[Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re: Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam, New York City, April 26-28

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 20:43:16 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 2:29 PM, Catarina Mota
<catarina at openmaterials.org> wrote:
> Great, link please?

Here's one about the skdb format:


The biggest hold-ups for this were two-fold:

1) not enough people have opted to review it, suggesting edge cases,
proposing alternatives, etc. I think perhaps the best reviewer was
Smári McCarthy, because he went off to instead build tangiblebit since
he disliked python a great deal... and then he stopped working on
that. This was one step ahead of "use dpkg for everything!" and it
seemed to work, at least a little.

2) CAD integration, which, in retrospect, is a big project to chew
off. I ended up with piles of code for nurbs manipulation that doesn't
work, and then lots of opencascade junk laying around. Thankfully, the
brlcad crew has been working very hard with the STEP format lately
through Step Code Library (an ISO 10303-2xx implementation) and also
on their nurbs support. So that's nice progress..

The advantage of this is that there is code available in git
repositories. I wouldn't mind scrapping it, if there was a better

>> Open source hardware packaging formats like tangiblebit, skdb, mcad (which
>> had a slight packaging aspect, although that wasn't the original goal),
>> thingdoc, thingscrap, thingzip, cern's repository format, that
>> thing/javascript/repo mirror format, and a long list of others have a
>> suspicious absence in any of these email threads and it is perplexing.
>> Naturally, these formats aren't complete solutions and still need review and
>> more contributors, but either propose an alternative (even a proof of
>> concept) or submit patches... right? what's the hold up?
> Can you share a document with us with a list and links to everything you
> have (or know of) so we can bring those into the discussion?

Here are some links to some email threads all the way back to 2008
discussing hardware packaging formats:

http://heybryan.org/om.html which were collected from

as for individual projects:

tangiblebit - http://diyhpl.us/cgit/tangiblebit
thingdoc - https://github.com/josefprusa/ThingDoc
thingzip - http://spec.makerbot.com/ (which seems to be down, I guess
they aren't interested in maintaining it)
skdb - http://gnusha.org/skdb and
thingscrap output format - https://github.com/grevaillot/thingscrap
cern - http://www.ohwr.org/projects/bpm-dbe/repository (oops, i was
wrong, they have no specification document)

I don't remember the other urls.

- Bryan
1 512 203 0507

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