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Open Hardware Journal

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-think-you-mean-gnu-slash-hardware dept.

Open Source 103

Bruce Perens writes "Open Hardware Journal is a new technical journal on designs for physical or electronic objects that are shared as if they were Open Source software. It's an open journal under a Creative Commons license. The first issue contains articles on 'Producing Lenses With 3D Printers,' 'Teaching with Open Hardware Submarines,' 'An Open Hardware Platform for USB Firmware Updates and General USB Development,' and more." Mr. Perens has promised to be around tonight to answer any questions readers might have.

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I'm here (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901570)

I'm playing editor for Open Hardware Journal. I'll be in and out this evening, and will be able to answer questions from Slashdotters, maybe with some delay.

Re:I'm here (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901604)

Congratulations first. This looks like a piece of really good really nerdy news. As for input and questions, maybe you should wait a day or two until we've read the first issue and let it sink for meaningful comments and do a separate Ask Slashdot thing?

Re:I'm here (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901632)

I am happy to do that if the Slashdot folks want to run one. It's been a long time since I've done an Ask Slashdot, anyway.

Re:I'm here (1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902382)

Sounds like a plan. Maybe we can use it to ask you why you lied about your "new" open source business covenant [slashdot.org] , which wasn't new, just be a re-hash of your failed kiloboot copyright assignment scam [kiloboot.com] ?

You can park it next to RMS and his tour rider [slashdot.org] ...

Re:I'm here (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905958)

Not sure why this is marked troll; I'm glad I kept my 100k. Will follow with interest; will not invest.

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901658)

You know what is a real mystery to me?

Why do fat, ugly, disgusting women bother to do things like getting their hair permed? Why do they spend fifty bucks or more and sit in a chair for half an hour to an hour or more? Why do they bother? It is like polishing a turd.

It's like replacing the headlamp on a car that has no engine and no transmission. What's the point? It isn't going anywhere. It makes no sense.

Honestly why do they do this? Is the marketing of hair salons really that powerful?

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901724)

Even funnier is the fat ugly women that shave their pussy. Talk about optimism!

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901884)

I got some chafing just thinking about that.

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37908632)

I don't know, but I've been sitting next to this fat chick in class, and I want to suck her fucking nipples off.

Re:I'm here (0)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901758)

Is that a Christine movie reference or a Chewbacca defense reference?

It makes no sense!

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901856)

We must be linked because I actually had the same thought the other day.

Re:I'm here (2)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901730)

Congratulations, an interesting journal. My question is about the format: why a PDF and not a blog? The advantages of a blog are: it lets you publish the papers as soon as they arrive and it attracts people to your server every day instead of a peak of hits once per month. You choose PDF so it must have some advantages that outweighs those of a blog (or less disadvantages) and I'd love to learn about them because I'm also in the process of making a similar decision. Thanks.

Re:I'm here (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901906)

eBooks and tablets are a relatively new phenomenon, but lots of folks have them. PDF works well offline, for these devices, and is well-supported by Free Software as well. I haven't learned the specialized eBook file formats yet.

I tried this on a blog a while back, that is part of what technocrat.net was supposed to be for. What I found was that I was talking with the same 30 people all of the time. And there were maybe 3000 to 5000 regular readers at best.

There's also differentiation - I don't want this to be "just another blog".

And it seems that there is a history for technical journals being in print, and a more recent history of them being open publication. So, I am trying to do something that people who submit papers, and their bosses are used to. I have sometimes, working in academia, been asked to produce a list of my own publications. They seem to take the journal stuff more seriously than the blog stuff.

Re:I'm here (3, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901986)

I find pdf doesn't work that well on a small screen. Either you design the pdf for A6 sized paper, which doesn't look so good printed on A4 or on my 24" desktop screen, or you end up with something on your portable device that is either too small to read or requires lots of sideways scrolling. Maybe you should do the journal in something like docbook format, and use that to generate pdfs and ebook files.

Re:I'm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902818)

At least avoid columns so we do not have to go up/down/sideways constantly - I give up trying to read docs with that kind of layout.

Re:I'm here (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904232)

"QuickPDF" on my Android has a very simple "Reading View" button, which works very well most of the time, and almost entirely solves the problem. There's still an occasion here and there when you need to shut it off to see what "see below" or whatever is supposed to mean, but otherwise a very good solution to the problem. Now if the XPDF guys just felt the desire to code something similar...

Then again, I'm sympathetic to the hard-coded size woes, when someone else's size of choice doesn't quite work for you.

Re:I'm here (1)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903304)

Overall I like the idea of a PDF, since it provides a kind of permanence and also makes it easier to reference page numbers in the future. An associated discussion forum would be fine, but the PDF itself should be frozen, with any errata placed in future issues. Otherwise a library wanting to archive it would never know which is the "final" version, and future references might be confusing if page numbers etc. kept changing.

.
The margins waste space in fit-width view on a small screen, and trial-and-error zooming and horizontal scrolling to get the text to fit maximally is annoying. You may want to consider two versions of the PDF, a "printable" version with the margins as they are now (or corresponding to whatever size you want for the printed version), and a "viewable" version with trimmed margins. These would have exactly the same layouts and page breaks (important for page number references).

Also, I think the journal would look much more professional if it were properly typeset with a program like LaTeX. It is obviously the output of a word processor program and frankly looks, well, "cheap".

Overall, I think the journal is a great idea and I wish it success.

Re:I'm here (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905696)

I'm still disappointed Technocrat is no longer. It wasn't perfect and I completely understand your reasons for shutting it down. Still, it's disappointing.

