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Whether we migrate to SE 2.0 or not, I think we should make an effort to write some software, on a much more modest scale than alpha.mathoverflow.net.
In particular, we should implement the StackExchange API, running off a database dump.
What does this give us?
In fact, writing this I realize what we really should be doing! Hire a real programmer to write something that:
Discuss, work out how much this should cost, find appropriate grant money (I'm pretty certain I can arrange this), and hire someone.
I'll be offline next week, but if someone wants to look at the API and Stack Apps and see if what I've said above is sensible, that would be great! (I'm also time constrained and on a phone: if someone wants to provide URLs for these things, please do.)
I made a new category, "Migration", and retagged some old discussions. @grp: Feel free to email the moderator address, or me directly.
Further, regarding testing the API, lots of people have written wrappers for the API in their favourite language: java, python, and many others. Many of these in turn have unit tests (I'm not sure which ones). These were intended to test the wrappers, but now we know the wrappers work, they perhaps easily become tests that an implementation of the API works.
I dimly remember you having some experience with commercial software development, so I appreciate you taking a look at this and suggesting some estimates. Nevertheless, I think they are off.
For starters, there's no database design work to do at all, let alone 3 months worth. The database schema is directly available, e.g. as described over at the Stack Exchange Data Explorer. (In fact, you can actually run arbitrary SQL queries against Stack Exchange site database dumps there.) Moreover, I've already written something that loads XML database dumps into SQL (while working on alpha), although I don't use exactly the same column names in places. I've also already got some of the SQL queries that are required for the API, including the horrific ones like "give me all comments, answers, comments on answers, along with user information for all of these, for this post". Obviously these queries still need lots of testing, as well as code that serializes the results to JSON, so there is indeed lots more work. All that I'm saying is that the database design part is all old hat, and we have good evidence that the schema actually supports the most difficulty queries we need to run.