Free the Data!

People talked much about libre software, which should be free to grow and bloom. We feel this is just the first step. We want to take a step further and free the data from the proprietary format chains that hold it. We want to turn the existing approach on its head and proclaim data to be king - programs merely its slave.

The Vision

It is about a different organization of processing and representation. We want to abolish program-centric views where data is proprietary to a program. We see a future where the desktop forgot files and proprietary file formats altogether and focuses on data. We want the user to be in control of the data they have. We want to abolish the directory structure as a fixed tree representation. The user will be presented with a 2D/3D space of "data articles" they have and a possibility to navigate through them, manipulate them and have different views on them. As opposite to a fixed tree representation, the user will be able to work with data as a network of related pieces, categorize them at a whim, walk through them, and transform them.

Crucial to the vision is the ability to convert and view data via "filters" which is the same as programs crunching files, thus data will have an open interface and programs will not hold proprietary data formats as we see now with most applications.

Proceedings

We want to create a set of requirements for a system library to fulfill, with a goal of standard behaviour and representation. These requirements will be backed by a set of principles. An OS library that follows the requirements will present the user with the same uniform tools as other implementations. The library in turn will be used by high-level programs as an interface foundation. This standard will be OS-independent and will not specify the details of realization. This, we believe, will encourage and stimulate development of many libraries and tools in a truly Open Source spirit.

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