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Writings on Open Source Appropriate Technology

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This page is part of an Akvo project on appropriate technology open collaborations. Feel free to edit this page.
Appropriate technology open collaborations
Appropriate technology restricted collaborations
What makes an open collaboration
A history of Open Source Appropriate Technology
Green wikis and development wikis
Non-wiki collaborative sites for open appropriate technogy
Open knowledge for international development
Writings on Open Source Appropriate Technology
Open patents and social structures for open design
Akvo ATOC - Conclusions and recommendations
Recent changes

(Work in progress - pardon the mess, and feel free to add to these lists.)

Key concepts[edit]

Phrases such as "open design," "open hardware," "open source hardware" and "Open Source Appropriate Technology" are used in various ways. Attempting a clear explanation of these terms:

  • Open design: the application of open source methods to the creation of physical products, machines and systems.
  • Open hardware (or "open source hardware"). Usually refers specifically to computer hardware; as such it is a subset of "open design". The nature of computer hardware may make it easier to track design changes than the general case of open design.

Directly related writings[edit]

A series of blog posts on OSAT have been written, in particular by (Frank Aragona?) of Agroblogger and Jeff McIntire-Strasburg of Sustainablog:

Says there has been progress, mentions "A few online communities: Instructables.com, the Honeybee Network, Appropedia, and Howtopedia." (Note that there are different degrees of openness between these sites. --Chriswaterguy 17:10, 18 November 2008 (UTC))
Expresses concern about the multiple websites, and "having to reproduce the information four, five, six...times to give it full coverage on all of the different existing communities. What is becoming evident, is that a wiki is a very blunt instrument indeed for the much more detailed process of collaborative technology development. Open Source software is leaps and bounds ahead of the OSAT community. Linus Torvalds no longer submits much code to the kernel; by his own admission most of his time is spent tracking submissions from the community, and coding a sophisticated tool he has developed to keep track of those contributions.
"Similar tools for the OSAT community are conspicuously lacking. To move forward, we cannot continue to believe that simple tools like wikis and community forums will be sufficient to get full leverage out of the technology development, validation, and deployment process."
"Documentation could be written and updated on the fly, as the database is updated, changes would ripple through the community instantly..."
"Online communities like Instructables and Howtopedia may fall to the wayside when anybody with a LAMP server and an Internet connection can setup an entire OSAT development kit on their network. This doesn't mean that these groups wouldn't have a stake in the development of such a software package. I would imagine that their role would shift from central organizer to more of a tracking role, keeping tabs of changes in different projects and providing a searchable index of different information, much like the shift we have seen in the past 4 years from Kazaa to the Pirate Bay as the primary tool for file sharing. And, they could also provide an already configured backend for those people who don't have the bandwidth, the technical know-how, or the time (or any combination thereof) to setup their own LAMP server."
Comment by Chriswaterguy: "...Longing to see such tools developed... A wiki is a blunt tool - yes, and sometimes a blunt but flexible tool is needed. The design community (and the community at large) needs special design tools, as you say, but these must be integrated with methods of sharing broader information, experience and ideas, fact-checking, brainstorming and networking. Some form of wiki (whatever a wiki ends up looking like in future) will probably be central to the solution we develop in the next few years."

Other blogs that directly relate to ODAT:

Wiki articles:

Patent issues[edit]

Other writings[edit]

  • MIT Collabatorium
  • Agroblogger: The First Advocate of Open Source 23 Feb 2006. Adam Smith "was also critical of trade secrets, believing that they stifled competition, undermined free markets, and had the same inflationary effect on natural prices as monopolies. Adam Smith would have immediately recognized the equalizing value of the Free Software Movement, and would have applauded its philosophical underpinnings as very much in line with his own."

Internet discussions[edit]

  • Open Innovation - "...a good example of an idea that, without own investments will never be studied. The idea of open source for engineering technologies is not passing along." Responses include links to open design projects.

Videos[edit]

Notes on these efforts[edit]

  • Languages

Notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Although the emphasis is on unproven and unscientific "zero point energy" devices, some of the writings on the wiki do explore the idea of open appropriate technology

See also[edit]