An Introduction

what this blog is all about; what are the goals and why am I doing this

 So what is Theodorus anyhow?

Hm. To be honest, although I’m playing with this idea for several months now I still haven’t formalised the exact definition. But let me tell you the core principle: Theodorus is community-driven decision-maker. Does this makes sense? I’ll break it down a bit, starting from the end – or the output. “Decision-maker” means that the “system”’s output will be a decision. That’s sound simple enough; it will gather all sorts of input which will ultimately resolve to a decision, or a call-to-action, or an instruction for an action to be made by someone in the real-world. “Community-driven” is the second under-lying keystone and it means that the decision came with the cooperation and agreement of all community members authorised in the “system”.

What is the “System”? and why do you use quotes for it?

Theodurus, aka the “system” is a piece of software code meant to run as web-service. Meaning, it will be reside on some web-server somewhere in the cloud and it will serve a community connected to it via a browser or a dedicated application. Actually, Theodorus is a name for a single instance of this “system”, designed for a very specific community and a very intentional purpose, but the system (I’ll stop with the quotes now, with your permission) can, or should, be used for any community that wants it, for whatever purpose. I can imagine a community of chefs writing a recipe-book and using Theodorus to pick up the best recipe for every dish offered. It’s actually a great idea because all the alternative will still be there, but they will be ranked, by the community, with the commentaries so if someone would like his pancakes to be non-vegan, he can still find the recipe somewhere in the alternatives. Anyone can use Theodorus for his own community simply by downloading the code and running it on his web-server. I hope in the future I’ll be able to offer the hosting as well, but I’m light-years away from that.

Yeah, it does seem quite ambitious, let alone the fact you’re working alone?

Well, yes, that’s true. But I’d like to imagine myself as a sole conductor in the beginning of the great flash-mob the world has ever seen, and you need to start from somewhere, right? I hope that soon enough this project will get its momentum and once contributors start appearing, the development speed will increase incrementally. Another issue is about the fundings, as I currently hold a paying job which occupies a great deal of my waking hours, I hope that some contribution that will allow me to focus solely on this project.

Wait, haven’t this done before? what’s wrong with wikipedia for example?

Wikipedia is one of the best crowd-sourcing tool there is, no doubt in that, but deep-down inside, wikipedia is meritocracy, which isn’t necessarily bad on its own, but it still mean that somebody else’s vote is more important than mine – if you’ll ever come to cross a wikipedia-admin, he’ll simply kick you out and that will be end of the discussion. In Theodorus, there’s still a chance of being kicked out if you disobey the fundamental rules but for this you need to cross a large set of people – at least one is a normal user who reported your abusive behaviour but also a certain amount of moderators whose decisions are monitored compared to the other moderators

Last question (for now): why a blog?

OK, that’s a fair question. Having a blog will hopefully help me attract the development’s community attention before I’ll have the MVP (minimum viable product – the bare minimum features that still worth the user’s time and effort). Also, I’ve realised my approach that at times feels to me a bit religious-like in comparison to other developers is (sadly) quite far from the normal practice. For example, I’m a strong fanatic believer of complete separation of code/design/content – meaning that as a fundamental core no HTML should be written in the javascript code (and vice-versa). Yes, it creates a lot of limitations, but it also the basic requirement for reusable code. I hope to use this blog to introduce my doctrine about development and design.

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