I'm glad you've started to do something more public, I'm looking forward to see more of this. Open Source Software has really proven the importance of the existence of things with an alternative to the most restrictive copyrights. In fact that success has enabled me to successfully argue that the firm I worked for should abandon those restrictive copyrights for certain projects where we released source code to our customers for free. Open Source Hardware is the obvious next step, yet despite these obvious advantages I don't have the impression that the idea has really generated the kind of critical mass that we need for the wider adoption needed to be self sustaining. Hopefully this journal can be the positive influence we all need.

Also, I think the idea of publishing a journal instead of blogging, tweeting, or just using your facebook page is very smart and sets the whole enterprise up on a great direction.

EPUB should be your e-book format of choice. (2)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37910346)

Homepage [idpf.org] for the EPUB standard.

Why do I recommend EPUB so highly? Besides the fact that it's an open standard, that is? ;) Well, Wikipedia has a good comparison chart [wikipedia.org] of e-book formats versus the e-book readers that are covered. It shows that the only format with a broader range is straight text. (Yes, it even beats out PDF and HTML.)

There is a plug-in available for OO.o and LO called Writer2ePub that will save directly to EPUB, btw. The main support channel is through a MobileRead forum [mobileread.com] .

May I suggest that you spend some time browsing MobileRead [mobileread.com] before making any final decisions? In particular, I would like to call your attention to the Calibre, Sigil, and OpenInkpot forums.

Next, there is a package called eLyXer [nongnu.org] which does a pretty good job of converting LyX files to XHTML. EPUB relies heavily on a subset of XHTML as part of its specification so I've been experimenting with a new toolchain.

I write my documents in LyX to get good looking PDFs, then use eLyXer to get XHTML, then use the import/convert function of Calibre [calibre-ebook.com] to get a good looking EPUB, then use Sigil [google.com] to fine tune the final output. Since both eLyXer and the e-book conversion utility [calibre-ebook.com] packaged as part of Calibre can be called from the command line, it would be possible to automate some of that work pretty easily. I haven't bothered with that as my needs are only for occasional use at the moment.

Another alternative would be to just write the journal in Sigil. That would probably mean abandoning PDFs and paper output entirely, though.

P.S. How come you didn't have an article focussing on Arduino in your initial issue??

Licensing - copyleft? (4, Interesting)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901782)

What are the current licensing options for open hardware? Has anyone found a "copyleft" equivalent?

About a decade ago, this issue was discussed at length on the OpenCores mailing lists. At the time, the best we (engineers) could come up with was that the design documents/files could be copyrighted and so GPLd, but there was no way to oblige that a physical device be distributed with design data.

It seemed to be okay for someone to take a design, make secret modifications, build it and distributed a physical product that could not be replicated. The obligation to share modifications only kicked in when the GPLd design data was distributed, not when the physical product was distributed. Is this the case, or has a real legal mind figured out that we were wrong?

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901996)

I like The TAPR Open Hardware License [tapr.org] . But yes, there is a problem that Hardware Isn't Generally Copyrightable [openhardware.org] . We can deal with the problem by using contract law, sometimes, and imperfectly, and by embedding copyrightable and trademarked content. I have a proposal for this that I've not finished yet, I'll try to get it up on the Open Hardware wiki soon.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902610)

Thanks for the response. I'll keep an eye on the wiki.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903922)

But
yes, there is a problem that Hardware Isn't Generally Copyrightable [openhardware.org]

W T F ??? you think its bad it isnt copyrightable?

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904042)

The problem is that the only alternative to copyright is trade secret.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904182)

I would not agree that it always is the only alternative. Freedom of the designs may add significant value to the product or even make it possible. So "stealing" and "closing" the hardware device will take that value away even if it has the same other functionality. Of course that does not apply to every device, but it is possible to find areas where it is applicable. Getting well paid for developing Free Software may also sound like a complete nonsense ...

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904220)

I understand.

My main interest on this issue is to have something like reciprocal licensing in software that I can use to keep people from making their modifications to my design trade-secret. It is sometimes a fact that locking up a design is an economic disadvantage. If that were true all of the time, we would not need reciprocal licensing.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905062)

I understand.

My main interest on this issue is to have something like reciprocal licensing in software that I can use to keep people from making their modifications to my design trade-secret. It is sometimes a fact that locking up a design is an economic disadvantage. If that were true all of the time, we would not need reciprocal licensing.

You sound like a programmer (or music studio exec), not EE. We EEs love when our designs are reused. We ourselves reuse designs all the time.
Whats next? Putting copyright and patents on datasheet example designs?
Something tells me you would like to get paid royalties for your "designs".
It all stinks.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905334)

Of course the entire purpose of this is Open designs without royalties, as is amply explained on the site, in the Journal, etc. It would be nice if you and I, rather than big companies, really could reuse designs with impunity. But they stop us with their patents. Just as GPL turns copyright on its head, we need to do the same for hardware. But in hardware designs, copyright is not the main enemy - it's patents, trade secret, DMCA.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (3, Informative)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902048)

We at Elphel are now using the new CERN OHL ( http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cernohl/wiki [ohwr.org] ) and believe it is the closest to GNU GPL we are using fro the sofware

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902500)

In the OHL, I don't understand the legal basis for section 4, "Manufacture and distribution of Products". What gives this section any force beyond a "gentleman's agreement" or a legal bluff, which is easily ignored? I can see that copyright is the legal basis for section 3, dealing with documentation, but don't see the same for section 4. Don't get me wrong, I want the OHL to be binding, but currently I don't see how it can be.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902726)

