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The manifesto explains the values of our community, what Gephi Project wants to bring to the world, and how these goals could be achieved. As many other softwares exists in data/network visualization, we have to find our place in an original way with something never done before in this field.
Gephi is an open-source network visualization platform. Created with the idea to be the Photoshop of network visualization, it combines a rich set of built-in functionalities and a friendly user interface aggregated around the visualization window. Our approach is to provide a powerful visual tool with a smooth learning curve and an active open-source community supporting the project.
The community supporting the project is made of passionate people who believe that openness, innovation and long-term vision are keys to build the best softwares and a successful open-source community. The goals for the Manifesto are to:
- Explain the identity of the Gephi project, what are our priorities and how we make decisions
- Articulate a vision for this technology, and its future evolution
- Foster motivation and appropriation to make other people want to join the project.
Features for Users
- For non-specialists – Must be stable, coherent and easy to learn. No command lines should be required
- Play with data – If you can play with data, you'll understand how to interact. A good playability allows a good start for the learning curve
- User centric – Made for users first. Great care must be given to user interface design and usability
- Readability – Provide good level of display customization and bring aesthetics to network maps
- Extend - Put unlimited effort to help the community creating plug-ins, and sharing them
An Engineering Challenge
- Modular Architecture - The secret for a large development team and smooth code evolution
- Technical Guru - Find the most talented students and engineers to solve hard problems and develop reusable code
- Long-term Design - Be aware of future needs and don't give up to immediate expectations
- Interoperability - Use, improve or create standards
- Integration - Be exigent with user interface, install easiness and software life cycle
Organize the Community
- Transparent - Make decisions on the public place and maintain a roadmap with users
- Provide tools - Forum, Mailing-list, Bug Tracker, Wiki are just some of them
- Write papers - Follow the literature and contribute to the scientific community
- Trust - Trust is the most valuable resource, gain trust from happy users and plug-in developers
- Be Noisy - Start discussions with users, be pro-active and promote best ideas
- Provide a "sustainable" software - Core developers concentrate on the extensible architecture, essential features and usability. Features really needed are added by the community.
- Maintain the technical ecosystem - Gephi Platform is an environment by itself, a base for specialized tools and external technologies mixing. Our role is to facilitate reuse and mashup.
- Build a business ecosystem - Gather research institutions, companies, designers and developers around an evolving technology and drive the common roadmap. Act toward actual needs, facilitate business opportunities and promote best contributors.
- Lead the Network Visualization field - Face cutting-edge technological challenges with a long-term vision and listen to visionary scientists.
- Bind industries and research labs together - Cooperate and capitalize efforts of everyone around open discussions and fellow community members. Develop presence in university lectures and involve students in development and plug-ins.
- Fulfill value chain - Combine in a unified platform the steps from raw data to results and representations. Follow the process described in Computational Information Design (2004).
- Distribute the software in Open Source - Users joining the community have access to the whole process for free, and members provide a reactive support based on a shared knowledge. Developers benefit from the open contributions so they can work only on their concerns. More companies and laboratories have access to this technology: open source lowers costs, reduces development and bug fixing cycles, makes the software easier to integrate, and is able to evolve fast.
Computational Information Design - The value chain
Our community's values
- Open innovation: ideas and features come from the entire community.
- Decisions are taken with transparency.
- We consider this technology as a public good, and will keep it in open source.
- We promote models based on creation of economic value for the benefit of the society.