[hackerspaces] Hackerspaces survey on Free/Libre Open Source Software

Joshua Pritt ramgarden at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 15:38:55 CEST 2014

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about this site:
In case you didn't already have this one bookmarked.  It lets you find the
open source version of most popular software applications.

On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:48 AM, Mike Dupont
<jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM, Ethan Chew <spacefelix at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I would definitely appreciate the chance to discuss such guidelines.  It
>> will be a learning experience for me as I am more of an atomic/dirt hacker
>> than a bit hacker (I work with gardens, airplanes and rockets) and it would
>> be interesting to see how FLOSS translates from software into hardware.
> Well the open source hardware definition is a good stab in that direction.
> Of course you have layers and layers of things once you get down to the
> physical. Not everything is protected by copyright that is the basis for
> FLOSS licenses. But wikis can be used to describe howtos. If you look at
> the open source ecology wiki you will also notice that many file formats
> are an issue, cad and otherwise.
> As a software developer I see everything as a nail to hit with the
> software hammer. So many times it might be possible to use free software
> graphics or cad systems, but people dont know how to use them. So comfort
> or training is one big issue for users doing designing.
> On the other side as a software developer, we need exact specifications,
> and the hackerspace community could do well to produce exact problem
> specification for developers to work on, these can be turned into software
> solutions. As people have pointed out, cad software is generally a problem,
> I am working on different cad tools once in a while for openstreetmap. I
> tinker for example with libredwg to read autocad dwg files, and there is a
> google summer of code project to help improve it. So maybe we can find
> funding to solve your problems as well and promote sharing.
> So I would say that in the interest of sharing, we should avoid having to
> pay for licenses because they are barriers for sharing. I cannot share my
> work with you if you cannot read the file. Then it gets into having to
> install a certain operating system to read the file and we get into the
> many other issues. If you live in a third world nation, you cannot afford
> to buy all this software.
> Even if you are a non profit in some other country does not make you a non
> profit for tax purposes in USA. This might be another barrier. Otherwise
> why would public schools all over the world not have free copies of these
> non-free applications? Even if they do have some limited licenses, there
> are limits, and why not use Free/Libre software that has no restrictions
> and allows for customization, translation and improvement.
> If we as a group can agree on the principle of sharing, and for example
> agree to share our work on the hackerspace wiki + some git repos for code
> then we will also want to agree on using open data formats that can be read
> by using open software.
> This gets to be more important for visually or otherwise disabled people.
> It is not enough to produce pdf files because many time they cannot read
> them using screen readers, because the text is jumbled and not accessible.
> You need to put in extra effort that many do not to make text accessible in
> pdfs. So again if the source of the program is available it can be
> customized and its output can be made readable and usable.
> All of these should be arguments that to truly share knowledge in the
> deepest way about hackerspace projects with the whole world we need to use
> open data formats and lacking those formats and standard at least we need
> to use open source software to read and write those files out of respect of
> the poor, the disabled and those who would like to remain free of license
> restrictions.
> I can imagine that hackerspaces.org could come up with a list of tools
> used in all the spaces/projects and then we can classify/analyse them for
> reuse and replication. That might be a great project to work on as a group,
> a common tool kit, and instructions to build them. Like the open source
> ecology project, we need a toolchain of dependent to build hackerspaces.
> Access control solutions, Security cameras, power and water measurement,
> power supplies, motors and gears, door locks and the like. All these are
> candidates for creating schematics describing to the detail for someone to
> make them themselves, not just 3d printers, pcb board printers, routers and
> laser cutters. Also hackerspaces statutes, project management software,
> disclaimers and waivers, sign up sheets, membership software, payment
> portals, meeting and voting systems are also candidates for a hackerspace
> toolkit that I can imagine, there are many more.
> --
> James Michael DuPont
> Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova http://www.flossk.org
> Saving Wikipedia(tm) articles from deletion
> http://SpeedyDeletion.wikia.com
> Mozilla Rep https://reps.mozilla.org/u/h4ck3rm1k3
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