After an exciting discussion with @MyriamBoure about the infrastructure like properties of software, I was asking myself what actually the main strategic goal of OFN is. Is it the creation of the Spree based ordering system, or is it the building of a global network for the promotion of buying local and keeping food supply chains short? Given just the name I would tend to the latter, as human ‘networks’ basically consist out of social contacts and only secondarily out of technique.
The first functionality that becomes obvious when accessing https://www.openfoodnetwork.org.uk is it’s map. And it seems that for many users that’s already enough. It is very hard to find an open hub on the map. Most of the icons just contain URLs of farms and such.
So why not use this functionality to connect to other solutions for food distribution that came to stay? It might be wise to fully abstract the map from the underlying distribution system and use technology that was created just for this mapping approach like teikei.
As diversity is one of the key factors for sustainability on all levels, it’s probably very wise if OFN would mirror this principle in it’s organizational structure, what would mean to treat other solutions equally to it’s own technical development.
There are a lot of good tools out there and I am not sure whether it was the best choice to put all on ‘Spree commerce’ when attempting to build a less commercial economy.
Here’s another very interesting thread from @wvengen about the collaborative approach, which drifted away into technical questions. In my view the main question is more in the scope of organizational development and only on second sight technical.