Archive for the 'Datafall' Category

Datafall.org, take two

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

SHORT VERSION

So I’ve made this website for building blog communities, and it’s called datafall.org. Datafall lets you start these things called “blogcircles”. If there’s some group of people– maybe the people from your web forum, or your fish club, or just your circle of friends– that you know have blogs, you can go start a blogcircle for those people, and then send those people a link to it. Then all they have to do is hit the “click here to join this blogcircle” link at the top of the page and enter the URL of their blog, and from then on, whenever they post something at their blog it will appear at your circle at Datafall, too, with a link back to the blog that posted it. (Datafall doesn’t host any blogs on the website itself– if that’s what you want, there are lots of great free websites for that. What Datafall does is bring blogs together.) Finally (as you can see in my own sidebar, on the right of my own blog’s main page) once you’ve got everyone hooked up to the blogcircle, Datafall gives you several ways of embedding the stream of links from your blogcircles right into your blog, so that your own blog can show in realtime a list of the new posts by all your friends without you having to do anything.

In other words, Datafall is an RSS Aggregator, except that normal RSS Aggregators are controlled by just one person and read by just one person, and the blogcircles at Datafall are open to the world.

If you want to see how this works in practice, take a look at the Platformers community blogcircle, which is the first (and as of this writing only) blogcircle on the site; I set it up for the people I know at Platformers.net, a website that has a small gaming forum I belong to. I hope you’ll consider setting up a blogcircle for the people you know, too.

LONG VERSION

This next part mostly has to do with the history of the website at datafall.org right now, and this may or may not be of any interest to you. But, here it is anyhow.

I actually started Datafall something like a year and a half ago, but until the last couple of weeks it was actually a completely different site. The original Datafall was kind of modeled to be an RSS-based implementation of Scoop, which is the engine that DailyKos and Kuro5hin use. Scoop sites are kind of like little Slashdots, with a stream of special “official” blog posts on the front page approved in some way by either the site operators or the community of users, and then a stream of “diaries” freely posted on the side pages by normal users. My thought was that I’d used a couple of Scoop-based sites and liked them a lot; but the problem was it was hard for Scoop communities to get started, and they died really easily, since being a user on a Scoop site is kind of an all-or-nothing proposition. Becoming a user on a Scoop site effectively meant either starting a blog there or moving your existing blog, and once your blog there was set up there it was likely no one would be reading it except the other site users– so you kind of had a lot invested in the site. Scoop sites which have a real critical mass to them, like DailyKos, could make this argument easily and thrived; others couldn’t and struggled.

I looked at this situation and thought: Scoop sites has great community integration features. But they usually aren’t very good [i]blog[/i] sites. So, why not make something Scoop-like which has all of Scoop’s great community features– but which doesn’t try to be a blog site at all? The blog posts could be posted elsewhere, and the scoop site could just slurp them from RSS, and categorize and link to them. So I installed Ruby on Rails and did some tinkering, and this is basically what the first Datafall was. It looked exactly like a Scoop site, but if you clicked on any of the posts you’d find yourself on an external blog.

A year passed, and I eventually realized two things: One, I hated Ruby On Rails; and two, nobody was using my Scoop-style Datafall site, nor did it seem likely anyone was going to start doing so in future. Why would they? The site didn’t really give you any reason to use it; the site had all these community features, but these features only made sense if the site already had a big community, and this site didn’t. The only people who were using Datafall were the people who knew me from this Platformers forum I visit; Datafall was basically being used as a blog tracker for the Platformers forum users. Which was actually kind of neat, but it meant most of the Scoop-style features were useless.

So, okay then, I thought, if these Scoop-style features aren’t any use for the way people are using the site, then why keep those features? So I deleted the whole site, installed Django to replace the Ruby On Rails stuff that wasn’t working, and started over. The result is the site you see there now. The database contents, and the CSS file moved over from the old site to the new one; everything else is new.

So, what’s the point of the new site?

