Are the forums open or not?

When I signed up for an account to post on the forums, I was under the impression they were open to anyone involved in arduino-related hacking/development. Specifically, I thought there was ABSOLUTELY NO requirement, expectation, motivation, etc. that it be limited to people who directly or indirectly financially support Arduino by purchasing Arduino or Arduino-licensed hardware.

I have never purchased official Arduino hardware, and don't intend to since it's way overpriced. I have purchased a Funduino Pro Mini, a Baite Pro Mini, and some ATTiny85's. I do most of my development with avr-gcc. I also do some development in the Arduino IDE, primarily to make things like my half-duplex software UART available to beginners that have yet to learn makefiles and avr-gcc. http://nerdralph.blogspot.ca/2014/01/avr-half-duplex-software-uart.html

I've seen a few posts now that state these forums are for people that have purchased official Arduino hardware, or that you should purchase at least one official Arduino product if you are using the forum.

Is this true, which would mean I should delete my Arduino forums account (and perhaps signup at avrfreaks)? If it's not true, is anyone going to tell the people that are saying it to STFU? Because if it's not true, I'll happily tell them, and I think some people may take offence to my direct approach.

I guess a third possibility is that it is undefined, in which case is someone with authority going to shit or get off the pot?

I've seen a few posts now that state these forums are for people that have purchased official Arduino hardware, or that you should purchase at least one official Arduino product if you are using the forum.

Links please.

The forum is open, but mind your language, please, and remember who and what keeps the lights on around here.

The fact that you are posting here proves that there is no requirement.

However I don't understand why you seem unwilling to make even a small voluntary contribution to the Arduino project and community. The businesses selling cheap Arduino clones are probably making more profit from the "free" Arduino designs than the Arduino community is.

The people who develop the designs may not charge for the intellectual content but somebody has been kind enough to contribute their valuable time in order that you can benefit.

Of course you may be very willing to give your time and expertise by providing advice and assistance on the forum and, in my opinion, that would be a perfectly respectable contribution.

...R

AWOL:

I’ve seen a few posts now that state these forums are for people that have purchased official Arduino hardware, or that you should purchase at least one official Arduino product if you are using the forum.

Links please.

The forum is open, but mind your language, please, and remember who and what keeps the lights on around here.

Here’s one recent post:

As for my language, are you implying “shit” is a bad word? I know in some intolerant parts of the US it is considered a “bad” word, but where I’m from (Canada), and where Arduino is from (Europe) it is not. Heck, I even heard CRTC commissioner Barbara Cram say “no shit” in a public hearing (the CRTC is our equivalent to the FCC).
In most parts of the world outside the US, “Republican” is a bad word, so we avoid using that too?

Secondly, what do you mean by “remember who and what keeps the lights on around here”?
These forums could be hosted for < $1/mth. If it’s costing a lot more than that, I’ll offer to host the forums for free (vmware vcpu instance, 10G SSD space, .5TB monthly transfer)

Robin2: The fact that you are posting here proves that there is no requirement.

However I don't understand why you seem unwilling to make even a small voluntary contribution to the Arduino project and community.

I said requirement/expectation, etc. And your second sentence seems to prove there IS an expectation.

Not that I should have to justify my choices, but the Arduino project is not worthy of my charity. In my life I've donated thousands of dollars to Care (http://care.org/), and hundreds to Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross. While the Arduino project certainly contributes to the greater good, it would take a huge dose of hubris and/or kool-aid to suggest the Arduino project's contribution to humanity can be compared to the humanitarian organizations I've mentioned.

To help you understand how to evaluate charitable organizations and causes, I suggest Peter Singer's book, "The Life You Can Save". http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/

The thread you linked was just the opinion of a forum member (not a moderator or administrator).

We do get quite a lot of questions from people who have saved a couple of dollars by getting a clone from eBay and then take up a page of (one or more) threads trying to get it to work, when the “real” one would work “out of the box” so you can see where some frustration might come from.

However I’ve done a lot of posts myself about making gadgets with the “pure” Atmega328 (and other) chips, which are not directly using an Arduino. No-one complains about them.

