locked sticky TeenAstro and Commercial solution #poll-notice


Charles
 
Edited

Hi everyone,

I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware. There is no way to block them.
But then they have to publish the changes.

I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship

***Should we help them or not?***

Support means : code changes/design etc...

Results


Markus Kempf
 

wouldn't it be great to have a neat ready to use unit without any soldering and part ordering, that nethertheless can be upgraded with new software and easily be repaired? Why do you think we have nothing to win? That's maybe only true for the ones who have already build their units.

Markus

Am 31/08/2020 um 17:21 schrieb Charles:

A new poll has been created:

Hi everyone,

I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware. There is no way to block them.
But then they have to publish the changes.

I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship

***Should we help them or not?***

Support means : code changes/design etc...

1. Yes
2. No

Vote Now

Do not reply to this message to vote in the poll. You can vote in polls only through the group's website.


Charles
 

Hi Markus,
 
TiNico has designed the redux version and there is nothing to sold just the socket for the Teensy 4.0. we need the same for the SHC.
Some onstep users made bad experiences with the instein version of onstep. And the Little foot story is not a success story...
 
but maybe your right the TOS100 are commercial and open source
 
 
Gesendet: Montag, 31. August 2020 um 17:36 Uhr
Von: "Markus Kempf" <gmke@...>
An: TeenAstro@groups.io
Betreff: Re: [TeenAstro] TeenAstro and Commercial solution #poll-notice

wouldn't it be great to have a neat ready to use unit without any soldering and part ordering, that nethertheless can be upgraded with new software and easily be repaired? Why do you think we have nothing to win? That's maybe only true for the ones who have already build their units.

Markus

Am 31/08/2020 um 17:21 schrieb Charles:

A new poll has been created:

Hi everyone,

I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware. There is no way to block them.
But then they have to publish the changes.

I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship

***Should we help them or not?***

Support means : code changes/design etc...

1. Yes
2. No

Vote Now

Do not reply to this message to vote in the poll. You can vote in polls only through the group's website.


Stephan
 

Hi everyone,

I think TeenAstro is a success as it is. And the best days are yet to come.

So having a third party interest interfering is of no interest to me.  To build a business case on an open source foundation they will figure out a scheme to generate repetitive income from their customers, so sooner or later they will have to somehow sneak out of the open source license agreements and who would then be inclined to start a legal battle?! I would hate to see all these precious contributions into someone's pockets fro free. I would therefore go even further an discourage a commercial usage and make a statement that it is not welcome.

I hope we all grow old together here in this group and may the commercial side of Astronomy do what they want.

Brgds, Stephan


 

I agree with Stefan

François

On 31/08/2020 18:13 Stephan via groups.io <skablitz@...> wrote:


Hi everyone,

I think TeenAstro is a success as it is. And the best days are yet to come.

So having a third party interest interfering is of no interest to me.  To build a business case on an open source foundation they will figure out a scheme to generate repetitive income from their customers, so sooner or later they will have to somehow sneak out of the open source license agreements and who would then be inclined to start a legal battle?! I would hate to see all these precious contributions into someone's pockets fro free. I would therefore go even further an discourage a commercial usage and make a statement that it is not welcome.

I hope we all grow old together here in this group and may the commercial side of Astronomy do what they want.

Brgds, Stephan


Mahdi A
 

Dear all,

My name is Mahdi Abokhalaf, 
I didn't wanted to interfere but as Charles already mentioned no company needs permission to create an commercial version of the TeenAstro.
I am Head of Product Development @ a well known company by the one side and on the other side also in this group long time before I take over this position.
I have my one TeenAstro, one of the first generation ones working fine on an Skywatcher EQ3.
I know almost everything you need to know to build it up from the sketch. 
The market for an commercial version of TeenAstro is very small and not really affordable. I contacted Charles as a friend rather then a comercial partner once we are at the same observatory club society. 
As astronomer and mechanical design engineer I rather invest my time an capacity in creating a great mount for an affordable price then spend a lot of time and money in the development of an new control unit.
The question is what can I do in order to support the group and also get support once there is a big problem coming up i can't solve by my one.
Wouldn't it be great to have an mount "Powered by TeenAstro" or a affordable control unit for anyone, even those that have no skills to build up their owns?
A TeenAstro that supports encoders for AZ mounts, with platesolving for easier alignment?
I can help the group with those features and other benefits. 
There is a lot of space for improvement and in the group we would get it done in a way "from users to users" and not like the other ones that just do it because it's their job or just for profit proposes.
Think about and consider it in your decision, I believe the group as more to win either to lose.
Kind regards 
Mahdi