The idea for the new site can actually be seen in one of my “to do” bullet points for the old site. If you’ve ever used LiveJournal, you’ve probably seen these “groups” they have. LiveJournal groups are like little group blogs, where anyone with a LiveJournal account– when they write up a blog post– can choose to drop the post to the LiveJournal group instead of the normal blog. Which is really neat, but of course it has the problem that you have to have a LiveJournal account in order to use it. This doesn’t make much of a difference since you can of course start a LiveJournal account just to post in the groups, but in a certain sense this still is a little bit like the “all or nothing” problem I mention with Scoop– you can take advantage of this neat blog community feature on this one site, but unless you just happen to host your blog on the same site then a lot of the community integration is lost. I thought– as long as the point of Datafall is to offer blog community-building features, based around using RSS to paste different sites together– that replicating this groups feature on Datafall would someday make sense too. But at first I assumed that this was something to put off until the site had grown a bit– since after all, who would join these groups if the site doesn’t have any users yet?

On the other hand, Datafall in the pseudo-Scoop era was, if you think about it, basically like one little LiveJournal group unto itself– the Platformers community LiveJournal group, say. No one there wanted to use the Scoop-style features, but there was this group of people in this existing, external community who had blogs and were using the Datafall site for LiveJournal-group-style features. Looking at this I figured, well, if the people on Platformers are using Datafall for this purpose, might there also be other small net communities who might be interested in doing so too, as long as the site supported it?

So, that’s basically what Blogcircles are: Blogcircles are kind of like the “groups” on LiveJournal, but posts can go there from any blog, myspace page, any website at all, not just the blogs on LiveJournal. And hopefully this gives the reason why people would want to use Datafall in its new form: because there are people who already have some little community they’re in in which the community members just happen to have blogs, and Datafall gives some way for that community to organize itself.

OKAY, SO HOW DO I USE THIS THING?

If you go to Datafall, you’ll see a handful of links on the front page. Feel free to browse the feeds and blogcircle[s] already on the site, but probably what you want to do is either add a new RSS feed to Datafall, or add a new Blogcircle. (Don’t worry about making an account; this will be done automatically once you start doing things.)

Let’s say you want to add a new blogcircle. Hit the “Add a blogcircle” link, and fill out the form– all you really need to give it is a name, but if you want you can also add a description and a URL of your choice. (If you’re not already logged in, the form will also have you create a new account.) Once you’ve created your blogcircle, when you look at that blogcircle logged in there will be some extra options visible to you– as the owner of the blogcircle– which don’t appear for anyone else. Specifically you’ll be able to edit the blogcircle’s information, or “attach a feed”. You might actually want to do the second one of these– what this means is that you can add a special item to the Datafall sidebar, visible whenever anyone looks at the blogcircle, containing the contents of an RSS feed of your choice. (For example, remember me mentioning the blogcircle for the “Platformers” video game forum? Well, on the Platformers blogcircle, the “attached feed” shows the recent front-page posts on Platformers itself.)

Alternately, let’s say you want to add your blog to Datafall. Datafall calls the blogs it’s keeping track of “feeds” (since, after all, they might not be a blog exactly). You’ll probably want to do this in the context of adding your blog to a blogcircle– if you want, you can just add your feed now and join a blogcircle later once more blogcircles have started, but I don’t have the site to the point yet where you can get a lot of use out of it without being in some blogcircle! Maybe later. So what you’ll probably want to do for now is go to the page for a blogcircle you want to join; if you look, you’ll see at the top a link that says “Click here to join this blogcircle”. Hit that, and a form will appear asking for the URL of the website you want to add (and creating an account if you aren’t signed in already). That’s it! Your most recent post will appear on the blogcircle immediately, and when you make posts in future Datafall will notice and add those to the blogcircle, too.

Note that once you’ve logged in, the front page will appear as a summary of all the different blogcirlces you belong to; the links that are normally in the front page directory can after you’ve logged in be found in the sidebar to the right.

One last thing you might want to do, if you’ve found or started a blogcircle you really like, is embed the blogcircle into your own blog in such a way that anyone visiting your blog can see what’s been posted in your blogcircle lately without having to go all the way to Datafall. I am trying to set up Datafall so as to make it simple to embed a “faucet” from Datafall into absolutely any web page, anywhere– although how you do it may be different depending on where your site is hosted. Maybe I’m biased because I’m trying to sell you on this Datafall thing I made here, but this is actually a feature of a kind I’ve been wishing blogs had for a long time. Most blogs have a little “blogroll” bar on the right side of the page, linking an occasionally huge number of different blogs that the blogger likes; but you usually don’t have any idea which, if any, of these different blogs actually have new content. I think it would be neat if instead of forcing viewers to check each item on your blogroll manually, you could just show them an up-to-the-minute listing of all the newest posts by people on your blogroll. The Datafall embedding feature tries to be a step toward that.

