Starting an OSE Project

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If you are willing to make a serious commitment to the OSE project, you might consider starting up a project that hasn't been tackled yet (or perhaps has languished for various reasons). We all have different skills, experience, and levels of competencies. You should be aware that even if you start up an OSE project, you might not be the one to manage it as time goes on. The project manager has specific duties and responsibilities (as defined in Project Manager Duties) that not everyone is prepared to assume. Also, that person will need to work closely with the OSE Executive Director (Marcin Jakubowski).

That said, any contribution towards starting up a GVCS or other OSE project is a useful contribution, so don't be afraid to dig and get things going. Before you start, check to make sure that the project you are interested in hasn't already been started. Check the Development Team page for defined projects. Next, send a message to the OSE Project Coordinator letting him know that you intend to start up an OSE project. OSE is actively looking for a Project Coordinator, so best to send a note to Marcin Jakubowski. He may have recent information that can be of help getting started and might point you to some existing material.

Before diving into the actual work of starting up a project, you should be familiar with an important document:

OSE Specifications Like other open source projects, OSE has a set of shared values and ethics. These core valves are described on this page. It explains what open source means and mentions values like modularity, user friendliness, ecological design, systems design, lifetime design, scalability, etc. All of these will have bearing on every OSE project. OSE specifications also includes a description of the methods and strategic approaches we use in project development and the components of an OSE project. There is a way to measure how well an OSE measures up to our shared values using the OSE Project Metric Score, which is a set of 42 question worth 1 point each. A perfect score is thus 42 (Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy references are purely coincidental).

Once you are familiar with our shared values, you can have a look at the preferred approach to project development.

Development Strategy The Development Strategy page describes how OSE projects should be developed. The development cycle, at a simplistic level consists of:

  • Design Rationale
  • Drawings and BOM
  • Review / Bids
  • Prototyping and Testing
  • Production

After a describing the basic approach (including some nice diagrams) a Development Work Template is included. This is basically a list of things that need to get done on the project. It's not really a template for what needs to be written, exactly, or how the pages should be organized, but it is a very good set of things that need to get done. Working on any one of these tasks for a particular OSE project would be a major contribution.

While new projects don't necessarily have to follow the OSE development strategy, they will be expected to shift towards it as the project advances through the different project stages (see OSE Project Stages). As such, it makes sense to organize and name your project wiki pages appropriately. Documentation standards are emerging and can also be used to guide your early efforts.

Systems Engineering Breakdown Diagrams

Needless to say, some of the GVCS tools are pretty complicated. It's even more complicated when you consider how they relate to each other and how they might be used to build a local economy. The systems engineering breakdown diagrams is a way to describe the components of a technology and how it relates to others. This approach is still in the early stages of being worked out but should add a degree of organization that will serve us well later.

There are other pages and documents that relate to or comment on the OSE project development process. These include:

Managing an OSE Project

Once you've got things up and running, you might want to have a look at this document, which contains helpful hints and tips on running an OSE project. It explains the duties of an OSE project manager and describes so of the various support roles in the project.