Lecture on “Jailbreaking the Forges : project export/import efforts”

I’ll be speaking next week‘ve been at Open World Forum, in the OSDCfr track in with a speech titled “Jailbreaking the Forges : project export/import efforts”

Here are the slides (as PDF – 1.3 Mb)

Here’s a copy of the presentation I wrote.

Software forge are “data jails” in that development projects established in a forge may suffer from data lock-in if they have to, or want to, change of hosting solution.

Some of the tools allow easily to fork or move a project’s code (such as DVCS like Git, Bzr or Hg), but for other tools like bugtrackers, mailing-list managers or wikis, it’s much harder to extract data from one forge and transport it to another one. Also, users and their privileges, as well as many other metadata (who did what, and when) may suffer from such migrations.

Even though most projects don’t fell such lock-in as a high risk (even in FLOSS projects which value freedom of information, strangely), history as shown that in case of outages, hosting platforms can be quite a trap to projects.

Other hazards may happen, like unresponsive admins, forks in a community, archiving old projects while being able to restore them, do migrations, or just the wish to move to newer, cooler hosting platforms.

Despite 10 years of forge usage, it is only recently that few progress have been made in implementing standard exchange data formats and supporting tools, allowing us to envision a possible solution to these lock-in issues.

We’ll present the ForgePlucker project (initially started by esr after a few popular blog posts on the subject), and further efforts lead in the COCLICO project to provide an open and extensible standard exchange format for projects data export and import. In addition to forgeplucker, we’ll demonstrate the FusionForge import tools used as an archive/restoration mechanism.

We’ll then call for other forge implementors and advanced users to join us, for more efforts on this topic, in order to gather all the tools that are needed to make possible migrations of projects from forges to forges.

COCLICO project’s efforts towards better forges interoperability (long)


I’ve given a talk in the recent Open Forges Think Tank track of Open World Forum, which was organized by Christian Rémy from Bull, also a partner in the COCLICO project (btw, thanks Christian, this was a great track, with several interesting presentations and a great panel).

I’ve had the privilege to speak on behalf of the whole COCLICO project, in the afternoon session which was focused on forges interoperability.

This article will somehow be a transcript of what I’ve said (or intended to say), with the accompanying slides available here.

In this quite long piece, I’ll first recap some of the context elements about the COCLICO project. Then I will describe the interoperability issues that I’ve tried and focused on in my presentation, including the issues of project lock-in in the forges. I’ve tried also to describe the current ideas we’ve elaborated in the project to address these issues of interoperability (including our plans for open standards elaboration for forges interoperability). I finally conclude with a proposal to join the PlanetForge community for all interested parties.

Unfortunately, not all of these ideas are currently yet properly documented on the COCLICO website, so I hope this article will serve as a useful reference for what COCLICO is doing, still being a subjective piece of my own views, not necessarily representing those of other COCLICO participants, nor a precise description of what we’ll manage to achieve in COCLICO or PlanetForge.

Continue reading “COCLICO project’s efforts towards better forges interoperability (long)”

My presentation about COCLICO and forges interoperability at OWF 2010

I’ve given a talk on Friday 1st of October at Open World Forum 2010 (OWF) in the (not necessary all so much) Open Forges Think Tank track on behalf of the COCLICO project and some of our (or mine) ideas on forges interoperability.

I’ll try and prepare a more detailed textual version of all these ideas (worth adding to the project deliverables maybe ?), but here’s already a link to the slides (attention: 5 Mb). Actually I’ve slightly modified them after my speech before posting them, as I added some more comments in last minute that may have deserved a bullet of their own. EDIT: I’ve finally posted a textual version of my ideas.

Here’s also a crappy preview online, as it seems slideshare doesn’t like the fonts used by this beamer presentation :