I don’t know the point of your original post. If you can quote “someone with authority” who has directly told you not to post here, unless you have purchased an Arduino (and how would they know?) please do so.

These forums could be hosted for < $1/mth.

You must be jesting.

According to WolframAlpha the arduino.cc domain gets around 1.5 million hits a day. Its disk fills up annoyingly regularly as people post megabyte attachments of the schematics or photos of their projects.

You might want to also post a link to this “less than $1/month” web hosting site that would provide such hosting for a pittance.

I got a message from the forum administrator a while back (2012):

We have updated the servers and they are very fast now (and very expensive)…

So if you know of “very fast” servers which are only $1/month I suggest you write to the webmaster direct and let him know. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a response.

ralphd: Not that I should have to justify my choices, but the Arduino project is not worthy of my charity. In my life I've donated thousands of dollars to Care (http://care.org/),

It never crossed my mind that you would confuse the Arduino project with a charity. Frankly I can't understand why you would even waste time commenting on them in the same post.

All I tried to say was that those of us who benefit from the Arduino system should acknowledge all the time that others have given to make it possible. I also said that I believe contributions of time (to assist people on the forum) are just as valuable as contributions of money for genuine Arduino products.

If your general philosophy for life is to take as much as you can and give as little as possible in return then maybe you should try merchant banking :)

...R

Robin2: If your general philosophy for life is to take as much as you can and give as little as possible in return then maybe you should try merchant banking :)

...R

I'll leave the merchant banking to you while I stick to my charities.

Hi Ralph,

The Arduino forums are open for everyone, no need to buy a real arduino, not even a clone. That is nowhere stated and would make no sense at all. 1) as no one could check it, and 2) it would keep potential customers away

As this is an Arduino forum questions should be somehow Arduino related. However we have seen python Matlab and C# (PC) questions here too but the most are about Arduino, that include teensy and attiny and several more. Also Raspberry PI is discussed at least once a week. And I've seen questions about sensors that were definitely not connected to Arduinos. One of the best questions I recall was from a woman that would like to surprise her husband with tools he could use with his electronic hobby for Xmas. And that is what the people on this forum bind, we all share fun in making something work with programmable electronics . Most of the time it involves some Arduino, but sometimes that is overkill and a 555 solution is offered or even a mechanical one. And yes the people here are all unique, just like in the real world ;)

(my experience)

[quote author=Nick Gammon link=topic=214161.msg1568106#msg1568106 date=1391027172] I don't know the point of your original post. If you can quote "someone with authority" who has directly told you not to post here, unless you have purchased an Arduino (and how would they know?) please do so. [/quote] The point is the policy isn't clear. Can you quote "someone with authority" that clearly states the policy? If the forums really are open then, I think "someone with authority" should state it clearly. Otherwise there will still be distractions in the forums with people who think they are some kind of authority saying that posts looking for help with clone boards don't belong here.

You must be jesting.

No. Even 10 years ago I was running web servers good enough to host these forums. I started IStop.com (now part of Distributel). https://web.archive.org/web/20100420005621/http://www.istop.com/

If google groups were used the cost would even be free.

I pay $1/mth for a virtual server from cloudatcost.com. http://162.248.164.251/cgi-bin/printenv

If large attachments are taking up too much space, then limit them to a few kb and require links to anything larger. Dropbox and google drive are one of many free ways people can post links to large files.

For a few dollars more a month many places are offering unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk storage for web hosting. Here's one: http://www.hostgator.com/shared

robtillaart: The Arduino forums are open for everyone, no need to buy a real arduino, not even a clone.

That's the way I think it should be too. But why should my opinion (or your's) count more than "mrburnette" and Mr. Merchant banker that say people using the forums should contribute to the arduino community by purchasing official hardware?

If your general philosophy for life is to take as much as you can and give as little as possible in return

@robin2

Check the stats - http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?action=stats -

dec 2013 - 14852789 visitors generate 38906 posts = 0.0026 post per visitor

so statistically speaking only 1 in 500 is giving something back, but knowing there are some people that post more than others I think the real number is more like 1 in 1000 or more. And no I do not see a problem in that, the only thing that counts is if someone has fun in what (s)he does. If someone is happy lurking on the forum and wears out his ctrl-C ctrl-V keys, I am glad he is happy.