If you want to try to do this, what you should do is go to Datafall and look on the right-hand sidebar, underneath where the login box normally would be. On some pages on Datafall, particularly blogcircles, there will be a little box here labeled “Embed”. This box will contain a link, which will take you to a page containing instructions on how to embed the live listing from that specific particular page somewhere else. The instructions page in question will have different instructions for different kinds of websites and blogs– blogspot accounts, WordPress blogs, plain html sites, etc– and most of the instructions will consist of a large block of HTML which you’re supposed to paste somewhere or other. Part of the reason why I have different instructions for each different kind of blog is I’m trying to provide some way of embedding that can blend into your site completely seamlessly– I’m trying to set things up so that if you embed a blogcircle in a webpage it looks like it was designed to be there. Note, though, that although , as, I only have a few things listed there now. If you have a blog or website that isn’t covered by the instructions on that page, then please do post in the comments below, tell me what kind of blog it is and why it is that the existing instructions don’t work, and I’ll see if I can add a section for your blog type.

IS THAT IT?

So this is basically what Datafall is right now. I’m still actively working on it, and since the new site is a lot easier to make changes on than the old one I hopefully should be able to do them at a potentially fast clip. I’m happy to take any suggestions for improvements, and I’ve got a list of improvements I’m going to try to add as soon as I can. Here are some of the things I want to work on with Datafall in the future:

  • Right now you can’t post to any blogcircle except one you’ve specifically joined– and once you’ve joined, you can’t not post to it. Every post you make on the blog will appear on all of your blogcircles, period, and you can’t remove them. This needs to be fixed stat. You should be able to add yourself to a blogcircle “conditionally”, such that your posts are displayed on the blogcircle only when you assign them to be rather than automatically; you should be able to withdraw a post from a blogcircle or from datafall if you want; and ultimately I think it would be neat if there were “open” blogcircles that anyone could post to, whether they’ve joined the blogcircle or not. (So for example there maybe be like a “Science” blogcircle, and any individual post from any feed on Datafall could be assigned to appear on the Science blogcircle so long as it had science content.) This kind of hands-on way of using Datafall probably isn’t the way most people would want to use it– better to just use it the normal way and have the site do everything for you automatically– but it should at least be an option.
  • Right now there really aren’t any limits on who can join what blogcircle. This could potentially be kind of bad; in many cases it would make sense for some kinds of blogcircles to be able to control their membership and content. There needs to be the ability for the operator of a blogcircle to remove feeds and posts that aren’t appropriate to that blogcircle, and it needs to be possible to set a blogcircle such that when people click “join blogcircle” they aren’t instantly added, but have to be approved first. (Conversely, if there’s a feed on Datafall you like or think is appropriate to a particular blogcircle, maybe it should be impossible to invite people.)
  • Right now the only person who can do any kind of maintenance on a blogcircle is the person who created it. The blogcircle owner should be able to delegate authority. This doesn’t make much difference right now, when there’s very little that even the blogcircle owner is able to do, but once the blogcircle owner gains the ability to delete posts approve feeds etc the blogcircle owner should be able to also give select members of the blogcircle the ability to do same.
  • Combining the above three ideas together,
  • AJAX. If you don’t know what AJAX is, then don’t worry about it too much, but in my book this is a biggie. The old Datafall had some great AJAXy features– this was the one thing Ruby On Rails was good at– but the new Datafall has none, mostly because. Incidentally, if anyone can recommend a Python library for AJAX generation hopefully analagous to RJS for Ruby, please let me know.

Okay, that’s it.

I have made a website

Monday, May 8th, 2006

So: I have made this website. You can find it at http://datafall.org/.

The idea of datafall.org is that if you have a website that is something like a blog– like, a copy of WordPress or Movable Type, or a LiveJournal, or a Blogspot account, or a MySpace page, or basically anything that uses RSS– you can add it to Datafall, and after that everything you post to your site will automatically appear at Datafall also. It’s kind of like Slashdot, except that instead of being a group blog for CmdrTaco and Zonk and the three other people who can post at Slashdot, it’s a group blog for the entire internet.

Or, if you don’t have a blog or know what I’m talking about: Datafall is an open site that (hopefully) collects the best bits of other sites, and puts them in one place for your reading pleasure.

