About the Artifacts category

Every topic in this category represents an Artifact: a piece of work that provides durable value to SourceCred.

Much of the value created by the SourceCred community involves the creation of artifacts. An artifact could be a software system, a well-designed interface, well-written documentation, or a collection of inspirational art. This category exists so that we can reify such artifacts, and track them within SourceCred itself.

In contrast to initiatives, artifacts are not individual pieces of work. They represent the valuable product that stays around after successful initiatives.

Each topic in this category should be made into a wiki, so that everyone can update artifacts.

Each artifact will link to the sub-artifacts that compose it (like how the SourceCred codebase consists of many modules) and link to artifacts it depends on (like how SourceCred modules depend on the build system).

Each artifact will link to contributions (initiatives, didathings, or even individual pull requests) that the artifact depends on. In general, artifacts should link to fewer than 20 contributions; if an artifact depends on more contributions, then either the artifact should be refactored into sub-artifacts, or the contributions should be grouped together into initiatives.

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Wait… are artifacts individual pieces of work (a software system, a well-designed interface, well-written documentation) or not individual pieces of work (broad initiatives, conversations, goals). This line says they’re not, but the post kind of makes it sound like they are?

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Thank you for the question @burrrata, it’s a good opportunity to clarify our thinking. I would think of it as stocks and flows of value. An initiative is a flow of value–people work together to coordinate creating something valuable. An artifact is a stock of value: the value that persistently sticks around as a result of the initiatives.

The artifacts description post is a wiki. Want to try improving it so that it would have been clearer to you from the start?

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Yes! but after I understand lol

So are you saying that initiatives are a direction for flows of value (transactions / energy) and artifacts are assets that capture and store that value that (gold / tangible matter)?

Riffing off your garden metaphor. The initiatives are proposals for action, like “let’s water this plant”, or “let’s build a sprinkler system”. The artifacts are things we value having in the garden, like “a flourishing rose bush” or “a tuned automatic sprinkler system”.

The project is valuable because of its artifacts (the rose bushes) and those artifacts depend on other artifacts (the sprinkler). Initiatives create, maintain, and improve the artifacts.


That makes sense! I like this garden metaphor. Helps makes the ideas more tangible. Also (kind of) ties in with the cred/grain metaphor (growing stuff - creating value)