A proposal on sharing things in the maker community.
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This technology is interestingly close to (I think) what TTN is trying to do.
Massimo Fidanza originally shared:
 
Go-Ipfs Docker image. Ipfs is a global, versioned, peer-to-peer filesystem. It combines good ideas from
Git, BitTorrent, Kademlia, SFS, and the Web.
ipfs implementation in go. GoDoc Build Status. Ipfs is a global, versioned, peer-to-peer filesystem. It combines good ideas from. Git, BitTorrent, Kademlia, SFS, and the Web. It is like a single bittorrent swarm, exchanging git objects. IPFS provides an interface as simple as the HTTP web, but ...
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Gary Hodgson's profile photo
 
Yeah, i've been following IPFS and thinking the same thing.  Sadly every time I try and get it up and running I hit problems - but that's largely because I tried on Windows.  If I tried via linux it'd probably have fewer issues.
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So, are there any independent sites remaining?

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/09/23/grab-go-stratasys-completes-acquisition-grabcad/

Or was that just an illusion anyway?
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Guy Sheffer's profile photo
 
Yes, +ShapeDo :)
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
I received an email the other day from Johannes Reinhardt (of BOLTs fame[0]) telling me about his recent work on a ThingTracker application.  CADinet [1] is a python (flask) and mongodb based app which offers a simple API for uploading and browsing Thing information.  He's using openshift [2] for hosting which has a free tier for playing with.  

I spent a couple of hours last night playing with it and got an instance up and running pretty quickly [2.1].  The only issues I had was with my git settings, not with the app itself (I had to unset a GIT_SSH env variable, and my default rebase settings caused problems when pulling from his remote).  It's worth noting that the amount of information that can be pulled in is limited at the moment [2.2] - but the reason is quite interesting - as he has also implemented a FreeCAD macro that uploads models to CADinet directly - and these are the fields that can currently be easily used.

This kind of development really highlights what I was trying to say in the "Ecosystem" [4] part of TTN website - that the power of the network will come from many apps and services working together!  Having a common language, via the specification, opens up a host of possibilities.


[0] http://jreinhardt.github.io/BOLTS/
[1] https://github.com/jreinhardt/CADinet
[2] https://www.openshift.com
[2.1] https://cadinet-garyhodgson.rhcloud.com
[2.2] https://github.com/jreinhardt/CADinet/blob/master/cadinet/specs/thing.json
[3] https://github.com/jreinhardt/CADinet-freecad
[4] http://thingtracker.net/#ecosystem
CADinet - A webapp to showcase 3D models and publish them in the thingtracker network
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I have some #Keybase .io invitations if anybody wants them. This is used for client side encryption in Javascript, where https://keybase.io/ is the basis of the web of trust. My thinking is that something like this - or google's end to end (https://code.google.com/p/end-to-end/) when they get the key distribution figured out - would be the public key infrastructure (PKI) used to verify the hash chain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_chain) for proving provenance and temporal ordering of things in the TTN.
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Gary Hodgson's profile photo
2 comments
 
cheers :)
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
Johannes Reinhardt has built Thingcollector - a web app written in python and deployed on OpenShift.  With it you can browse Trackers and Things, search and submit your own tracker to be indexed.

Source code is on Github: https://github.com/jreinhardt/thingcollector
About. What is thing collector. The thingcollector is a web application that provides a full text search for the thingtracker network. It is written in python, using flask and whoosh, with easy deployment on OpenShift in mind. The frontend is based on bootstrap. It is licensed under the AGPL3.
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Gary Hodgson's profile photoGuy Sheffer's profile photo
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Looks worth adding it to +ShapeDo's todo list. Hope it will look better by the time we have time to get to it.
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
 
Johannes Reinhardt posts about implementing a TTN Tracker for his BOLTS project, and also comments on the need for such a project in the world of ever more walled gardens. 