Why I did this, and why you might care

Lately a lot of the good content and discussion on the internet has been posted in what are called “blogs”. This is a word that is supposed to be short for “weblogs” but basically just means a site where people frequently post things they wrote.

A problem with blogs, at least in my opinion, is that they aren’t very good at forming communities. Almost all blogs have comment sections, so there’s usually a little community there; but these communities usually aren’t very large, and they can sometimes be very insular. Also, most blogs have links to blogs they like and those blogs usually link back, so you sometimes get little rings of blogs that all tie together; but these usually aren’t communities so much as they are cliques. Sometimes you see “group blogs” where a couple different blogs band together, like the excellent Panda’s Thumb; but this is not common, and the tools for setting this sort of thing up don’t seem to be very good.

To me, a good internet community should be something where a whole bunch of people come together to some kind of common ground that no single person exactly controls, the way most web forums work and by-invite blog cliques don’t. When communities are open like this, you get a much wider and more interesting range of opinions, and people are encouraged to respond to things they don’t agree with instead of just shutting them out. Another nice thing about big “common ground” sort of sites is that finding the good stuff is easier– content comes to you, instead of you having to go to it. Good blogs, in my opinion, are after all kind of hard to find. On the other hand, look at something like Slashdot– it’s not very good, but it’s consistent, and that makes it easy. The links on Slashdot are usually just whatever the rest of the blogosphere was talking about three days ago, so you could get the same links by just reading a bunch of different blogs– but the links do get to Slashdot eventually, and personally, I’d just rather read something like Slashdot because it’s easier.

The problem is, though, that while some kind of big centralized site like a webforum may be what I’d prefer as a reader, the people who are actually writing good, interesting stuff prefer to do it in their blogs rather than something like a web forum. And this makes sense. Who wants to pour their heart and soul into writing something really good if it’s just going to get a Score:5 stamp in a slashdot story and then disappear forever? If you save your best writing for a blog, not only do you get more attention, it’s safer– the blogger has control over their own site, so they never have to worry about somebody else screwing it all up for them. (I’ve seen at least two collaborative writing sites fall apart, partly because the people running it couldn’t consistently keep the hardware up and running.) It’s easy enough to get people to collaborate and submit good stuff when your site is nothing but links, like the front pages of Slashdot or Fark or Digg are. But what if you want actual writing– things like news analysis, or political commentary, or interesting stories? Well, that’s what blogs are for.

I wish there was some way that you could blend the best advantages of blogs with the best advantages of something like Slashdot or a big web forum.

So I decided to try to create one.

How this works

One of the common features all blogs share is what’s called an “RSS Feed”. RSS is a way of displaying posts on a website without displaying the website itself. A lot of people use these programs called “RSS Aggregators” to read blogs. RSS Aggregators (Firefox and Safari each have one built in) keep bookmarks of all your favorite sites, and when you open the aggregator it shows you all the new posts from all of your favorite sites, all mixed together in one place.

Datafall is kind of like an RSS aggregator that’s shared by the entire internet; anyone can add their site as a bookmark at Datafall by going here. (All you have to do is give Datafall a link to your site– Datafall figures out the rest from there.) Once a site is bookmarked on Datafall, Datafall will automatically notice when the site updates, and add an excerpt of the new post, with a “Read more” link that leads to the full post on the blog where it was posted.

There are a few different ways to find posts on Datafall. Every post on Datafall has a post “type” (is it news, an op-ed, a diary?) and a post “topic” (is it about politics, computers, culture..?). By default, everything on Datafall gets posted in “Diaries” (which is basically the “anything goes” section) and doesn’t have a topic. You can move one of your posts to a different type or topic by clicking the “Edit or Moderate” link that appears under every post.

Aside from this, there is also a “Front Page” section, which is supposed to be the best of the best from all story types and topics. Like on Kuro5hin or Digg, the users vote on which stories are the best ones and worthy of going to the front page (again, by clicking the “Edit or Moderate” link under the post).

Regardless of type or topic, you can always see the newest posts on Datafall by looking at the sidebar on the right side of every page.

The hope is that Datafall will eventually work like a big collaborative RSS filter, with a bunch of feeds coming in and the very best stuff coming out on the front page, with the will of the users deciding what goes where. (Of course, since there are no users yet, all it takes to get something to the front page right now is for a single person to click on the “nominate” button.)

