The Year 2009 in Review

Since there are not a lot of development updates for this quarter, I will spend some time looking back at 2009 development ‘highlights’ instead. (The embarrassing fact that these are highlights says something about my odd interests in life.)

While’s philosophical foundations have remained stable and consistent (see, the technical details of the implementation have not always been easy to follow. There really is a lot of art involved in system design, even in an ‘objective’ technical field such as information systems. On a more encouraging note, the accounting system, which was called Entity Module in early 2008, has really become more stable this year. The code is much easier to read and the naming conventions have been mapped to the revised ocaup terminology. The seemingly unnecessary effort to implement transaction recovery outside of built-in database functionality is also paying off, especially as the protocol emphasis shifts towards allowing long-duration web-service type transactions. I still have not released the revised code pending the addition of other functionalities, primarily held up by the issues discussed next.

The effort to build on top of the Prowl demo was, to put it mildly, not very successful. In hindsight, it is easy to see that by using the publication of records as a form of ‘instantaneous reporting’ at the time of transaction, the payment messaging requirements had become too tightly coupled with reporting requirements. To drastically lessen this dependency, I am currently investigating a different approach that should be better in many ways than PaCT. In general, the same conceptual ‘parts’ are used but re-arranged for better modular ‘fit’ and orthogonal development. I expect this new approach, tentatively called Inter-entity Payment Protocol (IPP), to be demonstration-ready by early next year.

Finally, there have been brief but encouraging discussions with other currency design enthusiasts. The potential for collaborations is definitely brewing, but there has to be a good, even if not exact, matching interests on the importance of representing market entities in a currency brand index. More often than not, other projects emphasize visualizing individual contributions and personal reputation metrics, while the emphasis in this site has always been on enabling performance evaluations of specialized organizations that provide products and services to the market. In other words,’s information system design focus is on auditable budgets and inter-entity transactions between organizations, NOT internal transactions between members of the same organization or barter community.

That is pretty much 2009 in a nutshell. I will outline general projects ideas and work plans for the year 2010.