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

Nicodemus dwobser at ixrnj.org
Tue Apr 8 22:11:55 CEST 2014

I didn't know about that site, so I took a look.  At my initial glance, it
looks like it is horribly out of date, like 8 years or so at least if I'm
not mistaken.

On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM, Joshua Pritt <ramgarden at gmail.com> wrote:

> Just wanted to make sure everyone knew about this site:
> http://www.osalt.com/
> 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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