daniel_reetz wrote:I am seriously, totally interested in any system that would help us organize information.
Can you give me an overview of how github would work for us?
In a version control system, you mostly want to dump text based files (certain cad drawings, plain text,...) , as opposed to binary files (photos, ...).
There is a lot of wisdom floating around the forum (and previously in the wiki). Some of this is so common that we could include it in there. Think frequently asked questions, routing hints, an overview of software,... An idea could be to put proven and stable information in there, while the forum would be the place for more dynamic and evolving information. For plain text files, it's not that different from a wiki (in fact, it contains a versioned wiki by default), except you have a lot more control over things like access and layout without the maintenance overhead.
But what I think we could do first and foremost is put the design files in there. Ideally, this would be in an open, text based format. I'm actually planning to port
some stuff to openscad
. At first, this would be just individual parts.
We already have individual parts, so why would we want to do this? With git, we can do versioning, and branching. This would mean the design can evolve more easily. Changes one person makes can flow back to the mainline design with less effort. Or think of the possibility of a branch (large format scanner for example).
The really cool stuff comes after the individual parts though:
* automated sheet generation. From the individual parts, we can create layered dxfs with multiple parts. No manual work involved, but generated by a script (make, bash, openscad, whatever). This could give us multiple sheets if we wanted them: 2 CNC router sheets for 1220 x 1220mm, or 1 for 1220 x 2440mm, or A0 drawings to glue onto sheets to cut out yourself. People would still need to generate the sheet assembly scripts, but once those are done, it takes a lot of effort out of creating sheets.
* always up-to-date assembly drawings. I can hear you think "We already have assembly! We have these incredible google sketchup docs included in the assembly manual!". Believe me, I am incredibly thankful to have those too! These must have taken countless hours of volunteer effort! I would have been completely lost without them. But when you're able to auto generate everything from one source, all kinds of things become possible!
You don't strictly need version control for all of this, but it makes things a _lot_ easier.
daniel_reetz wrote:I will pay for it if we can get it under this domain name or something. But really I need the ten thousand mile view of how it can help people here...
Github is actually free for open licensed projects.
Now these are just ideas, and I am just a small time contributor. But I do like fiddling with openscad, so expect me to work on https://github.com/markvdb/diybookscanner/tree/master/openscad
(porting the design to openscad) from time to time in any case. Contributions more than welcome!
Just my .02€.