Writings on Open Source Appropriate Technology
(Work in progress - pardon the mess, and feel free to add to these lists.)
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.
- Open Source Appropriate Technology, often OSAT, used especially by Frank Aragona and others that he has engaged with. (Note that open source software is not a perfect equivalent of how this can work; the struggle is to make something functionally equivalent. See Open Design Appropriate Technology #Terminology
- Open Design Appropriate Technology - suggested in this study as a more accurate alternative to OSAT, also more consistent with the other terms defined here.
- Google hits for: "Open Source" "appropriate technology" on Agroblogger.com
- Agroblogger: Open Sourcing Appropriate Technology Part I, 17 Nov 2005
- Agroblogger: Open Sourcing Appropriate Technology Part II, 23 Nov 2005
- P2P wiki page: Agroblogger on the state of the Open Source Appropriate Technology movement
- Sustainablog: Building an Open-Source Community for Appropriate Technology, 11 Jan 2006. Responding to Agroblogger posts; brief post, endorses the concept of OSAT & mentions an open source design (Biodiesel Appleseed Reactor).
- Seven Generational Ruminations: (response to Sustainablog): Building an Open-Source Community for Appropriate Technology, David Herron, January 11, 2006
- Agroblogger: Crossing the AT Chasm (responding to the Sustainablog post). Talks about crossing the chasm from being used by visionaries to being used by pragmatists. "Open Source Appropriate Technology has the potential to come of age... But that won't happen until we build a vibrant user community, based on accepted standards with a set of commonly used practices and techniques." (Question: are those practices of design, principles, documentation, dissemination, or other? --Chriswaterguy 07:17, 18 November 2008 (UTC))
- Open Source, Development and Design, Jamais Cascio, January 17, 2006.
- Agroblogger: Agroinnovations Launches New Site March 1st, 2006. "...the tools are fully in place for a beta-deployment of a pilot Open Source AT community. Have a look: www.agroinnovations.com."
- Agroblogger: Playing Devil’s Advocate March 7th, 2006. "Open Sourcing through the mechanism of online communities is not a viable strategy for anything outside of software... A huge factor in the success of GNU/Linux, though not often noted as such, was the community's ability to use collaborative, web-based tools to their advantage. Naturally, software programmers would be able to use such tools, they created them!"
- Sustainablog: March is Open Source for Appropriate Technology Month Sustainablog (Jeff McIntire-Strasburg), March 7th, 2006
- Sustainablog: Hardcore DIY Sustainability Sustainablog (Jeff McIntire-Strasburg), March 9th, 2006 (refers to Vela Creations as a good example).
- Sustainablog: This, On the Other Hand, Might Do Some Good… Sustainablog (Jeff McIntire-Strasburg), April 19th, 2006
- Agroblogger: Open Source AT: What’s Next?, 18 Oct 2007: "It has been almost two years since I first began advocating for adapting an Open Source model to the development of Appropriate Technology."
- 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."
- Agroinnovations Podcast: Open Source AT and The Full Belly Project October 22nd, 2007
- Agroinnovations Podcast: Appropedia Roundtable Part I November 8th, 2007 "I spoke with Lonny Grafman and Curt Beckmann... of this premier open source AT wiki and online community. If you’re interested in OSAT, then THIS is the podcast to listen to."
- Agroinnovations Podcast: Appropedia Roundtable PartII November 19th, 2007. Lonny Grafman and Curt Beckmann, continued.
- Agroinnovations Podcast: Open Farm Tech with Marcin Jakubowski May 22nd, 2008 "Marcin Jakubowski is one of the premier pioneers of open source appropriate technology and agricultural innovation. Guided by Gandhi’s principles of swadeshi, Marcin has made great strides in moving towards community-based development and local autonomy."
- Brave New Collaboration - chronicling the research of Ed Murfitt (&...?) Can new forms of collaboration enabled by the web help us address global challenges?
Other blogs that directly relate to ODAT:
- Article:What You Can Expect Open Sourcing Energy Technology - PESWiki, a "free energy" wiki.
- http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/global/an-anti-patent-abuse-appropriate-technology-political-bloc-731 An anti-patent-abuse appropriate technology political bloc? Vinay Gupta, Jul 23 2008
- Legal:To Patent or Not to Patent a Free Energy Technology - some good points, but burdened by concern with technologies that are considered pseudoscience. - PESWiki, a "free energy" wiki.
- 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."
- 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.
Notes on these efforts
- 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