Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Apr 7 18:02:24 CEST 2009

Hi all there,

maybe, we also should set up a sort of "manifest" that is posted  
automatically every 2 weeks or so.

* what the list is good for
* what the targets are
* how this project works
* some links to important information (archives, wiki, status of  
project, links to mails on other threads)

So let's start with my ideas (some of them were already posted on the  
community list):

I have also been thinking for a while in the following direction:  
making the development (and maybe production) of the GTA03 a community  
activity. Supported and sponsored by individuals and companies who are  
interested in the results.

On one hand HW development needs a clear and close communication  
between people. On the other hand it needs a large number of  
supporters who keep their fingers out until they are asked. But  
synchronizing activities is much more difficult than with SW (using  
SVN or GIT).

What we IMHO therefore need is:

* a core team that works (at least semi-)professionally on it. I think  
the community is large enough to provide enough members with all  
expertise that is required (from mechanics over battery to RF etc.).
* a clear milestone plan as in every successful hardware development  
* a specification freeze at some point in the milestone plan
* openness to ask for help into the community to judge between several  
similar technical solutions for the same requirement
* funding of the project organization (e.g. we can set up a community  
funds or society or association or however the legal form has to be  
choosen). Funding levels could start at 5€ per year for students and  
go upwards for individuals and companies. And special services (e.g.  
managing the production of 100 customized units) could even provide  
more funding for the organization.

A word to all those who think Hardware can not be developed by a  
community should take a look at:


Building, launching and operating not only 1 but approx. 50 satellites  
in the past 30 years is definitively more complex than building an  
open smartphone.

One more thought about voting and democracy.

	A company can't take decisions on a democratic base. The other  
extreme, a pure community where every decision is done by acclamation  
or voting doesn't work either.

So we should have some elected decision board to take design decisions  
and poll the community for their requirements - but not decisions. If  
the board fails, the community can elect another one. This all comes  
back to an official public "society"/"association" with bylaws where  
individuals and companies can become members under well defined rules.

Openmoko, Inc. must play a very important role in this, but not be the  
only one to organize and handle money and funds. I am sure there are  
many companies represented on the community lists who can all do only  
pieces (e.g. building ABS plastics from CAD) but I am sure all  
required experiences are available.


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