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Ideas to share more code

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Posting here as some members miss out on reading the Announcements/Suggestion Posts.

 

We were thinking about introducing a program where members were given an incentive to write and share code. Lets say member NatureTM is interested in using an accelerometer for his project, but would like some ready to use code. But he doesn't. On top of that, he'll have to invest in an accelerometer breakout. This is where 43oh and the community come in.

 

Let's call this program "The Code Pot" or "The Community Pot", where you suggest what you need, and we'll try to get the hardware to you. We have been having advertising for a couple of months and we sure can spare some amount to this. There will also be a donate button, if anyone wishes to contribute to the post.

 

So NatureTM selected a breakout for an accelerometer from Sparkfun. Once there is enough money in the Pot, we'll ship the the hardware to him, directly from the vendor. NatureTM will now be able to write code and share it. He's free to keep the hardware or share it. Be aware that all transactions and member assignments and will be public.

 

Things to take care of.

- Following proper code structure.

- Abuse. Suggesting a hardware, but do not write software for it.

- Shipping costs. Reasonable(

- Still thinking...

 

So how do you guys like it? Would you welcome this? We think it is a great learning and sharing opportunity.Looking forward to your views.

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I'd be willing to send a peice of hardware here and there now and then... If it was like a wiki, say a hardware listing that linked to the code sample... and if no code was present you could "wishlist" the hardware... that would be neat....

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I like it. I've actually wished there was something like this in the past. When users have asked, "How do I get (some peripheral) working with launchpad," there have been times when I wanted to respond, "I'll do it for you if you buy me one!" I was worried someone would be offended if I said that, so this is perfect.

 

I also really liked that you used me as the example! 8-)

 

Sounds like a great idea!

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Looking good so far.. Any more suggestions?

 

I'm also looking if there is some kind of voting framework, where popular threads/items get to the top and will be awarded first. The other option is to use phpbb3 voting threads itself.

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- Shipping costs. Reasonable(<$5) shipping costs are ok. But international shipping might be a problem...

Some places (like Seeedstudio or Iteadstudio) have quite low international shipping rates

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I guess there would be two stages to the selection: first selecting the part, and then selecting the user who will write the driver for it. The voting system seems like it would be good for selecting the part. Then, if multiple users want the chance to get the part and author the code, maybe the "thanks" leader-boards could be used to make the selection. It could be a reward for the most helpful users. RobG and zeke are high up in the toplist, and I think that really reflects their skill and helpfulness. This system might be discouraging to new members, however.

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Those are good suggestions. We can put in clauses for members who would like hardware to:

 

- Be a member in the forum for a certain number of weeks/months.

- Have a certain number of thanks. This accounts for credibility. Not too high, as this will discourage newer members.

- Return the hardware to 43oh, if a member fails to complete the task. Member has to pay return shipping.

 

Thanks guys. Topic still open for discussion.

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Some dev boards could be kind of expensive.

 

I think that you ought to take a deposit from participants. Sort of a "Put your money where your mouth is" clause.

 

Or, you could put together a contract between developer and recipient. Then you could add in a token amount of money so that it legally becomes clear what's occurring - fee for service.

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Some dev boards could be kind of expensive.

We can keep a limit. Not full fledged demo boards, but breakouts with the chip soldered on to it. This will allow the developer to start coding immediately. For eg, Most of Sparkfun's breakout boards cost

 

I think that you ought to take a deposit from participants. Sort of a "Put your money where your mouth is" clause.

This might keep away participants. Also this calls a must for having an online paypal account or something like it. I'm open to it though. Any more thoughts on this?

 

you could put together a contract between developer and recipient.

This looks doable. A reasonable penalty is that the member will have to return the item to 43oh, which will get passed on.

 

We can start a pilot program to test this out. If successful, we can go ahead full steam.

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I guess what I was getting at was accountability.

 

The honor system is great amongst a close knit group of people but the agreement is legally vague.

 

If you're going to take someone's property and promise to produce code for it then you have entered into a binding agreement.

 

A signature on a piece of paper makes it legally binding and plainly visible what the expectations are. Money enforces that and illustrates the motivation for entering into the agreement.

 

Having an agreement in writing establishes legal accountability.

hat off>

 

Nevertheless, if you want people to voluntarily contribute code then you might consider either:

  • - a contest
    - a community project a la open source or equivalent license

 

Pride and a sense of accomplishment are just as strong a motivator as a prize is.

 

So, to push this discussion in one direction, what kind of big dream community project should we attempt?

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I am not a lawyer (and I have not played one on TV).

 

I might have code or projects that may be of interest, but so far I am reluctant to post them.

 

What if some fool uses some code/project in their Mars probe and it subsequently crashes, or worse yet, their DIY pacemaker decides to shutdown with unfortunate consequences?

 

I, for one, can't afford lawsuits.

 

As much as I would like to have the current prize (assuming my feeble projects would be worthy), it would be cheaper to just buy one of those scope thingies than to pay a lawyer.

 

By the way, thanks to all of you who have posted code/projects.

 

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What if some fool uses some code/project in their Mars probe and it subsequently crashes, or worse yet, their DIY pacemaker decides to shutdown with unfortunate consequences?

 

I, for one, can't afford lawsuits.

IANAL.

 

If you don't slap some sort of a license on your published project, noone has any business using (parts of) your project in any probe or pacemaker. You automatically and implicitly become the copyright holder of your project. Unless you explicitly grant others some rights to do stuff with your project, every, any and all re-use is a violation of your copyright (publishing your schematics and code is not a grant of rights); see the Berne Convention and related copyright law, which is scary shit (no, actually the scary shit is the world that made your question to even have to be asked).

 

POM rules don't specify any of this to be mandatory, so technically you don't have to "give away" your project to enter and qualify. I believe having to post schematics, code and pictures is to verify you actually did the stuff (or the extent you did the stuff) and your entry isn't just a pipe dream or wishful thinking.

 

If you still want to open your project up, there are plenty of open hardware/software/content licenses you can choose from, which, to a varying degree, allow re-use in various types of projects, but (probably) all of them will say "no warranty of any kind, you are on your own, if it kills your dog or grandma, tough luck" in legally sound way. EDIT: possibly the worst thing you can do is to try crafting your own license -- you are not a lawyer either.

 

IA still NAL. This is not legal advice. This is my opinion. You should seek qualified legal advice.

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