Brainstorm on projects we'd like to be able to fund

edited July 26 in General

At the recent steering committee meeting we discussed what type of activities we could use to inspire people to give us money! As we get closer to making a fiscal organization to receive funds we need to talk about where to use those funds. So let's brainstorm!

We've done this before, so feel free to link to other thread.

Here's a rough list we started, feel free to add new suggestions and I'll update this post every now and then.

Projects / ideas we could fund

  • help devs working with FOSS interoperability
  • send hardware to people whop need it
  • creating presentation materials explaining what OSArch is
  • creating presentation materials explaining what OpenBIM is
  • creating presentation materials explaining why to management / colleagues etc.
  • create tutorials
  • commissioning more specific projects
  • sponsor existing devs on key projects
  • documentation work for example IfcOpenShell
  • sponsor Blender add-ins
  • supporting devs with community building, sponsor speakers ...
  • sponsored teaching material.

Added 2022-05-30:

Added directly from steering committee notes for 9th June

  • Incentivize consolidation. For example bringing smaller projects into single projects. There is a lot of overlap between Blender Add-ons for AEC. If we could pay devs to refactor their projects into a smaller number of better add-ons that would be more sustainable.
  • Time for the first Blender Application (Template)?
  • Topologic into BBIM?
  • Sponser a known developer to scratch an AEC itch. For example have RealThunder & Yorik propose a project fitting some funds we have ready.
  • OpeningDesign could sketch out a proposal for paying someone to document their workflow.
  • Generally support current makers of teaching material, Yassine, Condur/BIMVoice / Dion ...
  • More resources put into 'Learn OpenBIM Workflows' - part of learn.osarch.org starting to document the workflows we already have here https://wiki.osarch.org/index.php?title=AECO_Workflow_Examples some discussion on Twitter Yorik is on board with this being hosted by OSArch (Duncan)
  • Proposal for a small 1-week hackathon between 5 FOSS projects who are already well engaged in OSArch (e.g. BlenderBIM Add-on, FreeCAD, IFC.JS, Topologic, Homemaker, ...?)

Added 2022-06-22

Added 2022-06-27

  • Public test servers for Speckle, BigBlueButton, OpenProject, IFC.js . IFC online viewer, IFC online viewer ... basically all those things that a regular desktop user can't easily set up themselves but might want to play with in a managed, safe, sandbox.
theoryshawAceCadGirubasweinbitacovirMoultJanF
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Comments

  • Would like to see BlenderBIM tutorials which integrate the use of Blender with BlenderBIM. I think there was a disucssion on this forum before, but it's hard to make a clear seperation between a Blender and BlenderBIM tutorial. I think it's unavoidable you have to explain basic Blender concepts before you can make full use of the capabilities of BlenderBIM. What's also tricky is that there is so much possible in Blender that's it's hard to make one clear 'correct' way of how things should be modeled. It's really situation dependent. Not to speak of all the useful add-ons like CAD transform which also need to be installed and have a tutorial. It's so complex it scares first time users away I think? Maybe tutorals which provide real-world uses cases as an example would appeal to a more general public, then just the sofware/BIM enthusiasts?

  • @Coen said:
    Would like to see BlenderBIM tutorials which integrate the use of Blender with BlenderBIM.

    Have had plans to update Dions Hello World.

  • @CadGiru said:

    @Coen said:
    Would like to see BlenderBIM tutorials which integrate the use of Blender with BlenderBIM.

    Have had plans to update Dions Hello World.

    Is that a project that relies on receiving some funds? We're looking for projects that we can show to donors as examples of how we would spend their money.

    @Coen
    One thing I'd like to add here is funding the development of a Blender Application Template specifically for AEC with as many relevant plugins installed as possible. That partly addresses your issue @Coen
    The big issue with tutorials is that BlenderBIM is alpha software. Any tutorials made will quickly break. So unless @Moult wants to change track and find way to make some features stable then I would hesitate in using restricted funds to make short lived tutorials.

