Author Topic: Should i open source my project?  (Read 1011 times)

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Online Refrigerator

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Should i open source my project?
« on: January 10, 2021, 11:04:35 am »
I recently finished a university semester project and i don't have the time or energy to work on it anymore.
It's basically a NanoLeaf inspired thing. Triangular LED modules that are 10x10x10cm each, and work in a peer-to-peer kind of way.
I figured someone else might want to try this project so i'd just put it out there.
It's not completely finished but it works well enough i think.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline miceuz

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 12:15:49 pm »
a) what would you gain by open sourcing it? (HaD post? Exposure?)
b) what would you gain by not open sourcing it? (Err, commercialize?)

I usually open source all the stuff I do that's not for a client - helps with exposure, substantial part of my clientele comes by finding my OS stuff.

Online blueskull

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 12:44:20 pm »
I put everything in open if it is not a commercial deliverable. My boss was kind enough to allow me to open source anything that are used as tools towards our R&D, but not the final deliverable.
 

Online Refrigerator

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 03:03:33 pm »
Personally i don't think i'd gain anything from it, perhaps i could make an overhyped YT video with some abnoxious non-copyright music to get some views.  :horse:
Maybe it would help me get a job.

Probably more than anything i was inspired by the (imo) weak attempts other people make when copying the look of the NanoLeaf (or HexaLeaf). Most of them are just LED strips in some hard shell.
Not saying that there's anything inherently bad about it but it's very obvious that they're a pain in the arse to control.
I wanted something better hence the peer-to-peer thing. These modules each work independently and calculate their position automatically. They can also be placed in any orientation because each module will adjust accordingly.
And if there's anyone crazy enough to dig through the pile of spaghetti code running on these things they can also maybe improve it.
I think at this point it would be a shame to chuck this project into my forgotten projects (aka. the "i'll get to it someday") box because i don't want to bury the effort i put into this project.
Might as well let other people use it as inspiration of just copy it i don't care.
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Online Refrigerator

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 03:13:07 pm »
If i open source them then it might be a good idea to at least come up with a name for these things because currently i just call them "triangles" (how creative, i know).
For a name i was thinking along the lines of "GridLED" or "LEDLattice"  ;D
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Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 04:04:38 pm »
Personally i don't think i'd gain anything from it, perhaps i could make an overhyped YT video with some abnoxious non-copyright music to get some views.  :horse:
Maybe it would help me get a job.
i think just open source it... put it in your resume so companies know you are not just good at making circuit, but also using internet (github or whatever) ;D not some drunken junkies. nanoleaf clone is everywhere already so there is not really a IP intelligence to it anyway. (i still fail to see how nanoleaf can boost productivity or any other than impressing some chicks)

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Online Refrigerator

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 04:31:36 pm »
(i still fail to see how nanoleaf can boost productivity or any other than impressing some chicks)

People are into RGB these days (more RGB = more better).
I personally see a use for these thingies. I used to have old christmas lights hanging in my uni dorm room for some ambient lighting because in late evenings the room lights were too bright.
But over the years they finally burned out, they were over 15 years old (iirc) incandescent lights afterall.
Now i could hang these on the wall and use them much in the same way.
As an added bonus if anyone asked me about them i could say "i made those" and then continue to bore them to death about how they work and how START.Atmel likes to create code that sends the stack pointer to non-existent memory locations :rant: (i'm still pissed about that).

Also just out of curiosity i did some back of the envelope calculations and the assembled PCB frames of the module (with all components) come in at under 3€/each, pretty inexpensive imo, considering these are low volume numbers.
So i guess i could even sell these as a sort of spinoff NanoLeaf i guess.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 04:33:27 pm by Refrigerator »
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline deskpro256

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 03:14:42 pm »
Hello from up above! :D

I usually add everything to my github anyway, just so if my PC dies, I don't lose everything. Private or open, it's there. If you make it open, somebody will try to make it or learn from it, if you add instructions, code etc. Might inspire someone to do something with it or different.

I'm sure, this being your school project, you've documented this somewhat or the information is there at least, so make a list what has been done, what you would like the project to have to say "This is done".