François Desvallées <fdesvallees@...> schrieb am Mo., 31. Aug. 2020, 19:00:

I agree with Stefan

François
On 31/08/2020 18:13 Stephan via groups.io <skablitz=me.com@groups.io> wrote:


Hi everyone,

I think TeenAstro is a success as it is. And the best days are yet to come.

So having a third party interest interfering is of no interest to me.  To build a business case on an open source foundation they will figure out a scheme to generate repetitive income from their customers, so sooner or later they will have to somehow sneak out of the open source license agreements and who would then be inclined to start a legal battle?! I would hate to see all these precious contributions into someone's pockets fro free. I would therefore go even further an discourage a commercial usage and make a statement that it is not welcome.

I hope we all grow old together here in this group and may the commercial side of Astronomy do what they want.

Brgds, Stephan


stephane h.
 
Edited

Hi Mahdi,

If i understand well, you would like to sell assembled TeenAstro units with mounts, as it is, without changing the name or something like a rebrand.

There is different companies selling open source stuff with something else (which can make sense as it's sometime useless to rebuild something already existing). In that case, they manage support as it's difficult (not to say impossible) for a makers community to assume help and service for a larger "buyers community" as they do it on their free time.

Just my point of vue : But, yes, of course, you can improve the TeenAstro and share that work open source for people who wants to build their own.

That sounds fair... a minimum at least... Spending your time to contribute to the project, share this work with the open source community, but from your side, sell mounted units if you want to. Honestly, i don't think that the final cost will be interested if you sell it as a stand-alone goto system. But, you are right, it can be a excellent "side" to sell a "master piece" of yours.

But will your director be ok to share the working time of your team ? not sure...

And as mates said before, the actual TeenAstro project is nice and is a success because it is as it is.

Last point : From my experience, keep in mind that the service part has to stay in your hands. At least if you want to reach a minimum customer's satisfaction level.

Stéphane


Robert Schwebel
 

Hi,

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 08:21:36AM -0700, Charles wrote:
I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware.
There is no way to block them.
But then they have to publish the changes.

I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship

***Should we help them or not?***

Support means : code changes/design etc...

1. Yes
2. No
Wearing my hat as someone who is in the open source industry for about
20 years and being involved in many OSS and especially GPL projects, I'd
say: decide purely by technical means.

- If they send valuable patches that improve your project, there
shouldn't be a reason not to apply them. Technology shouldn't be
influenced by politics.

- If they send patches that make your code or its maintenance worse for
you, or generally feel wrong, argue in a technical way and reject
them if necessary. You are the maintainer.

Companies *can* improve OSS code (in fact, we have contributed > 5000
patches to the Linux kernel, wrote GPL projects like the barebox
bootloader or the ptxdist build system and many others), but there are
also many cases where companies try to suck cheap code out of OSS
communities and try to establish some kind of "added value" business
that restricts the original communities and their freedom.

That's not how things should work.

Fortunately, your code is GPLed. The GPL is a great license to protect
your code: it makes sure that everyone is equal, and especially any
company out there is not *more* equal than anyone else.

My experience is that time will show in which direction things will
move: that company has the right to fork the code, modify, distribute
etc, as long as they always provide the complete corresponding source
code and all scripts necessary to build the code with the binaries. If
they collaborate with you and this community, it might be fruitful for
anyone. If they don't collaborate, you should take the necessary actions
to make them follow the GPL rules.

And, of course, don't underestimate the value of community activity.
You are here, you talk to people, people help each other, this community
is well established and in a healthy state. That's a *value*, and you
can't copy it by forking the code.

