Announcing Frictionless Data Joint Stewardship

March 31, 2020 by Paul Walsh

Our colleagues at the Open Knowledge Foundation announced the Joint Stewardship of Frictionless Data in December 2019. Some of that announcement post is below, and I also wanted to give some more context on this and how it relates to our work at Datopian going forward.

Several of us at Datopian have been involved in the Frictionless Data project for 5-10 years, and we are particularly commited to the vision of a “progressive, incrementally adoptable open-source toolkit that brings simplicity and gracefulness to the data experience - whether you’re wrangling a CSV or engineering complex pipelines with gigabytes”.

This vision builds on our existing client work around CKAN, and speaks directly to the needs we hear time and time again from clients from all sectors; the need for a simple and modular approach to working with data, in contexts were data access and extracting value out of data is no longer just the domain of data experts, but is part of everyday business. This reality demands new approaches to tooling for data engineering, data curation, and data analysis, in ways that work for data novices as well as data experts.

We look forward to developing the Frictionless Data project with the Open Knowledge Foundation toward this end.

# Original announcement

We are pleased to announce joint stewardship of Frictionless Data

between the Open Knowledge Foundation and Datopian. While this collaboration already exists informally, we are solidifying how we are leading together on future Frictionless Data projects and goals.

What does this mean for users of Frictionless Data software and specifications?

First, you will continue to see a consistent level of activity and support from Open Knowledge Foundation, with a particular focus on the application of Frictionless Data for reproducible research, as part of our three-year project funded by the Sloan Foundation. This also includes specific contributions in the development of the Frictionless Data specifications under the leadership of Rufus Pollock, Datopian President and Frictionless Data creator, and Paul Walsh, Datopian CEO and long-time contributor to the specifications and software.

Second, there will be increased activity in software development around the specifications, with a larger team across both organisations contributing to key codebases such as Good Tables, and the various integrations with backend storage systems such as Elasticsearch, BigQuery, and PostgreSQL, and data science tooling such as Pandas. Additionally, based on their CKAN commercial services work, and co-stewardship of the CKAN project, Datopian look forward to providing more integrations of Frictionless Data with CKAN, building on existing work done at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Our first joint project is redesigning the Frictionless Data website. Our goal is to make the project more understandable, usable, and user-focused. At this point, we are actively seeking user input, and are requesting interviews to help inform the new design. Have you used our website and are interested in having your opinion heard? Please get in touch to give us your ideas and feedback on the site. Focusing on user needs is a top goal for this project.

Ultimately, we are focused on leading the project openly and transparently, and are excited by the opportunities that clarification of the leadership of the project will provide. We want to emphasize that the Frictionless Data project is community focused, meaning that we really value to input and participation of our community of users. We encourage you to reach out to us on Discuss, in Gitter, or open issues in GitHub with your ideas or problems.