Definitely checkout more about the BOLTS project, "a free and open source standards parts library for CAD applications", here : http://jreinhardt.github.io/BOLTS
I just played around a bit with automatically publishing all the parts in BOLTS in the Thing Tracker Network. The Thing Tracker Network is an awesome and very important idea, although it is still in the early stages of development. The Thing Tracker Network specifies a way to publish your 3D ...
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Starting to get my head around this again (I think :).

Correct me if I get any of this wrong +Gary Hodgson:

The heart of TTN is essentially the JSON metadata description of a "thing", which can be made available in any way that the document can be served up. Everything else we've been discussing (the DHT index, client software, BitTorrent delivery of files, etc.) is sort of conveniences and accessories to a description standard that could span any method of hosting and sharing models, would you agree?

If so I think a focus on nailing down the spec should be first order of business, since there's existing tech that can handle the rest (even if it's not ideal), and once that's established tools for generating the JSON (or facilitating the generation of it) should probably come next.

I think that the distributed index stuff and all that is super-important long-term, but now that I see how close we are to a usable foundation I'd love to start seeing that data in the wild, and learning what tools are needed by makers to adopt sharing this way into their workflow.

I also wonder if theres more existing tech we could co-opt to save development time. One thing that occurred to me tonight was that the TTN JSON is reminiscent of RSS with attachments, and it made me wonder if we could apply podcasting tech to the problem, either directly or conceptually? It seems like podcasts follow a similar publishing model (at least originally) and share similar discovery and syndication issues. I also thought it would be so cool to be able to subscribe a printer to a makers feed and have it print new things automatically as soon as they are published :)

I thought a lot about leveraging BitTorrent protocol for delivery of model files, and I do think this is the way to go, even if it means having somewhat specialized nodes out there that participate in the distributed back-end network but present a more traditional web interface for users who do not have the ability to download and seed a BitTorrent network.

This got me thinking about BitTorrent trackers and how to avoid them, Id love to be able to have something like a Piratebox that could synchronize with the network, host gobs of thing files and then be pulled from the Internet and used independently to continue serving.

Let me know if this is in line with your thinking, or maybe Im way off course :)


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Jason Gullickson's profile photoDerrick Oswald (curmudgeon)'s profile photo
3 comments
 
+Jason Gullickson  some tools for generating the JSON already exist in the github repo Gary has and running here:
http://thingtracker.net/tools/thingmaker/
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Ari Isaacs

Discussion  - 
 
In light of recent demand, We've built an easy way to leave #takerbot  
We  have packed the source code & released to github so any open-friendly marketplace can implement it.
https://github.com/shapedo/thingiverse-backup

The code makes no use of Thingiverse API.  

We’ve seen a real rise in the demand to detach the community from TakerBot. We really want to make it easy for non committed users to migrate, and we think there is a real chance to create a snowball effect that will make a real change. 

Let’s all get together and collaborate, use all our social & press power to spread the word and help this happen - to users, to design sites, to the media. 
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
The recent conversations about Takerbot have resulted in a bit more interest in the TTN.  Therefore I would like to update the specification and the website to reflect the latest thinking.  

One change I wish to make could be considered "breaking" (though at this point in time it probably won't affect anyone).  I made a mistake in the original draft of the spec by using keys with hyphens, .e.g "ref-url". As soon as one starts working with JSON it becomes apparent that hyphens cause headaches as they often have to be enclosed in quotes.  I propose changing them to camelCase, e.g. refUrl.
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Gary Hodgson's profile photoRene K. Mueller's profile photo
3 comments
 
Ok, I read your post the other way around :-) in Perl I don't mind $a{"ref-url"}, but $a{refUrl} is nice too :-)
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
Prompted by +Jason Gullickson I wrote up something about where I am at (or not as the case may by) with regards to TTN.  

I'm hoping to get back in the saddle sometime soon.
A post by Jason Gullickson has prompted a long overdue status report/brain dump on TTN. Since the last update very little has happened and so I want to go over why that is, and also play around with some ideas of how to get going again. Getting the TTN Client to beta quality (or even alpha-alpha ...
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Jason Gullickson's profile photoGary Hodgson's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Jason Gullickson Here would be great I think, but if you want to rattle off a few things "offline" then you have my email I think.  

