[Nut-upsdev] Gamatronic company

Charles Lepple clepple at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 03:50:24 UTC 2013

Leon: I CC'd you on Ted's reply - not sure if you are subscribed to the list yet. Please subscribe here:


Ted explained this better than I could:

On Dec 17, 2013, at 8:43 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

> Hi Leon!
> Thanks for your effort in reaching out!
> I have been involved in Open Source projects and used Open Source for years.  Your questions are very common ones for companies interested
> in getting involved in Open Source projects, so I will attempt to
> provide you with some answers.
> NUT is a collaborative effort, but as these projects go there is not
> a single person "in charge"  Instead, there is a "core group" of developers who write the software.  Because of the way these things
> work, basically the developers who contribute the most code on a continuing basis have "the most say" as it were.
> Surrounding the core group is a larger group of "power users" these
> are people who use NUT in production.  Basically,
> power users have very little say in what direction the project goes,
> but they are very valuable to contribute bug reports back, (as well
> as bug fixes, by the power users who know how to write some code and
> are able to figure out what might be a problem) and they are valuable
> to provide a kind of ad-hoc tech support.  (when it moves them)
> Surrounding that core group of power users are the "regular users" who basically use the code and contribute nothing back to the mailing list
> or the development of the project.  These are the people who will use
> the code and if it doesn't work they will just abandon it and run other
> code.  Maybe they will check back every few years to see if their particular issue is fixed, or if they get new hardware or something.
> Now, as for getting your product supported:
> The first step is to publish specs.  Usually, companies publish specs somewhere on their website, often they copyright the specs.  If you do, you also need to publish licensing usage of those specs.  For example you may have something patented in the specs.  That is fine as long as you also publish a non-revocable license/permission to use your hardware specs without charge in an Open Source project like NUT.  You probably also will need to include a disclaimer to shield your company from liability claims, etc.  Some companies will publish specs in the public domain, of course, to avoid all of this.
> Without publicly accessible specs your not going to have much chance of interesting anyone to work on a module for your products.  I know it kind of sounds stupid to say it but there are companies who have stated that they want their product supported by an Open Source project and want to work with the project, but then want developers to sign NDAs and such.

This is very important. We do not obfuscate any of the code in NUT, as that would lead to maintenance problems down the road. Therefore, the protocol documents would need to be freely available, since the protocol will be evident from the driver. This obviates the need for an NDA.

We think this is a fair request, since (aside from maintenance logistics) the communication protocol is often not the "secret sauce" that makes one company's UPS better than another, and the communications links are often trivially observable.

> Once the specs are public then you need to interest a developer in
> writing a module for NUT that will talk to your product.  Asking developers to contact you like in this email of yours is usually not
> a very good way to do it.  These folks are usually pretty busy
> and usually aren't seeking work from people, usually people are
> seeking them for work.  The best way to start is by looking up
> each of the developers online and if they have websites or whatever
> (a freelancer is likely going to have one) then contact them through
> that site.  You want to start with the people who are currently actively
> contributing to NUT.  Go to where NUT is hosted:

I second the notion of checking to see if developers are freelancers. (I am not, for the record.)

> https://github.com/networkupstools/nut/
> and click on Contributors, then there is the list of people who
> are developing, with the most active ones at the top.  I would contact
> all of them individually if I were you.  Click on each of them and
> you will get a developer page that will show the developers contact info.

... but contact them off-list only if they have provided such information. My personal view on this: paid work warrants private support, and volunteer work should be conducted on an open list so others can benefit from the discussion.

> Before doing that you should try to make some kind of proposal. Basically you want to say how easy you think it would be to support your
> product.  For example if your product speaks an interface language that is very similar to other products that are already supported, a developer can easily take an existing module and adapt it, without a lot of time and effort.  If it's very radical then it will take more time to support.

Going out on a limb here, you might be interested in this as a starting point:


> Obviously if you have a developer on staff who is familiar with the coding in NUT and who has the time, then your company can write the module and either contribute it to the project, or you can just offer it on your website for download.  Although, it's best to contribute it since then in the future if another developer wants to change the module interface, he will have to do the work to change it in all of the modules that are distributed with NUT.
> I hope that helps!
> Ted
> On 12/16/2013 11:55 PM, Leon Vak wrote:
>> Greetings to all developers of the Network UPS Tools, and Merry
>> Christmas greetings to those of you who celebrate!
>> I have been looking in to your work from time to time, and I am very
>> impressed with your efforts. I think this is a good time to officially
>> supply the required information about Gamatronic products to the
>> community. Furthermore, I would like to know how our company may
>> contribute to the development effort. I hope that relevant people can
>> contact me to further discuss these subjects.
>> BR, and Happy New Year!
>> *Leon Vak*
>> Control & Management Manager
>>  <http://www.gamatronic.com/>

Thanks again to Leon for reaching out, and Ted for explaining how things work here.

Charles Lepple
clepple at gmail

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