Over a year ago, January 2014, the FinTP code was published in the open source space. This probably made FinTP the first open source application for processing financial transactions available on the market. It’s true, it is a very niche software product, but we believed the information about its existence should be out there, for anyone interested to see.
That’s why we, as FinTP contributors, decided to publish all relevant information about FinTP and FINkers United, the open source community around it, on Wikipedia. Linux is on Wikipedia, Red Hat, Apache, Gnome, Debian, Mozilla, they are all there. Of course, FinTP is a newcomer, its community’s size cannot compare to the ones above mentioned, but that’s just one more reason for the information to get out there. Because we believe any open source development should be shared with the large public.
That in mind, we put together a content page detailing what FinTP is all about and another one for FINkers United. And we published them on Wikipedia, pending review. Eventually, the answer came and surprise, the pages were deleted as they were considered advertising. Advertising? We’re talking about an OPEN SOURCE project, a completely new idea in the banking and financial industry. Shouldn’t the information be out in the open, available to everyone?
We understand how Wikipedia works, based on contributors keeping it updated and relevant. Just like FinTP. But FinTP, like any other serious open source project, has community mechanisms that check and validate contributions so that the code published is reliable and safe for everyone that wants to use it. We don’t know if Wikipedia has supervising mechanisms for every review or label being given by its contributors, but maybe it should. Because for niche and not so common projects, there is a need for a deeper understanding of the concept, the industry it targets, its usability and therefore understand why it is not enough to say “FinTP is an open source project for processing financial transactions” and that’s all, why you really need to explain things and why that explanation is not, by far, advertising.
Now, the purpose of this post might seem inexplicit or even a bit curious, but all we are trying to do is inform others about the existence of something they might need or be interested in. And we try to do that on any channel available to us. We believed Wikipedia is a good channel for informing people. And we still do. So, let’s name this article a call for advice. If you have any advice to what an open source project needs to be recognised as such and published on Wiki, without being considered advertising (as if it is not open source) please help and let us know. Please keep in mind that we believe informing means also explaining and putting into context, so publishing a short definition of the project just won’t do.
Many thanks in advance for all your tips,