There's definitely interest in the idea, particularly since the recent Makerbot patent controversy (they seem quite ready to help with our cause it seems :)) but without a stable, useful, reference implementation the network won't take off.

It's worth keeping in mind that the network could be bootstrapped by people manually creating Trackers - the tools, for the most part, are simply to make it easier and more controlled.  (Of course there would need to be a search engine or something to join the Trackers together etc.)  I had been thinking whether it is worth writing up how one could manually create a tracker using for example github pages.

Many topics open to discussion - i'm looking forward to getting into it!
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
A short blog post about TTN relays and how the client might introduce data redundancy yet still remain open, distributed and flexible.
In part prompted by Marcus Wolschon's blog post about leaving Thingiverse I have been thinking a bit more about Githubiverse and it's potential role in the Thing Tracker Client I am writing. Githubiverse is a nice little hack to take advantage of Github Pages to serve a basic landing page for 3D ...
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About this community

Thing Tracker Network is a way for the maker community to share information about the Things they make. The official site, with an overview, specification, and tools, can be found at http://thingtracker.net Useful shortened links for sharing: Google+ Community: http://bit.ly/ttn-g-plus-community Google+ Page: http://bit.ly/ttn-g-plus-page Github Repository: http://bit.ly/ttn-github Latest Specification Schema: http://bit.ly/ttn-wip-schema Example Tracker: http://bit.ly/ttn-example-tracker
 
I thought this was an interesting  overview of where bittorrent technology is at the moment.
 
Amazing presentation.

Javascript... Torrents... and Mad Science!
Mathias Buus Madsen

Enter the ever evolving world of peer to peer using Javascript. In this talk we will push the limits of what is possible today using BitTorrent, streaming, and Javascript.
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Rene K. Mueller's profile photo
 
I really liked the torrent-mount (torrentfs I would call it) - great idea. I'm a huge fan of FUSE (File System in Userspace) as it connects data to the huge CLI UNIX environment.
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
Interesting read on a Content Centric Network, which has similar goas as the TTN.

(via this issue on IPFS which lists some more resources: https://github.com/jbenet/ipfs/issues/28)
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
This recently opened issue on ipfs relates exactly to the work I am trying to do on relays for TTN, i.e. make content available if the owning node is offline.
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Simon Kirkby's profile photo
 
just read the ipfs specification. looks good. will set up a node this week.
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
This looks really interesting, and potentially a superset of requirements to TTN, or perhaps something that would make TTN much easier to realise: "global, versioned, p2p file system"

It's worth checking out the Hacker News discussion too, as they bring up similar issues as what the TTN has to deal with, e.g. how to handle storing potentially illegal data on other peoples machines: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8069836
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Simon Kirkby's profile photo
 
Another similar ( sort of ) thing that I found 

https://github.com/calmh/syncthing
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Were html5 microformats considered as a basis for publishing thing information?
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Gary Hodgson's profile photoJason Gullickson's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Gary Hodgson is there anything you haven't looked into? ;)

I think microformats came to mind when I was thinking about TTN from the perspective of being an annotation of existing, diverse publishing methods (dedicated model repositories, blogs, plain-ol'-websites, etc.) which is then machine-indexed to form a network. From this perspective microformats seemed like a good fit, and perhaps less of a leap for these existing systems to adopt.

Now that I think of it it was a conversation with the youmagine twitter account that triggered this train of thought, and then subsequent noodling on a indexing system that triggered a memory of similar web-ish means of marking up web content in a way friendly to machine processing.

Personally, I prefer the JSON format myself (seems less verbose and I've never been a fan of HTML-style syntax, especially for data) but the established nature of microformats (as well as their rather thorough vetting process for new ones) got my attention.

Something I don't like about microformats is that they seem very entangled with "the web", and relying on them for non-web applications feels a bit weird to me; but then again I guess JSON is somewhat "webby" as well, being related to JavaScript which is only a shoe-in as a language choice when the web browser is a component of the system...

In any event I thought I should see if it (html5 microformats) had been considered :)
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+Gary Hodgson what is the name of the js DHT you're experimenting with? For some reason I don't have the info handy.

