[Discuss] open hardware documentation survey

Matt Maier blueback09 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 26 14:20:11 UTC 2013

I suspect that once we figure out what we need it will be easy to discover 
several pre-existing software tools that either already do exactly that, or 
can easily be forked to do exactly that.

The problem is that we don't know what we need.

That's where the committee comes in. We need to get some stakeholders into 
a room and hash out a mutually agreeable prioritization of requirements. 
There is little point in discussing specific "hows" until we have some 
consensus on "what." 

For example, the STEP file format is indeed a standard for exchanging 
product information, but it's copyrighted and has a massive amount of 
overhead. I doubt even OSE is doing any project big enough to justify that 
much complexity. A giant, complicated format like STEP could obviously 
describe simple projects, but it would also create a huge barrier to entry 
due to all of the complexity that is only there for complex projects. Since 
most open hardware projects are simple, or at least striving for 
simplicity, STEP might be kind of like hiring a marching band to follow you 
around and play a song when you get a new text message.

Or maybe the complexity is worthwhile, or doesn't matter, and my personal 
impression of the situation is inaccurate. The best way to find out is to 
compare it to a bunch of other people's impressions so we can come up with 
a generally applicable solution, not just a solution to my specific problem.

At any rate, the discussion has to happen before any implementation makes 

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:41:19 AM UTC-6, Bryan Bishop wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM, Matthias Bock <ma... at matthiasbock.net<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> > In order for a repository project to be successfull, a group of people - 
> > with equal rights 
> > to decide what to do, should be organized. Only this way, users can be 
> sure 
> I think it would be better to show a prototype that works. Not a 
> commercial product, but just a small package manager that actually 
> manages packages. Maybe something based on opkg. If you want something 
> made by committee, just stick with ISO 10303 (which, for whatever 
> reason, nobody seems to know about... wtf). 
> - Bryan 
> http://heybryan.org/ 
> 1 512 203 0507 
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