  • @duncan said:

    Here's a rough list we started, feel free to add new suggestions and I'll update this post every now and then.
    Projects / ideas we could fund

    • Three developers working on Blenderbim full-time for three years.

    Seriously, I think that it is worth considering ultimate goals, and what it would take to get there. An intermediate goal would be for blenderbim or freecad to become an essential part of the toolbox of anybody doing a common, unglamorous AEC task - this could be clash detection, sequencing, standard-checking, some part of a FM, M&E or QS workflow - at this point there would be many users who have a strong interest in continued development, and that is how you get sustainability. What are the ultimate goals? What intermediate goals are within reach?

    bitacovirCoenMeetlatMoult
  • @brunopostle said:

    @duncan said:

    Here's a rough list we started, feel free to add new suggestions and I'll update this post every now and then.
    Projects / ideas we could fund

    • Three developers working on Blenderbim full-time for three years.

    Seriously, I think that it is worth considering ultimate goals, and what it would take to get there. An intermediate goal would be for blenderbim or freecad to become an essential part of the toolbox of anybody doing a common, unglamorous AEC task - this could be clash detection, sequencing, standard-checking, some part of a FM, M&E or QS workflow - at this point there would be many users who have a strong interest in continued development, and that is how you get sustainability. What are the ultimate goals? What intermediate goals are within reach?

    The intermediate roadmap in my mind is actually quite similar to you. The application that most AEC people can use everyday is the simple viewing software like Naviswork (#From my experience). Setting up an application template for viewing/examining IFC models could reach most of the people because of the lower barrier compared to authoring the IFC model. Therefore, examining functions like clash detection, scheduling, custom coloring according to psets, viewing documentation, etc. are at the top priority in my list.

    NigelbrunopostleakseltDADA_universe
  • @duncan

    Hello World
    Is that a project that relies on receiving some funds?

    Definitely not.. just a comment to @Coen

  • I think funding should play to the strengths of OSArch: in that we are not a single project, but the synergy of many FOSS projects brought together sharing a common goal of increasing FOSS in AEC. Strengths would therefore include fundraising (most individual devs don't have the time to fundraise), running events like hackathons or knowledge sharing sessions, or short tutorial courses, or wiki edit-a-thons, or graphic design / marketing / web presence help (FOSS projects typically lack resources in this area, and they don't require in-depth knowledge of the software to help out).

    Also keep in mind that running events, courses, hackathons can actually be fundraising too via selling tickets.

    duncanbrunopostle
  • I like the help devs working with FOSS interoperability approach. Trying to help incentive developers to work together--so there's less redundant solutions out there.

    duncanbrunopostle
  • edited May 23

    I think an important thing to remember here, which fits with what @Moult and @theoryshaw have written, is that OSArch is not actually a software project so much as a project to foster synergies and support a community. If someone want to give money for BlenderBIM tutorials they should probably go directly to the BlenderBIM project, and we should encourage that. They'll also get more for their money that way. Hopefully it also goes the other way and projects like BlenderBIM (when they have some money) will key key paying members of OSArch.

    As @Moult mentioned if we organize a doc-a-thon writing interoperability and workflow tutorials and development then that feels to me more like what we're here for. To such an event we could raise money so that someone can spend some hours every week coordinating a group to make it happen, and maybe sponsor some coordinators for documentation on key software projects. I'm just riffing here ...

    The other role I see for OSArch is a way for corporations to support the ecosystem. In that case I agree that the golas of paying some full time devs is a good thing to aim for. Some corporations don't want to find out which tool to support, they're happy support the whole stack. Working out where the funds should go is something we can do. We could even have 'disciple portfolios' one can donate to, for example "The BIMxBEM pipeline", "OpenBIM & FEM" etc. ...

