[Discuss] OSHWA creates one database to rule them all ...

Michael Shiloh michaelshiloh1010 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 7 16:53:04 UTC 2014

This discussion is a little like the discussions around the proliferation of
Linux distributions, and whether that's a good thing or not, and if not, what
can be done about it.

I think these are good discussions to have, but ultimately, being open, there
is not much that can be done to coral these cats.

If we accept that multiple different formats are inevitible, I think perhaps
the most important thing is to encourage each to provide a well designed (and
open of course) API to access the database.

How do we encourage this? By modeling such behavior on our own projects. Any
open project that has contains useful information should provide an API to
that information.

With APIs, data can be easily aggregated from different databases, and
designes can easily be converted from one to the other.

(Some might remember my rant about APIs at a Sketching conference some years
back. I ended with the line "there's an API for that".)



On Sun, Sep 07, 2014 at 12:39:42PM -0400, Will Canine wrote:
> I just want to play off the idea of incentives for a little bit. As an Open
> Hardware company, it is enough work to maintain one's own documentation in
> a highly-usable yet technically specific format, while maintaining future
> product development, manufacturing & fulfillment, marketing, and other
> business activities. Coordinating with everyone else in the community to
> produce a commons of designs would be would be an order of magnitude more
> complicated and time consuming -- for a task that does not directly produce
> revenue.
> I think that instead of asking projects/companies to do organize themselves
> and do it, someone should start a business that aggregates open source
> documentation in a standardized, browsable format, and then sells kits to
> make newly "remixed" designs. Just a thought...
> Go team Open Hardware!
> On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I dunno. But you probably wouldn't call it "one database to rule them all"
> > and it probably wouldn't have much to do with creating the incentives
> > necessary to get people to even care about packaging in the first place.
> > Both of the things that got this particular thread started.
> >
> > At least a metadata "business card" type thing could clearly specify which
> > packager a project used. You wouldn't have to track someone down on chat or
> > anything.
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> With a standardized "business card" we could at least get most of the
> >>> projects indexed and searchable even if they remain hosted on different
> >>> platforms.
> >>>
> >>
> >> What do I call packaging that isn't about the problem of discoverability
> >> so that I don't upset others who share your opinion? Curious to here what
> >> you would consider to be necessary to make it obvious that I am talking
> >> about a different concept.
> >>
> >> - Bryan
> >> http://heybryan.org/
> >> 1 512 203 0507
> >>
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > discuss mailing list
> > discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> > http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
> >
> >

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