So in conclusion: keep calm and move on :-)

rsc
--
Pengutronix e.K. | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel |
Steuerwalder Str. 21 | https://www.pengutronix.de/ |
31137 Hildesheim, Germany | Phone: +49-5121-206917-0 |
Amtsgericht Hildesheim, HRA 2686 | Fax: +49-5121-206917-9 |


Charles
 

Hi everyone,

It is important that you vote for that pool request, then we have a fair statement for Mahdi. It also very positive that everyone feels free to give his point of view.

Charles

Envoyé à partir d’un Smarpthone Android avec GMX Mail.
Le 01/09/2020, 06:05 Robert Schwebel <r.schwebel@...> a écrit:

Hi,

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 08:21:36AM -0700, Charles wrote:
> I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
> They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware.
> There is no way to block them.
> But then they have to publish the changes.
>
> I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship
>
> ***Should we help them or not?***
>
> Support means : code changes/design etc...
>
> 1. Yes
> 2. No

Wearing my hat as someone who is in the open source industry for about
20 years and being involved in many OSS and especially GPL projects, I'd
say: decide purely by technical means.

- If they send valuable patches that improve your project, there
shouldn't be a reason not to apply them. Technology shouldn't be
influenced by politics.

- If they send patches that make your code or its maintenance worse for
you, or generally feel wrong, argue in a technical way and reject
them if necessary. You are the maintainer.

Companies *can* improve OSS code (in fact, we have contributed > 5000
patches to the Linux kernel, wrote GPL projects like the barebox
bootloader or the ptxdist build system and many others), but there are
also many cases where companies try to suck cheap code out of OSS
communities and try to establish some kind of "added value" business
that restricts the original communities and their freedom.

That's not how things should work.

Fortunately, your code is GPLed. The GPL is a great license to protect
your code: it makes sure that everyone is equal, and especially any
company out there is not *more* equal than anyone else.

My experience is that time will show in which direction things will
move: that company has the right to fork the code, modify, distribute
etc, as long as they always provide the complete corresponding source
code and all scripts necessary to build the code with the binaries. If
they collaborate with you and this community, it might be fruitful for
anyone. If they don't collaborate, you should take the necessary actions
to make them follow the GPL rules.

And, of course, don't underestimate the value of community activity.
You are here, you talk to people, people help each other, this community
is well established and in a healthy state. That's a *value*, and you
can't copy it by forking the code.

So in conclusion: keep calm and move on :-)

rsc
--
Pengutronix e.K. | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel |
Steuerwalder Str. 21 | https://www.pengutronix.de/ |
31137 Hildesheim, Germany | Phone: +49-5121-206917-0 |
Amtsgericht Hildesheim, HRA 2686 | Fax: +49-5121-206917-9 |




Ti nicO
 

Hello :)

after reading the whole thread, I want to share my point of view

I don’t write code, so I can’t give any valuable advice on this part. My business is the hardware

I actually didn’t release officially the Redux design (just a draft on my github, but it’s not ready for production)
I place it under the GLP, to respect the orginial license of teenastro. my presonnal projects are under the MIT, essentially to avoid headhache about anything, and they are small things

If the compagny we talk about play fair, and publish there patchs with valuable (and usefull) way, I don’t have any problem with it. it’s the sign we all have done good job (some more than other, but we are « the community » )
I can see advantage of the powerful of a compagny with (I hope) more ressources and cash than us, and they can really improve the project.
for example, the redux version is working, but it need some more revisions to be fully polished, and I can’t pay for it now. Iknow some guys says me they can, but a true R&D budget can speed up the process and help to grow up

It’s maybe a too much positive vision :) but I don't have problem to saw my work used by a commercial project, if it respect the spirit of OSS
and the simple fact they asked before forking the project tell me it's a good sign

my fifty cts 



Le 3 sept. 2020 à 11:13, Charles <Charles_Lemaire@...> a écrit :

Hi everyone,

It is important that you vote for that pool request, then we have a fair statement for Mahdi. It also very positive that everyone feels free to give his point of view.

