Sloan funding Dat development

We’ve got two happy pieces of news!

The first is that board member Max Ogden is transitioning to being an employee, as we start to house and support Dat, Max’s data package management tool. Dat is a system for real-time replication, transformation, and versioning of large tabular datasets. Git is to source code as Dat is to datasets. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided $50,000 to support taking Dat from an idea to a pre-alpha stage, which sustained the project until February. Now it’s becoming a US ODI project.

This is possible because of the second announcement: the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided $260,000 in funding to support the continued development of Dat. That money will be used to pay Max and two additional developers to spend the year growing Dat into a vibrant, healthy, widely used open source project. Sloan’s interest is in seeing Dat used in the sciences, which produces a great deal of data, but for reasons both cultural and technological, does not generally publish that data openly. We intend to play a role in changing that.

Max got started yesterday. You can follow along with development of Dat at its GitHub repository.

Our thanks to Josh Greenberg and the Sloan Foundation for their generosity and gracious support. We’re also grateful to Casey Dachs and the Miami Foundation, and the folks at the Knight Foundation for their important help in making this possible.