[Community] Community Digest, Vol 28, Issue 7

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Sep 30 10:31:42 CEST 2014


Hi,

Am 30.09.2014 um 05:16 schrieb David Heath:

> Re: What Linux Users Should Know About Open Hardware.
> 
> Most of the interesting and well-imagined ideas I see coming from techies fail simply because of poor management. Timelines get out of hand, public relations are not managed properly, developers/designers get too focused on details and lose momentum. This is not specific to open-source projects but it is by far the biggest problem I see, and I do end up consulting for a lot of startups for precisely these reasons. To all developers out there, I recommend streamlining everything as much as possible and getting a simple and reliable product out on the market as quickly as possible. If these products do not sell, your product is not your problem. Marketing and project management are not considered particularly important by any open-source enthusiast I have met but not having a firm grasp on these concepts will almost always make or break a small company. I'm sorry if this seems a bit off topic but I believe this is about 80% of the reason open-source hardware and software do not currently dominate global markets-- people who develop open-source projects seem to be less organized. To be clear, there are open-source projects that market well and have a solid grasp on their product development, and these projects seem to be the most economically successful by far (FireFox, Ubuntu), but many of them suffer from poor executive management and have trouble building consumer trends. In the end, open-source enthusiasts seem generally more interested in building something than in marketing it. This may seem like a good sentiment but if nobody uses the product, the developer will inevitably lose interest and nothing will have been gained. Tangible progress (sales, user-base, media hype, anything) is necessary to keep a project alive.

Yes, it must be a circle of positive feedback. more hype gives a bigger user-base, gives more sales, gives more money, gives more (paid) marketing and development, gives more hype.

The key problem IMHO is that for most open-source projects this feedback loop is not positive. It is interrupted somewhere. Sometimes because the product is not as good as a cheaper closed source device. And, surely, because developers then focussing on making the product better, have no spare time to do good and attractive marketing.

> I don't want to say much more since I'm not sure if anybody is interested

if your analysis is correct (and I agree), we all MUST be interested :) And may need your practical help...

> but please feel free to let me know if this doesn't make sense, I am still hopeful that open-source products will be the way of the future.
> 
> P.S. Is the Neo900 still on track for release this year? Will it incorporate all features on the specs page? I need a new phone...

Work is ongoing. Sebastian is working on part three of the trilogy:
http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1440252&postcount=2094

BR,
Nikolaus

> 
> 
> On 29 September 2014 06:00, <community-request at openphoenux.org> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
> 
>    1. What Linux Users Should Know About Open Hardware
>       (Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller)
>    2. Re: The future of QtMoko (Josua Mayer)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 16:39:43 +0200
> From: "Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com>
> To: OpenPhoenux Community <community at openphoenux.org>
> Subject: [Community] What Linux Users Should Know About Open Hardware
> Message-ID: <CF6A9BA2-1F48-40B9-8171-9626A0F56C0D at goldelico.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> 
> http://www.datamation.com/open-source/what-linux-users-should-know-about-open-hardware-2.html
> 
> Many of his observations and experience are the same we also have made.
> 
> Unfortunately he does not come up with ideas how to solve it.
> 
> But IMHO there are some:
> * better cooperation
> * open communication of project status
> * crowd-funding development first and then smoothly for production
> * form a community that continuously runs and finished projects, instead of continuously founding projects that start from scratch (NIH syndrome)
> 
> More ideas?
> 
> BR,
> Nikolaus
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 20:33:41 +0200
> From: Josua Mayer <josua.mayer97 at gmail.com>
> To: OpenPhoenux Community <community at openphoenux.org>
> Subject: Re: [Community] The future of QtMoko
> Message-ID: <54285485.8030403 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
> 
> Hi Nikolaus,
> 
> Am 23.09.2014 um 19:19 schrieb Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller:
> > Hi,
> > since I know that there are many QtMoko lovers out there who wait for
> > new versions or new hardware that is supported, I have set up our own
> > build system to compile QtMoko v58 and create GTA04-single-partition
> > SD card images that might work with the newer DT based kernels we
> > are working on.
> ...
> > The first practical question is how to easily run the compile/test/fix cycle.
> >
> > It took several days on my setup (build within qemu-system-arm -M vexpress-a9)
> > to build the qtmoko-gta04.deb, but finally it failed.
> ...
> > Q1: Is there a simple method to get the development cycle down to some minutes
> > or even sub-minute?
> I think the qtmoko tree is not prepare for building components
> individually and independently.
> But it may be worth investing the effort to split it into seperate
> individual packages which then can be individually recompiled and tested.
> 
> What I have in mind is some build system that automatically rebuilds
> parts as their sources change and creates packages of it, like e.g. the
> OpenBuildService[1](it can build .deb as well as .rpm) does.
> ...
> > A9: Other thoughs?
> since debian integration is probably a huge effort, I would focus on
> making qtmoko as independent from it as possible, like using specific
> versions of system libraries.
> >
> Just an idea for consideration, and certainly not easy.
> > BR,
> > Nikolaus
> >
> 
> best regards
> Josua Mayer
> 
> [1] http://openbuildservice.org/
> 
> 
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> End of Community Digest, Vol 28, Issue 7
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