Charles

Envoyé à partir d’un Smarpthone Android avec GMX Mail.
Le 01/09/2020, 06:05 Robert Schwebel <r.schwebel@...> a écrit:
Hi,

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 08:21:36AM -0700, Charles wrote:
> I have been contacted by a company to make a commercial version of TeenAstro.
> They can do that if they want, as the project is opened source opened hardware.
> There is no way to block them.
> But then they have to publish the changes.
>
> I have the feeling we have nothing to win in this relationship
>
> ***Should we help them or not?***
>
> Support means : code changes/design etc...
>
> 1. Yes
> 2. No

Wearing my hat as someone who is in the open source industry for about
20 years and being involved in many OSS and especially GPL projects, I'd
say: decide purely by technical means.

- If they send valuable patches that improve your project, there
shouldn't be a reason not to apply them. Technology shouldn't be
influenced by politics.

- If they send patches that make your code or its maintenance worse for
you, or generally feel wrong, argue in a technical way and reject
them if necessary. You are the maintainer.

Companies *can* improve OSS code (in fact, we have contributed > 5000
patches to the Linux kernel, wrote GPL projects like the barebox
bootloader or the ptxdist build system and many others), but there are
also many cases where companies try to suck cheap code out of OSS
communities and try to establish some kind of "added value" business
that restricts the original communities and their freedom.

That's not how things should work.

Fortunately, your code is GPLed. The GPL is a great license to protect
your code: it makes sure that everyone is equal, and especially any
company out there is not *more* equal than anyone else.

My experience is that time will show in which direction things will
move: that company has the right to fork the code, modify, distribute
etc, as long as they always provide the complete corresponding source
code and all scripts necessary to build the code with the binaries. If
they collaborate with you and this community, it might be fruitful for
anyone. If they don't collaborate, you should take the necessary actions
to make them follow the GPL rules.

And, of course, don't underestimate the value of community activity.
You are here, you talk to people, people help each other, this community
is well established and in a healthy state. That's a *value*, and you
can't copy it by forking the code.

So in conclusion: keep calm and move on :-)

rsc
--
Pengutronix e.K. | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel |
Steuerwalder Str. 21 | https://www.pengutronix.de/ |
31137 Hildesheim, Germany | Phone: +49-5121-206917-0 |
Amtsgericht Hildesheim, HRA 2686 | Fax: +49-5121-206917-9 |





JPh-DS
 

hello the TeenAstro team,

Yes or Not?  That is the question !  Not obvious anyway.  
On the one hand we would like TeenAstro to remain as it is, with its evolutions over time thanks to an active community, and on the other hand I think that access to fully operational TeenAstro, accessible without having to touch a  welding iron, it can open up prospects for a lot of people without any skill.  
Each of you has made valid points, so everyone is right!  
I‘ll try to provide my point of view, just to increase this topic.  I'm too novice into the world of Open Source to fully understand what that means exactly. But I don't think I'm wrong when I say that anyone can do whatever they want, as long as they always respect others.  
Therefore and because Mahdi asked us if he could do it, already there he shows this famous respect towards our community.  So, we are entitled to think that his project will follow developments that he will share with our group.  It’s in his own interests I think, because who else than us are the best ambassadors of TeenAstro? Of course it’s us who are already the real users?
I’m someone who tends to trust the people.  I think Mahdi will bring something new to TeenAstro that the community will be able to benefit from, like with Ti nicO with his Redux version.  I think that the cooperations are beneficial, the proof is the teenastro of today which is the result of the work of several people and at the same time the sum of individual works.  
So tomorrow, whoever sells a TeenAstro will have to answer for its proper functioning to its customers.  
While the one who makes his own TeenAstro approaches the community for help.  
How many do we already assemble TeenAstro for friends (for free or free of charge) and who are obliged to deal with complaints from these same friends?  

As far as I'm concerned, I vote yes for help with the compensation for sharing advances, developments and free access to the code.  Otherwise, this new tool shouldn’t be called « TeenAstro ».

Greetings
JPh 


Charles
 

Thanks everyone for participating.

The results are 33% yes and 66% no.

