Formal Request for Open Source Code

I have to respectfully disagree here.

I think what they offer in terms of “hardware” for people that value such things is an incredible fantastic bargain that cannot be found elsewhere.

What they offer in “software” for people that value ease of use, and have little need for highly adjustable features, is an incredible fantastic bargain that cannot be found elsewhere.

Those two things can combine (Wonder Twin Powers Activate!) to form a huge community of customers that take advantage of both.

Imagine if the people that are here have an outlet to make the things happen that they are clamoring for. Now, put that into perspective of what Glowforge can use from their Open Source musings.

Glowforge can use them all day long in their CLOUD software (my understanding, not a lawyers) and never have to release it.

They win. Customers win. Advanced users win.


Company doesn’t die. They grow. They bring new products to market.

Dogs, cats, living together…


Oh man, i NEVER get a chance to post this… thank you, thank you so much!


Do you mean that it isn’t accurate to think that people want this information because they think the company will go under,

or do you mean to say that you are not one of the people who are thinking that Glowforge will go under and you would like to add some perspective to your personal request in the lines of, open source information is one of the key value adding aspects of a technology community. The sooner that Glowforge shares what is obligated in terms of open source, the sooner the community can contribute and extend the value of the laser for everyone involved, included and especially added sales of units because there are more features easily used.

Or is there something else I can’t decipher at work here?


No, I think that there are some who wish for the demise of GF. For the record, I am not one of them.



Glad we got that out into the open. :smiley:


I think that depends on the licence. The GNU Affero license covers cloud software I think.


Concur. I’m not a lawyer.

But, they will certainly benefit from a large community of active (and activist) developers.


That’s a very good perspective! Sometimes the FUD around here makes asking the hard questions hard. What seems like an ominous post is really a move to helping this project succeed.

This helps shape my own understanding of the request for firmware information and other bits and pieces. It does seem that most of these requests are phrased in terms of the demise of Glowforge. In fact, there is an alternate and equally compelling reason to get the information out. In the hands of the community as it works now, any information can increase loyalty and buy in with sharing and putting it to use. My big post about sharing information was thinking through the conditions in decision making to figure out what gives the highest potential for value adding. Don’t know what kind of decision modeling is going into this, but it could be that analyzing the cards played versus the cards still in the deck, keeping it close is better strategy. Unless it really is, we aren’t devoting the resources to this at the moment because we have more urgent things to take care of.


This is very valid, and completely understood by any OS project I’ve personally known.

As long as it isn’t a long-term situation.

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As someone that has contributed to many open source projects for over 20 years, and someone that has helped many organizations build systems using open source software, I would love the opportunity to help improve the GF software or firmware, in any way possible.

I’m patient enough to wait for the release of the open source software that @dan had previously committed to, but I think the sooner it can be released, the faster they will be able to take advantages of the contributions that can be made from others.

Of course, they need a way to manage and accept those contributions in a way that doesn’t make their lives more difficult, or destabilize the GF ecosystem. I would hate to see them make mistakes in that area.


Perhaps a fork, where enterprising individuals could volunteer to irradiate themselves as part of the experimental process? Edit: A smiley face was intended here. :smiley:

They just need to give us a snapshot of the current Yocto environment they are building from.
We can fork it from there.

That and probably an open source community leader than can help coordinate review and acceptance of patches.

yes this

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There’s plenty of precedent for this. For example, years ago Makerbot (pre-acquisition) open sourced their firmware (which they had to do, as it was based on existing open source firmware), and users enhanced the firmware to the point where it became so popular that Makerbot ended up replacing their firmware with the community-enhanced version, to the benefit of both Makerbot and its customers. I don’t know whether Glowforge would be interested in going that far, and they’re certainly not required to support community-generated firmware, but they are required by licenses to (and promised to) release their firmware’s source code. I don’t see this request as anything but completely routine. The instant Glowforge shipped the first unit containing the firmware to a customer they were obligated to release their source, at least for the software based on GPL and similar licenses. Thousands of companies ship thousands of products with open source software, and for decades now they generally comply, usually after someone makes the formal request for the source code. It’s common for companies, particularly startups, to put off releasing source while they’re getting their first product out the door, because it’s not their top priority, and nobody holds it against them. But once someone asks for the firmware, the company is legally obligated to release it, which puts a little more pressure on them to do what they know they have to do, which is a good thing.


While I understand why you may have read the post aggressively, I also recognize that it’s difficult to make this kind of request without seeming aggressive. I think it can also be read as a simple request which may or may not be met.


Yup I have the community firmware for my replicator2

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What can be captured by using wireshark when they push a firmware update?

Something to keep in mind is that if they are smart (I presume they are) and they want to maintain the proprietary nature of the majority of their software, they can do so with an LGPL shim. As I understand it, this is how NVidia maintains their drivers as proprietary.

The big block of copyright messages above may simply be those contained in an unmodified distribution of the version of Linux they are using. Simple aggregation of GPL code and non-gpl does not necessarily trigger the GPL licensing of the aggregate.

I’m sure thr FNLs are going to review any response made to this request.

Man, what a bunch of hullabaloo over a guy making a simple formal request. :confused:

(I hereby fully acknowledge my comment is useless, has no bearing at all and adds nothing to the conversation lol .)


Thanks for the request! We’re working on it now.