[squeak-dev] GSoC idea: Brainstorming portal for better community decision process

Janko Mivšek janko.mivsek at eranova.si
Thu Mar 11 11:15:02 UTC 2010

Dear Smalltalkers,

Becasue we have quite some problems in a community with seeking a
consensus on important questions, from organization ones and on, I came
to idea to build a tool for help. And a GSoC project can be an ideal
opportunity to build such a tool. What do you think?

Here is a description:

Brainstorming portal for better community decision process

Create a web portal for brainstorming sessions/meetings to get ideas and
answers to important questions in Smalltalk community. Portal should
allow on-line to:

   1. brainstorm the ideas
   2. vote to get-out the best ideas
   3. seek consensus
   4. analyze - report

On-line session/meeting should look like a Skype session together with a
brainstorming portal, from collecting ideas to a final decision
proposal. Example of such session can be a Squeak Oversight Board
meeting or planning session for a new Smalltalk project. Or some broader
session in the community, like on a question how to organize better.

Some important concepts:

    * anonymity of idea proposers
    * associations: proposers see the ideas of anonymous others to
      facilitate an association for proposing an even better idea
    * seeking consensus to avoid 51/49% decisions but to come closer to
      100% agreement on important ideas.

Technical details

    * a web application for gathering brainstormed ideas in real-time
      (using Ajax and Comet technology).
    * voting system with appropriate algorithms
    * analytics with on-line graphs and reports on paper/PDF
    * installation on a publicly available hosting server

Benefits to the Student

    * getting insight into group dynamics of Smalltalk community and in
    * gaining knowledge of modern web technologies in Smalltalk and in

Benefits to the Community

Better community decision process by getting the best ideas from the
members while on the other side avoiding stalemates so frequent in
Smalltalk community those days

Best regards

Janko Mivšek
Smalltalk Web Application Server

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