I think the most important thing I read in that topic is that TeenAstro will have a bigger potential if we have an easy to build unit. The problem is that the design of such a board is expensive and then the question is who is willing to sell them. So if we want to bring Teenastro to a higher level with or without sponsors an association will be mandatory. At least for the hardware part.
Who is interested in that path?

Charles


Ti nicO
 

Hello

quick response

I cannot spend time in an association. sorry, but i tried again recently and it didn't work (maybe 10 years in association has worn me out)
The idea is great though

about the Redux design, I will continue to work on it, expect the end of the year for an all-in-one card with a very (very) low workload. I have some tricks to try


Le 4 sept. 2020 à 21:48, Charles <Charles_Lemaire@...> a écrit :

Thanks everyone for participating.

The results are 33% yes and 66% no.

I think the most important thing I read in that topic is that TeenAstro will have a bigger potential if we have an easy to build unit. The problem is that the design of such a board is expensive and then the question is who is willing to sell them. So if we want to bring Teenastro to a higher level with or without sponsors an association will be mandatory. At least for the hardware part.
Who is interested in that path?

Charles


Fred13115
 

Hello every one

First, when Charles you said 33% yes and 66% no, do you mean everyone did answer the poll ?
If not, please tell us the NoAdvice %.

Second, your question was "***Should we help them or not?***"
I wonder how many people here have the skills to help Mahdi, who seems high levelled in electronics and mechanics. A few I believe.
These happy few may help him for free if they have time and wish for it : solving problems is the best and more satisfying thing. Would you feel betrayed ?

Third, I must say I did vote without thinking enough about it : what if the results were 66% yes and 33% no ? Would it engage anyone to anything ?

Fred


Charles
 

Hi Fred,

Most of the time when I create a pool, I just get 15 answer of 250+ potential people.
This time we got 23 answers, this gives you an idea how people are actively following the group. It is right to say that this project is made for a small community by a small community.
The pool and the results of the pool engage nobody but it gives me/us with the different contributions below an idea about what people would accept or not and what is possible.

The next points, you have mentioned is the skill, I personally don't care about somebody's skill but the effective work he/she spends in the project, having potential is not an achievement.

"Would you feel betrayed ?", this is an open source project there is always a risk/chance that a better skill person make a fork a make it better for commercial use or not. The key idea of open source is that the users have a way to modify the source and continue to maintain the project even if the owner of the licence disappear.

Charles


Charles
 

Thanks Robert!

I think this is the right path to go and reflects the feedback we have in the group:

decide purely by technical means.

- If they send valuable patches that improve your project, there
shouldn't be a reason not to apply them. Technology shouldn't be
influenced by politics.

- If they send patches that make your code or its maintenance worse for
you, or generally feel wrong, argue in a technical way and reject
them if necessary.

Mahdi, your company is free to contribute and to fork if you want (nothing new), people are free to help you (also nothing new).
Your company is solely responsible for the customer support and customer feature request, the group is also not the right place to promote your product, work or innovation or to give your customer support. It is also not the right place to hire people in your projects. Just an example if one of your customer wants satellite tracking is up to your team to develop that feature.

In other word, your company is not a stakeholder and I will not allow your company to bend TeenAstro in any direction by promoting some feature that are mandatory for your hardware roadmap.
By the way, when one use a GPL library all the software must be licenced under GPL, your company is already very lucky that the mount is not necessary GPL as it uses GPL software.

If you contribute just send a request Git Hub, the communication of your contribution will be done through the release notes.
if your company want to be sure that your contribution will be integrated in TeenAstro just send the description of your integration and the hardware you want to use for the integration.
if one of your contribution is not stable or doesn't improve the system the contribution will be reverted.

As you see your company has even not contributed that the community has already spend hours to figure out how it could work.
As you can see my position is quite the same as in many AstroForum...

PS: I will keep this topic opened for a week and then close it.

Charles


Charles
 

Hi Everyone,

As some of you already know Ti nico works on a smaller version of the TeenAstro Mini. His idea was to make TeenAstro easier to build and deliver a Dobson kit.
I encouraged Ti Nico to go that path and I will support any body that promote and contribute to this project.

So please take a look to his work:
https://github.com/lordzurp/TeenAstro_Redux

Thank you Nicolas!