Mission Statement

Advogato is a community site for free software developers. It also serves as a research testbed for my research on group trust metrics for peer certification.

Currently, I'm ramping up features and capabilities as fast as I can. I want the site to serve as a nice, friendly gathering place for all the wonderful people in our community. To that end, there's a Slashdot style news flow with comments. A neat feature I'm particularly proud of is a diary server. This is a convenient place to record your notes and observations regarding free software development, and to browse through what others are saying. I'm hoping to add other features such as book reviews soon.

While "Advogato" is a pun on the word "advocate," the goal of this site is quite different than the usual sense of OS advocacy or free software advocacy. Advogato's advocacy is for developers of free software: to make life more enjoyable, the work more satisfying, and to help balance the tension between the free nature of the enterprise and the human need for tangible compensation. Advogato doesn't care about the market share growth percent of the free software operating systems. What Advogato cares about is how to make the best use of the opportunities, and deal with the challenges, that this growth is creating.

The other major focus of this site is a peer certification system. The members of this site certify each other, specifying one of three skill levels. Then, I've got a trust metric that takes the whole pile of certificates and decides a trust level for each member. What makes the system interesting is that it's attack resistant. If a bunch of attackers were to create lots of accounts and mutually certify each other, only a very few would be accepted by the trust metric, assuming there were only a few certificates from legitimate members to the hackers.

A more detailed writeup of the technical details is in a draft paper submission on the topic.

The source code of this site is itself a free software project. It's written as an Apache C module, using gnome-xml to store the state of the site. It's now released!

In summary, welcome! And please bear with the site design as I continue to work on it.

-- Raph Levien, updated 22 Feb 2000

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!