Femto, ANAL, of course so I can not really help on the legal issues, I only can reply as an engineer who happened to run an open hardware company for more than 10 years. From the very beginning of our business we never licensed any products by anything other GNU GPL and GNU FDL, just recently added CERN OHL as it became available. Legal stuff is important, but I do not see a big problem in "gentleman's agreement" in the areas that do not yet solid legal basis yet. Our use of GNU FDL for the hardware documentation is also a kind of such agreement, and it did work for us all these years. Yes we do know of some violations of such un-enforced agreements by our clients, but great products and the user freedom that adds to the value, can do much for your protection.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902770)

Thanks. It's heartening to hear that experience shows that legal paranoia is not necessary.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902852)

I am not recommending the CERN license for U.S. use at this point. The problem I have with it is that the only thing about it that's different from other licenses is that 1. It's written by Europeans, and 2. It's from CERN. We used to accept license for the Open Source Initiative because they were from various large and interesting companies and agencies, and that's how we got 80 incompatible licenses and the license combinatorial problem which was and remains a significant damage to the community. There is specific language in the license for CERN's funders, which is cool if you share funders with CERN but otherwise unnecessary. So, unless you want a specific European license, the CERN license is unnecessarily increasing license proliferation without providing any benefit that I can determine.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903088)

Bruce, being an American open hardware company we seem to have now more customers in Europe than in the United States, so I do not see a problem combining American-originated GNU GPL and GNU FDL with European-crafted CERN OHL. Additionally I believe the OH is not yet as established area as the FOSS, different people on organizations have different understanding of the Open Hardware, it goals and specifics. We find our itch to have much in common with that of CERN, and at least at this stage I do not see a problem with increasing the number of OH licenses to fit the needs of different users. CERN OHL is the first non-US-originated license we adopted during the 10 years of our OH business.

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902092)

Have you looked at/seen the Open Source Hardware License (and drafts)?

http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW_draft

Re:Licensing - copyleft? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902874)

That's not a license. It's a port of the Open Source Definition to hardware. I cleaned it up a bit before the last version was accepted. It pretty much says the same thing as the OSD, and the Four Freedoms of the Free Software Foundation.

How will open hardware prevent project hijacking? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901830)

A relatively new problem that has arisen within the open source software community is the rise of "UI designers" who basically hijack and ruin popular open source projects. Two good examples are GNOME 3 and Firefox.

Being unable to contribute code or documentation, these "UI designers" are able to spend all of their time "designing" shitty UIs and pushing their agenda on the mailing lists, IRC channels and bug trackers. This makes it appear as though there is some sort of a consensus, although in reality there isn't. The developers implement the shitty UI "designs", and then wonder why users absolutely hate the new interfaces (it's because they're damn near unusable, by the way).

This isn't a case of forking, either. The original project is being hijacked. In fact, it looks like creating a fork may be the only way to resolve this issue, although this may just be temporary once the hijackers move on to infecting the new project.

How will open hardware projects prevent something similar from happening, and ruining these otherwise excellent open hardware projects?

Re:How will open hardware prevent project hijackin (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902004)

If enough people get annoyed, fork the project. I think the biggest problem with OpenOffice was our reluctance to fork, which went on much too long.

Re:I'm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901846)

Thank you thank you thank you.
Once household manufacturing goes mainstream you guys are going to be saving people lots of heartache.

Re:I'm here (2)

teidou (651247) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901894)

Will purely physical objects be of potential interest?

Re:I'm here (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901974)

Sure. Someone, I know, has been working on Open designs for the 50 basic tools for civilization - tractors and plows and stuff. As long as the plans for them are under an Open Hardware license, we're interested in papers about them.

Re:I'm here (4, Interesting)

ciotog (1098035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902148)

I would assume you're referring to Open Source Ecology: http://opensourceecology.org/ [opensourceecology.org]

Re:I'm here (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901916)

Love it! Great to see this movement toward user designed hardware and also a pioneer of open source to be carrying the torch here. Please make a paid version alternative for iPad/Android so I can purchase it (I reed all my books and magazines on the iPad now). I think Adobe has some easy publishing software for iPad, so it should be painless to convert those PDFs and publish them via AppStore. Also the website needs some work, the open hardware logo looks very decent and to the point!

Re:I'm here (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902938)

I don't have a clue about how to publish in the AppStore for the iPad and would appreciate if someone out there could give me a primer. I want to make sure, though, that everybody knows this is "Barbarians at the Gates" (pun intended) and that we're not selling out to the appstore paradigm.

Yes, anyone who wants to help with web design, we could use some.

Re:I'm here (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901976)

I'm curious about the logo - is that essentially just the "Open Hardware Journal" logo or, as the footer states a logo for "Open Hardware", to be used as such in open hardware materials?

And then who/what is Open Hardware in relationship to Open Source Hardware?

The current edition's call for papers points out that all Open Hardware submitted should be compliant with the Open Source Hardware definition.

But then, supposedly the adopted logo for that is the 'gear' version of the Open Source (software) logo.
http://oshwlogo.com/ [oshwlogo.com]

The logo used in the magazine on the other hand seems to be LiR's submission to the OSHW logo competition, Open Circuit v1;
http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/oshw-logo-v1-0/ [openhardwaresummit.org]

If one is for the magazine and the other is for the actual hardware, that happens - but if they are both supposed to apply to actual hardware (or related materials), I'm confuzzled.

