[Discuss] Community-based creation of Open Hardware Knowledge

Nancy Ouyang nancy.ouyang at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 03:59:04 UTC 2015

Yea -- here's a proposal in more detail --

noobuser: "what is CAD"

expertA: "claims" the post.

has five-minute window to write the skeleton for a well-designed answer.
editing window immediately visible to world, but only expertA can write to
meanwhile, other interested people "tag" onto the post.

after five minutes, editing window becomes write-able to maximum 5 people
who tagged onto the post.

they flesh out a v0.1 of the answer together using a real-time
collaborative text editor, like etherpad/google docs hybrid.

editing window visible to world the whole time. [1]

after one hour, v0.1 "published." when this happens,

a) anyone can upvote the "published" post now. upvotes are distributed
evenly to these 6 people.

b) also now anyone in the world (randomexpertA) can contribute to v0.2 and
also give +1/-1. if enough +1s accumulate, expertA is notified. if
randomexpertA'a contributions are merged to "published" version by expertA
(maybe "tag" editors also have admin power to prevent maintainer-leaving
rot), randomexpertA gets to share in the upvotes on the answer.

---> we need to think about how to deal with answers becoming obsolete as
technology changes. pruning? all answers older than 1 year are axed (users
retain their upvotes) automatically, unless saved by a yearly review

[1] heehee, with all this real-time documentation going on, maybe one day
we will have a "twitch" for documentation writing :P cheer on your favorite
doc writer as he/she heroically distributes knowledge to the world!

Re: timofonic, you might like this post

> What software exists to aid in explaining electromechanical concepts?

this is like... we need another unconference to have people think about
"software tools for documentation for hardware concepts"... ideally
easily-available software tools, not MATLAB/Simulink... biostar, not

sigh. my brain is going to explode soon =/ but thanks everyone for thinking
through these things and being excited with me

narwhaledu.com, educational robots <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu>
 [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>,
arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and scaling
your analyses)

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:21 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:

> That's an interesting approach. So, somebody (preferably an expert) would
> control the repo for the answer and then everyone else would contribute and
> vote on changes. Is that accurate?
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 7:27 PM, Nancy Ouyang <nancy.ouyang at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> re: "how to mobilize a community to create knowledge"
>> (Moving to new thread, this is a whole 'nother can of worms)...
>> Some notes (from a discussion today with a friend)
>>    - Yahoo answers is a steaming pile of -- err dung
>>    - Stack Overflow is better, but is still shockingly bad
>>       - their reward mechanism encourages participation, but does not
>>       correlate with expertise and helpfulness well
>>    - quora suffers from the same sickness as reddit
>>       - it has turned into storytelling somewhat
>>       - more like TED than expertise driven
>>       - it creates a positive feedback of popularity
>>       - a well-regarded story will dominate all others
>>    - wikipedia does alright
>>       - they compile knowledge into a single answer, rather than
>>       selecting the best answer
>> *Given that, here's an idea*
>>    - *stackoverflow but with git merge of answers*
>>    - the merged answer gives points to all contributors fairly somehow
>>    - people upvote / downvote changes, ala Apache +1/-1 +0/-0
>>    - See
>>       https://github.com/ga4gh/schemas/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md#issue-resolution
>>       for explanation
>>       - and there's a mechanism to allow comments that are not part of
>>    the answer
>> Does this flag anyone as "this will fail for obvious reasons"?
>> If not, we could flesh this out further and then feature request this on
>> the Biostars github <https://github.com/ialbert/biostar-central> and
>> maybe someone will actually build it... potentially on a fork or something,
>> since there's something to be said for real-time help with a community
>> welcoming to "beginner questions," instead of technical manual or textbook,
>> no matter how well-written.
>>> *Biostar: Software for building Scientific Communities*
>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:02 PM, timofonic timofonic <
>> timofonic at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hello, Nancy.
>>> Wikibooks are great, but those documents aren't nearly as didactical and
>>> easier to read than these copyrighted works. Despite they aren't perfect
>>> and offer simplifications I don't get (I did read a free chapter from the
>>> author on Usenet about getting LT3086 from Linear Technology to make an
>>> adjustable power supply. Its okay, but those are expensive chips and I
>>> would prefer to use discrete electronics), they are easy to read.
>>> I understand writing proper books about electronics or any other
>>> technical stuff without being boring, having good/excellent writing, proper
>>> design and great explainings (so people without proper physics and/or maths
>>> are able to understand it and learn that missing stuff) is a total
>>> challenge and it would require a totally dedicated team of people. After
>>> all Newnes, Cambridge Press and others have tons of money to invest in
>>> writers, graphic artists (okay they are from India and cheap labor, but
>>> still too much to pay) and scientific people fixing the texts. I'm still
>>> not sure if the same QA could be done in a Wiki way, without a strong
>>> project management.
>>> Another idea I had is about didactical games for learning the core
>>> concepts to practical exercises without getting boring. I would like some
>>> kind of mix between "There are no electrons" from Kenn Amdahl, Cisco Binary
>>> Game, the best humour from classic adventure games (Lucas Arts, Sierra and
>>> such) with some kind of adult but not stupid twist, Forrest Mims way, from
>>> basic to intermediate about electronics (like in Art of Electronics) and
>>> interactive exercises from all topics. But that would require a big team of
>>> very dedicated people, a
>>> very-advanced-and-very-educational-classic-style-good-looking-good-playability-and-not-boring-at-all
>>> game aimed to adults is a very difficult challenge, I think.
>>>> Re: open books, http://en.wikibooks.org/
>>>> ~~~
>>>> narwhaledu.com, educational robots
>>>> <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu> [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog
>>>> <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>, orangenarwhals
>>>> arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and
>>>> scaling your analyses)
>>>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM, Timofonic <timofonic at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hello.
>>>>> I'm new at electronics, but I was thinking about it.
>>>>> I have some questions about Free/Open Hardware, maybe even full of
>>>>> radical thinking:
>>>>> - What about Free/Open Hardware from the ground up? High quality open
>>>>> learning material:
>>>>> --Open Books: different levels from basic for children (no idea about
>>>>> available material, sorry) and adults such as works from Forrest Mims to
>>>>> complete (think of something like Art of Electronics and Practical
>>>>> Electronics for Inventors) and advanced, organize translations , didactical
>>>>> games even for adults but not dummy ones, practices, volunteering tutors
>>>>> for learning aid to people interested on Free/Open hardware but having
>>>>> issues with the learning process and collaboration with learning centers
>>>>> (schools, colleges, vocational training schools, universities...).
>>>>> Kind regards.
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