[Tinkerphones] [Gta04-owner] New LetuxOS Kernels and some tricks and thoughts

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue May 21 22:01:17 CEST 2019

> Am 21.05.2019 um 18:33 schrieb Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk>:
> On Tuesday 21. May 2019 15.48.06 H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
>>> Am 21.05.2019 um 15:13 schrieb Jonas Smedegaard <jonas at jones.dk>:
>>> Speaking for myself, I got discouraged when we met in Bavaria and it
>>> became clear to me that your avoiding OSHW certification was a
>>> deliberate business choice.
>> No it was not about avoiding it. It was about not seeing any benefit
>> for anyone.
>> Just more paperwork and discussions. And some requirements that are
>> difficult to fulfill. And nobody covering additional expenses.
> Personally, I am increasingly skeptical about associations that collect 
> membership dues and merely do advocacy with a bit of extra lobbying on the 
> side. It seems like a great way of siphoning money away from the actual work, 
> albeit one that some corporations might like due to questionable tax 
> arrangements.
> Confirming that someone happens to license their work in a particular way 
> might provide some benefit to end-users, but if that isn't a continual process 
> then it is just easy money for some persuasive branding. I also remain 
> concerned about the effect of certification on the perception of works that 
> are genuinely licensed appropriately.
> No-one should act as a monopoly who gets to decide whether works or projects 
> are merely perceived as being acceptably licensed, casting doubt on those who 
> do not wish to be certified by some self-appointed authority. The FSF might 
> have an authoritative view on whether some software actually complies with the 
> GPL, but they don't implicitly undermine random GPL-licensed projects on the 
> basis that those projects failed to sign up for some FSF money-making scheme.
>> My key learning came from a discussion before that meeting where some guys
>> urged me to publish the schematics. I did finally say: ok - here are the
>> EAGLE source files. What happened? NOTHING. Nobody did apparently
>> make use of this information. The device did not become better. Nobody
>> had needed this for writing software - a PDF of the schematics was
>> sufficient.
> The only argument I can make excusing those asking for the schematics (or even 
> the layouts) was that Eagle is proprietary software.

Yes, it is but the file format is openly and really well documented (contrary
to KiCAD - I have only found outdated documentation). It is XML and the DTD is

And KiCAD and others can import this format. So that the Tool to originally
generate the file is proprietary should not be any issue.

It is more or less the same that someone can write a document in MS Word (proprietary),
publish it under an open source license and everyone can still edit through LibreOffice.

> There has been a 
> discussion about such topics on another list I follow recently, involving 
> software that is also presumably expensive as well as proprietary.
> But then again, I feel that there are people out there who just want to "tick 
> the box" and feel good about the hardware being "open source". I believe that 
> such people do not appreciate the investment involved in getting to a point 
> where the hardware can be made. Something similar might also be said about how 
> people perceive software, thinking that "open source" means lots of free-from-
> cost stuff that magically gets made, too.
> I recall Nikolaus getting quite a bit of hassle from people who demanded full 
> access to the materials around projects like GTA04. I wonder if those people 
> are currently pursuing projects in a way that is consistent with the demands 
> they made of Nikolaus (and others) back then.

Yes, I wonder too...


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