In principle, there are several sites that work kind of like Datafall already– sites like Feedster or Blogsearch.google.com, which take in many RSS feeds and help you find things within them. However, these are not communities. They are search engines. They do not bring different blogs together any more than Google brings different forums together, and they’re all pull, no push– you can’t get anything out of Feedster unless you already know what you’re looking for.

Datafall can be different.

Site principles

Datafall is far from finished (the section after this one describes some of the things that need to be done), and along with the work that isn’t done yet, there are also going to be a number of decisions that need to be made about how the site should work and how the community should look. As [if] the site gains momentum, these are the principles I am going to try to shape everything that happens around:

  1. The site should be interesting and readable. All other goals must kneel before this one. If looking at the Datafall front page doesn’t immediately produce something worthwhile to read, then what’s the point?
  2. The site should be controlled by the users. Group moderation should be used everywhere. Datafall isn’t “my” site. If I just wanted to run a blog, I’d just do that. Actually, I’m doing it already, now. Datafall, on the other hand, should be a site that exists for, and is controlled by, the people who post there. I am only one of those. Whenever it is possible for a decision about the site– about what kinds of features get implemented, about what does and doesn’t get moderated well, about how (if at all) the site is policed– to be in some way deferred to the userbase at large, it should be.
  3. Filter, don’t exclude. Of course, there’s a big problem with the above idea: not all of the users are going to agree on everything. Different users might have different ideas about what is good content, or a good feature. Whenever possible, the users on the losing side of the decisionmaking process should be given some way to split away and continue on as they like. The entire point of Datafall is about bridging gaps and bringing different sites together, but it’s important to realize that this isn’t always possible, and you need to have a plan for what to do when it isn’t. If it’s decided that content doesn’t belong on Datafall (short of it actually being spam), it should be hidden, not deleted. If it reaches the point where a subset of the users wind up with a vision of what Datafall should be which is entirely opposed to that of the rest of the userbase, and it turns out there really is no way to reconcile this, the minority should be given some way to split off and carry on without the rest of us (see “groups” and “open source” below).There are two reasons for this. First off, collaborative processes can succumb to groupthink. Whether content is good or bad doesn’t have much to do with whether it is popular or unpopular– but democratic processes, like voting on which stories are the best, are better at picking out what is the popular thing to say than what is the right thing to say. This means eventually content gets excluded which does not deserve to be. The best way to avoid this is to try not to exclude content, at least not all the way. Second off, and more importantly, excluding people never works. Sad as it is to say, every site winds up accumulating people who really shouldn’t be there; but ironically enough, invariably the ones who most deserve to be thrown off the boat turn out to be the ones who are best at keeping themselves from being thrown off the boat. In a best case scenario this “certain kind of person” does this by manipulating the emotions of the people responsible for policing the site, in a worst case scenario by cheating and evading bans. The best way to deal with this, I think, is to just go ahead and give these people their soapbox, and then give everyone else the tools to avoid having to listen to it.
  4. Never stop experimenting. The Internet never stops changing; you can’t survive on the internet unless you do the same. I have seen (and used) enough small sites that failed miserably to know this. Datafall should always be a work in progress, and the site should always be incorporating new ideas, even if they’re bad ones. If they turn out to be bad ideas we can just take them out again.
  5. AJAX. This is a technical issue, but it’s an important one. AJAX is this new fancypants internet technology that lets webpages update without reloading. Like most things on the internet, AJAX has the potential to allow a lot of cool and interesting things, and also the potential to allow a lot of abuse. AJAX is used on Datafall in the following ways:
    • AJAX should always be used for controls. Everything on the site like reporting a bad post, or voting on a good one, is controlled by AJAX. You should never have to suffer a pageload just to change the state of something, and so far, on Datafall, you don’t– the only forms that trigger pageloads are when you’re logging in or signing up for an account, and I may even be able to remove even those eventually.
    • AJAX should never be used to navigate. That’s what pageloads are for. The “back” button is sacred and it should always do exactly what you expect.
    • The site should always work exactly the same with Javascript turned off as it does with Javascript turned on.

