Update on Continuation of Work on Exploring Portability of Hardware Design and Documentation

Following recommendations made during DAPSI Phase 2 R&D (final report available here), work on implementing recommendations from that final report have continued, led by @hoijui of Open Source Ecology (OSE) Germany. Below are:

  • updates regarding the current work,

  • outstanding issues that need to be addressed,

  • recommendations from Robin on where the community should focus efforts to suport the success of the OKH-LOSH crawler, and

  • next steps

Current Work

Outstanding Items/Issues

  • Crawler chron
    • Manually created list of projects to crawl (.csv) file was deleted by user kasbah Make a data directory · iop-alliance/okh-search@d3a2504 · GitHub - Robin Vobruba restoring.

    • Regular schedule / chron needs to be defined for the crawler

      • How often should the chron run (> 1 min)?
      • Who owns/shepherds the chron (IoPA OKH WG Chair)?
    • Agreements with platforms (MOUs preferred) crawled need to be established to ensure that there is a shared understanding of:

      • What information is needed/shared
      • Speed of chron (some currently take up to 3 days to fetch, and information is incomplete)

@hoijui will be approaching this work by separating platforms into two groups moving forward:

  1. Well Supported, such as Appropedia, Github, OSHWA

    • Well supported are platforms that are either file-system-based (e.g. git based) and have a useful search function, like github, or those that give easy access to all their relevant data, and generally have fewer projects, like appropedia and OSHWA.

    • Well supported means: we will try to keep a relatively up-to-date list of projects hosted and their current meta-data. For the Low support platforms, we basically just maintain more or less what is already there in the crawler, and rather focus on manually requested, one-time exports of the data of specific projects, to provide easy means for projects to move away from these platforms.

  2. LOW Supported, such as Thingiverse and Wikifactory

    • @hoijui chose this separation, because platforms like Thingiverse have no interest in 3rd parties to export meta-data, or even whole projects from their platforms, it is not a part of their business model. We should focus our efforts where they may bear fruits, and prevent frustration as well.

Next Steps

  • Restore file deleted from GitHub Make a data directory · iop-alliance/okh-search@d3a2504 · GitHub - Owner: @hoijui - DONE

  • Schedule OKH WG meeting - Owner @schutton, with agenda items pending (DONE, indicate availability here):

    • Define chron schedule - Owner: OKH WG
    • Define chron owner/shepherd - Owner: OKH WG
    • Define MOU for platform agreement(s) - Owner: OKH WG
    • Identify community member to negortiate MOUs with identified platforms, following vote - Owner: OKH WG
  • Review platform crawl list - Owner: @schutton (post vote to community forum, following OKH WG meeting)


Has any thought been given to GitLab instances? The downside is the search is less good on GitLab. But Gitlab is very important:

  • Gitlab.com is home to the GOSH community and to the OpenFlexure project.
  • A number of OpenHardware groups run their own GitLab instances such as CERN’s Open Hardware Repository or FabCity Hamburg’s GitLab.

Yes, it absolutely has! I will let @hoijui field this one, since he has looked into it and brought it up during our conversation last week.

This reminds me of yesterday’s conversation with Silona Bonewald on building a community to gather change requests for platforms including gitlab.

Indeed - I think I mentioned that at some point during today’s meeting as well! I’ll see if she has the bandwidth to jump into this thread as well.