The wording in the code of conduct is actually more lenient than I expected.
• So we can download the data? So I could distribute a locally installed program that processes the data in creative ways?[you may] view, download, and print materials from this site for your own personal, noncommercial use (including such use in connection with your calling in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Church”))
• Impersonating is not expressly forbidden unless done for bad reasons? [/quote]nor will you impersonate another user in order to hide your identity or to implicate another in such actions
• "automatic process to access" generally means not driven by a user, which still leaves quite a bit of room for automatic processing if the access was human driven. There's no wording saying anything like "This site can only accessed by a user typing into the url of an approved browser and data processing is strictly limited to their eyeballs". Enforcing rules around processing data on the web is tricky business there are usually so many arbitrary and assumptive lines being drawn, I'm not sure exactly how this sentence should be interpreted.[not] use any robot, spider, or other automatic device, process, or means to access this site for any purpose, including, without limitation, for monitoring or copying any of the material on this site;
I don't think that requests for approved methods of getting creative with membership data are going to go away. And i don't think they should. Can we keep this conversation open? You mentioned that the api isn't designed for developers to make applications out of, but honestly, any bit of data someone has access to gets processed and applied by the user in whatever methods they're literate with. Maybe "developers" can make user friendly applications out of them, but an EQ president might make an excel graph, a ward mission leader might put dots on a map, and deacons president might make a 3 column layout of names and addresses on a paper. Each of those is an application, and everybody is an engineer to some degree, so at some point as people get more literate with tech, you'll have to start placing arbitrary lines on how 'advanced' an application can be. We have to keep this conversation open. The church is smack dab in the middle of one of the most engineering talent dense areas in the country, and has an army of potential and eager allies wanting to help solve the tech problems we're facing. Instead of utilizing this incredible asset, we keep getting told to basically stop bothering the church with our ideas. It's a spiritual dilemma when we're feeling constant spiritual pressure to utilize our talents for the good of the church, but the church blocks us from doing that.
I'm not one to judge the processes (okay, maybe I question everything too much), if this policy comes from revelatory intervention from approved leadership I can sit with it for now, but it feels more like it's just something that just hasn't been discussed enough. If someone posting simple instructions on how to use an internal api causes a flurry of discussion, that makes me question. Is it possible to re open this discussion with the powers that be, and see if we can experiment with some kind of Oauth? Or at least an approved scraping application?