Portability of Know-How -> 10 months of R&D funded by Sloan Foundation and NGO DAPSI

November 10, 2022

Funding for the proposal “Owning your own work, no matter where you publish: portability and interoperability of hardware designs through new Open Know-How standards and tools” was awarded in early 2022, by the European Commission’s Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative for the Data Portability and Services Incubator (DAPSI). Following the completion of Phase 1 work, the discussion of which can be found on our community page, the IOPA received funding to continue research and development toward the following two prototype implementations:

  1. Deploy proof-of-concept enhanced data validation tool for user testing and feedback
  2. Build MVP for maker tool that can be used for converting data between selected data

With the following document deliverables:

  1. Progress documentation toward research and development (R&D)
  2. Perform user testing of decentralised publishing with makers and partner platforms

Survey research with maker community members was conducted to inform development of prototype tooling for project file portability. Data collection and analysis informed our understanding of maker ‘must-haves’ for a prototype, covering multiple characteristics of documentation types, schematics, file formats, and preferred storage platforms.

Criteria for proof of concept and test cases were identified for data validation/conversion and mapping, which lent to development of:

  • OKH Project Porter: prototype tool to allow users to extract project files from target platforms to their own devices.
  • OKH Solid App: enables makers to use the “Open Know-How” open data standard to transfer files from target platforms for decentralised storage in Solid Pods. Web interface: https://solid-app.internetofproduction.org

The survey research and user testing was undertaken by Research and Community Engagement Lead Sarah Hutton; MVP development was managed by Technical Lead Max Wardeh, who worked closely with Robin Vobruba and Jackson Morgan on the tooling.

Many thanks to the community members who participated in the survey research and user testing! It is our hope to continue review of the MVP prototypes by community members once the project wraps.

Watch here