Re:I'm here (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902012)

Go figure - while I posted that, the page was updated with some further internal links (besides just the journal). My question regarding the name ("Open Hardware" vs "Open Source Hardware") is partially answered in:
http://wiki.openhardware.org/Project:Constitution [openhardware.org]

Re:I'm here (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902106)

And while I'm following links and posting replies to myself...

http://lists.openhardware.org/pipermail/general/2011-September/thread.html [openhardware.org]
http://lists.openhardware.org/pipermail/legal/2011-September/thread.html [openhardware.org]

There's some threads in those topics that discuss the logo. Perhaps most specifically:
http://lists.openhardware.org/pipermail/legal/2011-September/000004.html [openhardware.org]

I might be reading it wrong, but I guess there's some concern that the winning OSHW logo is too similar to OSI which doesn't fully align with the OH thing so something else was chosen?

Oi.

Re:I'm here (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902994)

LiR is allowing us to trademark her logo.

The plan is to license the chip-and-lock logo so that you can use it on your designs if they are under a certified Open Hardware license, and if you contract, in writing, to honor Open Hardware licenses as if copyright applied, even if it doesn't.

The idea, in part, is that if you copy a PC board bearing the logo without signing the contract to honor the license, you're infringing. It's a kludge, but it gets us some of the license enforcement that we are used to with software.

Unfortunately, we can't do that with the "gear" logo, it's already had too much unrestricted use.

But I'd be lying to say I ever liked the gear logo, anyway.

Re:I'm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902000)

Wrong logo?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the Open Source Hardware logo was voted the gear-variant of the Open Source Software logo....

Re:I'm here (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902096)

This looks really fun; reading the first issue now, with my morning coffee.

One thing: you have no RSS feed for the journal. Not the actual contents, I hasten to add; just a low-volume feed for announcing new issues would be really helpful. There is no way I will remember to check for new issues, and RSS feeds are a great way to be reminded when there's new stuff on a site I follow.

RSS (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903042)

I'll put in a way to do RSS.

Re:I'm here (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902284)

Good job. I love this stuff. I plan to read every word of every issue.

I have high hopes for the open hardware movement.

Re:I'm here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902336)

Are you going to focus on things that are actually worthy, or will it be nothing but nonsense about 3D printing?

For example, "producing lenses with 3D printers" leads people to believe you can just print a functioning lens like you press ctrl-p to print in a word processor. Your article describes a traditional process where the 3D printer only served to print a rough model, still requiring lots of work. At the price of 1300$ for an unassembled Makerbot, which is nothing but a stolen Reprap, you can buy many quality lenses already made.

This is my main problem with "3D printing" as it stands, it's nothing but cheerleading for a thief.

Re:I'm here (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903174)

Are you going to focus on things that are actually worthy, or will it be nothing but nonsense about 3D printing?

FIrst, if I am not mistaken the RepRap guys want to be copied.

However, I have also taken the RepRap guys to task for overstating what their system can do. I have a slide in my current talk about Open Hardware regarding the fact that you absolutely can't print a makerbot with a makerbot. Only some of the plastic parts.

I also hate going to Eric Drexler's talks, because so much about nanotech still doesn't work. I am with you on that.

I can't do much about folks who only read the headline, they're rampant on Slashdot. But if you read the article, I think the guy worked very hard to explain that printers can't even approach optical precision right now, and he showed that his current lenses are only good for colliminating flashlight illumination rather than manipulating images. I found his technique to be innovative, I would not have thought of making lenses at all with the current state of the art. And the real point is that extruders will get better, and we'll be able to use these techniques to go to next steps when they do. IMO, it was the most scientific paper in that issue. And he did show that his result was, to a great extent, a failure.

It sounds like there's going to be enough content to balance out the 3D stuff to everyone's satisfaction.

Re:I'm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37909462)

Thanks for replying to me even though I'm modded -1, I'm AC, and I espouse an unpopular point of view. This places you head and shoulders above the usual riff-raff that abounds when 3D printing or colonizing Mars comes up. I'm almost tempted to create an account. Almost.

Re:I'm here (2)

Christopher_Olah (1317943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902560)

Bruce isn't the only person from OHJ here :) I'm Christopher Olah, the author of the "Producing Lenses with 3D Printers" article.

I'd be happy to answer any questions about my article, surfcad [wordpress.com] , ImplicitCAD [github.com] , Malthus [wordpress.com] , 3D printed vacuum cleaners [wordpress.com] , and any questions about my other projects or 3D printing in general.

Re:I'm here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902888)

Why did you create a new logo - wouldn't it be better to share your efforts with http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/

Re:I'm here (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903262)

Why did you create a new logo - wouldn't it be better to share your efforts with http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/ [openhardwaresummit.org]

The main reasons for creating yet another logo are:

  • We need a controlled-use logo for use in enforcing Open Hardware licenses where copyright is insufficient. The gear logo has already had too much uncontrolled use.
  • The gear logo is reminiscent of the OSI logo. But only us insiders will know about OSI. It's not so useful in giving an idea about Open Hardware to outsiders. Marketing programs like this should, of course, be outward-facing.
  • Am I the only one who has a problem with OSI? :-)
  • The chip-and-lock logo is language-independent. It says something without words, which the gear logo doesn't quite do.
  • The chip-and-lock logo is more position-independent than the gear logo. But not perfect. Many of the objects we would put it upon do not have a preferred orientation.

Re:I'm here (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905868)

Bruce --

Would you be willing to take part in a Slashdot interview sometime soon? :)

timothy

Re:I'm here (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37909200)

Sure!

