#ideas Activity Feed

A list of research/project ideas that I have no time to pursue fully, but which I would be very interested in helping out/mentoring. If any of these sound interesting then please reach out to me. I may also be able to help find funding for some of these.

1. File Metadata Removal - this is an area that I think needs additional reseach/experimentation. Existing solutions like exiftool and MAT/2 are great, but don't quite match the modern reality for when and how we would ideally like to integrate such processes into tooling (e.g. in a chat app file share flow) and I think suffer from a limited view of file metadata in light of the growing complexity and diversity of file types, and web based workflows - and how people realistically want to check/modify/remove metadata.

Further, we now have interesting approaches like Magica and other approaches that can perhaps be utilized to catch file types and metadata not strictly captured by a given tool.

Realistically I think there are like 4-5 distinct research projects here around UI/UX, requirements and expectations, and new technical work.

2. Reproducible Build Tool - I'd love to find someone interested in helping/expanding replqiate. I have some ideas about speeding it up further, pushing back the trust, and getting it to the point where it functions as a day-to-day build tool.

3. A better (mostly-static) source code repo/forge - One of my biggest sources of frustration right now is spam in source code repos: specifically issue spam, pull request spam - I think I delete at least 5-10 AI-generated nonsense a week. It's getting worse and the moderation tools to catch this are terrible. I would really like a mostly static git repo that also allows moderated public-issue creation and other nice features. I have a prototype but its been gathering dust.

4. Small Groups (multi)-Project Management - I work on a lot of projects where the primary team is small (either just me, or a small group of 2-4). I have used every project management tool under the sun and found none of them really fit the flow I want. A few notes:

- Kanban is great for restricting WIP but a tool that manages everything in terms of kanban/boards is terrible for managing longer term research

- I need a place to put papers/documents/artifacts that can be tied and referenced to active issues

- I'd like to be able to breakdown problems in addition to work. Capturing the problem structure is, to me, just as important as tracking the work needed to solve a particular instantiation of it

5+. While I am actively working on projects in the following areas, if any of them sound interesting please also get in touch:

- Decentralized Search

- Formal Requirements Specification

- Evolutionary Fuzzing

- Cwtch / Privacy Preserving Communication

Posted: by Sarah Jamie Lewis

I spent some time improving Saffron, a formal language I've been working on aimed at requirements elicitation and analysis.

Mainly I've been thinking about how to express common "patterns" in the underlying formalism e.g. "A message has a single author" can be expressed as infer WHERE m:Message a:Actor b:Author MATCH Author(m,a) THEN PROHIBIT Author(m,b).

One of my goals for this week is to document some of these patterns, and perhaps allow them to be expressed in a syntactic sugar e.g. the above is perhaps more nicely expressed as constrain WHERE m:Message a:Actor EXCLUSIVE Author(m,a)

(An even better syntactic sugar might be to allow the construction of meta-types that compile down to such relationships under the hood to allow a more programmer friendly representation e.g. struct Message := { Author Content } though I am less inclined towards that direction right now as it clutters the number of formalisms at the highest level.)

Posted: by Sarah Jamie Lewis

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