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A Digital Constitution

A site intended to propose the fundamental principles that should underlie the exchange and intercourse of digital art, especially within free societies.

It is currently being formulated on an external site here

The Digital Art Auction

An auction of undefined duration specifically designed for digitally reproducible works (recordings, software, drug formulae), which determines an equivalent retail price to the work being sold as printed copies.

Bidders openly submit their bids (which may be adjusted or withdrawn at any time). The seller may review the bids and close with a price of their choosing at any time—the successful bidders that pay this price are those whose bid meets or exceeds it, and these are the only bidders who receive a copy of the item.


An online record label specifically constructed to support the sale of copyleft music.

It is a highly simplified form of The Digital Art Auction that operates on the basis of a fixed price of £1 per released work.

A musician’s fans may pledge towards the release of a new work, and the musician can choose the moment at which to release, whereupon pledges held in escrow are exchanged for copies.

A musician’s fans may also purchase a copy of an already released work, whereupon the exchange is performed immediately.

The Contingency Market

A general purpose trading system enabling financial exchanges contingent upon public events, e.g. the collective purchase of a music recording contingent upon the event of its public release.

It is to form the engine behind the Digital Art Auction and QuidMusic sites.

The Contingency Market is exposed as a web service, currently in development here: www.contingencymarket.com

A demonstration site, 1p2U, that uses the contingency market is also currently in development.

RSS feeds now ingested by Contingency Market · Wednesday October 21, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I had previously assumed that Contingency Market clients would digest and archive RSS feeds themselves given an underlying assumption that the CM would be RSS agnostic. Thus the CM client (such as 1p2U) would take it upon themselves to register all the appropriate RSS events.

However, being pragmatic about it, the CM is ideally placed to take upon the burden of monitoring RSS feeds itself, leaving clients with only a need to register the feed as an event (an automatically observed one). That way the client can then interrogate the CM for information concerning the history of that feed, e.g. all items published.

I’ve now completed the modifications to the CM.

What I’ve now got to do is remove 1p2U’s rather iffy code that digests the RSS feed and replace it with code that retrieves equivalent information concerning the RSS feed from the CM instead.

Once I’ve done that, there should no longer be gaps in articles, nor cases where subscribers are listed more than once for the same feed.

A couple of days perhaps? :-}

Hacking Some Significant Changes · Friday October 16, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I’ve been changing the representation of 1p2U subscriptions in terms of Contingency Market events, and still have some way to go. So 1p2U’s detailing of subscribers and articles published is not particularly accurate at the moment (very frustrating).

I’m amused to be hoist by my own petard, as in attempting to hack a direct database change (of URL events to URL_RSS events) I came across a security mechanism I’d long ago introduced to thwart such hacks. Once a contingency has been defined, it’s impossible to change it (because of the use of secure hashes). So, I’m going to have to support both the old contingencies and the new ones until the old ones have been replicated, and can eventually be discarded.

Scott Carpenter said 3879 days ago :

Just let me know when I can write my promotional post. :-)

Crosbie Fitch said 3879 days ago :

I was going to e-mail you Scott. I don’t think I’m going to get 1p2U ready for a new influx today. :-(

I’ve just had a surprise 4 day holiday that’s thrown my time-scales out a bit.

Unfortunately things are going to remain a little haywire until I can switch over to a far more robust system. And then I can get on with improving usability and features.

Scott Carpenter said 3879 days ago :

No problem — I’m looking forward to trying it out more, but understand things take time. In the meantime I’m working on content that people might want to pay for.

Crosbie Fitch said 3879 days ago :

Yup, it takes time, as does other work I have to do in parallel – I had to solve someone’s business critical network failure on Weds & Thursday. I’m banking on 1p2U becoming ever more business critical for us, so I look forward to your work, as you no doubt look forward to mine. :)

Caching Up · Thursday September 17, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I have been intending for the Contingency Market API to operate efficiently remotely as well as locally, hence its current, rather sluggish setup my end to replicate such a use.

However, in wishing to progress a little more quickly with 1p2U, I think I’ll leave the implementation of an object cache for the CM API until a little later (given I doubt there are any API users apart from myself at the mo).

Incidentally, the CM back-end database has been designed from the outset to be bidirectionally replicatable. So that provides an alternative to achieving a similar result via the API keyhole.

As far as my immediate next steps are concerned I’m going to try out an alternative API cache, then ameliorate my deliberate server-side bottleneck, and finally migrate data processing from the page retrieval process to a background one. Page caching is another option, but I’m leaving that until last.

So, 1p2U will not change visually/functionally for a few days, despite a long list of things needing to be done.

Cache fixed · Thursday September 10, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I’ve fixed the Contingency Market cache to cope with larger API call results.

I’m now going to do a tadette of profiling on 1p2U to see whether time is taken in database access or SOAP communication.

It would also no doubt help if 1p2U was a little less greedy in the amount of data it requested, but at least it gives me an opportunity to profile where the time is taken when dealing with large amounts of data.

Cache disabled · Wednesday September 09, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The CM PHP API cache crashed yesterday evening, so I have disabled it until I’ve fixed the bug (the call result to be cached was too large).

Oops - Re-Authentication · Wednesday September 09, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

Apologies for accidentally sending out an e-mail yesterday to each 1p2U/Contingency Market user to re-authenticate their e-mail address. This was caused by my direct edit of the user database. I have since amended the code (shut the barn door) such that this won’t happen again (for the same reason anyway).

1p2U Alpha · Wednesday September 09, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The 1p2U project (to let a reader pay a blogger a penny to write another article) has now entered the alpha testing phase, i.e. where although it is incomplete I welcome the more intrepid early adopter to kick its tyres and kindly act as a guinea pig so that more bugs are revealed as it becomes used.

Incidentally, I will now be blogging a little more about 1p2U, so if you’re only interested in my blog articles about ‘Natural IP’ (Intellectual property from a natural rights perspective) then there is now a dedicated Natural IP RSS feed, i.e. http://www.digitalproductions.co.uk/index.php?rss=1&section=Natural-IP. This can be found on the front page of the DP site by some RSS feed readers.

Conversely, there is also a dedicated Projects RSS feed: http://www.digitalproductions.co.uk/index.php?rss=1&section=Projects.

Version 0.9 of PHP client library now released · Monday August 17, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The 0.9 version of the PHP API client library to the Contingency Market is now released.

It now caches CM API calls in a MySQL table for 5 minutes (which may also benefit from a MySQL memory cache). Some calls are idempotent and could be cached for longer, but this is not yet supported.

This release has been tweaked for compatibility with PHP v5.2+ and v5.3+.

See contingencymarket.com/Client_APIs for download details.

If anyone’s interested in downloading the MediaWiki extension that uses this API to implement 1p2U.com, that can be uploaded in a jiffy too.

Version 0.8 of PHP client library now released · Friday July 24, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The 0.8 version of the PHP API client library to the Contingency Market is now released.

See contingencymarket.com/Client_APIs for download details.

If anyone’s interested in downloading the MediaWiki extension that uses this API to implement 1p2U.com, that can be uploaded in a jiffy too.

Version 0.7 of PHP client library now released · Wednesday May 20, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

The 0.7 version of the PHP API client library to the Contingency Market is now released.

The primary improvement is locking of MySQL tables as a means of sharing an api session across multiple simultaneous page requests (rather than creating new sessions upon contention).

See contingencymarket.com/Client_APIs for download details.




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