Direct funding by the public of free software, hence "Publicly Funded Free Software."
This is the first in a series of experiments to that end.
Here is a rough demo, written in about 18 hours. The tree is drawn from Wikipedia articles, where the children of each article are the other articles listed in the "See Also" section (trimmed so as to make the demo work a little better). Navigate the tree by moving the mouse; click to load the article in a frame below. Like all the demos on this page, this is tested in Firefox 3 only and may not work in other browsers. Even in Firefox 3 it isn't very usable, and breaks on nodes with too many children, so a little imagination is required.
A similar interface could be used to edit tree structures as well as explore them.
If this project wins, we would develop the UI itself and a suitable API for integration with other projects. Unlike the lgrep and grapher projects, this is more of an application component or widget than a standalone Web application.
Lgrep is a Web-based "live grep", potentially useful for log file analysis, exploring large data sets, data visualization, and any kind of quick text processing that might otherwise be done with POSIX or Perl.
To use lgrep, first choose a data source: any Web address, an uploaded file, a set of URIs, etc.
(In the demo below there is a fixed set of input files.)
The data is immediately loaded and displayed (as plain text, HTML, etc, as per media type).
Then, you may choose a filter such as
grep, which determines what records get displayed.
As you type, records which don't match the filter are removed from the output.
Various other verbs are provided to sort, cut, limit, group, compare, and analyze.
The results are assigned a unique URL so you can share the output (and the recipe that created it) with others.
Lgrep is comparable to AWK, or grep, head, tail, cut, sort and the other Unix utilities, but with immediate feedback, and designed for the Web and for collaboration, hence "live grep."
Here's a toy demo of what this might look like in action, written in about 7 hours.
To this we would add:
In a second round of development, we could add the ability to write your own verbs, undo/redo, statistical aggregate functions, visualization features with charts and graphs, and so on.
Grapher is a Web-based function grapher. Just like a graphing calculator, it uses a formula for y in terms of x and a range to generate an image.
To this we would add:
Ideal projects for this experiment are:
Suggestions are welcome on the mailing list (see below), or by email to email@example.com.
Future projects will likely be more ambitious, such as Web-based interfaces for email, or collaborative programming or text editing.
Ongoing discussion is on the mailing list.