Thanks!
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Jason Gullickson's profile photoGary Hodgson's profile photo
3 comments
 
Yeah I did look at that a while ago - not sure why I didn't take it further - i'll have another look when I next find a moments time.
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

News  - 
 
Hi everyone, I have written up a blog post about a TTN site template that I threw together, prompted by the recent interest in the project and my continuing delay in producing a TTN Client.

Although the resulting site is rather simplistic I think it provides another means for people to publish information about their designs regardless of where they are hosted.  And of course it is a step in populating the network too.

Thoughts and opinions are very welcome.
One aspect of the Thing Tracker Network that is perhaps not terribly clear is that it is not dependent on any particular client, library or vendor. This means that anyone could start participating in the network straight away. As the TTN client that I am working on is taking it's time I thought ...
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Gary Hodgson's profile photoJason Gullickson's profile photo
5 comments
 
Awesome, I can totally relate to the experience of forgetting that you figured something out until someone reminds you :)

Planning to take a whack at building out some TT's for some designs tonight and experimenting with some ways to approach indexing and discovery...
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Gary Hodgson
moderator

Discussion  - 
 
(via http://goo.gl/NUxKZL) (cc +Jeremie Francois )

When I came up with the idea of the Thing Tracker Network I anticipated that there would be an explosion of repositories and sites, but that they would all have trouble building a user base.  The Network aims to mitigate this problem by allowing people to search across all participants, whether they are large or small, general or specialised, etc.  It also covers a much ignored use case where individuals may wish to host their designs themselves, but have to post a place-holder design in Thingiverse or Youmagine in order to promote it.

The public visibility of designs on the TTN would mainly come about via custom search engines that crawl the participants of the network, index the information, and make it available via a web service or web site.  Google, or similar engines, could also index the information, but of course it then has to compete with considerably more results.

I actually wouldn't want the services to merge, I would prefer to have many small services who offer specialised features that satisfy their users fully, rather than only a few large repositories that try and satisfy everyone.  Of course this bypasses the question on who pays for the service, plus, with smaller services there is probably more chance of them disappearing than the large players.

The biggest reason I can see for 3D repository services not to partake in the TTN is concerns about commercialism.  The core principle of the Network is to share data, and service owners may feel that providing the data "free" would affect how the service makes money, e.g. by reducing page views.  However, I see it the other way around - whereby the Network could drive traffic to participating services.
Object repositories... Six months ago I discovered +ShapeDo and its very nice "forking" design (their TOS is very nice also). Just for the sake of… - Jeremie Francois – Google+
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This describes the sort of platform TTN would be based on ... IMHO.
 
Don't pay for a cloud, drive your own cloud!

Investments:
$35 - ARM server hardware - Raspberry Pi
$16 - 32 GByte SanDisk Extreme SD (fast even at writes!)
$4 for electricity costs - per year!!! (Consumes just 3 watts!)

Time investment - 1 hour, just follow these instructions:
http://www.hyggeit.dk/2014/02/virtual-servers-on-raspberry-pi-with.html

Well, you also may use UBUNTU JUJU install recipes (automated install scripts for non - UNIX experts):

The image: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads (Debian works!)
Howtos: https://juju.ubuntu.com/install/
Your personal support helpdesk: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/juju/

Q: How can a $35 ARM server with just 512 MByte RAM be adequate? Windows Servers need many core XEONs and hundreds of gigabytes RAM? A: Yes, because it's not #Windows! It's Linux, a UNIX type OS. UNIX, by design, is made for clouds and terminal servers - since decades.
Q: For how many users? A: Depends on load. < 100 user.
Q: Backup? A: Buy a second RPi. Sync with rsync or csync!
Q: Only 100Mbits? A: #Microsoft limits #AZURE to just 5Mbit, so - what's your problem? See, why: http://gwan.com/benchmark
Q: Safety? A: Learn about unprivileged LXC containers: https://www.stgraber.org/2013/12/20/lxc-1-0-blog-post-series/

Have fun!
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