DAPSI call deadline 20/01/2021

In addition to the full description, here is the information specific to DAPSI.


U: User Research, I: Infrastructure, A: Advocacy, O: Operations

Milestone description Date
U1 Prepare the user research, prepare the research sessions, create an intercept interview script M1
U2 Find the user research participants M1
I1 self-hosted development environment and website M1
U3 Conduct interviews with the participants M1,M2,M3
I2 fedeproxy module, fedeproxy GitLab and fedeproxy GitHub, extensive end to end integration tests, documentation M1,M2,M3
A1 Reach out to GitLab implementors and submit merge requests relevant to simplify the implementation of fedeproxy GitLab M2 to M4
A2 Reach out to Gitea to implement a federation data model and vocabulary M2 to M4
O1 Publish fedeproxy software on a monthly basis M2 to M4
U4 Affinity mapping, result analysis, user research report M4
U5 Define the user experience roadmap based on the recommendations from the user research report M4
I5 Create the fedeproxy server M5,M6,M7
O2 Create a hosting environment for running the fedeproxy server M5
O3 Run the fedeproxy in production M7
A3 Reach out to software developers, organizations and forge maintainers M8,M9
A4 Seek feedback from users and modify fedeproxy accordingly M8,M9
A1 Reach out to GitLab implementors and submit merge requests relevant to simplify the implementation of fedeproxy GitLab M5 to M9
A2 Reach out to Gitea to implement a federation data model and vocabulary M5 to M9
O1 Publish fedeproxy software on a monthly basis M5 to M9

The team

Team composition

Name of the person Role in the project CV Entity
Loïc Dachary Developer https://blog.dachary.org/cv/ Individual, France
Pierre-Louis Bonicoli Developer http://libregerbil.fr/CV_Bonicoli.pdf http://libregerbil.fr/Contributions.pdf Libregerbil, France, Coordinator
Loïc Dachary

In 2001 Dachary raised concerns about centralized proprietary forges and worked with the Free Software Foundation to setup, install and maintain the Savannah forge. He also contributed to the GNA! forge, until 2017, when it shut down. In the recent years Dachary published software to migrate software projects from GitHub to GitLab and infrastructure as code including GitLab deployment Ansible playbooks as well as end to end integration tests for a Django based API server including the automated installation of a GitLab server for the duration of the test.

In 2018 Dachary closed his GitHub account for ethical reasons and has since been unable to participate in Free Software projects hosted there. The federation of forges would allow him to reconnect with these projects.

Pierre-Louis Bonicoli

Libregerbil is a french Free Software service provider founded in 2015 by Pierre-Louis Bonicoli, a Python developer with 10+ years of experience. In 2020, Libregerbil improved the support of GitLab within Zuul, a continuous integration project and added support for the Fuga OpenStack provider to the Enough project. Libregerbil has a long track record of contributions to the Ansible project. Bonicoli runs a redmine instance and mades some minor contributions to the codebase.

Team motivation

Loïc and Pierre-Louis would both use fedeproxy and contribute to its development if it already existed, on a volunteer basis, because they need it for their day to day work. But the initial effort to create fedeproxy from scratch cannot conveniently be done on a volunteer basis and requires funding. In addition, because Libregerbil is a Free Sofware service provider, the expertise developped while creating fedeproxy may generate additional income in the future, if a market for the development of federation features emerges.

Value for money

Entity Name of the person Person months
Libregerbil Pierre-Louis Bonicoli 4.5
Loïc Dachary 4.5
Total 9

The costs are calculated on the basis of a 3,000€ net income per month per person, which is well below the average salary for a developer residing in Paris France. The net salary is approximately 55% of the gross salary (retirement plan, social security, unemployment fund etc.) paid by the company. Each participant must attend three face to face events for which the location is unknown: the travel budget includes them. The structure overhead is 20% (administration, management, accounting, etc.). Each total is rounded to the lowest thousand.

Cost category Libregerbil Loïc Dachary Total Amount (€)
Personnel 27,000 27,000 54,000
Travels 4,000 4,000 8,000
Structure overhead 6,000 6,000 12,000
Total 37,000 37,000 74,000

DAPSI_proposal_fedeproxy_Call2.odt (41.1 KB)

The document above, with comments and suggestions.

DAPSI_proposal_fedeproxy_Call20210117.odt (45.9 KB)

  • Proposal Title: A federation proxy for software development forges
  • Proposal Acronym: fedeproxy
  • Keywords:
    • Decentralized solutions
    • Permissionless innovation
    • Empowerment and self-determination
    • Software Engineering
    • Services & Applications
    • Resilient Robust & Dependable
    • Sustainability
  • SUBDOMAIN & SCOPE: Service Portability
  • Does the project contain a relevant research component: Yes
  • Does the proposal include work dedicated to technical development (software/hardware development component)? Yes
  • You are applying as: a group of individual(s) and organization(s)

I added some comments.
DAPSI_proposal_fedeproxy_Call20210117.odt (46.9 KB)

1 Like

Here is the final version, ready to be submitted.

There are a few advice that were not followed:

  • Adding URLs to academic research on the subject. I’m not aware of any and it is doubtful they will actually be used. There is a research requirement in the call and that may be a problem. However the “user research” part is genuinely research in the sense that we don’t know in advance what we’re going to discover.
  • Re-using the language of the call to facilitate the evaluation from the experts. I was just not able to do that without distorting the content beyond recognition. The upside is that the ideas easier to understand. The downside is that an examiner tasked to tick boxes on an evaluation form will have to figure out which part of the project relate to which box because the project description won’t contain the exact same words as the box description.

For the record, it looks like there might be a competing proposal:

There is a limited-time opportunity for this work to be submitted as a grant to the NLNet folks via the NGI Search & Discovery grant (5-50k euros) or DAPSI grants (50k+ euros?). There is never a guarantee a grant will be selected to receive money, but given the slate of other Fediverse projects that have gotten funding via the NGI S&D, I think this is a great exercise. There is the possibility that the EU will extend certain NGI funding periods for further cycles, but it is not guaranteed.

Concretely, would need 1 or more Gitea community member volunteers interested in taking the lead on those. I personally am applying separately for other projects, so I don’t have time / energy to push this aspect forward, but happy to provide guidance where possible.