It is a great project that I have thought of calling him “Sunligtht”, for what nebulous is the term “cloud computing”. Today, and after several conversations with Richard Stallman, some more of which I summarized in “Free Programming”, I think the idea of the project is fairly well defined. I think the only thing that Stallman himself reproached me is that I haven’t started to work on it. But it is a project that requires much more than devotion of a single person, so it is necessary get it involves the highest number of people as possible.
It is about developing and implementing a free collaborative environment. With environment I mean being accessible from any browser, with collaborative I mean to allow users to work in a team and with free I mean this collaboration being not controlled by the owner of the service. I think in the “Free Programming” I have extended myself on the socio-economic relevance that may lead, but I wish to focus on the project itself.
It should be based on the achievements of the free software community. Licenses like GPL or Creative Commons, which legal force resides in the people’s support should serve as a starting point. In fact, my will is that my idea may become under a similar legal status.
Its implementation may be the same as that of Amazon EC2, with the difference that should be completely free and that the objective is not to rent a server part, as does Amazon EC2, but to implement a free collaborative environment. It would have virtual machines, over which would be installed free operating systems. On these operating systems would be installed applications that may be used by different users by managing of the passage of a witness.
Actually, the idea is partly from Richard Stallman because has curdled as a result of our conversations via email, but this is the problem of teamwork and precisely because of this reason it is essential liberate the creative contributions.
It would be great cool to be able to draw with one of those new peripherals while our colleagues could see, and at the same time be able to talk or chat, but this is the environment to develop.
In the graph I speak of a telecommunication infrastructure, referring to what I comment in the blog entry where I talk about the OSI reference model. Lower levels should be public and not so low might not be, but in any case, access should be free.
On an open access network, different users, A, B and C, can connect to a server over which is installed a free operating system. I think over this operating system should be a software and a database management system, able of managing user information as well as token passing. The service cannot be the software. This is possible because, according to Stallman has told me, is what makes Twitter, for example.
The baton is the one that must allow a specific user to have control over the machine while other team members observe his actions, each from their browser running in his own personal computer. When any of the other users does not agree with his actions, he must convince him via chat, voice or video for him to pass the baton, being able thus to start a proper debate on teamwork. As a result of this continuous exchange of ideas, the baton must be passing through team members. The baton is the one that determines who, of all team members has control over the machine.
I think it also is a term widely used in telematic but it has nothing to do with it, is an own idea. In the graph I intend to illustrate it. There are three users A, B and C, for example. I think the way that use other similar services such as eyeOS, is a PHP interface, although it could use any other. So the PHP code must establish who has control over the virtual machine. I guess this is done by event management, so always that it ignores all events not coming from the user who owns the baton, the virtual machine will respond only to events caused by the owner of the baton. For example, if the owner of the baton is user A, the interface ignores events caused by B and C and simply responds to events caused by A. However, the response to such events is received by both A, B and C. The rest is a simple chat, text, voice or video communication.
Each group of users rents a given virtual machine. Working together as a team, they install a given free operating system over this virtual machine. On this operating system they install software and under the management of token passing, they collaborate in editing the text, code, etc.
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