    JanFbrunopostleCoenbitacovir
  • @brunopostle has suggested an IFC Merge tool which I've spun out to its own topic.
    'IFC merge' would bring git-style workflows to OpenBIM. Sounds to me like an interesting cross project initiative for OSArch!

  • edited May 30

    I've just updated the list. We need a collaborative way to get feedback on priorities. Anyone know of an online tool for this? Something that works for a lot of choices.
    I think this should be our principle for choosing some key projects:

    AceCadGiruMoultSigmaDimensions
  • What we need to consolidate effort right now is the "Blender for AEC summit" to bring together all these projects that are doing bits and pieces. Sounds like a shit load of work - but an obvious thing to do.

  • @duncan tell me more about the Blender for AEC summit, I must have missed something or is this new?

  • @Nigel it doesn't exist yet - if you think it's a good idea you might want to raise your hand as someone willing to help make it happen :-) . I have of course now changed my mind and broadened the idea to 'Free Software for AEC summit'. Does it sound like a good idea to you? Short presentations on the state of different applications and a plenum from some of us and key developers, then a huge brainstorm on ideas for collaboration and consolidation. And an aspirational roadmap at the end.

  • edited June 8

    @duncan said:
    @Nigel it doesn't exist yet - if you think it's a good idea you might want to raise your hand as someone willing to help make it happen :-) . I have of course now changed my mind and broadened the idea to 'Free Software for AEC summit'. Does it sound like a good idea to you? Short presentations on the state of different applications and a plenum from some of us and key developers, then a huge brainstorm on ideas for collaboration and consolidation. And an aspirational roadmap at the end.

    Hi @duncan yes consider my hand raised, it is a great idea.

    CoenAceCadGiru
  • edited June 8

    @Nigel the dashboard is an interesting idea. I moved it to a separate post: https://community.osarch.org/discussion/1008/blenderbim-development-roadmap-dashboard/

    @Nigel said:
    Hi @duncan yes consider my hand raised, it is a great idea.

    Great! Make a dedicated post and we can discuss the idea further (yes of course I now have a whole roadmap and schedule sketched out in my head - that's what happens with a few days of pondering)

    Nigel
  • I added a new block of suggestions taken from today's committee meeting

  • edited June 26

    I'm pinning this post again as it's very relevant to a discussion we're having in the steering committee. We're trying to formulate a text explaining to potential donors why they should give money to OSArch and what we'd use it for.
    Remember that often we would be directing people to other projects working on specific things. But for recurring donors like companies, they just want to know we will use their money wisely and will let us get on with it.
    The discussion is quite involved but please add your thoughts to this thread.

  • @duncan said:
    I'm pinning this post again as it's very relevant to a discussion we're having in the steering committee. We're trying to formulate a text explaining to potential donors why they should give money to OSArch and what we'd use it for.
    Remember that often we would be directing people to other projects working on specific things. But for recurring donors like companies, they just want to know we will use their money wisely and will let us get on with it.
    The discussion is quite involved but please add your thoughts to this thread.

    I read through the some previous posts on this thread and then re-formatted and categorised the ideas from the steering group. There are a bunch of 'next actions' . I also added some notes.


    I don't have a lot of time but would like to be involved in some way, we just need to take some next actions

    tlangjchkoch
  • edited June 27

    @Nigel In the steering committee we need to talk about this a bit more and find out how much we think the discussion should be broadened or narrowed. In my view we may need to go for a more generic text quickly and keep working on a more detailed text. A more generic text in view won't need as much broad discussion (except an explanation on the forum so there is a final chance for comment) There are different views in the steering committee on how detailed/generic our funding mission statement should be.

    EOI = expressions of interest? Remember we have many readers with english has a second language.

    Please post your images above as text somewhere.

