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Thing Tracker Network
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A proposal on sharing things in the maker community.
A proposal on sharing things in the maker community.

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The guys over at Bld3r.com spent the weekend implementing the ThingTracker Network specification for their site!

Bld3r is a new social networking site for sharing and discovering models for 3D printing, and now the content is trackable.

The index page gives some details about the tracker, plus a list of reference URLs to the things within the site (http://www.bld3r.com/thingtracker).  These lead to json documents describing the thing according to the latest version of the specification, for example: http://www.bld3r.com/obj/18001.json

This makes Bld3r the first site to implement the specification - Hopefully the first of many!

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The guys over at Bld3r.com spent the weekend implementing the ThingTracker Network specification for their site!

Bld3r is a new social networking site for sharing and discovering models for 3D printing, and now the content is trackable.

The index page gives some details about the tracker, plus a list of reference URLs to the things within the site (http://www.bld3r.com/thingtracker).  These lead to json documents describing the thing according to the latest version of the specification, for example: http://www.bld3r.com/obj/18001.json

This makes Bld3r the first site to implement the specification - Hopefully the first of many!

A tiny post to say I have updated the draft specification to remove some ambiguities and allow each sub-tracker to store a thing-cache.

The commit view in github nicely shows corresponding issue and the differences: 

http://goo.gl/9buUa
http://goo.gl/Mj3FS

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A brief update.

I have added some more attributes to the spec, mainly for the sub-trackers and the tracker itself:  http://bit.ly/ttn-wip-schemahttp://bit.ly/ttn-example-tracker

I also added a wiki page on Conventions and Guidelines that it may be worth following : http://bit.ly/ttn-conventions  As always, opinions welcome.

A brief update.

I have added some more attributes to the spec, mainly for the sub-trackers and the tracker itself:  http://bit.ly/ttn-wip-schemahttp://bit.ly/ttn-example-tracker

I also added a wiki page on Conventions and Guidelines that it may be worth following : http://bit.ly/ttn-conventions  As always, opinions welcome.

I've started a few pages on the Wiki on a couple of the topics raised recently.  Feedback is very welcome.

API http://goo.gl/nMBJo
A first go at defining an API to interact with trakers and the network.  This might be of interest to you +Rene K. Mueller  - it suggests how we could limit the amount of data returned, etc.

Ideas for BOMs, Sub-assemblies and Parts http://goo.gl/JLPS4
An example of how trackers could link to one another to build a hierarchy describing parts, sub-assemblies and things.  +Ross Hendrickson  and +Howard C. Shaw III  - perhaps interesting in relation to your comments the other day?

Thoughts on Implementation http://goo.gl/T2NmG
These are a couple of quick ideas on how the actual metadata could be stored alongside source files and such.  And an idea that it could be integrated with +Josef Prusa's ThingDoc.

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Hi everyone,  I have created a github project to contain the work we do on the specification: https://github.com/garyhodgson/thing-tracker-network  We can benefit from all the forking, pulling, issue tracking, wiki goodness!

There are still a few (many?) things I want to do with it, but I was in danger of yak shaving [0] so I have committed a revision [1] which adds several more attributes as per the discussion in the original G+ post [2].  

+Howard C. Shaw III  - I haven't yet added the metadata you suggested the other day for the child-trackers or the tracker itself - that's coming next(ish).

+Mark Kimsal  - I added most of your suggestions (thanks!), however I renamed "Area of Interest" to "Categories" for now, as the term didn't feel right to me.  Perhaps we can mull it over a bit more together?  I've also taken your "x-metadata" idea and expanded it a little by adding it to each major section, e.g. "x-identity-metadata", "x-bom-metadata", etc.  as I think this gives a lot of flexibility.  What do you think?

+Ross Hendrickson  - I also added an example to the repository [3], and the second thing (title:"Mechanical Movement #27") has almost all attributes filled out.  What might interest you is how I have referenced files, all of which are in the BOM section.  My reasoning is that the files, including source files, can be classified as materials required to reconstruct the thing.  I think this works quite nicely, but one thing that is perhaps missing is the ability to identify the files as such, i.e. it might be an idea to have a "bomType" attribute, which could have values such as "source code". Of course we could also have explicit sections for files, as per your suggestion earlier.  I'm not attached to the idea of having everything in the BOM, but I did like how it was tidy. Thoughts?


Organisational things still on my list:
* Connect the TTN site with the specification project so it always has the latest versions for the validator, viewer, and technical specification page.
* Migrate the TTN site to a github project too, and perhaps host it over github pages.
* Remove the possibility of having the js-schema version of the spec go out of sync with the json-schema version, either by a build script, or by generating the latter dynamically.
* Work out the best way to handle versioning of the spec.  I'm leaning towards using tags in git, and having the master always being the work in progress.  I'm open to suggestions of course.

Also - I'm going to post things from the TTN G+ Page profile, i.e. this one, which are announcements on behalf of, or from the perspective of, the TTN itself.  Posts from my personal G+ profile will be from me as participant in the group.  Hopefully it won't be too confusing, we shall see.

Finally -does anyone know how to make nice hyperlinks within a post?!!? :)

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[0] www.catb.org/jargon/html/Y/yak-shaving.html
[1] https://github.com/garyhodgson/thing-tracker-network/blob/master/specification/schema.js-schema
[2] https://plus.google.com/u/0/106465579732448802787/posts/RgPbbTVqc5A
[3] https://github.com/garyhodgson/thing-tracker-network/blob/master/examples/example-tracker.json

Welcome to the Thing Tracker Network Community.  Please feel free to join and contribute to the discussion about how we can together develop the Network of Things.  

The initial G+ post can be found here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106465579732448802787/posts/RgPbbTVqc5A

If you have ideas on topics for the community please go ahead and suggest them.

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An announcement blog post, which has a couple of additional use-cases.

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My initial G+ post announcing the Thing Tracker Network.  Many good comments and suggestions worth reading.
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