User:Mchua/Braindumps/G1G1 database

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This proposal is now dead and outdated. It was a strawman attempt (Jan. 2008) to stimulate discussion (among support-gang members) on how to resolve the issue of G1G1 donors not having access to their laptop shipment information. The problem has since been addressed through the much more effective measure of having OLPC staff work directly with the fulfillment companies involved.

As a strawman, I propose a 100% public database - world-readable, world-writable.

Think of it as a specialized form of RT, created only for the G1G1 issue, made so "normal human beings" can use it without training, and to which everyone has access. Frustrated People can input as many or as few (or none) of their order details as they want, with the clear understanding that everyone can see the information they post, but more information makes things easier to track. The entire community can then pitch in on "resolving tickets."

In terms of implementation, a more strictly moderated forum section would work out-of-the-box. Each thread == 1 G1G1 order. Things that don't fit a certain format will be discarded. Do things like only allowing tracking numbers or the string "no tracking number" as thread titles, seeding new threads with a template for the kinds of information (name, address, date of order) that can be in the first post, etc.

After the initial first post of information in a thread (which would ideally be strictly formatted so we can run bots through it), conversations, rants, and updates can be tacked on, allowing us to hold more information than name/address/tracking number/fedex status, which isn't enough for people with lost fedex boxes, no tracking numbers, etc. etc. etc. People with access to more information (like Brightstar's database) can check and chip in updates, but so can everyone else. When laptops arrive or the situation otherwise ends, the thread is moved to a "resolved" section.