Announcing the GBX

As we're about to launch the GestureBank beta, we're freezing development of the AttentionTrust Recorder by forking the code as is. Given the success of the ATX (the Recorder is formally known as the Attention Trust Extension to Firefox) in putting the teeth into the AttentionTrust principles, the GestureBank Recorder (GBX) will build upon that platform as it stands.

As we're about to launch the GestureBank beta, we're freezing development of the AttentionTrust Recorder by forking the code as is. Given the success of the ATX (the Recorder is formally known as the Attention Trust Extension to Firefox) in putting the teeth into the AttentionTrust principles, the GestureBank Recorder (GBX) will build upon that platform as it stands. Frankly, we are interested in heading off any possible monetization or market force strategies around the recorder such as separating users into two classes (i.e. individuals and corporations) or status groups (i.e. blacklists and whitelists.) As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Accordingly, the GBX will perform identically to the current ATX, with some extensions to the extension for splitting the individual data into two streams, one poured into the GestureBank open anonymized pool of metadata, and the other a secure, encrypted gesture stream owned by the user. All existing attention services will continue to work as they do now with the ATX; the user can choose to use both alongside each other or the GBX version by itself. We will contribute all useful fixes and enhancements to the core ATX back to the Trust for its consideration. We hope the Trust will continue to do the same in return.

It is our hope that by freezing development of the ATX in this manner we will preserve the trust the community has placed in the Recorder while encouraging the Trust to work with other members of the community to extend the extension with new features that can be shared back to any participants who want to maintain a standards base. Since the GestureBank pool is only accessible to those who contribute to the pool, we need to establish a user-controlled version of the ATX that guarantees both the underlying principles of the Attention Trust as well as the guiding principle of GestureBank, namely that "you've got to be in it to win it."

As you will see when we move next into the public beta, GestureBank services will be available only to contributors. The first of those services will be the GestureBank site itself, where visitors will be redirected to a sign-up service to download the recorder and begin contributing data. The first private beta will serve mostly to streamline that system and establish some metrics around the original pool of contributors. This opt-in approach to both metadata contribution and service access will decrease sharply the time between the private and public betas. We are also readying an IE version of the ATX and GBX recorders to further accelerate adoption.

This post is in service of the AttentionTrust's principle of transparency, building on the commitment thousands of users have already made to take ownership of their metadata. Now, with GestureBank and its open pool of metadata, we have the opportunity to take the next step toward creating value and ratifying the Trust's other principles--property, mobility, and economy. See you at the Pool.

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