March Community Call Recap!

Last week we brought together people from across industries including academia, publishing, and technology for our first community call.

March Community Call Recap!

Last week we brought together people from across industries including academia, publishing, and technology for our first community call. We will be hosting these calls every quarter to spread ideas, make connections, and learn about each others projects. As a nonprofit, we work to improve access to knowledge across several domains and this call is a perfect venue for facilitating that.

Did you miss it? You can watch the the recording and view the notes! Follow Dat Project on Twitter or sign up for our email list so you can catch the next one.

Why host a call? We wanted to add another channel for regular project updates and a chance to make our online connections a little more IRL. We have a unique community! We can pull speakers from friendly and interesting projects across multiple domains who may not cross paths but face similar challenges. It's a chance to bring the global community together to interact between conferences and meetups.

We currently support three projects via fiscal sponsorship and are growing an awesome community of technology for the public good projects that span open data, open research, science, peer-to-peer web, and technology for the public good. Central to our mission to bringing people together from different fields to share ideas.

During the call, we hosted three speakers, updates from our sponsored projects, and non-verbal updates from the community:

  • Karissa McKelvey (one of our fantastic new board members!!!) and Stephen Whitmore spoke about Digital Democracy. Digital Democracy’s mission is to empower marginalized communities to use technology to defend their rights. In simple language,they fight for indigenous self-determination through tech & local partnerships. They build tools that work in remote, rural locations that help people defend their land ownership and other rights.
  • Peter van Hardenberg did a demo of PixelPusher. An experiment to really understand the limitations and needs for peer-to-peer applications and data sync. You really need to check out his demo! It was pretty cool to see real-time how collaborative conflict resolution can happen on via a peer-to-peer network.
  • Tara Vancil covered Beaker Browser, a project near and dear to our hearts. If you are following Dat and haven't seen Beaker, you are in for a treat! With Beaker you can browser websites over Dat and so much more! Tara gave some updates and vision of where they are headed.
  • Danielle and Joe did the Dat update, calling out recent work on Dat in the Lab. Stay tuned for an update to the CLI to address data transfer issues for researchers. The new Dat Protocol Working Group is working to formalize existing Dat specification and create processes for updating protocol. This group meets every other Wednesday in #datprotocol IRC - all welcome!
  • Nokome Bentley delivered the Stencila update. Stencila aims to make reproducible research more accessible through familiar word processor and spreadsheet interfaces. Check out the (most recent builds)[]. Stencila is also looking to develop function libraries, to make it easier for users to add custom functions and to write domain-specific function libraries that can be used within Stencila. Learn more at the Stencila work in progress libtemplate. And finally, on the interoperability front, chek out Stencila's ongoing work on converters. Initial working version of converters for Jupyter Notebooks, RMarkdown to Stencila Articles (so you can port your markdown notebook and code into a JATS-based article format to write up a publication) are just one exciting thing discussed!
  • ScienceFair's Richard Smith delivered an async update. He's partnered with WorldBrain to work on shared distributed knowledge infrastructure issues. In the process, he's developed blazing fast Dat compatible fulltext search index with WorldBrain in pure JS that scales linearly to millions of documents (expect release in the next month - boom! 🔥🔥🔥). Major work on ScienceFair datasources is underway, including all of PMC. This would mean that theree full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature maintiained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) would be searchable, annotatable, and sharable. Stay tuned!

A few events were announced on the call:

Thanks to all our speakers, attendees, and extra special thanks to Aurelia Moser and Steph Wright (and the Mozilla Science family) who helped us get organized and live stream the call.

Follow Dat Project on Twitter or sign up for our email list to get notified for the next community call.

Have a project that you want to share on the next call? Let us know! Email [email protected] with information about your project and why our community needs to learn about it.