  • Added 2022-06-27

    • Public test servers for Speckle, BigBlueButton, OpenProject, IFC.js . IFC online viewer, IFC online viewer ... basically all those things that a regular desktop user can't easily set up themselves but might want to play with in a managed, safe, sandbox.
  • @duncan said:
    Added 2022-06-27

    • Public test servers for Speckle, BigBlueButton, OpenProject, IFC.js . IFC online viewer, IFC online viewer ... basically all those things that a regular desktop user can't easily set up themselves but might want to play with in a managed, safe, sandbox.

    I would really like to have a FOSS online IFC viewer with @Coen 's spreadsheet tool right now, our organisation has really strict IT/security rules that won't even let me install an IFC viewer.

  • @duncan said:
    @Nigel it doesn't exist yet - if you think it's a good idea you might want to raise your hand as someone willing to help make it happen :-) . I have of course now changed my mind and broadened the idea to 'Free Software for AEC summit'. Does it sound like a good idea to you? Short presentations on the state of different applications and a plenum from some of us and key developers, then a huge brainstorm on ideas for collaboration and consolidation. And an aspirational roadmap at the end.

    I think both the "Blender for AEC Summit" and the "Free Software for AEC summit" should not be treated as mutually exclussive and should happen as separate events. I say this because I see so many disparate 'Blender for AEC' projects happening thanks to how versatile Blender is / is becoming, that the ecosystem would benefit from a concentrated space for active developers and users to explore collaborations and cross pollination of ideas, without prejudice to the importance of a summit that serves Libre software for the AEC industry, hence why I suggest that both may happen but as separate events so the focus is not watered down.

  • @Nigel @DADA_universe many things are possible. What could be some good ways to make those ideas a reality?

  • @duncan said:
    @Nigel @DADA_universe many things are possible. What could be some good ways to make those ideas a reality?

    I would want to look in from the narrow perspective of a Blender For AEC Summit as I'll struggle with the mental bandwidth a larger FOSS for AEC summit would require. I would suggest a one day online event, with pre-booked speakers (30 minutes each) and time dedicated to lightning talks (10 mins each). The summit should be focused on exploring avenues for collaboration amongst developers and other means of optimizing the use of Blender for the AEC industry, so each talk should be stream lined to say: I built this thing, it does this, I need this and that for it to do more, this is my roadmap. So while it would be an extended form of the monthly meetups we used to have, it will not be just about walkthroughs, showcases and definitely not tutorials.

    We could have someone from Blender Foundation speak to a specific issue that's relevant to the subject. If interop with FreeCAD is deemed critical for a reason, we could have someone from FreeCAD sit with a Blender Developer for a panel discussion. That sort of thing. All recorded and posted to the OSArch Youtube channel. Perhaps apt to think of it as the GDC of Blender For AEC, but more from a developer perspective.

    I think the FOSS for OSS Summit on the other hand probably should be less Developer focussed and more user oriented, so walkthrough, showcases and demos would work.

  • @duncan @DADA_universe could there be a little space for non-coder people to pitch a good idea? Five minute pitch. But not a confrontational 'lions den' idea though more 'Make a wish'

  • @Nigel said:
    @duncan @DADA_universe could there be a little space for non-coder people to pitch a good idea? Five minute pitch. But not a confrontational 'lions den' idea though more 'Make a wish'

    That's a great idea. Reminiscent of Blender Guru - a Blender power user who is not a developer - putting together and presenting an extensive proposal back then, on how the Blender user experience could be improved, which might or might not have influenced the major upgrade that Blender 2.8 became. Could be super useful in identifying blind spots developers might never be able to see due to their super focus on technical issues.

    Nigel
  • @DADA_universe said:

    @Nigel said:

    Could be super useful in identifying blind spots developers might never be able to see due to their super focus on technical issues.

    I'm sure @Moult and the other developers are always open to well thought out proposals - it is sometimes the case that one can be busy working on carving the trees and forget to look at the whole forest.

  • Here's a diagram I made trying to pull the threads together:

    basweinDADA_universe
  • Topologic tutorials too

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