“A WEB TOOL FOR PROJECT SELF-MANAGEMENT”
The Eugene Community Trust
The Tango Center
Omidyar Network, Inc.
Version 1.0 will be a general-purpose web-based tool allowing on-site, multi-user creation and ongoing development of multi-administrator-based web sites that are quality-oriented, directly- democratic and transparent. Initial use and testing of the Web Tool will be performed by the Eugene Community Trust for the purpose of running the Tango Center website, and related projects and collaborations.
Community Project Self-Management Tool
A general-purpose web service, created on-site at The Tango Center in Eugene, Oregon.
This web service tool is a general-purpose, push-button, turn-key version of useful, expensive, specialized tools that are common in industry. Numerous commercial management tools and form-based data applications are configured with schemas and frameworks, made operational through programmed dependencies & actions, and linked to users through specialized form- makers, data viewers & report generators. Developer will re-create, simplify and re-package these functions in a novel user-centric manner and call the result a "tool for democratic project self- management".
The Web Tool allows a group of people to create a web operation for themselves, without programming and without web-authoring applications. It allows them to manage their own projects, invite a handful, or thousands, of colleagues from local & global communities, define and self-manage sub-projects quickly, and manage projects jointly with other groups. The targets of this self-management are extremely broad, to include democratic goal-setting & decision- making, project quality focus, data repository upkeep, operations, financing, construction, maintenance, event organizing, development, membership participation, volunteer organizing, community education, outreach & media relations, partnerships etc.
The main goal is to allow communities to easily create & run projects, so individuals can collectively work to improve their own lives.
Currently the tool allows the following:
- creation & editing of project hierarchies
- creation & editing of projects
- linking of projects
- creation of forms
- association of forms with projects
- pushbutton user access to forms
- editing & prioritizing form-constrained data
- dynamic report generation: as tables within projects
- registering of users
- assigning user access to specific forms & projects
This encourages dependable, orthogonal storage of information related to group work, from financial data to task lists, volunteer rosters to partner contacts. It's basic organizing ... but even this simple functionality is unavailable to groups currently as a web service.
Developer will finish the Web Tool on site in the Tango Center, where it must work for the benefit of a large community of project members -- several thousand, with the goal of determining whether the web can be used to democratically manage a high-quality, transparent community project.
Milestone One: On or before April 30, 2005 Tango Center staff, local teachers, organizers, hosts and musicians will be able to use the Web Tool for organizing their joint activity -- from scheduling to administration of current loans.
Milestone One Deliverables:
- Backup, recovery, archival view, encryption: so information isn't lost, so we can reverse experiments easily, and so people can keep their personal accounts & projects private.
- Patterns & Sequences: the user can link forms together to implement dependent, informative, data collection.
- Data mobility: moving data, copying data, linking data, merging data, splitting data, editing forms, editing sequences, collecting & editing associations, links etc.
- Data dependency: "project.table.columns" can be associated. This makes possible, in an axiomatic way: form validation, calendar scheduling, table-joins, and sets the stage for state-transition tables. It also allows a user to define a Semantic Web, leading to interfaces with external data & definitions.
- Views: these are broader formatting options for report generation and dynamic web pages. Page geometry will be defined through differentiating sequences. Selected table data can be merged, split, dropped and re-displayed, for many purposes, from personal project summaries to public reporting. The Tango Center website, for example, needs to be generated from this data. We will create a library of these views, so the user can select pre-packaged ones such as calendars, graphs and images.
- Packaged sequences for inviting people and groups into the system, into specific projects with the appropriate access.
Milestone Two: On or before May 31, 2005, Developer will sign up the entire local community of regular social dancers (some 400 people) to use the system to define their participation in the center. That participation can include volunteering, donating, lending, or trading. But primarily it will involve, at this point, decision-making.
Milestone Two Deliverables:
• State tables: For a large group to work effectively, group criteria need to be determined. Everyone's contribution needs to be heard, and collectively ranked. Then these can be used as an initial working base for addressing, rating and prioritizing issues, problems, solutions, initiatives etc. None of this is possible without variable state tables, which allow items to move through various stages (such as 'proposed', 'read', 'ranked', 'promoted', 'tabled', etc.)
- Connections between form button actions & state tables -- so, for example, an "approve" button can be next to an entry in a proposal list.
- Formulas: generic relations between data tables, dependencies and state tables can be saved & reused, and then labeled as a shorthand for the specific analysis represented. Further report generation: printable newsletters, ads, posters etc. from group data.
- Event generation, for interfacing to systems outside this one (email, ldap, xml, form submittal, etc).
New Milestone Three:
On or before November 15, 2005:
(1) Upon receipt of prior written approval from Omidyar Network as to the attribution contained in the Deliverables, Developer will release the current Deliverables into the open source community in a manner approved in advance by Omidyar Network, including without limitation listing the Deliverables on SourceForge.
(2) Developer will secure and provide copies to Omidyar of written commitments from third parties to provide Developer. Developer will not enter into any agreements with such third parties that conflict with, inhibit or diminish in any way the terms of the Agreement or this Amendment, including without limitation any conflicting agreements concerning ownership or licensing of the Deliverables.
New Milestone Four:
On or before March 31, 2006, the operation of the Tango Center, through the Web Tool, will be complete and functioning through use of the Web Tool as a self-sufficient, vital organization. New projects will be proposed and analyzed by the community, and existing projects will be maintained and improved upon. Upon receipt of approval of Omidyar Network, Developer will invite the non-regular Eugene Tango community (some 4,000 people) and the regular world Tango community (some 100,000) to participate to some level, and provide some kinds of support to the projects. All patterns, forms, sequences, tables etc will be in the Web Tool’s libraries to serve as useful starting points for other projects. Upon approval of Omidyar Network, Developer will invite the larger non-tango community in Eugene (about 100,000 web users) to use the Web Tool. Developer will pursue partnerships with, and use of the Web Tool by, other organizations & government bodies. Developer will manage its community development projects with the Web Tool. Developer anticipates that effective mechanisms for making the Web Tool "viral", along with its direct-democratic transparency, will begin to clarify. By the end of March, Developer anticipates that Developer and Omidyar should be able to judge the success of this experiment in running institutions for the people, by the people, on the web.
Milestone Four Deliverables:
- Community development projects outside the Tango Center are using the Web Tool.
- Version 1.0 of the Project Self-Management Tool is released under a Creative Commons
GNU LGPL license.