Add that list to the readme in github and maybe someone will implement them or when you finally decide to look at it again.

Write a list of pros/cons of your product vs others. How does your differ? How is it better? How is it not so good? What would you do different?
Make a video about it, just because.

That might let you have a break from it, while not really having a break. Then, you could finish it or scrap it. As painful as it might be, if it's not meant to continue, maybe something new is exactly what you need to do. Take what you learned and apply it to the next project.

Maybe try some local sales, tindie?
Nonetheless, add it to your CV, too!

Anyway, hope this helps you in some way.
Cheers!
 

Offline Scrts

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2021, 03:34:14 pm »
i don't have the time or energy to work on it anymore

This already tells a direction. If you will not support it and keep it hidden - it will die in you drawer without any exposure. If you plan to pick it up to do a startup, then keep it, but if not - put it on github, maybe someone else will pick it up or see your name online.

I've open sourced my FPGA cores, which were poor quality 10+ years ago (although perfectly functional) and I've got a bunch of emails from people thanking how it helped them to save time.
 
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Online Refrigerator

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 10:22:18 pm »
i don't have the time or energy to work on it anymore

This already tells a direction. If you will not support it and keep it hidden - it will die in you drawer without any exposure. If you plan to pick it up to do a startup, then keep it, but if not - put it on github, maybe someone else will pick it up or see your name online.

I've open sourced my FPGA cores, which were poor quality 10+ years ago (although perfectly functional) and I've got a bunch of emails from people thanking how it helped them to save time.

Can i both put it on Github (public) and do a startup or only one not both?
I'm currently making a private github repo for my project and for now i'm calling "LatticeLED" ( i hope Lattice semi don't mind  ::) ) i might make it public later.
It's not like i don't want to work on this project anymore just that i'm tired and need time for my bachelors final project.
I do still see things i could tinker with on this project, for example i didn't even get a chance to play around with light guide plates.
Even now i'm still playing around with pattern generation and have some parts ordered to make more of these modules because i still have enough PCB's for 12 more modules.
I have a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Now less empty than ever before !
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 02:36:50 am »
Quote
i don't have the time or energy to work on it anymore.
Well, that probably makes it useless to many of the people who comb open source.
But it'd still be useful to SOME people.One of the best things (IMO) about an open source project is that someone else might take it further than you ever wanted to.  (either commercially, or just hobbyists.)  I had a SW project I "published" (before "open source" was defined very well), and a couple of years later there was someone at a trade show hawking a commercialized (and considerably enhanced) version.  I asked questions at their presentation, and got taken aside afterwards and informed that my code had at least "inspired" their code.  I got a free copy from them as a result!


Quote
a university semester project
Are you reasonably proud of the code and design?
Do you think it would impress a would-be employer, once you graduate an start looking for a job?
Those are reasonable reasons to publish your code.
I also once received an unsolicited eMail from a well-known company along the lines of "we looked at your github, and we might be interested in talking to you"...  I was flattered (but I'm happily retired, so it didn't go much further than that.)
 

Online Berni

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Re: Should i open source my project?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 06:26:26 am »
Depends on how well documented it is and how much effort is involved in publishing it.

I don't mind posting simple things when i can just throw everyone up somewhere and just leave it out there for anyone that might find it useful. But i don't put any effort in actually properly documenting everything and maintaining a project.

Unless a project is actively maintained don't expect it to actually develop any. Just that if it is something that ends up getting a good bit of search result hits quite a few people might copy paste parts of your design to save themselves time.

If your goal is to contribute to the open source community and mess with tech for fun, then its the easiest to join in on a existing open source project. This is particularly easy on the software side of things. You just show up on a GitHub page, pull down the source and start improving it, once you fixed a bug or added a neat feature you can push the change back up and (as long as its sensible) the project owner will approve it and merge it in. They are usually pretty friendly people, if you want to do more just look trough the issue tracker and similar pages on what features the community wants and make them happen. I don't do this, but if i take someones git code and improve it because i needed a certain feature or fix a bug that has been bothering me i will offer the enhancement to the git project back to them, doesn't cost me much time and perhaps it helps someone else out.
 


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