Mr? (2)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901652)

Hey! When did Bruce become Mr. Perens in these parts?

Re:Mr? (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901686)

That made me smile too. In academic circles I keep getting called Dr. Perens, sorry no Ph.D. I'm also called "K6BP" a lot.

Re:Mr? (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901754)

"Open Hardware Submarines.." Inspired by submarine patents?

Re:Mr? (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902184)

No, as somebody who works in that field, we would call 'em "tethered ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles)."

By the way, this [seaeye.com] is what a real one looks like. Notice the big cord sticking out of the top.

Here's come constructive criticism of the journal itself. Bruce, you listenin'? In the 3d printer section, details are given on how to write the parabola. The other articles seem to be glorified links to sites. Is the journal meant to be instructional, or just a showcase, or both? I for one would love to see more detailed information on how to, for example, modify the ROV's sensors to determine the distance to the bottom based on the time-amplitude of pulses, or to program stepper motors so that one could run a "race" untethered. I understand that not all of us are technical people, however we should keep it at a level above Dick and Jane.

Another gripe I personally don't care about, but others might, is that the USB guy gives a disclaimer saying, "Well, it's not completely free, but deal with it." It's sure to annoy all the mouth-breathing purists.

One more question, Bruce - I've designed an automatic waterpipe(informally known as a "bong") utilizing a pump and some valves. Will you be willing to print it despite its controversy?

Many thanks for your answers, if you provide some.

Re:Mr? (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903318)

An Open Hardware bong. Well, when I was in Tunis, they had a hashish bar in the middle of the shopping mall. And you can use it for tobacco, and there do seem to be legitimate pipe joints around here (San Francisco Bay Area) with tobacco in bongs. So, yes, but it would have to be a good paper. Not just "here's my design and I dare you". You'd have to find something interesting to say.

I intend to get a paper selection committee together. Hopefully by issue 4. Right now, I'm it, but that doesn't generally get respect for journals.

It is a fact that most papers will be "documentation of practice" rather than scientific experiments. That's just the nature of the field. But we aren't trying to get down to anyone's level, there's already Make magazine if you want the Popular Mechanics of the movement.

Re:Mr? (1)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901902)

Following on in the grand tradition of open hardware in the Amateur Radio community, I see.

Best wishes in the road ahead!

73

KC9KBP

Re:Mr? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37903872)

That's Sir Perens to you! :-)

Fab lab network (2)

dirvine (1008915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901816)

Hey Bruce (do you mind if I just stick to Bruce :-) ), well done and congrats
I have been a wee bit involved in the fab lab network (born in MIT by Neil Gershenfeld), it's a really cool network of 'labs' which are basically small buildings with some 3d manufacturing equipment, printers and enough 'stuff' to allow people to make anything they can dream of. One of the goals is to spread the designs to other labs around the world.
1: To me it would seem this effort you are now involved in could act as a catalyst to bring this and the (seemingly) many other open hardware initiatives together, do you agree?
2: I also watched a video on TED about open source cancer research (from Boston, still on front page) and note the open publication efforts currently being touted. Do you not think there is an opportunity for a Open X network (X == everything) ?
In essence, do you think there is a possibility of momentum towards a new world here, where research and innovation in all areas take centre stage and move us all along at the pace mankind can move along? (I am thinking of the mass unrest with the way everything is and the apparent move towards a change, I feel we need a catalyst and somebody has to do it. I for instance have donated all my shares in a business I have been building for more than 5 years to a charity for innovation and education and the rest to the staff of the business, I know there is need for change and I constantly look for ways to actually do it, something more than 'rooftop shouting').
Is there a chance here to stimulate a new movement, a slow and focussed movement with real thought behind it ?

Re:Fab lab network (3, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902072)

1: To me it would seem this effort you are now involved in could act as a catalyst to bring this and the (seemingly) many other open hardware initiatives together, do you agree?

Well, not just bring projects together, but avoid some of the mistakes we made with Open Source. Like have "recommended" licenses, with the recommended set really small, so we don't have the problem of 80 licenses accepted by the Open Source Initiative and no "recommended" list because we can't dis-recommend a license without offending someone. And not start out by building a schism between Free Software and Open Source. I could rant about all of the things that went wrong for a while...

We could use good videos for smart people. The coverage we have so far panders to a lowest common denominator of viewers. I'd be delighted if someone was able to make better videos. If I tried to do it, though, it would eat all of my time.

Yes, we definitely want to stimulate a new movement, and put both thought and experience into it.

Re:Fab lab network (1)

dirvine (1008915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902264)

Delighted with your answer and also delighted with your OSS views, I support OSS but hate the legal mess and vicious debates. I really wish you the best Bruce and please add me to any list of possible help/support, I am limited in time just now, but definitely am interested and as I said I do have some contacts that may prove useful (as well as the foundation I mentioned). My goal is to help others innovate and do so without the current corporate nonsense and stress, so happy to join in in any way I can when time permits.

Re:Fab lab network (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902706)

>Yes, we definitely want to stimulate a new movement, and put both thought and experience into it.

I'm keen. Is the current action concentrated in any one spot, or distributed around the net?

My gut feeling is that given the activity of the last couple of years the "new movement" already exists. If what already exists was focused, documented and disseminated, there would be a substantial body of work. (IMO) What is needed is a distribution mechanism/platform: an opencollector [opencollector.org] on sterioids; a Debian [debian.org] for hardware.

