We organized a conference call for Friday, March 20, 10 AM GMT-5 (instead of 9 AM to accommodate West Coast USA), with Conference Dial-in Number: +1.218.339.3600 and Participant Access Code: 362126# . The conference can accommodate up to 96 people, and we hope to involve some of our European friends.
We will have the first serious discussion on global developer participation for the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). We have outlined the problem statement in the post on raising open development to a higher level, so please study that carefully before you join the call. The point is that we have a large number of technical development issues in the GVCS, and it is impossible to solve all these issues with a small team. We are proposing that the Open Source Design Rationale (OSDR), discussed in the mentioned post, could be an organizing point for a large number of developers. This is because a thorough OSDR leads directly to a design drawing, bill of materials and cost structure, fabrication procedure, and is the foundation for the review/bidding process, and leads directly to funding. One should be able to take a well-developed OSDR, the above derivatives, and convert that to a funding/support/deployment proposal.
If you are interested in seeing any of the GVCS technologies become superior, optimized, economically-significant products, and if you are willing to do the due diligence, then you should join the conference call. Our goal for the conference is to start a discussion on development points, tailored according to the number of participants. We expect participants to then take on some of the due diligence, by writing down their commitments on the commitments wiki page, and doing actual development work.
It should be said that we are treading unknown waters here, as there are no effective precedents for wide-scale, collaborative development process of complex tasks without a strong central hierarchy. Wikipedia is a leading example, but that doesn’t require an extended attention span for someone to contribute. On the ohter hand, GVCS process requires extended attention for someone to contribute to a process of step-by-step due diligence necessary in physical product development. One first has to review the work done. On top of this, development follows OSE Specifications and prioritization, while physical plant, funding, and other implementation details are also involved.
Moreover, people think that GVCS development is a process that requires specialized knowledge. No, it requires only research and problem-solving ability. It is a social technology process, not a technology process. It requires primarily organizational skills of research due diligence – where experts are tapped for the details. This is open engineering.
All in all, we’re taking a more rigorous and thorough process in our development, and the full application of this process also has to occur for the CEB press – which will be our first complete product cycle. We are inviting everyone to get involved, as it takes the world to build a village.
One of the challenges of a collaborative development process of complex tasks is breaking down the tasks into bite-size chunks. Since this breakdown is also an extended process, the breakdown process itself has to occur with a wide collaborator base. I don’t think anyone has succeeded at absorbing large crowds into a complex breakdown of a complex task. We may be facing an intractable problem here, but it’s certainly worth trying.