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Request for Information II (published at CES)

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This request for information is seeking partners and friends to work on an open directory of ads to support grass roots economies. The requirements are almost exactly the same as my 2011 RFI, but now with the added weight of CES.

HTML icon SmalladsRFI.html8.5 KB


So I just had a conversation with James Lewis, who pointed out that this RFI describes a finished product, and that a REST API is a whole lot of trouble to implement. He proposes a half way measure which does almost all of what's requested, though it would be brittle.

  • Every participating exchange would register a directory with ssh login containing a daily single-table mysqldump, using an agreed schema.
  • A central service would daily synchronise with the exchanges and aggregate the ads into a single table.
  • An autogenerated (and probably tweaked) application such as Ma href="">Rester would expose the data for searches via a REST API, returning JSON objects
  • Each platform would take filtered search requests and relay them to the centralised server, render the JSON into HTML and return to the client.

This approach would enable a rapid prototype which would enable interested parties to consider the quantity and quality of the anonymised aggregated data from Community Forge and CES (tens of thousands of community ads). This would be a good way to bring developers on board, many of whom have been trying to solve this problem, but without a constituency to solve it for!
The result would not be quite optimal because users searching on their local platform will get either local results from the local db, or global public results, but not both in the same result set.
To make the data useful we will have to add geolocation data to many exchanges who have not supplied it.
Having set up a system which delivers JSON to community exchange platforms, we will still need to find a way to show all that anonymised data to interested parties.

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