There's also the question of whether open hardware is a new movement or a progression of the free software movement, in which case we don't create a Debian for hardware, but extend Debian to include hardware.

Re:Fab lab network (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903376)

Write up what you'd like to do at wiki.openhardware.org . Can't do much without a proposal. I am hoping that the smart parts of the movement will congregate there.

My short term goals are 1. To make sure we don't have a license mess, like we got with Open Source software. 2. To promote that people share essentially the same rights as in the Open Source Definition. 3. To promote the movement toward Open Hardware in general.

The CERN folks, and others, have been working on archive sites for designs, so that designs don't die with your personal web site. Sort of like Sourceforge or GitHub. It's good to have more than one.

Re:Fab lab network (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903686)

An alternative to a centralised repository is a mark up / semantic language that allows designs to be published on the 'net and automatically discovered and catalogued. Anyway, I'll keep an eye on openhardware.org and jump in when I feel I can contribute. Thanks for kicking this off.

Awesome! (0)

teidou (651247) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901842)

I'll be submitting!

Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (2)

fatphil (181876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901848)

Being almost entirely a softie, I've often been tempted to take some of my embarassingly parallel mass evaluations (e.g. board evaluations in games, or number-theoretic applications) onto a large array of tiny slaves on an FPGA. However, I've get to find a comfortable route into that field. Will the OHJ be heading into that middle ground? And with the skin-flint newb in mind?

Re:Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903472)

Get a book on Verilog and VHDL, and a Papilio One [gadgetfactory.net] . $50 for 250K gates. There's a 500K gate model for $75.

Alas, the software is mostly proprietary but at least low-or-zero cost. We will eventually get Open Hardware gate-arrays, but we're not there yet.

Re:Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (1)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903800)

VHDL Cookbook [uni-hamburg.de] is a good, though dated, intro.

Use ghdl [ghdl.free.fr] to learn vhdl, without the need to have hardware, as it compiles VHDL to an executable. Icarus [icarus.com] is similar, but for Verilog. gEDA [gpleda.org] has good tools, including the gtkwave [sourceforge.net] waveform viewer. Combined, ghdl, Icarus and gtkwave are a pretty useful simulation suite. You can go a long way with simulation, since the normal design flow is to get the system 100% using simulation, then as a last step program the FPGA with maximal probability of it just working. As Bruce said, the actual partition, place and route tools are proprietary and specific to each FPGA vendor, and a google search will come up with a number of cheap FPGA boards.

Keep an eye on left field though. There is a convergence in progress between desktop CPU's, GPU's, parallel systems and FPGAs (which can be seen as an array of massively parallel simple processors). One day all I wrote may be obsolete and you will be able to program your FPGA in CUDA [nvidia.com] , or whatever results when mainstream programming figures out how to handle parallel systems properly.

Re:Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904080)

The Papilio has another way to get the design working - at least from the gate-array pins outward. It hosts an AVR8 implemented in the gate-array, and that can be programmed as if it's an Arduino. Make your design work with that - at least slowly - before you make the gate-array program.

Re:Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (2)

femto (459605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903806)

VHDL Cookbook [uni-hamburg.de] is a good, though dated, intro.

Use ghdl [ghdl.free.fr] to learn vhdl, without the need to have hardware, as it compiles VHDL to an executable. Icarus [icarus.com] is similar, but for Verilog. gEDA [gpleda.org] has good tools, including the gtkwave [sourceforge.net] waveform viewer. Combined, ghdl, Icarus and gtkwave are a pretty useful simulation suite. You can go a long way with simulation, since the normal design flow is to get the system 100% using simulation, then as a last step program the FPGA with maximal probability of it just working. As Bruce said, the actual partition, place and route tools are proprietary and specific to each FPGA vendor, and a google search will come up with a number of cheap FPGA boards.

Keep an eye on left field though. There is a convergence in progress between desktop CPU's, GPU's, parallel systems and FPGAs (which can be seen as an array of massively parallel simple processors). One day all I wrote may be obsolete and you will be able to program your FPGA in CUDA [nvidia.com] , or whatever results when mainstream programming figures out how to handle parallel systems properly.

Re:Does 'hardware' extend to FPGAs and the like (1)

olof_k (2093198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904850)

One way is to get into the OpenRISC project. You can implement your algorithms in software, and when you have identified the parts that could benefit from being run in hardware, write an IP core that takes care of it, hook it up to the wishbone system bus and write a driver.

LibreOffice (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902094)

Apparently it as produced with LibreOffice (metadata, if you can't spot it). Is the source odt file for the journal available? It's fairly clear that designing the journal was not a priority, and I think that's fine, but in terms of sane defaults, Latex would have produced a much better looking document. E.g. the odd positioning of "Software:" on page 19 just wouldn't happen, left aligned instead of justified is very strange, no hyphenation.

If you're worried about the increased work load (without cause, in my experience), you could crowdsource the effort, same goes for still accepting submissions in HTML, ODT or MS formats to avoid scaring off people who aren't used to Latex.

Re:LibreOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902316)

Author to the "Producing Lenses With 3D Printers" article. It was originally in LaTeX and I think it looked a lot better that way. You can get the original PDF of it here [wordpress.com] .

I'd be happy to answer any questions about it, surfcad, ImplicitCAD, Malthus, or any questions about my projects or 3D printing in general.

Re:LibreOffice (3, Informative)

Christopher_Olah (1317943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902528)

Hey, I'm the author to the article "Producing Lenses With 3D Printers". It was originally in LaTeX and I think it looked a lot better that way. You can get the original PDF of it here [wordpress.com] .