Future plans

Things about Datafall that should change in the near term:

  1. Voting is not as robust as it should be. Right now, anyone can change any article to any section, and anyone can nominate something to the front page. I have features in place that would do this better, but they are not turned on– again, because there aren’t any users on the site yet, so right now they’d just make things needlessly complicated. Eventually the site will have something like “I liked this / I didn’t like this” counters on every story. If a lot of people like a story, it will get shown on the front page. If a lot of people dislike a story, it will get cast back down into the diary section.
  2. Hilariously, although the entire site is made up of RSS feeds, Datafall itself doesn’t offer an RSS feed yet.
  3. This is an important one– pinging. Blog engines offer ways to automatically notify sites like Feedster or Datafall when they have updated. I don’t actually even know how this works exactly. I need to find out. Right now Datafall doesn’t immediately know that one of its bookmarked sites has updated– it just checks for changes periodically. This is bad.
  4. More story types– we need a “Links” section eventually, and I’m considering a “podcasts” section.
  5. Deletion. Right now, if you make a post on Datafall, you can’t remove it. Nobody can delete posts but me. This is probably bad and stuff.

Things about Datafall that should change in the long term:

  1. Groups. Right now, the only way to sort things on Datafall are the type and topic sections linked at the top of every page. There should be ways for users to create new types, new topics, or entire other ways of categorizing things. In principle, this should work like “Groups” on LiveJournal– LiveJournal lets you make specialized group blogs that act kind of like message boards, and that you post to as if you were making a post in a LiveJournal. Of course, you can only post to a LiveJournal group by making a post specifically to it on LiveJournal.com. Datafall groups, of course, should be able to take in posts from anywhere. Eventually this can hopefully even work such that it’s possible for users to create their own totally autonomous subsites with Datafall, with their own moderation rules and everything.
  2. Ripping off Feedster and Digg. Right now, posts only enter Datafall if the person who owns the RSS feed wills it. It doesn’t have to work this way. If Datafall ever gets ridiculously large, we could add a separate “best of the internet” section that works kind of like Fark. The outputs would be voted on the same way that any other Datafall post is, but the inputs would be the entire blogosphere instead of just Datafalls’ diaries– for example, maybe Datafall users could nominate articles they liked but didn’t write. Now, given, I really don’t think this is a good idea. It doesn’t fit with any of the site’s goals, and it also introduces various difficulties (both legal and technical). However, it’s something worth considering.
  3. Comment and account tracking. This, on the other hand, is something I really do want to try: Datafall bridges the gaps between sites by putting articles in a central place. However, comments on different Datafall blogs may as well be in different universes. I am curious what can be done about this. Think back to Slashdot: If you post in six Slashdot threads in one day, you can come back to Slashdot later, go to your user page, and have nice convenient links to all your posts, along with how many replies each one got. If you post in six different threads in the Blogosphere in one day, on the other hand, the only way to see what happened to them later to is to go back and track down your posts in each of those six threads. There must be a better way to do this.Right now, a Datafall account isn’t really used for anything except creating feeds. It would be interesting to try to make it so that the posts you make in the comments section of a blog that uses Datafall are automatically recognized as being part of your Datafall account. (Right now there are a couple of “shared account” services which let you access many blogs with a single signin. But as far as I know, none of them are very open or, for that matter, open source.) In addition to, or maybe instead of, this, Datafall could track comments made on Datafall blogs (some, but not all, blog engines offer RSS syndication for comments) and provide a “comments I have made on any Datafall blog” page. I think this entire concept would be something extremely useful, maybe something even more useful than the part of Datafall I’ve implemented so far. However, it would not be trivial. Each blog would have to individually support the comments features; not only is there the problem that not everyone would want to participate in this, but also there is the problem that (by the very nature of Datafall) every blog linked from Datafall is running different software. But, of course, this leads me to:
  4. Blog plugins. Blog engines like WordPress or Movable type all support plugins. I would like to look into making plugins for these blog engines that makes posting on Datafall easier. A simple version of this plugin might do nothing more than add “type” and “topic” menus whenever you post a story, so you don’t have to go through the silly step of, every time you making a post, fishing it off Datafall and rescuing it from the Diary section. I don’t think this would be very hard (though, on the other hand, I don’t think I really want to do this unless people are actually interested).
  5. Open source. One last thing: I want to release the code that runs Datafall as a Ruby On Rails plugin. I have not actually figured out how to do this yet. Once I have this worked out however I intend to release Datafall’s software under the GNU LGPL.

That’s about it. I hope you find Datafall useful or at least interesting. If you have any thoughts on this experiment, please leave them as a comment below.