platform
> I'm probably not deploying myself, and OS itself is less well-known
> than its various "satellite" projects.
> This brings me to a proposal: let's focus contribution on building
> "around" OS core (and are there any bits of core we could split out
> into smaller components people could contribute to separately - e.g.
> format checkers, maker etc). If enough people are doing stuff "around"
> there will be motivations to fix stuff in "core" that are blocking
> people (and if they aren't blocking people maybe they don't need to be
> fixed!)
> So what areas do we offer:
> ### "apps.openspending.org"
> This would be building stuff off the API (mainly in JS + HTML) plus
> possibly some stuff that was just standalone (but was OS related). I'm
> thinking of the sorts of mini apps already in openspendingjs but you
> could think of plenty more. 2 main types:
> * Viz
> * Analysis (+ viz)
> * Mini-apps
> It would be important to give some examples and links to good API
> documentation.
> It could also include:
> * Things like "taxman" (i.e. more elaborate but still quite simple apps)
> * A bit of openspendingjs (but again may want contribution here to be
> driven from client use)
> Implementation:
> - repos in OpenSpending org (or perhaps a separate org on GH?)
> deployed using gh-pages. (Could allow some full-on apps to get
> deployed via heroku and at xyz.apps.openspending.org)
> - have an overall repo where people can list ideas as issues so you
> can link to this to give people a starting point
> - provide some common css and js (openspendingjs?) so things have a
> common theme by default (and all link back to apps and OS.org etc)
> - split out openspendingjs apps straight away ...
> ### "Satellite" sites
> You've already got this. Big this up more. Could overlap with apps at
> some points (when does a regional site become a mini-app etc)
> Aside: I think you want a better name. Perhaps "client sites" (though
> "client" is ambiguous") "local sites" or regional sites or something.
> Link directly to your 1-2-3 instructions for this.
> ## Summing up
> We should conceive of "OS" as quite broad so contributing to OS (even
> in tech sense) includes all of the above (you're already doing but
> this could be stronger and we can downplay core relatively ...)
> These instructions, as they aren't about OS core, should probably
> should be part of openspending.org and not the wiki (OS core
> contribution could stay on the wiki ...)
> I'm willing to dive in to help with this :-)
> > Also, the issues page has now received a new year's cleaning and has a
> lot
> > of new tickets, while existing tickets have been classified as "simple",
> > "advanced" and "hard" for those who may want to contribute some code
> during
> > the final days of their winter holidays:
> >
> > https://github.com/openspending/openspending/issues
> This is really great.
> Rufus
> _______________________________________________
> openspending-dev mailing list
> openspending-dev at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/openspending-dev
> Unsubscribe: http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/options/openspending-dev
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/openspending-dev/attachments/20130109/4d6ab675/attachment.html>

More information about the openspending-dev mailing list