I'd be happy to answer any questions about it, surfcad [wordpress.com] , ImplicitCAD [github.com] , Malthus [wordpress.com] , 3D printed vacuum cleaners [wordpress.com] , or any questions about my projects or 3D printing in general.

(Essentially resubmitting my previous anonymous comment since I reset the login for this account and no one sees Anonymous Coward posts.)

Re:LibreOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37904226)

Interesting and good looking article. You could have used some fancier packages to spice it up a bit (bare article class looks rather dull) but it is still better formatted than the article in the journal, which, frankly speaking, looks like a school gazette.

Bruce, how about getting together with some LaTeX hackers and let them do the magic? The only thing needed from authors is plain text + images (assuming they don't want to use LaTeX directly). Looks like guys at tex.stackexchange.com have plenty of skills (and time).

As for someone taking your journal and copying it, that's what licenses are for. Besides, it isn't really so pressing issue for a journal about open hardware. Readers will know how to find you.

Re:LibreOffice (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903496)

I did struggle with the LibreOffice layout, especially image wrap. Not sure I want to go back to my nroff days, though :-) Given the choice, I'd like to try to drive some improvement in LibreOffice. We might help more people that way.

Re:LibreOffice (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903698)

I have the .odt file, the only reason it's not up is that I'm worried about cloners putting the journal in the iphone appstore under their own name and charging $$$. I would pass it to anyone with a good reason to work on it.

A proper DTP app will eventually be needed (2)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904660)

As the Journal is evolving, you'll find that simple applications like Libre Office simply are not flexible enough. Please consider (the sooner the better) migrating the workflow towards Scribus (http://www.scribus.net) - it's Desktop Publishing - oriented, open source and the best FOSS tool for the job.

Also, as a former DTP pro, I'd recommend producing two versions of the journal - one that's meant to be read on paper, and (at least) one meant to be read on-screen. The present form of the Journal is a hybrid and does not suit everybody. Having a low and high quality download doesn't solve the problem.

Finally, before making decisions for the screen-only version, you could administer a poll to see what screen size is the majority of readers using. Formatting the Journal for 15" is very different from formatting it for 9". Perhaps a HTML version (where users can adjust the font size at will) is a better solution than the fixed-font-size PDF format. Probably the commenter above that suggested a blog format had this problem in the back of his mind.

editorial criteria (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902170)

this is potentially a huge space. do you have any ideas about the segment you're addressing? I can
image projects that are

    - too dangerous: there are some plans floating around for making a tig welder out of a microwave transformer, which seems
                                                          cool but it might be too dodgy

    - too specialized: tips for grinding fluted cutters

    - too derivative: projects that require alot of infrastructure (i.e. a ccd and a xilinx)

    - too expensive: I found this neat application for my $150,000 low end used gas spectrometer

    - too substantial: construct this working harrier jet in your own back yard out of sheet metal and a file

do you have a bounding box in mind?
   

Re:editorial criteria (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903534)

I have not yet seen an embarrassment of riches, as far as the count of submitted papers is concerned. If one actually happens, perhaps the best way to handle it would be spin-off of more journals. YouTube seems to want Open Hardware for datacenters, and I have a guy who wants to make people more comfortable on their motorcycles. They are both valid markets for journals. And then there is an entire wearable segment. There are already good magazines for radio hams, and they are going Open Hardware in what they ask for of their authors. I'm sure that other existing venues will trend toward Open Hardware as well.

Sad Microsoft bashing (0)

black3d (1648913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902342)

Page 24:

I believe that this violates my implicit right to repair objects I own. But the real problem is that this photo was taken with a Motorola battery installed – in fact, this is the original battery that shipped with my phone. There is a trend in devices to protect the interests of the manufacturer rather then the interests of the owner/end user. Unfortunately, as we saw with the market failure of Windows Vista and see here, these attempts often make the device inconvenient or unusable by the owner/end user.

Except.. Vista isn't a hardware system, and it doesn't prevent users doing anything they want to with their hardware. In fact, it doesn't prevent users doing anything they want with their software either. Also, UAC doesn't restrict the user, it's simply an interface annoyance (which was excessive in Vista, but far better in Win7). This is so completely out of place in the story.

A sad attempt to insert an irrelevant Microsoft bash simply for the sake of it, lets the entire journal down.

Re:Not sad at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37903434)

In fact, it doesn't prevent users doing anything they want with their software either.

Yeah, Windows Disingenuous Deactivation is a complete figment of our collective imagination.

A sad attempt to insert an irrelevant Microsoft bash simply for the sake of it, lets the entire journal down.

Not in the slightest. Simply a recognition of the manipulative and dishonest games that M$ plays. Try a little honesty for a change please, you'll be a better person for it.

Re:Sad Microsoft bashing (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903622)

What the Motorola embedded software was doing about its preferred brand of battery was sufficiently similar to what media copy-protection does. These things are always software, with only as much hardware as it takes to implement to them. Now that Windows 8 will insist on UEFI, we're seeing something very similar to the Motorola hardware platform and its manufacturer-interest-enforcing embedded software.

When we say Open platform, it really means a vendor willing to sell hardware without locking down the software in it.

Re:Sad Microsoft bashing (1)

black3d (1648913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903810)

I'd completely agree with you in regards to Windows 8. But I still don't see Vista fitting in contexually to the statements made at all.

