Ideas I left the conference with

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Seb Bacon

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Apr 6, 2012, 9:06:29 AM4/6/12
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Hi all,

I thought I'd just jot down roughly some of the themes ringing in my
head while the conference is still fresh in my memory. I'll aim to
progress some of these properly over the next few weeks, but thought
it worthwhile to circulate something ASAP.

Of the new features discussed at the conference, I think there were
four themes that stood out for me:

1) Moar statistics

League tables, visualisations, etc. Campaigners want to be able to
tell stories about FOI, e.g. who's the best and who's the worst? Often
an Alaveteli site will be the only source in a jurisdiction of
aggregate FOI data like numbers of requesters, numbers of requests
over time, etc.

Longer term, we could generate more interesting statistics if we first
generated more metadata, such as user-contributed tags, more
categories, etc.

This has an entry in the issue tracker here:
https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/226

2) Private requests

This feature is often requested, though I personally remain sceptical
about its use. There is already some discussion here:
https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/8

3) Collaborative drafting of review requests

Helping people make good requests is a laudable aim in itself and will
improve the quality of the data, value for money, etc. It would also
be a step towards more social use of the website.

There has been an issue for this for some time:
https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/75

4) Support paper-based workflow

There are so many countries where email just won't work, except in a
campaigning-for-how-it-should-be sense. I've made a new issue here
with some initial thoughts:
https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/469

There was also some discussion about making Alaveteli into a general
"write to them in public" platform -- a direction I've been thinking
about for a while, as evidenced by the current homepage about "social
email". This is something I feel quite passionate about and may get
round to writing more about it soonish :)

Any other themes people have come away with?

Apart from these features, I also resolved to try to get our
collaboration processes improved. I am considering time-based
releases, the release process in general, if we should have a
continuous integration server, how we should use pull requests, if/how
to do pull reviews, etc. Ideas and preferences very welcome!

Thanks,

Seb


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skype: seb.bacon
mobile: 07790 939224
land: 01531 671074

Tony Bowden

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Apr 6, 2012, 10:55:19 AM4/6/12
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On 6 April 2012 16:06, Seb Bacon <seb....@gmail.com> wrote:
> 3) Collaborative drafting of review requests
> Helping people make good requests is a laudable aim in itself and will
> improve the quality of the data, value for money, etc.  It would also
> be a step towards more social use of the website.
> There has been an issue for this for some time:
> https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/75

I thought it was interesting that a lot more people at the conference
voted for the idea of being able to ask for help after you'd been
refused, than for help on drafting the original request.

Tony

Robin Houston

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Apr 7, 2012, 2:55:09 AM4/7/12
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Is there a record (“official” or otherwise) of the outcome of the vote?

Sent from my telephone

Seb Bacon

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Apr 12, 2012, 5:12:15 AM4/12/12
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On 7 April 2012 07:55, Robin Houston <mysocie...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Is there a record (“official” or otherwise) of the outcome of the vote?

Unfortunately I failed to take photos of the vote, which was a huge
oversight - sorry, all. Luckily we have *something* saved by Romina
(did you take any more, Romina? Anyone else?)

http://blogs.lanacion.com.ar/data/files/2012/04/2012-04-02-14.29.17.jpg
http://blogs.lanacion.com.ar/data/files/2012/04/2012-04-02-14.29.05.jpg


Thanks,

Seb


> On 6 Apr 2012, at 15:55, Tony Bowden <to...@mysociety.org> wrote:
>
>> On 6 April 2012 16:06, Seb Bacon <seb....@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 3) Collaborative drafting of review requests
>>> Helping people make good requests is a laudable aim in itself and will
>>> improve the quality of the data, value for money, etc.  It would also
>>> be a step towards more social use of the website.
>>> There has been an issue for this for some time:
>>> https://github.com/sebbacon/alaveteli/issues/75
>>
>> I thought it was interesting that a lot more people at the conference
>> voted for the idea of being able to ask for help after you'd been
>> refused, than for help on drafting the original request.
>>
>> Tony

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