[Community] Releasing GTA04 hardware source files (was: community Digest, Vol 353, Issue 3)

Bob Ham rah at settrans.net
Sat Aug 24 13:26:57 CEST 2013

On Sat, 2013-08-24 at 11:21 +0200, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> Am 24.08.2013 um 02:10 schrieb Bob Ham:

> > We have schematics in a .pdf file but nothing else.  
> Yes. And the PDF is the source.

I don't believe this is the case.  I believe the PDF was compiled from
designs that came from other files.  I don't believe your circuit
designs were written in the PDF language.  If they came from other
files, the PDF is not the source, the other files are the source.

> You can run OCR and convert it into any
> format you like. And modify it as you like. What else do you expect? More
> convenience?

It's not so much about convenience.  Let me quote the GPL 2:

"The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it."

There is a reason for stipulating this.  Having to convert a work into a
format suitable for making modifications represents a barrier.  It's a
barrier to freedom.  It can be abused.

Even disregarding this reasoning, let's assume that it *is* just about
convenience.  Why is that bad?  Why would you not want to help people
take the GTA04 design and create a derivative?  Why would you want to
make it more difficult?  Why are you reluctant to release the source

> high density PCB design needs a very specific
> type of knowledge that isn't widely available.

The specialisation of the knowledge required to work on phone designs
means that those with the knowledge will likely have high demands on
their time.  That means that one should aim to make it as easy as
possible for them to get involved in the community.  That means removing
barriers like having to create new PCB designs from the PDF schematics.
That means releasing the source files for the existing designs.

> > Despite describing the GTA04 as "Open Hardware"¹ and stating that the
> > aims of the community are for DIY hardware², Golden Delicious does not
> > release any source files for the hardware it produces.  There is no
> > community of hardware hackers contributing to shared PCB designs.
> Because designing such a difficile and miniaturized device is more challenging
> than the average hardware hacker is capable to do.

So let's foster a community of above-average hardware hackers who are up
to the challenge.  Golden Delicious can help foster such a community by
making the source files for the GTA04 available.

Bob Ham <rah at settrans.net>

for (;;) { ++pancakes; }
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