"There is a trend in devices to protect the interests of the manufacturer " .. "as we saw with the market failure of Windows Vista and see here"

The market failure of Windows Vista had nothing at all to do with vendor hardware locking whatsoever. That Windows Vista was a market failure is beyond dispute. That any lockouts may or may not have occurred in embedded systems with Vista, may also be possible. And certainly, Vista supports hardware-based DRM - as Windows 7, and MacOSX do. However, the market failure of Windows Vista bears no comparison to manufacturer hardware protection.

My point was not to argue about whether Windows Vista failed, but that its placement appears to be a cheap jab at Microsoft, as its failure doesn't relate to the topic being discussed. WHEN Windows 8 comes out, if we experience a severe lack of adoption due *in large part* to vendor hardware locking - and it fails on that basis - then by all means, use it as an example of an OS failing in the market due to such.

There are plenty of current vendors shipping software locked to specific hardware - any one of which, if shown to cause failure in the marketplace for that product, would have provided a fine example. Trying to attribute Vista's failure to such is extremely weak, and gives the appearance of catering to a specific group of readers. If the problem is that hardware locks aren't actually causing marketplace failures yet (see Apple, Sony, MS Xbox, etc), then that's a space for another discussion.

Re:Sad Microsoft bashing (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904032)

Vista's media protection was intrusive. Going back farther, you might remember copy protection dongles. I sincerely would put both of those things in the same bag with the Motorola battery lock and its failure in this case, the stupid way my HP printer is programmed to behave once I reload ink in its reservoirs, and the need to jailbreak an iPhone. They are all instances of the software placing someone else's agenda above that of the customer.

Journal management software (1)

pHalec (31694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902346)

Hi Bruce!

Obviously I'm biased, since I work on the project -- but have you seen Public Knowledge Project's "Open Journal Systems"? It's FOSS and its goal is to automate the management and workflow for publishing an academic-style journal. It wouldn't do your layout etc. for you, but it would help with submission management, peer review, and a lot of the associated stuff that needs doing. See http://pkp.sfu.ca/ojs for the details.

Cheers,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team

Re:Journal management software (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903562)

I am of course an old friend of PK. I'll look into that.

Like "Make", but dumber (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37903758)

It's like reading a dumbed down version of "Make" magazine. "How to Make Really Crappy Lenses with a 3D Printer". "How to Make a Submarine Out of Plastic Irrigation Pipe". A simple USB to something interface board. Plus a whiney "Open Hardware Needs Your Help" section, and a long rant on the right to modify stuff.

Compare "Home Shop Machinist", "Fine Woodworking", "Nuts and Volts", or "Servo". There are far better DIY magazines.

Re:Like "Make", but dumber (1)

AndreyFilippov (550131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904082)

Unfortunately it is a very common misconception that Open Hardware should be if not "free as in beer", then at least as cheap as possible. But even beer exists in "free as in speech" variant (http://freebeer.org/) and I do not think it is extremely cheap.

I believe that writing about "How to Make Really Crappy Lenses with a 3D Printer" is similar to advising readers to forget the normal GNU/Linux they run on their computers and make some DIY OS and run it on the 8-bit microprocessor. Of course, such DIY projects have right to exist, but I'm afraid that making people to associate _all_ the OH with just some cheap replacement of the Real Proprietary Stuff may be very harmful to the Open Hardware itself.

Freedom of the hardware devices has real value and can pay for itself. The fact that the FOSS (both software and devices that use it) is now mainstream (thanks, Bruce!) makes more people to be "spoiled" by such freedom and expect it from the hardware they are paying for. And that keeps us in business of developing (and selling) expensive (but Free) Open Hardware products for 10 years already.

Open source tool chains (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37904252)

Bruce,

One of my pet peeves is open hardware projects that use closed source or free-beer-crippleware design automation tools. It seems very hard to get people to see how important it is to provide open hardware design files in formats that can be edited with open source DA tools. I even had Lady Ada tell me once in a forum: "Tools don't matter." I found that attitude shocking. I understand that a fully open source tool chain is neither practical nor appropriate for every open hardware project. But I am amazed that open hardware schematics and PCB files are still designed using cripple-ware when at least two good open source tool chains exist.

So several questions:
1) What is your personal take on necessity for open source DA tools where possible?
2) What is the Open Hardware Journal's policy?
3) Is there any hope of seeing a "recursively open artifact" license for open hardware projects? (That is: a license where the design is open, the design file formats are openly documented, and at least one open source tool exists for every step in the tool chain.)

Re:Open source tool chains (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37905420)

1) What is your personal take on necessity for open source DA tools where possible?

I think we are in the equivalent to the period when RMS was writing GNU C on a Sun Microsystems workstation. We need fully Open Source toolchains. Currently, we don't have them for gate-arrays. And we have a large number of people who prefer Eagle over the various Open Source alternatives, which probably means the Open Source ones aren't good enough yet. And those folks haven't really understood the draconian Eagle license.

So, I hope to motivate people to do more work on tools.

2) What is the Open Hardware Journal's policy?

We will be editorializing on the need for people to work on tools, but not locking out projects that use proprietary tools from publication at this time. One of the issues is to lobby the manufacturers to document their devices sufficiently so that we really can have Open tools for them rather than creating our own devices. But create them we will, if necessary.

3) Is there any hope of seeing a "recursively open artifact" license for open hardware projects? (That is: a license where the design is open, the design file formats are openly documented, and at least one open source tool exists for every step in the tool chain.)

You can make some artifacts with a fully open tool-chain now. Nobody's crafted an "Open Tools Only in Derivative Works" license yet. I don't think it is time for one yet, but the time might come.

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