Call to PDC holders who are coders

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by wanderingfree, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. wanderingfree

    wanderingfree Junior Member

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    For a while now I've been thinking about writing software tools related to permaculture design.
    A lot, like solar position apps exist already but without useful permaculture-related features.

    Apart from tools, I am now giving some serious thought to a decentralised network and database.
    It must be built around existing protocol(s), e.g. ActivityPub (though I'm not yet sure this is the correct fit), or IPFS perhaps.

    The idea is to build a clean backend initially, that can be federated.
    Multiple front ends should then be possible, be they for mobile, desktop, etc.

    I envision multiple servers being run by many parties all over the world, where they can host their own data, but also link to other compatible servers, and/or mirror their data.

    A good example use would be localised plant and climate data (potentially to the level of an individual just keeping track of their personal property), but that can feed out to a decentralised network and thus be accessible by anyone else.
    Working with https://pfaf.org for instance, to be compatible with their plant database could also be ideal starting points.

    My current feeling is that it could be modelled around the structure of the designers manual - from patterning, through to plants, housing, infrastructure, legal and community.

    I'm looking for people to discuss this with, and solidify some ideas/approaches, and then to get coding.

    Some pre-requisite agreements would be that all code shall be open source, likely GPL-2.
    Open to patreon and such, or discussion for potentially revenue streams - money would be useful, but is not the driving focus.

    Data security would also be a concern - part of the reason to be decentralised is that everyone owns their own data, and only shares what they choose to - with fair warnings that nothing is ever 100% secure.


    So, anyone interested in talking more deeply about this? :)
    If you've got questions, ask away.
     
  2. Wild Apple Farm

    Wild Apple Farm New Member

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    Hey WF,

    I too have been thinking about permaculture tools. My initial thoughts being simple design software for property layouts that brought in external sources (like pfaf for plant sizing/density options, or GIS for contours). Reason being the current tools I use, Inkscape & Gimp are just over the top for what's necessary.

    Kind of struggling to see further use cases for the architecture you describe as I haven't focussed on it but happy to discuss more.

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
  3. wanderingfree

    wanderingfree Junior Member

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    Nice. Exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking of.

    What I'm wondering, with all this talk of decentralisation/federation, is whether we can build a backend that uses a "standard" protocol, such that these tools have some further interoperability.

    e.g. I figured when I manage to finish my solar position tool, it can use angles of soltices to determine how wide the eaves should be on a house, for temperate and cooler climates - or the percentage of glass that might be on the sun-facing side (again, for cooler climates).

    I'm not a big believer in one program that "solves" all issues - there may be a path here where multiple tools can simply share their data in a consistent fashion.

    Also, more specifically about my interest in federating, would be that people or small groups/communities can host their own server, building up a localised database; e.g. recording changes over time (plant responding particularly well to a wet year, or another to a hot year), documenting local guilds of plants that work, or even just local pioneer species, or animal husbandry techniques, etc.

    If these people then hear about other servers in other parts of the world, they can simply 'add them' to their own, akin to adding a "friend" in the social media evil.
    From that point, the servers will share their data (or any data marked as shareable).

    Does that make more sense?

    Definitely more discussion and clarity required.
     
  4. wanderingfree

    wanderingfree Junior Member

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    so to jump back to your example, your program may feed from plant data from varying sources, but could also give back design ideas (assuming you wanted to share - with any appropriate copyright); even if it was simply some meta-data tags that mark a design as 'temperate', 'orchard', 'apple guild', 'steep', 'terrace', 'n-hemisphere', '100m-alt' (as an off-the-top-of-my-head thought).

    Then anyone searching, e.g. in a plant database (that federated with your tool) could search for apple trees, and along with all the normal data, find a link to your tool with a loaded design.

    Not saying this is a path you would want to take, just playing with your example.
     
    Wild Apple Farm likes this.

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