Also nice to see that 38906 posts are divided over 5135 new topics (OK some are replying older threads) but it means that every question gets on average 7 follow ups.

AWOL: The forum is open

And do you mean COMPLETELY open, as in not even an expectation that someone using the forum contribute to the community by purchasing at least some Arduino hardware?

Because "We are open to everyone, but we'd prefer those types stay away" isn't really open, IMHO.

ralphd: The point is the policy isn't clear. Can you quote "someone with authority" that clearly states the policy?

The fact that you are freely expressing your opinion without censorship makes the policy crystal clear. There is no need for it to be stated.

[quote author=Coding Badly link=topic=214161.msg1568193#msg1568193 date=1391031765]

ralphd: The point is the policy isn't clear. Can you quote "someone with authority" that clearly states the policy?

The fact that you are freely expressing your opinion without censorship makes the policy crystal clear. There is no need for it to be stated. [/quote] Thank you. Now I can link to your post and tell 'mrburnette' where to stuff his opinion.

ralphd:

robtillaart: The Arduino forums are open for everyone, no need to buy a real arduino, not even a clone.

That's the way I think it should be too. But why should my opinion (or your's) count more than "mrburnette" and Mr. Merchant banker that say people using the forums should contribute to the arduino community by purchasing official hardware?

it doesn't, my opinion is just one just like yours and Ray's or robin2's and all the others.

but my opinion doesn't makes the other opinions invalid, on contrary . For the survival of the Arduino eco system (it is way bigger than just Arduino hardware and software) it is important that the A-team have the means to stay innovative and can continue developing the product. And those means are mainly generated (apparently) by genuine products, royalties and donations.

So just keep posting your questions (and answers!) as most questions are relevant for both clones and the real thing.

@robtillart, I think what I have been struggling to say is that all the thousands you refer to aren't bothering to complain in the way that @ralphd is.

I don't care if people read without contributing. But it would be nice if they gave something back and I would have no hesitation in saying that to any of them.

And I do feel that @ralphd is refusing to acknowledge the large contribution made by the Arduino developers.

I use lots of other OpenSource software and don't make a contribution to it - generally because I am not competent to do so. (I know how to spell Linux Kernel - but that's as far as it goes). However I am very conscious that what I use has cost others a lot of valuable time, even if they did enjoy doing it.

...R

robtillaart:

If your general philosophy for life is to take as much as you can and give as little as possible in return

... Also nice to see that 38906 posts are divided over 5135 new topics (OK some are replying older threads) but it means that every question gets on average 7 follow ups.

Thinking about that, there is given 7 times as much as is asked for. A wonderful community indeed :)

Robin2: @robtillart, I think what I have been struggling to say is that all the thousands you refer to aren't bothering to complain in the way that @ralphd is.

I don't care if people read without contributing. But it would be nice if they gave something back and I would have no hesitation in saying that to any of them.

And I do feel that @ralphd is refusing to acknowledge the large contribution made by the Arduino developers.

I use lots of other OpenSource software and don't make a contribution to it - generally because I am not competent to do so. (I know how to spell Linux Kernel - but that's as far as it goes). However I am very conscious that what I use has cost others a lot of valuable time, even if they did enjoy doing it.

...R

I recognize and understand your feelings..Someone said, if something is for free that only means that YOU are NOT paying the price. And if you understand what that quote really implies you understand imho the essence of open source (and probably even more of life itself)

(bedtime, the alarm clock is only too few hours away :)

Robin2: But it would be nice if they gave something back and I would have no hesitation in saying that to any of them.

And you have no hesitation doing it with a condescending, "I don't understand why you seem unwilling to make even a small voluntary contribution to the Arduino project".

And then if they say they'll still say they're not going to buy "official" hardware you'll call them a selfish merchant banker.

And when I spend $54 on 20 ATmega328 Pro Mini "arduino compatible" modules to give to a public school, you'll say "It would be nice if you gave them 2 Arduino Unos instead".